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  1. #1
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    headset rattling over bumps

    I have tried searching around for this and everything says to just tighten it.

    Its hard to hear where the rattle is coming from but its definitely the headset somewhere I think. It is real annoying over bumps. Should I just tighten everything? I don't want to squash the bearings to much.

    Thanks for your input

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    is it just a rattle or does it wiggle too?
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?

  3. #3
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    I would say a little of both. How tight does everything have to be? I wouldnt say any of it is very tight, I just dont want to overtighten

  4. #4
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
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    For me, my headset started to click when it was on too tight (rather than not tight enough).

    Either way, you can partially disassemble your steering column and put it back together and see if that fixes it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
    For me, my headset started to click when it was on too tight (rather than not tight enough).

    Either way, you can partially disassemble your steering column and put it back together and see if that fixes it.
    Kind of a pain because the bearings don't have a retainer.

  6. #6
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
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    Ah, I dunno then. The only problem I've ever had with my headset being noisy was when it was over-tightened.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    If you have wiggle and you have it as tight as possible without binding your headtube may be slightly ovalized. No real repair for that except a new frame.

    I would take apart and inspect the headset and decide if it is a headset or headtube issue.


    Maybe this might help:
    Maintain that sexy (or not so sexy) track headset
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=127
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?

  8. #8
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be hard to keep any bearings in any race - if there's enough grease, they'll stay in.

    If your headset is lose, you should tighten it. If you tightened it too much, you should be able to feel it by turning the headset.

    If you're not sure what to do, take it to a shop.

    If you keep riding with a lose headset, you risk damaging the headset.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1fluffhead View Post
    If you have wiggle and you have it as tight as possible without binding your headtube may be slightly ovalized.
    more likely, the steerer is too long and is contacting the underside of the stem cap (if threadless) or locknut (if threaded), preventing the preload from acting on the bearings (ie: you're preloading the steerer).

    if you're asking a question like this, i'm going to suggest that you shouldn't be doing the repair yourself.

  10. #10
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    Honestly I would say its not a wiggle. I don't think its as bad as I may have made it seem. I guess if it keeps up Ill bring it to the LBS but I think I can handle it. I was just looking for some input.

    It is a threaded quill stem by the way

  11. #11
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    grab your front brake and try to push the bike forward. do you feel anything?

    put your other hand around the headset, where the fork crown meets the bottom of your head tube. grab brake, push forward. do you feel anything shifting? if so, your headset needs to be tightened. a shop will loosen the locknut, tighten the adjustable race, and then tighten the race and the locknut to each other in a way that keeps the bearings at that intersection of snug and smooth.

    it's hard to do without the right tools.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  12. #12
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie View Post
    more likely, the steerer is too long and is contacting the underside of the stem cap (if threadless) or locknut (if threaded), preventing the preload from acting on the bearings (ie: you're preloading the steerer).
    good point, didn't think of that as a possible cause.
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?

  13. #13
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    Well maybe I will just take it apart and put it back together again. Its bugging me. The steering is a bit stiff, so I am thinking I shouldn't simply tighten the adjustable race and lockring

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie View Post
    more likely, the steerer is too long and is contacting the underside of the stem cap (if threadless) or locknut (if threaded), preventing the preload from acting on the bearings (ie: you're preloading the steerer).

    if you're asking a question like this, i'm going to suggest that you shouldn't be doing the repair yourself.
    +1

    That is the only thing I could think of if your headset is rattling.

  15. #15
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    you probably did not make sure the fork sat evenly within the headtube/headset when installing. I personally like to put the fork in when the frame is upside down and adjust the headset while upside down as well. This tends to eliminate play.

  16. #16
    Comanche Racing PedallingATX's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's not your brake lever? I have a tektro reverse bar end lever on my bullhorns and it rattles whenever I go over a bump (if I'm not holding onto it). It could be that...

    Also, something else that rattles on my bike are my straps for my clips. The little buckles on my straps rattle a lot.
    skinnytire

  17. #17
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    Yea its definitely my headset area. I will take it apart and redo it tomorrow morning. Its a threaded fork

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