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  1. #1
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    tightening canecreek threadless headset with cf stem & fork

    sorry for the newbie question but i'm stumped right now. i just noticed my headset is loose and there's a noticeable play. i followed the parktool diy but i couldn't seem to tighten the headset and remove the play. i noticed a gap in the head (pls see pic) where you tighten the stem bolt. should there be no gap there? any help/advice is greatly appreciated. also, did i label the parts correctly? thanks.


  2. #2
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    That thing at the bottom is not an adjusting bolt. Loosen the stem bolts. Then tighten the stem cap until the play in the headset is out (not too tight). Then tighten the stem bolts.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    That thing at the bottom is not an adjusting bolt. Loosen the stem bolts. Then tighten the stem cap until the play in the headset is out (not too tight). Then tighten the stem bolts.
    when you say stem bolts, are they the other bolts just below the one i labeled stem bolt? and the one i labeled stem bolt, that's the stem cap you refer to? thx for the reply

  4. #4
    Double Naught Spy TrekDen's Avatar
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    Notice the gap. Looks like your steerer tube is above the stem. Add a thin spacer between the stem, and stem cap. It will never tighten if the steerer tube is above the stem.

    Last edited by TrekDen; 12-10-06 at 05:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barok
    when you say stem bolts, are they the other bolts just below the one i labeled stem bolt? and the one i labeled stem bolt, that's the stem cap you refer to? thx for the reply
    Stem bolts are on the back side of the stem. Loosen them before trying to tighten the cap bolt - tighten only enough to take out the play and no further.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  6. #6
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    do i still need to put a spacer as what trekdan suggested?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barok
    do i still need to put a spacer as what trekdan suggested?
    Do you have the clearance as noted in the photo?
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  8. #8
    Double Naught Spy TrekDen's Avatar
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    If your steerer tube looks like the one on the pic above, then no. If it is above, then yes, it's an easy way to fix it without cutting the tube. You can also put it below the stem on the other spacers. Just remember this will raise your bars slightly.
    Last edited by TrekDen; 12-10-06 at 05:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Do you have the clearance as noted in the photo?
    as in my photo (first photo), yes, the clearance is there

  10. #10
    Double Naught Spy TrekDen's Avatar
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    [IMG][/IMG]

    Nope, as in this photo. See how the tube is down in the stem itself.

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    The first photo, where the steerer tube sticks up above the stem, will guarantee you can't adjust the headset properly. You MUST have the steerer BELOW the stem top or you must add a spacer ABOVE the stem to allow the top cap to clear the steerer tube.

    Keep in mind what you are trying to do. You want to be able to pull the steerer tube upward to remove play. If the top cap is already sitting on the steerer tube, nothing can move.
    Last edited by HillRider; 12-10-06 at 07:09 PM.

  12. #12
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    oh ok, now i understand what needs to be done, for a moment there, my brain was slow. thanks much trekden, barba, nessism & hillrider for the replies

    just one more question, you think a 5mm spacer is enough? tia

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    Quote Originally Posted by barok
    just one more question, you think a 5mm spacer is enough? tia
    Yeah, 5 mm is plenty. The general recommendation is that the steerer tube should sit 3 mm below the stem top or a spacer should project 3mm above the steerer top if the stem is lower.

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    ok, i opened the stem cap and found out the steerer tube was below the stem as it should be. it looked like the cap is the one that's too long that's why it's sticking out.

    so will adding a spacer still remedy this?

  15. #15
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    I think it's time to visit the LBS

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    Quote Originally Posted by I_bRAD
    I think it's time to visit the LBS
    And have them show you how to tighten it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barok
    ok, i opened the stem cap and found out the steerer tube was below the stem as it should be. it looked like the cap is the one that's too long that's why it's sticking out.

    so will adding a spacer still remedy this?
    No spacer.

    Loosen up the STEM BOLTS (on the back side of the stem) and grab the stem with your hand and twist it side to side while holding the wheel to make sure nothing is binding. Now center the stem and tighten up the bolt in the center of the cap on top of the stem (covering the steerer tube). Do not tighten too much, just snug it down until the play is removed from the headset. To check this, grab the front brake and rock the bike front to back; tighten the headset until the play is gone. After you get the play out, retighten the stem bolts.

    If you do not understand what I'm saying, take your bike to the LBS and pay them.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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