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Integrated Headset Adjustment '14 Madone

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Integrated Headset Adjustment '14 Madone

Old 07-24-14, 02:33 PM
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Integrated Headset Adjustment '14 Madone

I have recently changed the stem height on my Madone, which has an integrated headset. I adjusted the headset preload to the point where there was no detectable play in the fork/headset area, tightened down the stem bolts and took her out for a ride. Now, I'm getting some minor "stuttering" when applying the front brake, leading me to believe that the headset may still be too loose. Up until now, I have always adjusted the headset preload just to the point of no play, and never had any issues. I've seen a few forum posts where some people claim integrated headsets need more preload in order to compress everything properly, but the manuals I have read basically said just tighten until there is no play. So, are integrated headsets a slightly different animal in this regard?
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Old 07-24-14, 02:50 PM
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if you added, removed, or changed positions of spacers, you may have removed required gap between top of steerer and cap. it will create an illusion of a properly adjusted headset when in fact there is none.

AFAIK there is no difference in proper adjustment technique as regards integrated vs. non-integrated headsets.

OTOH, it may not be the headset at all. stuttering as a result of braking could be caused by a number of things. if ONLY noticeable when braking i might start looking elsewhere for problems.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 07-24-14 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 07-24-14, 03:12 PM
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I appreciate the reply. I did change spacer positions with the stem, but there is definitely a gap at the top of the steerer to allow adjustment. I'm just wondering if I need to tighten beyond the "just to eliminate play" threshold. It could be something else causing the braking stutter, but it didn't start happening until after I adjusted the stem/headset. I haven't made any other adjustments to the bike other than the seat position.
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Old 07-24-14, 03:12 PM
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Stand next to the bike, apply the front brake and rock the bike back & forth. Try to determine where the looseness is.
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Old 07-24-14, 03:19 PM
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sometimes "a gap" is not enough, i've had some topcaps recently that exhibited a desire to bottom out before effectively tightening the headset properly, even WITH a gap. it's due to a fairly large recess in the cap's lip. just passing on an experience.

IME, the amount of tension necessary to adjust a threadless headset is small. in fact, i have successfully installed them without the use of a cap at all. i simply push down on the stem, while holding it straight, and tighten the stem bolts.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 07-24-14 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-24-14, 05:08 PM
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You did all this with the wheel on the ground , so didn't shuffle re-stack/lose any of the headset parts them selves?

FWIW I Added a QBP Locking spacer* directly above the top headset race, just for those situations ..

So fork wouldn't fall out when I loosened the stem, with an integrated Headset..

*Universal Cycles -- Problem Solvers Locking Headset Spacers

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-24-14 at 05:11 PM.
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