loose headset/fork play <---->NOW TOO TIGHT!!!
pretty noob question but I can't find the problem. Installed a new Recon fork and there is too much headset/tube play. I tried a different crown/race which was thinner but still nothing. Tried tightening the cap but it's as tight as it'll go before I blow out the star nut. Cut the tube again and remove one spacer and try again? WTF?
Last edited by kwest10; 01-28-2013 at 09:02 PM.
Add another spacer and try again. If you don't have enough spacers you won't be able to preload the bearings and you'll bottom out.
so the steer tube was still too long and I cut about 3mm off...now the damned thing is too tight. I rode it on my quick 5 miles AM trail and it seemed fine. I only noticed when I went to pick up the bike the bars and wheels didn't turn freely. Would a spacer that is slightly thinner fix the problem? Don't want to blow out the bearings. can't loosen the cap much or else it'll fall off. Is the star nut too far down? Need the easiest fit. Thanks
It looks like:
Tech Tuesday - Steerer tube length - Pinkbike
Here is actual
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I don't think the star nut is too far down, or else you would have had issues already. I would try loosening the top cap and re-tightening the stem bolts.
The star nut depth has nothing to do with actual final loading of the bearings, you basically are using it to only take out the slop and set the load on the bearings before you tighten the stem in place.
It's the stem that's really holding everything together. Once the stem is tight you could just remove the bolt and top-cap completely to no change of solidity.
SO, you need enough of the stem - or a spacer on TOP of the stem - above the steerer tube so that the top-cap doesn't PREVENT you from achieving the proper preload. If the system is binding for no other reason then you need less preload.
Your intial setup should have the stem in place but the stem bolts completely loose.
Then you tighten the top-cap down with the bolt that screws into the star nut, only so far as the proper bearing preload is achieved, no more. The steering should turn freely, but there should be zero slop.
Once that preload is achieved you align the stem to the front wheel/fork and tighten the stem bolts to torque specification.
I've rarely seen a situation where because of one reason or another (improper installation of crown race, improper installation of lower headset bearing, improper installation of upper headset bearing, forgotten headset top component or spare, etc., that there was binding of the following that inhibited steering...
- fork crown to lower bearing cup
- crown race to lower bearing cup
- headset top to upper bearing cup
- bad bearing in lower bearing cup binding internally
- bad bearing in upper bearing cup binding internally
- bad frame drilling causing misalignment of bearings
None of this stuff is common.
At a guess I'm thinking you've just over-tightened the preload, but I don't really know from this end of the internet.
Loosen the stem bolts, back the top cap off a partial turn, re-tighten the stem bolts and check for play and ease of steering motion or lack there of. Repeat if steering is still too tight. Reverse some if back to too much play. Simple. You need some gap (2-3mm) between the top of the steerer and the top of the stem to obtain preload.
No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch.
1. the length has(or should have) NOTHING to do with how loose or tight the headset is.the headset is too tight because YOU tightened it too much. read this Technical Tuesday: How To Check And Adjust Your Headset - Pinkbike
Originally Posted by kwest10
2.it was that way when you left you just didn't notice it.
3.as for the star nut,if you don't need to loosen it at least 4 full turns to remove the bolt then yes it's too far down.but it's a $2 fix go to hardware store WITH the current bolt and get 1 5-10 mm longer.
re-read the link you posted above.
when assembled the stem should be 5mm above the steerer tube. tighten the cap bolt until just snug.turn the bars,then hold the front brake and push forward carefully feeling for a "clunk".
if it turns free but has no "clunk" then tighten the stem clamp bolts. if it doesn't turn free, then it already too tight.
as stated above the cap bolt "sets" the bearing preload.IT DOES NOT HOLD THE STEM TO THE STEERER. the stem clamp bolts do that.
take your time, re-read the links and excercise a little finese. balls ass tight is not the answer to every question.
the above reply does not contain sarcasm,so don't read into it too much