Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Headset "Click Stop?"

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Headset "Click Stop?"

Old 07-27-21, 07:03 PM
  #1  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 1,441

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 197 Times in 136 Posts
Headset "Click Stop?"

I noticed today that my front wheel/headset has a "click stop" right about dead center. Rather than smoothly progressing across dead center when I turn the bars, there's a definite hitch right at the middle. What could cause this?
dmanthree is offline  
Old 07-27-21, 07:10 PM
  #2  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 1,856

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 680 Post(s)
Liked 526 Times in 400 Posts
Your headset is indexed, it comes from general wear and tear. You can pull apart the headset and clean and grease the bearings and races which will make it better but the best solution is to replace it. Most modern frames use an integrated system with cartridge bearings set into the frame and the only real solution is to replace the bearings.
Russ Roth is offline  
Likes For Russ Roth:
Old 07-27-21, 07:31 PM
  #3  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 2,336

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1092 Post(s)
Liked 1,405 Times in 785 Posts
It's wore out. As Russ posted it's time to replace it.
cxwrench is offline  
Likes For cxwrench:
Old 07-27-21, 07:49 PM
  #4  
Juan el Boricua
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: San Juan, PR
Posts: 142

Bikes: 1980's Royce Union "fixed wheel", 1995 Trek 370, 406 -wheeled " shopper/minivelo"for running errands, SS Raleigh M60

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 34 Posts
As said before, your headset is worn and the indexing described is called brinelling. Besides replacing (and if your headset is of the caged bearing design), you can: clean cups and races and see if besides the indentations of the bearings there is also heavy pitting ( if pitted, discard and replace headset). If only indented, you can replace the caged bearings with loose balls of the same size, filling the cup minus one ball. This should help for a couple more years depending on were you ride, as harsh conditions ("single tracking", mountain biking, randonneuring, etc.) will be more detrimental than road, leisure, bar hopping or light commuting to the headset.
Juan el Boricua is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 05:36 AM
  #5  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,259

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 183 Posts
Originally Posted by Juan el Boricua View Post
...This should help for a couple more years depending on were you ride, as harsh conditions ("single tracking", mountain biking, randonneuring, etc.) will be more detrimental than road, leisure, bar hopping or light commuting to the headset.
Funny you say this. I was taught that road bikes are more susceptible to brinelling than MTBs, since road bikes will ride for many miles without course correction. Randonneuring of course will be harder than leisure riding. I may have been taught wrongly, of course.

My "solution" to brinneling once was rotating cups 180 degrees.
andrewclaus is offline  
Likes For andrewclaus:
Old 07-28-21, 07:46 AM
  #6  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 23,046

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2770 Post(s)
Liked 1,539 Times in 951 Posts
Fretting damage from lubrication failure. The balls push grease away, and in the absence of significant rotation (as opposed to hubs, bottom brackets, etc., which are in continuous rotation), road shocks create microscopic welds between the lower cup and crown race, which are then torn out when the handlebar is turned. Over time, this creates pits that the balls will fall into, thus the "click-stop" you describe. The fix is headset replacement, although it's only the lower cup and crown race that get damaged. Ultimately, balls are not the best type of bearing for the thrust loads headsets must handle. Roller bearings are better suited for that purpose.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 08:51 AM
  #7  
davidad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,543
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 534 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 140 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by Juan el Boricua View Post
As said before, your headset is worn and the indexing described is called brinelling. Besides replacing (and if your headset is of the caged bearing design), you can: clean cups and races and see if besides the indentations of the bearings there is also heavy pitting ( if pitted, discard and replace headset). If only indented, you can replace the caged bearings with loose balls of the same size, filling the cup minus one ball. This should help for a couple more years depending on were you ride, as harsh conditions ("single tracking", mountain biking, randonneuring, etc.) will be more detrimental than road, leisure, bar hopping or light commuting to the headset.
It's not brinelling, it is caused by fretting. "Indexed Steering" by Jobst Brandt (sheldonbrown.com)
Replace the bearings.
davidad is offline  
Likes For davidad:
Old 07-28-21, 10:50 AM
  #8  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 1,441

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 197 Times in 136 Posts
Thanks, appreciate all the answers. I'll contact the LBS to see if I can get it done quickly.
dmanthree is offline  
Likes For dmanthree:
Old 07-28-21, 06:29 PM
  #9  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 23,046

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2770 Post(s)
Liked 1,539 Times in 951 Posts
Another option that can buy you some time is to remove the crown race and re-install it in a different orientation so the pits no longer line up between the crown race and lower cup. This will minimize the "click-stop" effect until the fretting takes hold in the new orientation.
JohnDThompson is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.