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Headset Wiggles(9 posts)

Headset Wigglesspdplayr
Mar 21, 2002 3:09 AM
I have a TCR 0 with an integrated headset. I installed a new stem last night (ITM Millenium) and couldn't get the SOB tight. I have the wedge for CF steerer tubes and I tightened til I couldn't tighten no more and still have a little play. I even took my steerer tube down below the top of the stem by just a put to get the "pull" from the top cap. what can I do? i can't imagine this is normal.
re: Headset WigglesDave Hickey
Mar 21, 2002 3:51 AM
Two possible problems.
1. When you tighten the top cap, make sure your stem bolts are loose. If your stem is clamped down, tightening the top cap will do no good.
2. How much below the stem is the steerer tube? Make sure there is enough room so tightening the top cap doesn't bottom-out on the steerer tube.
re: Headset Wigglesspdplayr
Mar 21, 2002 4:46 AM
Thank Dave. Here's my deal. I have a 1inch steerer and a 1-1/8 stem with a shim ITM provided. So let me ask you two questions about your suggestions:
1. Could there be too much force on the tube with just having the stem on since it's a snug fit to begin with? Therefore, would it help to start with the stem below the shim, tighten the top cap and then slide it upward?

2. How much room should there be between the steerer tube top and the top cap? I have about (an I am totally guessing b/c i am at work and not near the bike) 2/8ths below.
re: Headset WigglesDave Hickey
Mar 21, 2002 5:21 AM
1. the shim should not really make a difference. I'm using a 1" fork with a 1 1/8"stem. As long as the stem is not clamped down, it should be fine.
2. Do you have spacers under your stem? If you do, try putting one spacer on top of the stem. That will leave enough room for the steerer tube.

Your problem sounds like the top cap is bottoming out on the steerer tube.
re: Headset Wigglesspdplayr
Mar 21, 2002 6:06 AM
thank you. i'm outta spacers (only had three) and i'm at a good height so I think I will just trim out another 1/8th at a time until i get it slammed. thanks for your help.
now wait a minute...DrD
Mar 21, 2002 6:49 AM
Maybe this is a silly question, but in your current setup, either the bottom of the stem clamp, or a spacer under the stem which the stem clamp is pressed against is pressing against the top of the headset, right (i.e., there are absolutely no gaps where you can see the steerer tube of the fork)? When you tighten the expander wedge, it presses onto the top of the stem, which in turn must press onto the top of the headset (or it presses down onto a spacer which presses down onto the headset) - this is what preloads the bearings. Your previous message mentioned tightening things up, then moving the stem, which makes me think there are no spacers between the stem and the headset, but rather there is a gap - there can be no gap at all in order for the threadless setup to work. Also - you want the steerer tube recessed into the stem a bit - 2-3mm (depends on how tall the lip is on the top cap you are using - you don't want it to bottom out on the steerer tube - check all the way around the steerer tube - sometimes they aren't cut properly, and you can have a high spot)

The standard procedure is to loosen the stem, tighten the expander wedge until the bearings are sufficiently loaded, then tighten the stem clamp to hold everything in place.

I apologize if this is obvious - just wanted to offer some clarification!
try a larger capPaul
Mar 21, 2002 9:03 AM
Just something to check. Another thing I did (had the same set up as you. I got a bigger cap so that it fits over the entire shim and stem. You might not be really pushing the stem, but rather the shim so that when you tighten the stem, it's not pushing on the bearings. Not sure if pushing down the shim would pre-load the bearings.

Or maybe the wedge just isn't expanding. I believe it should be down about one inch into the steerer (check the specs). Or you just need a longer screw. Maybe it's not going into the wedge enough so that it doesn't expand the wedge against the steerer. Should be able to calculate the depth.

Sounds like the screw bottoms out.
re: Headset Wigglesgrzy
Mar 21, 2002 7:07 PM
Off hand I'd say if it's not intuitively obvious to you after the above comments then a trip to the LBS is in order. I think that either you expander plug/star nut isn't low enough in the steerer, your steerer is too long, or your cap is sized for a 1" stem and you're now using a 1-1/8". My vote is for number 1( it's happened to me), but who knows from this distance.
Got It!spdplayr
Mar 21, 2002 7:47 PM
i trimmed off about 1/8th and that was all it needed. i had all the proper fitting things btw (1-1/8 cap head, right screw length , etc.) but thanks for everyone's help. hickey had the holeshot on this one--the tube was bottoming out on the cap. fixed and tight! thanks to all. now it's too damn windy to ride after all that. have to drive to jersey to pick up my trash can :O)