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Will riding with indexed headset damage the headtube?(8 posts)

Will riding with indexed headset damage the headtube?Scy
Jul 18, 2001 8:57 PM
I recently discovered that my threaded headset was too loose. When I tightened it, I discovered that it was lightly indexed (I believe that's what it's called--a groove was worn in the headset such that turning the fork away from center requires slight effort when the wheel is off the ground).

I don't have time to replace the headset until next week, so I plan to ride another 100 miles on it. Although I don't care if this hurts the headset (since I'm replacing it), I don't want to damage the headtube/frame.

So, will riding the 100 miles hurt the headtube?

Aside from riding with a loose headset, what else causes an ovalized headtube?

Thanks all.
Your headset is pitted not indexedspookyload
Jul 18, 2001 9:10 PM
It will do no further damage to your bike by riding it. The damage is done. The only problem with riding it pitted is the tendency to want to track in the pitted position. It won't flow through the range of steering it should. So as long as you stay on top of the riding and steering you will be fine. If you didn't notice it before, you might not notice it for the ride this weekend.
How do I fix a pitted headset?Scy
Jul 18, 2001 9:38 PM
Thanks for the education.

If the threaded headset is pitted, do I have to replace it? Or can I fix it somehow? Also, (1) what caused it, and (2) what is an indexed headset?

Replace it (nm)Mike Prince
Jul 19, 2001 12:37 AM
You have to replace itspookyload
Jul 19, 2001 1:40 AM
Once it happens, you cant do anything about it. It comes from a misadusted headset. Usually a tight headset will do it pretty fast. When you install the new one, make sure you get it adjusted right. Be careful when tightening the lock nut down on top. It has a tendency to tighten the adjustable race down more. Check it before riding. Lean towards the loode side since you can tell if it is too loose easier, then make the corrections on the next adustment.
INDEX is slang... click, click, get it?D3
Jul 20, 2001 4:45 AM
Frame damage unlikelyCalvin Jones-Park Tool
Jul 19, 2001 4:43 AM
As stated in other posts, your frame will be fine. Ovalization can come from frontal impacts, even repeated impacts such as seen in mountain biking. If a headtube is relatively thin, hard riding on rough trails can ovalize the tube. Ovalization also occurs in building the bike, as welding causes metal to warp.

You may find some useful information on replacement at
Frame damage unlikely....Spiderman
Jul 19, 2001 7:09 PM
it may not be that the headset is pitted, it could just be too tight