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  1. #1
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Chris King headset weirdness

    I have a Chris King 1-1/8" NoThreadSet on one of my bikes. I'm running it with a tiny (maybe 2mm?) spacer on top of the stem, under the topcap.

    It's a coupled travel bike, so I regularly remove the stem, spacers, & topcap for travel, and replace them just as regularly. Have done so for 2 years and never any problem.

    Recently had to have some major frame damage repaired, which necessitated removing all the components. Since I don't have the tools to remove the headset, the framebuilder offered to remove, and subsequently replace that. He did so, and everything appears good as new, exactly as it was before the repair

    ...except that now, after I install the spacers, stem, & topcap, adjust the bearing preload to the correct torque, that little 2mm spacer between the topcap & stem rotates freely.

    It never did before.

    Everything seems to fit together correctly as before. As mentioned, I'm adjusting the bearing preload (topcap bolt) to the recommended torque, same as before. Stem bolts are tightened to correct torque, everything appears pushed down onto the steerer and/or headset as far as it will go. The topcap does not rotate...but the spacer in between the topcap and the stem does rotate, freely & easily, which it never did before.

    Any ideas what might be causing this?

    And...is this anything I need to worry about?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    It seems your topcap is now bottoming out on the steerer and, by luck, it's just as the headset adjustment is OK. Did your frame repair guy face the headtube before he reinstalled the headset, thus making it slightly shorter?

    In any event, you should install either a taller spacer under the stem or a taller one above the stem. The spacers should not be that loose.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    It seems your topcap is now bottoming out on the steerer and, by luck, it's just as the headset adjustment is OK. Did your frame repair guy face the headtube before he reinstalled the headset, thus making it slightly shorter?

    In any event, you should install either a taller spacer under the stem or a taller one above the stem. The spacers should not be that loose.
    x2

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    To use a spacer above the stem, the amount of steerer tube protruding above the stem has to be enough to support the spacer (i.e, the spacer has to be able to "grab" the steerer tube), AND the top edge of the spacer has to be far enough above the top edge of the steerer tube to allow the top cap to seat properly (i.e., not bottom out against the top edge of the steerer tube as Hillrider has mentioned).

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea, just how much higher than the end of the steerer tube

    does the top edge of the stem sit? Bob?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    It seems your topcap is now bottoming out on the steerer and, by luck, it's just as the headset adjustment is OK. Did your frame repair guy face the headtube before he reinstalled the headset, thus making it slightly shorter?

    In any event, you should install either a taller spacer under the stem or a taller one above the stem. The spacers should not be that loose.
    +100.

    If any spacer is free enough to spin, it's obviously not under compression. The repair possibly involved facing the head tube which shortened it a bit. Confirm by leaving the stem in place, removing the top cap and seeing if the top of the spacer stack is still above the steerer.

    Note some top caps have a step, so the head tube needs to be recessed more than the amount of the step.
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  7. #7
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, that makes sense.

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