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Old 02-20-07, 03:55 PM   #1
megatron
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Leaving the locknut off headset

I simply do not have enough threads on my steerer tube to put the locknut on. Am i going to die? The worst thing I can see happening is that the top race could come loose and grime could get into the bearings. I have caged bearings so i am not worried about losing them. Should I just keep an eye on my headset or mill the frame, or get some tube added to the fork? I would like to leave it as-is as long as there is no signifcant problem with what im doing. This is on my beater bike.
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Old 02-20-07, 04:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megatron
I simply do not have enough threads on my steerer tube to put the locknut on. Am i going to die? The worst thing I can see happening is that the top race could come loose and grime could get into the bearings. I have caged bearings so i am not worried about losing them. Should I just keep an eye on my headset or mill the frame, or get some tube added to the fork? I would like to leave it as-is as long as there is no signifcant problem with what im doing. This is on my beater bike.
Depends on how often you want to turn left ...or would it be right? Everytime you turn the fork, the headset is going to catch on the bearings. Turning left will loosen them so every time you turn left they would come out of adjustment and they'll do it very quickly. There is a very fine line between an adjusted headset and an unadjusted one. If nothing else you'd beat the headset to pieces within just a few miles.

The other issue is what happens if you forget "to keep an eye on it"? Everything seems okay but when you brake, the steer tube can slop around in the head tube which puts stress on the head tube and the steer tube. With enough pounding, either could fail...not a good thing!

Why is the fork too short? I'd say chalk this one up to experience and get the proper length fork.
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Old 02-20-07, 04:06 PM   #3
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If you must, I guess you can use blue locktite to prevent the top race from loosening. I personally wouldn't ride like that though.....
But OTOH, my old Stronglight headset (X94?) uses an one piece integral upper race/locknut which simply screws and grabs onto the steerer tight and will not back out.

edit: never mind the above. Find an old fork with a longer steerer tube.

Last edited by roadfix; 02-20-07 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-20-07, 04:13 PM   #4
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The headset that has the lowest stackhight to my knowledge is the Impact headset that Kona's had in the early nineties. They do not have a locknut but secures the upper parts with a tiny allen bolt that "crimps" it in place.
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Old 02-20-07, 04:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Do you guys have any ideas of how I can get the locknut on? I like my frame and fork and headset... do you recommend milling down the frame? If so, can i do it myself?
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Old 02-20-07, 04:52 PM   #6
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lower stack headset?
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Old 02-20-07, 05:07 PM   #7
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I have a ritchey logic headset which has a pretty short stack height of 33mm....
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Old 02-20-07, 05:11 PM   #8
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Since this is on your beater bike I would try to find an old fork with a longer tube.

Last edited by roadfix; 02-20-07 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 02-20-07, 05:18 PM   #9
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Beater bike = perfect for ugly steel forks I have. If you can use a 6.75" steerer I have a choice of 2 tig welded Centurion forks. Tange 1 tubing. Scratched, a little rusty and need paint. Yours for the cost of a box and shipping. PM me if interested.
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Old 02-20-07, 05:19 PM   #10
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I'm thinking that this is one of those "pay me now or pay me later" kind of things.

If you ride your bike without the headset locknut, your headset will continually go out of adjustment. If you ride it that way for long enough, the banging back and forth will eventually ovalize your headtube. Then, you'll have to buy a new frame AND fork.

My advice is to find a longer fork.
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Old 02-20-07, 05:30 PM   #11
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Beater bike is the operable word here. My suggestion:

Assemble and tighten properly. Drill a 1/8" hole thru the nut and steerer, then tap for 6-32 all the way through nut and steerer. Install a 6 - 32 cap screw with a little blue loctite close to the head. Done.

You could tap just the nut and use a cup point set screw as suggested above, but it will mar the steerer thread. Probably about as good as using Loctite on the steerer threads. If you use one of those methods be sure to file marks on the nut and top of steerer so you can easially see if any any radial movement has occured.

:-) Jtfind
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Old 02-20-07, 05:37 PM   #12
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My fork is 6.75 i believe I need a 7" or longer.
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Old 02-20-07, 07:58 PM   #13
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Remember to only try these ideas AT YOUR OWN RISK. headset, steer column failure can be catastrophic. Spend the few bucks and get a fork from Vbiuva. Verify the diameter, etc.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:23 AM   #14
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I like the DIY setscrew idea of jtfind. That's sweet. Is your fork crown race definitely seated tightly? Is there anywhere else in the stack that you can shave some height to get the topnut on?
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