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Old 02-21-06, 09:07 AM   #1
dansweet ss
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Loosening headset

After several months of tightening and re-tightening, my headset is beginning to annoy me. I tighten up all relevant bolts, and make sure the bearings are not over-loaded, yet after 3-4 days later the headset loosens it self and there is loads of play. I tried using the azonic headlock but i run marzocchi dirt jumper 3's and the bottom of the steerer is too small to accomodate the base of the headlock. What should i do, and what are the causes of a headset loosening?

cheer guys, all help much appreciated!
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Old 02-21-06, 09:09 AM   #2
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I'm not trying to insult your intelligence but are you loosening the bolts that hold your stem onto the steerer tube when you tighten your headset? You probably are but it's always best to ask that question before going any further.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:14 AM   #3
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I'm not trying to insult your intelligence but are you loosening the bolts that hold your stem onto the steerer tube when you tighten your headset? You probably are but it's always best to ask that question before going any further.
lol, yes i do undo them, tighten top cap then re-tighten stem bolts
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Old 02-21-06, 09:18 AM   #4
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Just wanted to make sure.

I was having a similar problem with my FSA last year. I was getting it to where I "thought" was tight but it kept loosening back up. I was ready to give up and just get a new headset but I gave it one more try. This time I got to where I thought was tight then went about 1/2 a turn more. It has remained tight ever since. If that doesn't do it maybe it's time for a new headset.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:23 AM   #5
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funnily mines an FSA pig! I've done the stem bolts up really really tight, and obviously you can't tighten the top cap too well otherwise the steerer will not move freely. I've just bought new upper bearings as my old ones were knackered, however i'm yet to fit them, i'll probably do it in the next hour or so.
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Old 02-21-06, 11:08 AM   #6
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you should be able to flip the headlock upside down to fit the tight zocchi steerer.
that had to be done to fit a headlock to my 66rc.
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Old 02-21-06, 12:02 PM   #7
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you should be able to flip the headlock upside down to fit the tight zocchi steerer.
that had to be done to fit a headlock to my 66rc.
Dodgy, as there's not really enough of a lip on the bottom of the headlock to keep the whole shebang taut if you use it upside-down, if you get my meaning?
Would work if you machined up a flange to fit underneath and stop it jamming inside the top of the steerer... I'd also use a bit of thread tape on the bolt as if it comes loose and falls out when it's fitted upside-down, then it's gonna stop your front wheel turning pretty sharpish!
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Old 02-21-06, 02:18 PM   #8
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This may sound simplistic too, but are you 100% positive that the crown race is seated on the crown? If you had it off or replaced it, it might be possible it's working its way down flush after not being driven back on all the way.
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Old 02-21-06, 02:24 PM   #9
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I've also had them where I just needed one more little spacer added above or below the stem. When looking at it I thought I had enough room to tighten it but it was actually making contact with the steerer before it was able to tighten it up completely.

Another simple thing that is sometimes overlooked.
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Old 02-21-06, 02:31 PM   #10
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I've also had them where I just needed one more little spacer added above or below the stem. When looking at it I thought I had enough room to tighten it but it was actually making contact with the steerer before it was able to tighten it up completely.

Another simple thing that is sometimes overlooked.
yup theres no chance of the it making contact with the steerer.
In reply to someone up there^^^, i dont really want to fit it upside down, seems a bit dodgey to me, i'd rather just refund the money on the headlock. Well the headsets fitted with new upper bearings, so lets see how a few days riding affects them...
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Old 02-21-06, 02:36 PM   #11
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I didn't really think that would be it but ya never know. Sometimes it is something simple that was just overlooked.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:09 PM   #12
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The star nut could be working it's way out, I've had that same complaint on a customers bike and that's what it ended up being. Sounds strange, but a possibility.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dansweet ss
I've just bought new upper bearings as my old ones were knackered, however i'm yet to fit them, i'll probably do it in the next hour or so.
The lower bearings are usually the first to go - did they look okay?

Grasping at straws here...
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Old 02-21-06, 08:33 PM   #14
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The star nut could be working it's way out, I've had that same complaint on a customers bike and that's what it ended up being. Sounds strange, but a possibility.
That shouldn't have any effect on it once it is tight. The stem bolts should keep it tight. The star nut is just necessary when tightening it, after that it can actually be removed.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:40 PM   #15
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Not sure if this applies, but are you tightening the stem clamp bolts tight enough? I did a ride last year in which my headset kept coming loose. I thought I was tightening the stem clamp bolts enough, but it turns out they were bone dry and feeling tighter than they actually were (It didn't help that I was using a small multi-tool hex and was afraid of busting the thing). Greased em when I got home and problem was solved. (I, too, am grasping at straws here.)
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