Bicycle Mechanics - Loose headset cap
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10-11-08, 04:01 PM
Hi guys. Brought my bike to LBS to have them build it up. The cap on the headset (not sure if thats what its called, but its the cap that goes on top of the stem where you tighten the screw that goes down into the steerer) is loose. The screw is tight and everything seems fine, but i can spin the cap.
Is this a problem and if so, how do I fix it. Thanks!
10-11-08, 04:11 PM
If the bolt is at proper torque you have nothing to worry about.
10-11-08, 06:37 PM
My asumption is that you are talking about a threadless headset.
The topcap is only used to initially apply pressure between the stem and the steering tube so that the steering tube turns smoothly without slop in the headset and while the stem clamp is tightened. After that the top cap can actually be removed or loosened since it serves no useful purpose except to give a nice apperance to the stem/steering tube area.
Seems to me that if the headset topcap spins even though the bolt in the topcap is snug, the star nut in the steering tube may be up too high to allow the bolt in the topcap to pull the cap down to seat on the stem properly. This may not be a problem now if your steering tube is tight enough in the headset. But if you have to loosen the stem for any reason you may not be able to re-adjust it properly if star nut is up too high or if there isn't the proper distance between the stem clamp and the top of the steering tube.
Both Park Tool and Sheldon Brown web sites give ample detail so that anyone can make sure all is adjusted properly.
A spacer perhaps...
10-12-08, 02:31 AM
remove top cap ... knock star nut down a little.. reattach cap... if you have problems preloading the headset you may need a new star nut
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