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  1. #1
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    Do I need a headlock

    So today I was tinkering on my bike and I noticed my headset was a bit loose so I went to tighten it. As I was attempting to tighten it I noticed it was slightly easy to tighten but I could keep spinning it. It got to the point in which I had no pressure at all. So I removed the cap and my star nut was pulled all the way back up the steerer tube (shouldn't ever happen?). I decided to set it back down and attempt to tighten it again. As you can guess it would not tighten yet again. Frustrated I gave up and ran here for some input.

    The Fork is a brand new Manitou R7 Elite and has never seen the trail. The Star Nut is the star nut that comes with the Cane Creek S 3 headset that is installed on my bike. Is there a way to save the star nut and continue to use it or do I need to upgrade to a headlock? Can I leave the star nut in or do I need to remove it before installing the headlock?

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  2. #2
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    I would try another star nut, headlocks work but are heavy. you may have just got a bunk star nut. if a second start nut doesn't work than look at compression plugs for carbon steer tubes. they work as well

    how was the star nut installed? a specific setter will work the best.
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  3. #3
    MattSavage
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    yeah, try a new starnut and make sure whoever installs it, get's it in straight and deep enough.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

    Have Ashtray, Will Travel....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    I would try another star nut, headlocks work but are heavy. you may have just got a bunk star nut. if a second start nut doesn't work than look at compression plugs for carbon steer tubes. they work as well

    how was the star nut installed? a specific setter will work the best.
    I installed it the ghetto way I guess. Getting it lined up straight and setting it using the head of the bolt and a rubber mallet. That was the same way my last one was set and I had no issues.

    I may just upgrade into a headlock rather than attempting to set another star nut with out a set.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  5. #5
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    its not an "upgrade" go to your lbs and pay them the 5 bucks to bang in a star nut for you, problem solved!

    you screwed up installing the star nut, its not really a product or setup fault. just have to get someone to do it correctly.

  6. #6
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    Really sounds like the star nut is the problem. A headlock is really a solution to a problem that does not exist. I have not seen a use for one on big forks, and I would for sure not consider one on a 100mm xc fork.

  7. #7
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    Well I am always the DIY guy so maybe when the time is right I will buy a star nut set. I have about 5 months till the bike will see anything so I got plenty of time. The set and a new star nut will cost a few dollars more, so I will probably go in that direction unless that fails to work then I will get a headlock.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  8. #8
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    So today I was tinkering on my bike and I noticed my headset was a bit loose so I went to tighten it. As I was attempting to tighten it I noticed it was slightly easy to tighten but I could keep spinning it. It got to the point in which I had no pressure at all. So I removed the cap and my star nut was pulled all the way back up the steerer tube (shouldn't ever happen?). I decided to set it back down and attempt to tighten it again. As you can guess it would not tighten yet again. Frustrated I gave up and ran here for some input.

    The Fork is a brand new Manitou R7 Elite and has never seen the trail. The Star Nut is the star nut that comes with the Cane Creek S 3 headset that is installed on my bike. Is there a way to save the star nut and continue to use it or do I need to upgrade to a headlock? Can I leave the star nut in or do I need to remove it before installing the headlock?

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place.
    Some star nuts are a little wider than others. Maybe you just need another (possibly wider?) star nut. Your ghetto install method should work fine as long as it ends up in there straight. I did countless forks this way before I got a star nut tool (Nashbar has a really cheap one that works great).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Some star nuts are a little wider than others. Maybe you just need another (possibly wider?) star nut. Your ghetto install method should work fine as long as it ends up in there straight. I did countless forks this way before I got a star nut tool (Nashbar has a really cheap one that works great).
    I thought it would work fine, appeared to be straight, and worked when I first installed it and had it tight. The bike hasn't been on the trail like I said, but I have been practicing loading my fork and lifting my bike in my basement. I dont know if that could cause a issue but thats about all the action it has seen. The Star Nut came from a good headset so I would think it would be good, but perhaps it is just a dud like everyone is saying. Chances are I would be getting the Dia Compe 1 1/8th Star Nut, and a star nut set from a company that shall remain name less.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  10. #10
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    How do I remove the old star nut? Do I need to drive it through the bottom of the steerer tube?
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  11. #11
    AZ
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    Yep ..........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Yep ..........
    best way to do that?
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  13. #13
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    On forks with 5" or more travel I use a headlock. It has worked well for me, and has always kept everything tight. Yes, you shouldn't need it, but on a long travel fork it's good insurance which has paid off well for me.

    The irony of recommending this to Dremer is killing me, but the Sette headlock is top notch, well made, and only 68 grams, which is going to give you, roughly, a 50g weight penalty over a star nut and steel bolt.

  14. #14
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    best way to do that?


    You could drive it out with a wooden dowel and a hammer .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    On forks with 5" or more travel I use a headlock. It has worked well for me, and has always kept everything tight. Yes, you shouldn't need it, but on a long travel fork it's good insurance which has paid off well for me.

    The irony of recommending this to Dremer is killing me, but the Sette headlock is top notch, well made, and only 68 grams, which is going to give you, roughly, a 50g weight penalty over a star nut and steel bolt.
    If the new star nut doesnt work that would be more the likely the direction I would be heading.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    You could drive it out with a wooden dowel and a hammer .
    Thanks, I think I can manage that.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  16. #16
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    Keep us posted what happened.
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

  17. #17
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    theres no reason a star nut wont work.. probably 99% of threadless bikes have them.

  18. #18
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    others have said it, but the headlock users disregard it, so i'll repeat. you don't need a headlock, nobody does. the purpose of the star nut is to provide initial bearing pre-load. the headset stays together because of the stem maintaining the pre-load. you should be able to run a headset without the top cap altogether, once the stem is tightened.

    don't buy a headlock.

    to quote a well known metaphor - solving a headset problem with a headlock, is like solving obesity with buying larger cloths. you treat a symptom, not the problem.

    buy another star nut, and be more careful with it.

  19. #19
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    Just to make sure we are not missing something...

    Did you loosen the stem bolts that hold it on the steerer tube, before you started tightening the top bolt?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Just to make sure we are not missing something...

    Did you loosen the stem bolts that hold it on the steerer tube, before you started tightening the top bolt?
    I believe I had it loose, but perhaps I didn't enough. So I just barely went and tried again with the stem loose enough that I could slide it off, but I got the same results. Its doesn't tighten and the headset still rocks. In the past on my old fork I was able to tighten it down to the point of not being able to move the whole front of the bike (obviously too tight), I cant even come close on this steerer tube. I do have my old fork still with the star nut installed. Would it be bad to knock that star nut out and try to install it in my new fork? Or is it considered basically a 1 use part?
    Last edited by Dremer03; 12-21-2009 at 06:41 AM.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  21. #21
    AZ
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    Since the one in your old fork works where it is , I'd leave it where it is .

  22. #22
    local trails rider
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    The fork is new...
    What about headset and frame?
    Is the head tube faced?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    The fork is new...
    What about headset and frame?
    Is the head tube faced?
    The Frame is less than a year old, the Headset was new this summer (Cane Creek S 3), and the star nut had never been installed in another fork. The head tube was never faced, but when everything was originally installed on the bike the person who helped me (bike mechanic) saw no reason to do it. The Reken has very smooth powder coat. I did not have a problem until I installed the new fork.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  24. #24
    MattSavage
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    Just get a new starnut and have it installed by a professional with proper tools... Since you're fork is off, a shop will do it for 5 bucks or 6 pack or whatever...
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

    Have Ashtray, Will Travel....

  25. #25
    local trails rider
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    It could be a weak star nut...

    ... on the other hand, it should not take a lot of force to get the headset to proper tension. Better check that there are no other snags in the system.

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