Ok, so I just finished my first bike build. Got almost all the kinks worked out, but I am having trouble with the headset.
Everywhere I read, the advice is to tighten the end cap until there is no more play in the headset. Problem is, when I do this, the steering gets very stiff (not just "kinda stiff"; problem stuff). So I loosen it up until the steering feels like it should and there's a lot of play in the headset (especially the top, if it matters).
It's not a matter of just finding the right tension, because the two symptoms overlap—the steering stiffens well before the play is gone. Right now I'm riding it in its most happy medium. The steering is acceptable (though not as loose as I'd like it) but there is still a teensy bit of play. Obviously I don't want to ride it like this.
The frame was sold to me with the headset installed already and I have never so much as looked at an unassembled headset, so I need help.
The only two things I can think of are
-Needs lubrication (maybe not a bad idea anyway?)
-Something is installed incorrectly. (I got this idea from searching—maybe a bearing retainer is in upside down?)
I mostly just wanted some guidance before I go opening it up, since I have no idea what I'm doing.