How tight should I tighten my Chris King threaded headset? If it cinch it down, the handlebars turn with some resistance. But if I tighten it to just where there's no play and the bars swing freely, there's a noticeable chatter when I ride over cracks. I'm left scratching my head here.
I always adjust a threaded headset to where there IS play. Then tighten the adjustment in 1/8 turn increments until there is NO play. If this procedure does not result in the headset feeling good I would suggest replacing the bearings or at least cleaning, greasing, and checking for any roughness.
'''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
King's installation instructions specify tightening the top compression bolt to 4 to 10 inch-pounds (maximum of 15 inch-pounds). They also note that some initial tightness may be felt when turning the bars due to drag from the seals but that will ease up with use.