what have i done wrong fork and headset- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    what have i done wrong fork and headset

    Hey,

    I am building my first bike from the ground up. It is a soul cycle dillinger single speed 29er. I have a chris king headset and a manitou drake 29er fork. I have play in the steer tube when i am trying to tighten down the stem and spacers. It just a small amount of play but it is not right. Any ideas what is am doing wrong?? I am sure it is me somehow.

    Thanks Tim

  2. #2
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    Before tightening the stem, are you first pre-loading the top cap.? You need to tighten the top cap first before tightening the stem clamp to the steerer tube. Do not over tighten though, just enough to take out the play.

    Ronnie.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  3. #3
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    thanks i gotta cut the steer tube to length and install the star nut when i am a little less drunk. Hope to take a sick day from work friday and ride it.

  4. #4
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    like ronnie said top cap i went through this recently myself, take your time when banging in the star nut, you wann make sure its straight, so make your straight first! lol happy saint pats, im drinking too...

  5. #5
    Tripolar on most days
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    Quote Originally Posted by swopeti
    thanks i gotta cut the steer tube to length and install the star nut when i am a little less drunk.

    Good idea .
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.

  6. #6
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    just make a installing tool out of a threaded rod, nut, washer and dowel. Better than trying to bang it in...

  7. #7
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    Make sure your crown race is correctly installed. My first go around with a CK headset resulted in installing the crown race upside down which gives a bit of play but everything looked right beforehand. Oh, no drinking and new fork installation. That is a sure fire way to getting a too short steerer tube!
    Last edited by chuckc1971; 03-18-2010 at 05:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Underskilled
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    Also LFMF, do not cut down the steerer tube when full of beer.
    Measure twice cut once doesn't help if you are measuring from the wrong end!

  9. #9
    CB2
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    "Doesn't matter how many times I cut it, it's still too short"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    "Doesn't matter how many times I cut it, it's still too short"
    =-)

  11. #11
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    I've thought I had a loose headset and driven myself nuts trying to figure it out. This was using the hold the front brake and rock it back and forth test.
    The culprit was the disc brake pads "rocking" ever so slightly. This is especially noticeable on old-style Hope Mini's.

  12. #12
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    Be real carefull cutting the steerer tube, rather use a spacer on top of yer stem than cutting it too short! I had the problem with an used Reba (was cut short before I got it) and the only way I could fit it was swapping to a headset with one with a lower build and using a highrizer...worked out in the end but was a pain in the backside getting a good ride position. Booze and tinkering around on yer bike is fun...till ya wake up the next morning

  13. #13
    anyone else smell that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by swopeti
    thanks i gotta cut the steer tube to length and install the star nut when i am a little less drunk. Hope to take a sick day from work friday and ride it.
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  14. #14
    aka "SirLurkAlot"
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    Are you sure that you want to do this yourself AND ride it afterwards?

    All kidding aside, try using a pipe cutter to cut the steerer tube. It works great with much less chance of the cut no being "square".

    You can pick one up at Home Depot, Lowes or a decent hardware store.

    Good luck, I think.

  15. #15
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    Make sure that you have the correct crown race (the part that goes on the fork). It is specific to the headset, not to the fork. Sometimes they get left on used forks, so you may have to swap it out. I sort of fell for this one on my first build.

    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  16. #16
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    thanks for all the ideas. almost done work and yes finally sober from my one day of being irish. I think i can cut the steer tube tonight and then call out sick to work friday and go ride. I had not put the star nut in yet or cut the tube so that should be easy enough i have a new pipe cutter i used for some other pipe needs

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by swopeti
    thanks for all the ideas. almost done work and yes finally sober from my one day of being irish. I think i can cut the steer tube tonight and then call out sick to work friday and go ride. I had not put the star nut in yet or cut the tube so that should be easy enough i have a new pipe cutter i used for some other pipe needs
    If you use a pipe cutter, you need to ream the edge of the tube as the steerer tube gets slightly spread out. At least use a file on the outer edge of the cut so that the stem goes on without getting caught. Its also a good idea to ream the inside edge too.

    Ronnie.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  18. #18
    aka "SirLurkAlot"
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    Good point Ronnie. I meant to mention it. I usually use a round file on the inside and out followed by sand paper. Take your time and it will come out great.

  19. #19
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    Before putting your top cap in position on the tube, make sure the headset is sitting solid on the fork crown, put your spacers on, the stem, and just barely tighten the stem, you should just be able to move it left and right. This will stablilize your work. Notice that the top cap has a recessed bottom at the outer edge. The cap needs to sit down inside the top of your tube, either in the stem or inside spacers, whatever is the final top piece. (Actually, when building a bike, because you are not sure how it will settle with the fork and how you will feel on the bike, you should NOT cut the steerer tube down to what you think will be your final cut. You want to test the feel of the bike and cut more as needed. Once cut, you can't add it back) Now that you have that figured out, make sure you have at least 1/8" clearance between the top of your steerer tube and the tope of your outer stem or spacers. In other words, the steerer tube should be at least 1/8" below the outer top, so that when you tighten the top cap screw, the top cap has room to snug, otherwise, you can tighten all you want and your headset will still feel loose. If after you snug it up, tighten the bottom bolt of the stem just enough so that you won't loose your place and take the top cap off. If there is no space, add another spacer and start the process all over again. If it still won't tighten properly, look at the star nut. If it looks like it is moving inside the steerer tube, then you have it in there crooked and it is not grabbing. You will have to install another star nut. Good Luck! Building your own bike is fun and satisfying.
    Unicoi29

  20. #20
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    thanks to all. The bike is together. I can not wait for my "sick day". Its suppposed to be 72 here in dallas. First ride on a 29er and single speed. I can not wait for that SH*T eating grin. HMMMM will the specialized FS get any riding this spring???

    I did leave a real long stem right now as i am not sure where i am gonna set the bars and seat yet.

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