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Headset adjustment troubles.(5 posts)

Headset adjustment troubles.nigel
Sep 22, 2001 10:30 AM
Hey,

My headset rides fine, but tends to go out of adjustment here and there. I notice this most when I sit down after standing to sprint or jump up a hill. The bars fight me, almost as if I'm riding in a strong crosswind. After a minute, it rides fine again, but the next time I stand or torque the bars, the same frustrating thing happens.

Any suggestions? My bike's a 2000 Giant (I got it brand new in January of this year, though) in size small. I ride a lot in city traffic (quick starts and stops, etc., which I've heard can affect how a headset stays in adjustment). I've also heard that a bike with a short steerer tube can take a headset out of adjustment more frequently than a bike with a longer steerer tube--something to do with physics and force applied while braking to a shorter "lever."

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Big thanks,
Nigel
re: Headset adjustment troubles.mackgoo
Sep 22, 2001 1:30 PM
What is the steerer material? This could be the symptoms of a failing carbon steerer.
re: Headset adjustment troubles.Wild Bill
Sep 22, 2001 2:36 PM
It sounds to me that your headset is too tight!
When you pick the bike up tilt it so the front wheel is lower than the back wheel and then move the handlebar. The front wheel should move freely with no sticking.
Good luck hope you get it fixed.Wild Bill
re: Headset adjustment troubles.MTG^
Sep 22, 2001 11:07 PM
If your headset is a ZS-Cane Creek integrated one,which the 01' Giant's are using,the problem is in the bearings.They tend to bind.But you could get a replacement bearing kit with them for free,although they are sending it with a with a thin-ring crown race not the flat wide one that also acts as a cover for the bearings.
re: Headset adjustment troubles.Robert
Sep 23, 2001 2:42 AM
I'm assuming you have a threadless headset, which might make a difference. First off I would check the clamp bolt(s) on the stem, and the stem itself. It sounds like one possibility is that when you put a lot of force in the handlebars the stem moves and presses on the headset. If your stem has two clamp bolts, one being loose could cause the problem. The other possibility dealing with the stem is that you might have deformed it, so it no longer clamps onto the steerer tube evenly. If the stems bent at the steerer clamp, you need a new one.

Another possibility I can think of is that one of the headset races has either been damaged somehow or just came loose. If a race got cracked, for instance, it might move when you apply a lot of force to the handlebars. If the stem seems fine, take the forks off and check for anything wrong with the headset, like a cracked or deformed race, or if the crown race can slide around. The crown race should be firmly attached to the fork so it needs to be tapped off. If the crown race just falls off, check the forks for damage to the fork crown. Also check the forks steerer tube to make sure it isn't cracked anywhere. If everything seems fine with the fork, but the crown race is loose, you will need to shim it around the steerer tube. I have a bike that came with an odd-size headset. When I changed the headset the fork crown needed to be filed down, well a little too much got filed, but an aluminum shim (such as from a soda can) shimed the crown race and it has worked fine ever since.