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New Stem - stack height less - forks move ?

MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
edited December 2007 in Workshop
Just bought a new stem (to make top tube "shorter") - original was 130mm and new one is 110 mm - now, happily fitted it today but on finishing the bolt tightening etc there's fork wobble/play between the forks and the frame :cry: (applied pressure/weight etc as normal) - now, after a bit of alteration, but still with no luck it seems that the New stem has less stack height than the original (about 1 - 2mm less approximately) - so, does anyone know if the fork/frame play issue is highly likely to be caused by the new stems shorter stack height ??? - (I'm thinking of getting a 2mm spacer to see if that'll sort the problem) - just to add, replacing the new stem with the older one again sorts the fork play issue out.

Thanks

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  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Mettan wrote:
    Just bought a new stem (to make top tube "shorter") - original was 130mm and new one is 110 mm - now, happily fitted it today but on finishing the bolt tightening etc there's fork wobble/play between the forks and the frame :cry: (applied pressure/weight etc as normal) - now, after a bit of alteration, but still with no luck it seems that the New stem has less stack height than the original (about 1 - 2mm less approximately) - so, does anyone know if the fork/frame play issue is highly likely to be caused by the new stems shorter stack height ??? - (I'm thinking of getting a 2mm spacer to see if that'll sort the problem) - just to add, replacing the new stem with the older one again sorts the fork play issue out.

    Thanks

    I had a similar problem when I went from 130mm to 90mm, there was a 2mm gap left, there is a way around it however.

    Apply your weight and get the stem down tight to the headset/spacers, then tighten the stem bolts, this should eliminate the play.

    I did get a spacer later on as this makes everything far easier.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Just put a 2mm spacer betweeen the the stem.clamp and the top cap as RD says.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Thanks guys :)
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Just fitted the 2mm spacer - it's worked fine eventually - at first there was still play, so I put on 2*2mm and that made it worse - then decided to go back to a single 2mm spacer and for some reason it all "sucked" together finally - what unnerves me a bit is that there isn't any firm click or clunk that sort of signifies that it's locked on "fully/correctly" - there's a tiniest bit of something akin to play when putting the front brake on and tilting the bike forward then shaking it a bit - it's almost imperceptible though so am not sure whether that's a problem - anyways, seems to be reasonably ok.
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 5,669
    If you have even the smallest amount of play in the headset eliminate it immediately. Allowing the steel bearing to float inside an ally or carbon tube will chew material from the tapered mating surface in the frame and you will have a real problem. With the top cap removed from the stem there should be a 3mm gap from top of stem to top of steerer. Fit whatever spacers you need to get that and then refit the top cap and torque it up till the play is removed completely.

    An integrated headset is not as sensitive to load on the cartridge bearings like a old style one was on it's loose ball bearings, I always get rid of the play and give an extra 1/8 - 1/4 of a turn to make sure all play is taken up.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Mettan, sorry to state the obvious, but just in case, make sure you tighten the stem bolts only after[/] you have tensioned the headset with the top cap bolt, otherwise you will never achieve the right tension. I made this mistake once and couldn't fathom it out for a while.
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