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Chorus headset question...(4 posts)

Chorus headset question...Leroy
Jul 23, 2002 8:23 AM
When I do the headset adjustment test - where you hold the front brake while rocking the bike forward and back to find 'play' in the headset - I find that the play disappears only when the headset is adjusted so tight that it really does not turn freely when the front wheel is off the ground. Seems like I have to cinch it down too hard. Questions: Is the headset shot? Is it put in wrong? or what?

Thanks in advance.

Dave Loving
head tube problem?C-40
Jul 23, 2002 9:02 AM
I assume that you're talking about a new headset, not an old and potentially damaged one.

If the headset cups is not fully seated against both faces of the head tube or if the head tube is not machined with both ends parallel, the headset could bind with the wheel turned to one angle, and then be loose when turned to another angle.

If the fork turns smoothly, regardless of angle, the alignment of the cups is probably ok. If you haven't ridden the bike after installing the headset, try riding it a few miles, with the adjustment set snug. The lower cup and crown race may move a little in the first few miles and loosen up a bit. Then try readjusting. It sometimes works best to overtighten the top cap a little to insure "zero" play, then back off the tension a little, before tightening the stem to hold the setting.

It's better to have a minor amount of friction than any amount of play. Any play will allow the bearing races to get beat up quickly.

If your headset is old, the best thing to do is take it apart and inspect the lower bearing races for damage.
head tube problem?Leroy
Jul 23, 2002 9:19 AM
Thanks for the quick reply. The headset hasn't been wrecked or damaged. It does not bind at one angle but not at another. It turns smoothly but tight. I just have to overtighten [it seems] to eliminate the play in the steering. Any backing off and the play returns. All the other headsets I have seen don't need this extreme tightening, and move freely side to side when suspended off the ground. This one doesn't do that and I thought it strange to the point that I was going to replace the headset. I just figured the lbs didn't install it right.

Dave Loving
head tube problem?nelson
Jul 24, 2002 4:28 AM
Check that the upper bearings are inserted correctly. Newer Campy headsets have smaller bearings on top and the bearings are inserted backwards from old-style headsets.