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Slight play in Chris King headset Normal?(5 posts)

Slight play in Chris King headset Normal?EV2
Sep 29, 2003 9:21 PM
I have been struggling to eliminate a slight play on my 1" threadless Chris King headset.It is installed on a Colnago Dream Plus,I'm using a Colnago Force all carbon fork and an ITM Millenium stem with 25mm spacer from chris king below it.The head tube and fork crown has been faced.I check the other suspects also like the hubs,front brakes,stem and handlebar and they are all okay.I just couldn't think of anything else,so I'm wandering if this is normal.If you apply the front brake and move the bike forward and back while being seated on the saddle I could feel a slight pulse,play or movement from the bearing top cap through the handlebar.It is there even if I tighten the stem cap bolt hard.Has anyone out there with a Chris king headset experience this?I was thinking also since Chris King only uses a rubber o ring on the bearing top cap to center the fork,maybe the fork steerer is moving by compressing the rubber o ring.Thanks for any input and suggestions.
re: Slight play in Chris King headset Normal?Synchronicity
Sep 29, 2003 9:28 PM
You tightened the cap screw before the stem bolts, right?
But I guess that you would already know that.

Is it an old headset? Bearings need replacing, perhaps?

BTW, easier if you use multiple paragraphs - makes it easier to read. :-)
Don't think that is normalTWD
Sep 29, 2003 10:30 PM
I don't think that is normal. I run a 1 1/8" King headset on my MTB and I don't recall having any play in it, though it is harder to detect on a MTB.

One think you might want to check is to make sure that your steerer tube is cut to the proper length. If you just replaced an old headset with lower stack height than the King headset, the top cap might be bottoming out against the top of the steerer, not allowing it to properly tighten the headset. You may need to add a spacer or cut the steerer a touch shorter.

If that isn't the problem, then I don't know. In my opinion, King headsets are too darn expensive to be anything short of perfect. I'd have a word with Mr. King if you can't get it ironed out.
Check for play in Headset by...the bull
Sep 30, 2003 3:33 AM
setting bike on ground.Squeeze front brake and rock bike front and back. Do you feel the play? Put 2 fingers where the top race and top upper part of headset meet.Is there movement? If it only does it while you are riding you can try holding the headset while braking to see if it shifts.I have seen a worn lower race before.
Check the race faces for anykind of abnormal wear.King headset races are flat with a uprasied groove going around the inside. The top race should have resistance as it moves up and down the steerer tube.Turn the bearings by hand.I highly doubt they are wornout but they should spin silky smooth.
Steerer tube too long?Dave Hickey
Sep 30, 2003 3:41 AM
Is your top cap bottoming out on the steerer tube? You shouldn't have any play in the headset. Try another spacer and see if that solves the problem