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how do I tighten a carbon steerer/ZS headset?(8 posts)

how do I tighten a carbon steerer/ZS headset?weiwentg
Sep 14, 2002 6:49 PM
I've got a Cane Creek Zero Stack headset on my Giant. the damned thing was slightly loose. I've cranked the top bolt down as hard as I can, but after I do that and crank the stem bolts down, my steering coloumn no longer turns freely. it's not indexed, but it's 'sticky'. if I start over, leave the top cap slightly looser and retighten the stem bolts, I have play in my headset. what do I do????????????
re: how do I tighten a carbon steerer/ZS headset?xcandrew
Sep 14, 2002 7:35 PM
The top cap is there for the purpose of adjusting the play in the headset. If you crank it down hard, of course the headset will be tight. Use the top cap to ADJUST the headset bearings with the stem bolts loosened, and then tighten the stem bolts to hold the adjustment. It may to easier to feel for the proper adjustment with the front wheel off. After tightening the stem bolts, it shouldn't matter what happens with the top caps... they can even be removed. In practice though, some stem/steerer combinations seem to slip even with properly tighten stem bolts, so cranking down the top cap AFTER proper adjustment and stem tightening may be useful.
done that, butweiwentg
Sep 15, 2002 6:59 AM
I tighten the top cap, and the fork moves freely. I then tighten the stem bolts, and it doesn't. what am I doing wrong?
Check out the spacers under your stem.Spoke Wrench
Sep 16, 2002 7:31 AM
I'm wondering if they have an outer diameter that's little wide and contacting the fixed cup on your headset.
only 2 spacersweiwentg
Sep 16, 2002 11:21 AM
it's a zero-stack integrated headset. is there a fixed cup?
Zero stack and integraged are two different things.Spoke Wrench
Sep 16, 2002 1:10 PM
A zero stack headset has a cup that sits nearly flush with the head tube. An integrated headset has the inner surface of the headtube machined to hold the cartridge bearings directly without using a separate cup.

As you described your problem it caused me to wonder if your stack spacers might be rubbing the fixed part of the headset or even the head tube itself. That would account for the headset working smoothly until you clamp the stem against the steer tube.
Sep 16, 2002 3:48 PM
firstly, I do have the headset's top cap on; I don't see how the spacers would rub the head tube, or the upper cartridge bearing.
secondly, it seems to be all right now ... I just didn't tighten the adjusting bolt all the way. no play, and it seems to turn freely.
re: how do I tighten a carbon steerer/ZS headset?clintb
Sep 16, 2002 9:16 AM
Haven't the carbon steerer model forks been recalled?

Besides that, here's something.
On the carbon models, Giant uses an expander type star nut. If there's any grease or it's not sufficiently tight, the expander will slide up in the steerer. The torque value is 35-52in/lbs.

Outside that, there's the obvious stack height.