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Old 07-26-07, 06:50 PM   #1
crbrown
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Steering resistance

How might I go about increasing the resistance from the headset on my steering? I'm not looking for something immovable, but right now there's an awful lot of slop to it that I would like to cut down... in an ideal situation I could lift the bike up without the handlebars swinging around and smacking against the frame.

I've already tried messing around with spacer stack height and adjuster bolt tightness, but no luck. Any ideas?
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Old 07-26-07, 07:00 PM   #2
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Why the heck would you want this? Handlebars swinign around and smacking the frame means the headset is not worn, and is properly adjusted.Assuming of course you don't get any knocking.

Making the headset tighter to offer "resistance" is a 100% terrible idea.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:21 PM   #3
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It is possible, but I highly recommend it isnt done. If you overtighten a headset, it does exactly what you want it to do, but it also ruins the headset. It is what we call a Burnelled headset. What happens is the balls press into the race and gives it a very notchy and rough feel.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:32 PM   #4
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When it has brake and gear cables on it, it won't swing so much anyway. Sounds like it is adjusted fine.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:54 PM   #5
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Pick up the bike from the seat (not the top tube) so that the front wheel is lower than the back. See if the handlebars flop around.

If the handlebars flop around with the rear wheel higher than the front, there's something else wrong with the setup.

The head tube angle is optimized for when the bike is level, not when it's pointed up. If you lift the bike so its front wheel is higher than the rear, then the handlebars will always flop.

If you're doing no handed wheelies and stuff, there are steerer dampers for downhill bikes (or at least there were).

hope this helps,
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Old 07-26-07, 08:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rebuilt13 View Post
If you overtighten a headset, it does exactly what you want it to do, .
It really doesn't. It'll make the bike feel twitchy and be hard to ride.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:12 PM   #7
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Go to the Park tools website and find their guide to adjusting threadless headsets. It's pretty simple and I recommend you do it correctly.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:27 PM   #8
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Use thicker grease...
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Old 07-26-07, 09:29 PM   #9
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This is about the only safe way to slow down steering.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. The bike is really twitchy, which is one of the reasons I'd like to calm it down, but it sounds like I may be going in the wrong direction with this. I'll try loosening it up.
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Old 07-27-07, 10:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbrown View Post
Thanks for all the replies. The bike is really twitchy, which is one of the reasons I'd like to calm it down, but it sounds like I may be going in the wrong direction with this. I'll try loosening it up.
Loosening it might not be the right idea either. You need maximum freedom of motion in the head bearings, and you need no play in the head bearings. There usually isn't a large range of proper adjustment. If you already have very free motion over the entire rotation, and you have no play (pull hard to test this!!), it's right. If the bike is twitchy, it's a matter of frame and fork geometry.

I've usually found that I like twitchy frames just fine once they are working as designed, with a free headset, correct front wheel installation and bearing play, and with a correctly aligned frame. Don't band-aid these issues if you have them by adding dampers.

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Old 07-27-07, 10:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rebuilt13 If you overtighten a headset, it does exactly what you want it to do, .



Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
It really doesn't. It'll make the bike feel twitchy and be hard to ride.
And wear out the HS bearings prematurely.
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Old 07-27-07, 10:46 AM   #13
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Lock your front wheel with the brake and rock the bike fore and aft. If there is slack movement between the fork crown and the head tube then the headset load needs to be increased just until the slack is gone.
Before making any adjustments be sure the bearings have plenty of grease.

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Old 07-27-07, 03:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbrown View Post
Thanks for all the replies. The bike is really twitchy, which is one of the reasons I'd like to calm it down, but it sounds like I may be going in the wrong direction with this. I'll try loosening it up.
Go to the parktools.com website and read how to adjust a headset. It is simple and you should do it correctly rather than just messing around loosening and tightening. Then if the bike is "twitchy", post some more details on how it's set up and maybe there are other solutions.
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