Bicycle Mechanics - Newbie headset compression bolt help!
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11-27-12, 12:18 PM
Need some help on the headset for a bike.
I was loosening the compression bolt through the top cap of my headset and i think i loosened it too much that the bolt fell down into the headset. Now I cant get to it at all and the top cap has nothing to attach itself to. I am pretty new to this and was wondering if there was a simple way of getting the bolt back up and back through the top cap. Here are some photos. I hope I am being clear since I am still new to the terminology.
Turn the bike upside down and give the front wheel a whack with your hand? If bottom of steerer is open, might be able to push it back up from below with somthing narrow and stiff.
+1, you need to use gravity or inertia to work the bolt back up. When I see this, I usually flip the bike over, (make sure the stem is tight so it doesn't fall off) and gently bang the front end on a workbench, or the floor (pad it first with a scrap of wood or leather). If that fails, see if the fork is open at the bottom, (most are not) and see if you can push it up. Otherwise use a piece of wire (clothes hanger or spoke) to make a fish hood and pull it up.
Once you have it up in the right place, and secure, remember that you must loosen the stem to adjust the headset via top cap screw.
11-27-12, 12:47 PM
You have an FSA compression plug in your steerer and apparently it wasn't tightened properly.
As noted, turn the bike upside down and whack the front wheel or bump the top of the stem on a padded surface to raise the plug. Further loosen the center bolt on the plug with a 5 mm (IIRC, that's the size) allen wrench if needed to get it to slide freely. Then use the 5 mm allen wrench to firmly tighten the center bolt in the plug to lock it into position at a suitable depth below the top of the steerer. Finally, thread on the top cap and use as 6 mm allen in the hex hole on top to adjust the headset. Once the headset is adjusted, I like to put a small circle of electrical tape over the top cap's hole to keep out rain water and dirt.
11-27-12, 02:25 PM
Thank you guys so much. I used the cloth hanger method to get it loose and then a couple of taps while upside down, it was out!
Appreciate the quick replies too.
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