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  1. #1
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    Loose headset—Cane Creek ZeroStack 2

    Hi All—hopefully this is a quick and easy fix.

    I have a Cane Creek ZeroStack 2 headset on my GF HiFi Pro 29er. I pulled the fork yesterday for a rebuild (which went perfectly)...but I wasn't attentive enough when I pulled it to take note of exactly how all the headset pieces fit together.

    So when it came time to reassemble it all, I was like..."Uhhhhh....." So I found a schematic online that showed the arrangement of parts...and thought I assembled everything correctly...but when I tightened the topcap bolt (just to barely snug), there was a fair amount of play in the headset.

    I tightened the topcap bolt a bit more, but the play didn't go away. I've heard it's bad juju to overtighten that bolt, so I didn't crank it down any further for fear of screwing something up.

    Any ideas what might be wrong?
    I know I have the spacers right (one big one below the stem, one small one above). Outside that, there were only 3 loose parts on top of the headset and 2 on the bottom.

    On the top, there was the thick bearing-race thing, a thin, flat metal ring that goes inside the bearing, and the large-diameter, skinny plastic washer thingie.

    On the bottom, there was only another bearing-race and another skinny, large plastic washer thingie.

    Should I just keep cranking on that topcap bolt until play is removed? Or could there be something else amiss?

    Thanks!
    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  2. #2
    AZ
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    Do you have all the spacers installed?

  3. #3
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    I found this video on Cane Creek's website...
    http://www.canecreek.com/tech-headse...djustment2.flv

    ...which shows how to adjust the headset. I'm honestly not sure if I had the stem bolts completely loose when I snugged the preload bolt or not...so that's one thing for me to check.

    I also didn't life th bike and drop it (like the suggest in the video) to loosen the headset before tightening the preload bolt, so that's another thing.

    What I'm not sure of is...how tight should the preload normally be to achieve good adjustment? It sounds like you should never have to go more than a few quarter-turns past snug. Is that right? Or do you have to really crank it more sometimes? (As long as you're feeling no resistance in steering.)

    And finally, I'm not 100% sure I have everything assembled perfectly...so I need to confirm that.

    Finally, I remembered one other detail—one of the large, skinny plastic washer/rings in the headset was broken (e.g. the ring was just split and not a seamless piece). I went ahead and reinstalled it anyway and it seemed to go on fine...but is that a bad idea? (Is this skinny plastic ring so critical that a broken one could hose everything?)

    Thanks,
    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  4. #4
    AZ
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    Was it broken or is it a "split ring"? Loosen stem, seat everything and tighten stem bolt. It dosent have to be really tight but if things are not seated it will take a few turns. I usually apply the front brake and gently rock the bike backwards and forwards a very small amount while snugging up the top cap. You also have to have some clearance for things to compress. the spacers have to sit slightly above the steerer so the top cap does not seat on the steerer when tightening. About 2mm is enough clearence.

  5. #5
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    That ring was just split cleanly (e.g. none of it was missing, just as if it were cut cleanly through).

    Good tip about the top spacer needing to sit above the steering tube—I'll check that.

    When you say the stem bolt usually needs "a few turns" to get everything tight, do you mean a few complete, 360-degree turns past the point where it's snug? That's what I'm trying to figure out—just how tight that bolt usually needs to be (e.g. how much resistance is felt when tightening it?)

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  6. #6
    AZ
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    Just snug once all the parts are seated.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Just snug once all the parts are seated.
    Ok—that helps. So clearly something must be wrong...since I tightened the stem bolt a full 360-degree turn past snug...and there was still play in the headset.

    So I guess I need to be sure I've got all the headset bits...that they're all oriented the right way...and that they're all where they belong...

    Just gotta find something that clearly shows how they all go...

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  8. #8
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    Here's the schematic of parts in my headset...



    The star nuts were, of course, already in the steering tube...and parts #8 and #9 were press-fitted into the frame (they didn't come out, which I assume is normal).

    When I pulled the fork, parts #4-5-6-7 were loose on top...and parts #10-11 were loose at the bottom. Those are all accounted for.

    And spacers are correct, since there were only 2 (big one below the stem, small one above the stem.)

    NOTE: Part #11 on my headset was split, e.g. it looked as though it had been cleanly cut (none of it was missing, but it wasn't a seamless ring anymore—I just reinstalled it anyway...didn't seem like that would make a difference? But maybe it does?).

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

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    If the star nut is not pulling out of the steerer, tighten everything until you eliminate slack. Once everything has found home, loosen the top cap bolt and resnug so there is no play.

  10. #10
    TC
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    star nut woes

    if you've overtightened the bolt, the star nut could be toast even if it's not pulling out of the steer tube. The nut can and does strip out of the star and will look normal but will just spin...this has happened to me on at least one occasion.

    my solution was to install a "head lock" device. for anywhere from 12 to 25 bucks, these are great alternative to star nut.


    sette has one for about 12
    azonic has one for 25

    burly set up...pretty much fool proof. just don't over tighten b/c this will overload the bearings in the headset.

    good luck.
    tc
    if the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will

  11. #11
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    Thanks TC—I'll take a close look at the star nut. I was aware when tightening it that there was high potential for damage...so I didn't ever tighten it more than one full turn past snug...so hopefully I didn't hose the star nut. Good to know about the alternative.

    I'm half-thinking maybe all the headset bits just weren't fully seated or something.

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  12. #12
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    There's possibly another part not shown in the schematic. If your steerer tube is a little long there will be an additional spacer between the top cap (#2) and the top of the hs (#4). When you have everything together w/o the top cap, is the tube a couple mm below the top of the assembly?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck
    There's possibly another part not shown in the schematic. If your steerer tube is a little long there will be an additional spacer between the top cap (#2) and the top of the hs (#4). When you have everything together w/o the top cap, is the tube a couple mm below the top of the assembly?
    I'm 99% sure I got the spacers right—mine had a large one beneath the stem and a short one between the stem and top cap. But I didn't check the clearance (didn't make sure the top of the steering tube isn't too high). I'll check that tonight...

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Thanks TC—I'll take a close look at the star nut. I was aware when tightening it that there was high potential for damage...so I didn't ever tighten it more than one full turn past snug...so hopefully I didn't hose the star nut. Good to know about the alternative.

    I'm half-thinking maybe all the headset bits just weren't fully seated or something.

    Scott
    Double check the star is installed square inside the tube, also if it's spinning inside you can tap it down a tad to make it re-grip.
    ©

  15. #15
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    Just a followup...I think I was just an idiot and didn't have all the bits seated properly. When I went back and did it again, I gently bounced the front tire and made sure everything was seated well, and when I snugged up the stem bolt everything was good to go.

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

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