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Old 03-08-05, 07:11 PM   #1
genericbikedude
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Pulling up the star nut

Hi,

I've got a persistently loose headset, and when I went to look into it, I find the star fangled nut flush to the top cap. It seems that all of the roadside adjustments that I've made have merely pulled up the star nut.

Why did this happen, and what can I do to fix it? I'd rather keep the same star nut if possible, as I want to get this bike ridable tonight.

It's an Aheadset with a Salsa topcap.

Thanks much
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Old 03-08-05, 07:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
Hi,

I've got a persistently loose headset, and when I went to look into it, I find the star fangled nut flush to the top cap. It seems that all of the roadside adjustments that I've made have merely pulled up the star nut.

Why did this happen, and what can I do to fix it? I'd rather keep the same star nut if possible, as I want to get this bike ridable tonight.

It's an Aheadset with a Salsa topcap.

Thanks much
Starnut may have been installed upside down.
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Old 03-08-05, 07:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
Starnut may have been installed upside down.
I wish it was that simple. Just to be clear, the star nut was installed with the edges higher than the center, for lack of better terminology.

Also, I just whacked it back down, then attempted to re-adjust, but got the same problem as soon as I tested the front brakes.

I'm not using a star-nut setting tool, as I don't have one. While this could theoretically be the source of problems, could it be the source of THIS problem?
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Old 03-08-05, 07:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
I wish it was that simple. Just to be clear, the star nut was installed with the edges higher than the center, for lack of better terminology.

Also, I just whacked it back down, then attempted to re-adjust, but got the same problem as soon as I tested the front brakes.

I'm not using a star-nut setting tool, as I don't have one. While this could theoretically be the source of problems, could it be the source of THIS problem?
Doubt it. I'd get another star nut.
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Old 03-08-05, 07:41 PM   #5
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Thanks
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Old 03-08-05, 07:44 PM   #6
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I agree with syndey. I have never used a star nut setting tool, and ive never had a problem. I use a wooden dowel.
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Old 03-08-05, 07:47 PM   #7
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First, are you loosening the stem before you make an adjustment? if you don't loosen the stem you cannot make an adjustment.
Second, is there a couple of mm clearance between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer? The cap may be contacting the steerer.
Third, does the cap look flared at all on the part that fits into the stem/steerer. Sometimes this will get hung up on the steerer and cause an issue.
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Old 03-08-05, 08:29 PM   #8
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1. Pull out the star nut and press it upside down against a flat surface to spread out the arms.

2. Clean the inside of the steerer with alcohol

3. Re-insert the star nut.

4. Install the stem making sure to check the steerer clearance as Rev.Chuck suggests.

5. Tighten the top cap until there is no play in the front end and no further

6. Tighten the stem bolts.

7. Loosen the top cap bolt a quarter turn to take pressure off of the star nut.

-s
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Old 03-09-05, 12:57 AM   #9
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Should you really re-use a star nut?
They're dirt cheap, so I'd get a new one...
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Old 03-09-05, 01:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CdCf
Should you really re-use a star nut?
They're dirt cheap, so I'd get a new one...
From the original post

"I'd rather keep the same star nut if possible, as I want to get this bike ridable tonight."
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Old 03-09-05, 04:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
From the original post

"I'd rather keep the same star nut if possible, as I want to get this bike ridable tonight."
I guess we all missed that part. Your choice to make your bike unsafe. I suggest a Headlock by Azonic, or similar item. I don't use star nuts anymore.
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Old 03-09-05, 06:20 AM   #12
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Never used a setting tool, made one for about a buck at Home Depot and pounded it to the correct depth with a socket. If you totally hosed up the orientattion to the steerer tube you wouldn't be able to screw in the bolt anywhere near straight. Anyone who has ever installed the star nut will realized there is no way in hell that thing should back out, it's strictly a one way road. Bizarro thought, not sure if all these parts came together, but could you possibly have a 1" nut in a 1 1/8 steerer? Bottom line, get a new star nut and end your frustration.
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Old 03-10-05, 01:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
I guess we all missed that part. Your choice to make your bike unsafe. I suggest a Headlock by Azonic, or similar item. I don't use star nuts anymore.
Starnuts serve no purpose beside tightening the headset. Once the stem bolts are tight it just sits there. In no way would re-using a star nut be unsafe.

-s
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Old 03-10-05, 04:17 AM   #14
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If pressed back in numerous times, the starnut will wear out; but that is numerous times though.
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Old 03-10-05, 12:52 PM   #15
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I just got a new star nut and solved my problem. Message here: aheadset parts all suck. This is the second aheadset star nut that I've replaced in my year-long tenure as a bike pseudo-mechanic. Next bike I build up is getting a chris king.
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Old 03-10-05, 02:26 PM   #16
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You're still going to have to use a star nut with a King headset. I've never had to replace one unless I got it started so screwy that I had to pound it out the bottom of the steerer and break it out. But a King headset will probably outlive you, so it's a good way to go.

Edit: My aheadset still works great, and it's from 1996. They aren't King, but they don't suck.
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