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Headset question(10 posts)

Headset questionJonas
Apr 28, 2001 9:21 PM
I just got a used bike with a threaded headset, but the two lockrings on the top of the headset keep comming loose when I ride! What gives? How tight should I tighten them? Doesn't the bottom lockring have to be somewhat loose for the bearings to work properly?


This is why threadless rulesJ.S.
Apr 28, 2001 9:30 PM
Threaded headsets are a pain. First you need two headset wrenches of the proper size, tighten the lower nut against the bearings to remove play but the bearings should move freely, then hold that nut stationary while tightening the uppper nut against it to lock it into place. Notice: you cannot over tighten the upper the nut, you want it as tight as possible while still having the bearings turn freely. Arrrghh, I hate threaded headsets.
Ignorance rules......Problem Solver
Apr 29, 2001 7:08 AM
It IS possible to overtighten the top nut depending on the materials involved, the amount of threads and the condition of the threads.However, a properly intalled ,adjusted and tightened threaded headset will not loosen.......
I personally watched TWO navigators(road team) mechanicsJ.S.
Apr 29, 2001 8:40 PM
Each weilding a wrench tighten a stubborn headset on a bike a few years back at Redlands. Ya, you would of told them them they are ignorant. Ask any bike shop mechanic and they love threadless, threaded is dead. Jerk.
Only one wrench needed...... try this.Jimbob
Apr 29, 2001 9:08 PM
Tighten the lower nut to the desired tightness so that there is no play but turns freely. Now tighten the top nut against it. Youre not done yet, heres the important part, now just simply loosen the lower nut back against the top nut and bind them together. It shouldnt turn too much. Its been a long time since Ive made this adjustment, but this way always stayed perfect. When you force this lower nut against the top nut rather than the opposite it cant loosen any more. It will stay properly adjusted. this is the trick to a threaded headset. If you just lock the lock nut down the lower nut can and will vibrate loose. This can be done with two wrenches if you have experience but with one wrench its fool-proof.
I took a poll,TJeanloz
Apr 30, 2001 7:21 AM
And 4/5 bike shop mechanics prefer threaded. They didn't really have many reasons, but the most compelling was that they felt like there was a lack of precision with the threadless system- i.e. they could do a better adjustment with a threaded HS.
I agree with TJ --Greg Taylor
Apr 30, 2001 10:03 AM
I find it much easier to make fine adjustments to a headset with a good threaded unit than I do with a threadless system. I was reminded of this fact last night while swapping out the fork on my mountain bike -- it took me two tries to find that nice zone where the cups are comfortably mated but not too tight.

Also, I'm a confirmed "two wrench" guy. I own a nice Park 36/32 and a 32/15. Ain't been stumped yet.
I vote for threadless, no more 32mm wrenches, just a measlyJImbob
Apr 30, 2001 3:28 PM
5mm allen. Plus, its possible to save some good weight here. THreadless is very simple to adjust properly IMHO. The drawback I see is stem height adjustment but if you front brake housing is cut to a reasonable length you dont have much range anyway.
I'd be curious to know...Greg Taylor
Apr 30, 2001 6:49 PM
whether one set-up has a strength advantage over the other. The intuitive engineer in me could see the threadless system being stronger than the old quill type set up. Seems like you are spreading load over a broader surface on the steering tube. Just a hunch.

And hey, while you may get rid of my 32mm wrench, you still need a Star-nut setter and a couple of star nuts to get it set up...
dont need a star nut setter nor do you need 2 star nuts..nmBlimpy
May 1, 2001 11:46 AM