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how tight should headset be?(4 posts)

how tight should headset be?gnailuh
Nov 11, 2002 4:21 PM
i just bought a used giant tcr1 (2001 frame) and it has the stock cane creek headset. how tight should it be and how do you determine it? feels a little tight to me, at least compared to my mtb.

i've heard that when you pickup the bike, the front wheel should NOT flop to one side, if so, then it's too loose. but how do you know if it's too tight?

after letting the bike sit overnight, it feels pretty firm when i turn it, after a few full left and right rotations, it feels smoother (or less tight). is this a good setup? i also have a torque wrentch, what n/m or lb/ft should i set the cap bolt?

also, can i rebuild these headsets? how?

thanks.
re: how tight should headset be?laffeaux
Nov 11, 2002 4:54 PM
If your headset feels firm and then gets easier, I'd guess it's too tight. You want it tight enough to not allow play, and not so tight that the bearings bind (which sounds like is happening on your bike). There's no torque specs that I've ever heard of for headsets.

To loosen it, loosen the bolt(s) on the stem that clamp it to the steerer. Turn the top cap bolt a 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn and retighten the stem bolts. That should tak ecare of it.

Too see if it's too loose, hold the front brake and gently rock the bike back and forth. Usually you can feel it move. Put your finger where the bottom cup and fork come together and try to fell movement.
Just tight enough to eliminate play (nm)Kerry
Nov 11, 2002 5:30 PM
As loose as possible without playCalvin
Nov 12, 2002 9:47 AM
You might want to re-adjust, at least for the practice. Begin by making it have some play, or knocking, in the bearings. Make small incremental adjustment, one at a time, until the play in the bearings goes away. You are then done.

See http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_headthreadless.shtml#adjust as well.