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  1. #1
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Should there be any "play" between fork/head tube?

    On my newly purchased road bike, I've noticed a little "play" or looseness between the fork and the head tube.

    When bracing the front wheel, I can rock the bike forward/backward and detect about an 1/8 to 1/4-inch of play. Is this normal or does something need tightening? The bolt at the top of the headtube is tight.
    ugh.

  2. #2
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    NO...you have a loose headset.

    You can't just tighten the bolt on top, it's really just there to initially tighten the headset, but it's the bolts in back that keep it all in place.

    Loosen the two (assuming two) bolts on the back of the stem just enough so you can turn the stem freely around the fork steerer tube while the wheel stays pointing forward.

    Tighten down the bolt on the top of the stem that goes into the steerer tube, just tight enough so that the play while rocking the bike goes away, but not so tight* that the wheel can't rotate left and right freely. (*edit: typo fixed)

    Align the stem to the wheel and tighten the two bolts in back.

    Edit: I still remember the first time I learned how to do this. It made me realize just how easy most things on a bike are to maintain, adjust and repair. Check out these two sites:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/
    Last edited by JiveTurkey; 12-18-07 at 11:20 AM.

  3. #3
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Dude, thank you -- it is fixed. I knew good 'ol Bike Forums would come through.

    BTW, I have a sister living in Corvallis -- cool town.

    Again, thanks much, bro.
    ugh.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    The object is to get it tight enough to elliminate the play, but NO tighter.
    Jeff
    Square wheels need not apply

  5. #5
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjciiijs View Post
    The object is to get it tight enough to elliminate the play, but NO tighter.
    Thanks -- I'll double-check to make sure it's not overtightened.
    ugh.

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