Headset gap

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Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:12 pm

Hi all,

Im in the process of replacing the front suspension fork with a rigid fork. When I put everything together, there appears to be a gap between the centering sleeve and the spacers. Ive tensioned it down with the stem removed.
I cannot recall if this gap was there with the original suspension fork in place.

Does this appear correct?
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by BNA » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:18 pm

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Re: Headset gap

Postby Duck! » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Looks like it's not tensioned nearly enough. Loosen the stem clamp bolts & tighten the top cap until there is no play in the bearings. If the top cap is bottomed out on the top of the steerer tube already, add another spacer either underneath if you don't mind the bar coming up a few more mm, or above the stem if you're happy with the current height. The top of the steerer tube needs to be 2-3mm below the top of the stem (or spacer on top of it) in order for the top cap to properly tension it all.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:29 pm

Ive tensioned it enough I think, anymore and the star nut will most likely get damaged.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby mitchy_ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:31 pm

it looks like a Aheadset that came on my avanti, and the top plastic "cover" doesnt do it's primary job in covering anything. if you've got the bearings loaded enough that there is no fore/aft play in the steerer then it should be sweet.
i'd suggest a better headset (or top cap if you can find a compatible one) may be in order though, i replaced mine with a cheap Ritchey one from wiggle for ~$18, just to get a proper top cap to seal the bearings a little better.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby RonK » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:10 pm

Steerer is too long.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Add another spacer. I had the same issue when replacing a stem. In your case the stem is the same but the steerer length has changed. LBS should be able to give you a free spacer.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:40 pm

The steerer was longer than the suspension fork it replaced so I played around with some spacers and had a gap of 2-3mm at the top between the stem and steerer tube. Tensioned it up although the gap is still there.

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Re: Headset gap

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:03 pm

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Re: Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:10 pm

Tried all the hints and tips. Gap remains. There is no play in the fork or anything, just that gap.

Would it be there because I disturbed the original setup, and also the fact that Im using a rigid fork on it?
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Re: Headset gap

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:09 pm

Looks to be insufficient free space between top of steerer and top of stem for enough preload to me.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:27 am

tez001 wrote:Tried all the hints and tips. Gap remains. There is no play in the fork or anything, just that gap.

Would it be there because I disturbed the original setup, and also the fact that Im using a rigid fork on it?


Gap should have nought to do with you disturbing the setup or using a rigid fork.

You should simply be able to close the gap by hand - the spacers should sit directly, loosely and easily on the top headset bearing cage. Same goes for the stem (as long as the bolts are loose). It should be easy for you to compress this loose stack by hand to take up any slack on the steerer. If you can't do this then you are wasting your time trying to preload the headset bearings using the top cap because clearly something is amiss...
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Re: Headset gap

Postby mitchy_ » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:50 am

as previously mentioned, it's the same Aheadset that was on my new Avanti, and looked identical whilst being tensioned correctly. they dont have a proper top cap over the compression ring, the spacers sit direct on top.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:36 pm

Thanks Mitch it gives me a bit of comfort to know that. So yours which has a similar headset has a gap too?
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Re: Headset gap

Postby mitchy_ » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:47 pm

tez001 wrote:Thanks Mitch it gives me a bit of comfort to know that. So yours which has a similar headset has a gap too?


yep. even the offical avanti photo of my bike shows it like that. so long as it's tensioned correctly you're good to go.

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Re: Headset gap

Postby tekapo » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:23 pm

What is causing that gap, is there something holding the spacers up?

There must be something that is physically holding the spacers up, there usually are some slack between the inner diameter of the spacer and the steerer tube. Therefore a spacer should just drop to the lowest point until it hits the headset.

I would suggest taking it all apart and put it back piece by piece and you should be able to identify what is causing the gap.

Btw, is the exposed silver bit the steerer tube, or part of the headset? If its part of the headset, then it might be normal.
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Re: Headset gap

Postby tez001 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:32 am

Thanks tekapo. With the headset sitting loose and unadjusted, the spacers sit on top of the compression ring.
The expose silver / grey part is the compression ring and not the steerer tube.
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