Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
Technical discussion, description and outright lies
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
So my headset's come a bit loose, there's a bit of a rattle, and I can tighten the top bolt by hand.
Just want to make sure i'm not putting too much pressure on the bearings. there's the top bolt, a spacer, then a bolt underneath, do I tighten them both? or just tighten the bottom one a bit like a cone in a hub where it has to be only just so.. and then the bolt at the top holds it in position?
Yep you are on the money there; the bottom nut is for adjusting, best bet is tighten it so there is no play then back it off a gnat's crack or even a bee's dick. You will ideally need 2 headset spanners or if you are lucky the washer may have a locating key that sits in a groove on your forks to isolate the rotation of the 2 nuts, the top nut is a lock nut designed to secure the lower nut. You need to hold the lower nut and tighten the top nut about an eighth of a turn after it snugs up to lock these guys.
The reason for backing off the lower nut a poofteenth of a turn is that when you tighten the lock nut it will push down the adjuster nut, this may take a couple of goes, the aim is to have it as loose as possible without any play / wiggle / shake.
You could always undo the (top) lock nut completely-you may have to raise your stem if it is set low- and check if your washer has the tab / key on it. Otherwise use your headset spanner for the lower nut and a shifter for the top nut.
If you are using one spanner only eyeball the lower nut as you tighten the top and make sure it doesn't move any more than 1/69 of SFA...
Method I was taught for HS adjustment was screw the upper cup down tight, the locknut down to just touching, then loosen the upper cup up to the locknut, seems to have worked back then, but I haven't touched a threaded HS for a looong time...
Janus, you could try multigrips on the locknut, use leather to protect it.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
As I was reading this I was like.. 'Nooo, not the multigrips!', but you saved it with a piece of leather.
You could also try riding to your LBS and buying another headset spanner to be sure to be sure
Mulger Bills 'tighten-the-cup-up-to-the-locknut' method works* a charm too.
*Well, it works fine on fishing equipment. No reason for it not to work on coffee machines as well.
Well, I dropped into the bike shop near my work to get the headset tightened up.
Guy was helpful, did a good job of making sure the adjustment was correct.
Unfortunately when removing the headset spanner after one of the adjustments, he scraped it up the nut, and left a graze on the metal
Guess i can get some ultra fine sand paper and try to buff it out? Any suggestions?
Oh well, never mind- at least all is now working smoothly. I'm thinking the damaged item is chromed? If so you will not get the same effect, if it is polished alloy you may have a chance with varying grades of wet and dry then a bit of polish on the dremel.
Yay for no more shaky headset!!
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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