Bit of Wiggle between head tube and fork. Ok?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bit of Wiggle between head tube and fork. Ok?

    It seems the connection between the head tube and the fork (see red arrow in photo) has the tiniest bit of wiggle that I can certainly hear rattle when I'm riding on a bumpy trail or dropping my bike from a foot high onto the garage floor. Is that a problem? I don't remember if it was like this before. About 2 months ago I loosened the headset bolt at the center top to replace a spacer with a WeeRide spacer (kids bike seat). I'm wondering if I did something wrong. But I remember that head tube bolt was very tight and I made sure to tighten it very tight. So is this a problem, and how to fix it? Do I need to re-tighten one of the headset bolts (with yellow arrows pointing to them)?

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bit of Wiggle between head tube and fork. Ok?-2020-07-06-46-51.png  


  2. #2
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    It sounds like a loose headset. It's not just a matter of tightening the bolts on the stem, that just makes it tighter on the fork's steer tube; you've got a slight gap between the stem/spacers/headset. You'll need to loosen those bolts on the stem, then use the bolt in the cap on the very top of the steer tube to preload the headset. You should take that slack out but not tighten it so much that the fork does not turn smoothly. Once you have it properly tensioned, then you tighten the stem bolts, after being sure the stem and spacers are all the way down on the steer tube. Once that is done, I loosen the top bolt a little, the stem and bar should be held on by the stem tightened to the steer tube, not that bolt.

    Watch some youtube videos.
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  3. #3
    Cycologist
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    Is the wee ride spacer the same height as the spacer it replaced?
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  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    No, loose bearings/parts is never ok. The problems only get worse with time and ultimately lead to failure.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
    LCW
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    You might be bottoming out the top cap before it provides enough clamp. Either file a couple mm off your steerer or add a slightly thicker spacer.

    Santa Cruz Tallboy 4


  6. #6
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    STOP its not OK take it a part and inspect what exactly the problem is. right now your guessing

  7. #7
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    loosen the two bolts you have listed with the lower yellow arrows

    then tighten the top yellow arrow which will tighten the play, you describe

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    remove your top cap and look inside the stem/ steerer tube. how much space is there between the top of the fork steerer tube and the stem that is clamped onto it? there should be less than 5mm of space there, but at least 1mm.

    fork11.jpeg

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