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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-28-06, 05:02 PM   #1
piratelove
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Headset Rattle?

I have this rattle that is seemingly coming from my headset...

The bike is a conversion - all but the wheels + pedals was given to me, so it's all used, etc. I put new bearings in the headset when I built it up, but it was my first time doing it. I had someone helping me though, so I know I didn't fubar it..

Anyways, whenever I go over a bump, rough spot, etc, I have this rattle that sounds like it's coming from the headset. If I lift the bike by the stem/bars and shake it, I can hear it too. Sounds like somethings loose.

Any ideas as to what it could be, and how I could fix it?

thx.
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Old 04-28-06, 05:03 PM   #2
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your headset is loose/out of adjustment
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Old 04-28-06, 05:24 PM   #3
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tighten the ***** up son
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Old 04-28-06, 05:56 PM   #4
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Ok, figured that was the case. I've just been messing around with it after reading the park tool how-to on it. I don't have a ton of bike tools.. and only one wrench. I'm able to adjust it fine, but when it's time to tighten the locknut, it ends up tightening the race, too.

Also, my race is a bit different from the one on their site.. it's completely round, with a ridged top - then there's this other piece that slides down a cutout in the steer tube with a notched bottom that locks into the race.

How can I keep the race from tightening on the bearings while I'm tightening the locknut?

and uh, sorry if I used some wrong terminology there, I'm still figuring this out.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-28-06, 06:09 PM   #5
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2 headset wrenches!
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Old 04-28-06, 06:19 PM   #6
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Any way to do this without them, though? I don't own any...
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Old 04-28-06, 06:20 PM   #7
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get thee to a public work space?
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Old 04-28-06, 08:14 PM   #8
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Ok, I guess I'm going to go over to the lbs tomorrow. I've been ****ing around with this all night. Somehow I managed to tighten the lockring, and the headset was adjusted seemingly perfectly. I took it out for a spin around the block, hitting as many little bumps as possible, and still heard the rattle/clank.

I came back inside, and tightened the **** out of the headset. It still moved, but was tight tight tight.. took it out for another ride around the block, and I still heard the clanking. It seemed to be less than before, but still was there. The headset def. wasn't loose, as I had over-tightened the hell out of it.

So, any ideas as to where this is coming from? Maybe I just didn't get it adjusted perfectly? But why would it still clank when overtightened?

It kind of sounded like it was coming from the bottom of the headset this time, but who knows.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:04 PM   #9
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I think I might have fixed it, but I haven't ridden it yet. I borrowed some adjustable wrenches from my neighbor that did the trick.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:21 PM   #10
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Rattles on bikes can be really deceiving. Just because it sounds like it's coming from your headset doesn't mean it actually is. It probably is your headset, but it could also be anything from your chainring bolts, to your bb, to a flake or rust/paint/solder/etc rattling around on the inside of your bike. Take the bike to your LBS, get the headset adjusted properly - if there's still a rattle, you can at least rule the headset out.

I just watched three episodes of House in a row. I'm feeling all cranky and diagnostician-y.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:26 PM   #11
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i'm guessing it's a quill stem and all the goodness that comes with that?

if not, i have a 1 1/8" threadless that was doing crap like that and i just re-stacked the spacers and ta-da! problem solved.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:30 PM   #12
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Yeah, it's a threaded quill stem. I'm going to take it to the lbs tomorrow probably and have them check it out.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-28-06, 09:33 PM   #13
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Have them look at your crown race to see if it is firmly wedged into place around the steerer tube or if it is loose. The classic fix for a crown race that won't seat on it's own is to shim it with some strips of beer can. If you're made of money, you can use JB weld.
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