Headset knock even though tightened

cogs19
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Headset knock even though tightened

Postby cogs19 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:36 pm

Hi,

My MTB headset was knocking so I loosened off the stem bolts and gave it a nip up but it didn't stop the knocking. I pulled it apart and gave everything a clean and regrease and nipped it up and, again, the knocking was still there. I then tightened it up quite a bit (ie it needed a moderate amount of effort) and finally the knocking was gone. Even though I had tightened well beyond what I would have thought was the normal requirement the steerer still moves freely - so, in a way, it is actually working fine. My question here is - does this mean the headset needs replacing? And, will I do any damage to anything (other than the headset/bearings) by tightening it up beyond normal requirement??

Headset is semi-integrated tapered (and about 5 years old) if that makes any difference. Frame is carbon.

cogs

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Duck!
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby Duck! » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:18 pm

I'd start by dismantling and assessing the headset. The bearings take a flogging.

The other thing to check is the fork. If that is overdue for a service it can develop play which can feel very similar to a wobbly headset.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

cogs19
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby cogs19 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:41 pm

Duck! wrote:I'd start by dismantling and assessing the headset. The bearings take a flogging.

The other thing to check is the fork. If that is overdue for a service it can develop play which can feel very similar to a wobbly headset.


Thanks.

The fork is new-ish and I did a lower leg service earlier this year. Is there anything else I'd be looking for on the fork?

And what's the best way to check the bearings? I know they say to see if they feel "notchy" but not sure I know what I'm really feeling for. I plan to buy a replacement headset which will be the same as original. Would there be any chance that the cups need to be replaced? It'd be much easier for me just to replace all the bits rather than remove old cups as I don't have a punch.

jackthelad
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby jackthelad » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:46 pm

you need 5mm between the top of the steerer and the very top of the spacer,being above the steerer,
so that you have room to pull the Fork into tension ...
if your topcap sits lower with a lip, that needs room to tighten into,
with it off i assume, you popped the bearing, checked, cleaned races, and regreased ?
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cogs19
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby cogs19 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:05 pm

jackthelad wrote:you need 5mm between the top of the steerer and the very top of the spacer,being above the steerer,
so that you have room to pull the Fork into tension ...
if your topcap sits lower with a lip, that needs room to tighten into,
with it off i assume, you popped the bearing, checked, cleaned races, and regreased ?

Yep - there is sufficient space between the spacer and top of the steerer. I've been riding this setup for 5 years now without issue - so this is a recent issue independent of setup.

And when it was off I popped bottom and top bearings and gave everything a good clean and regrease.

Perhaps a question I should have asked is when do you replace a headset? I mean how do they normally indicate they are worn and need replacing?

jackthelad
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby jackthelad » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:47 pm

cogs19 wrote:
jackthelad wrote:you need 5mm between the top of the steerer and the very top of the spacer,being above the steerer,
so that you have room to pull the Fork into tension ...
if your topcap sits lower with a lip, that needs room to tighten into,
with it off i assume, you popped the bearing, checked, cleaned races, and regreased ?

Yep - there is sufficient space between the spacer and top of the steerer. I've been riding this setup for 5 years now without issue - so this is a recent issue independent of setup.

And when it was off I popped bottom and top bearings and gave everything a good clean and regrease.

Perhaps a question I should have asked is when do you replace a headset? I mean how do they normally indicate they are worn and need replacing?


when they feel notchy, or stiff, pull the bearings out and if there is any drag etc, replace ,
it also depends on the headset type, internal, external, Caged or sealed bearings.
i have headsets over 10 /15 years old, still work pefectly. Chris king though.
all depends on how well you have taken care of the headset in the first place, how , where, when you ride it
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cogs19
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Re: Headset knock even though tightened

Postby cogs19 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:05 pm

jackthelad wrote:
all depends on how well you have taken care of the headset in the first place, how , where, when you ride it


I haven't done too much to maintain it - cleaned and regreased it when I changed the fork over. With that said I rarely ride it in wet and muddy conditions (although sometimes that is unavoidable).

It's a semi-integrated headset with semi-cartridge bearings. Certainly no Chris King but has been serviceable until now... http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/en/ritchey-comp-press-fit-zs-1-5-tapered-headset/rp-prod120292

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