Bicycle Mechanics - Carbon fiber headset/stem spacers..
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I have a road bike, all carbon fiber, with a couple carbon headset/stem spacers that I can rotate slightly.. is this bad? does it mean my fork isn't tightened properly? i tried re-tightenting it earlier and it got slightly better. as far as I can tell this isn't affecting the performance of the bike..I just don't want it to fall apart on me.
02-12-08, 04:54 AM
Doesn't sound good to me. Try holding the front brake and rock the bike front to back. If you can feel a little "tick" then your headset is too loose.
If that's the case, loosen the two bolts that hold the stem onto the steerer tube. Tighten the top cap bolt about 1/4 turn and retighten the stem bolts. That should fix it.
Make sure that there is a gap of 3 to 5mm between the top of the stem or top spacer and the steerer tube or you will not be able to tighten the stem correctly.
1 or 2mm is better.
If its spacers above the stem that you can rotate, no big deal. If it's below the stem you need to re-adjust your headset as others have already mentioned.
02-12-08, 06:35 PM
It depends on how easily they can be rotated. I have three bikes with threadless headsets and spacers under the stem; one has carbon spacers and the other two have Al spacers. For all three the spacers can be rotated but not easily and it takes a fair bit of force. In all cases the headset/fork has absolutely no play when the front brake is locked so the adjustments are snug enough.
If your spacers rotate easily, I'd look at readjusting the headset. If they are tight and rotate only with a lot of force, you should be OK.
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