Headset issue?

mw22 Posts: 78
edited December 2011 in The workshop
I've got an issue with the front end of my Focus cyclocross bike but I'm a bit puzzled as to what it is.

I had the bike serviced about 6 months ago and it was mentioned the headset might need replacing at some point.

Basically, when the front tyre is under load (so mainly when out the saddle) the steering feels all wrong - almost like the wheel is massively buckled. Sometimes this results in the wheel turning much sharper than I was expecting.
Wheel IS securely in place and it had a new QR skewer 6 months ago. Front tyre is only a few months old and is a continental (4 seasons I think). Front inner tube is a "slime" one - altho I've never experienced problems with using these before.

I've not taken the steerer apart as yet - but I can't spot any issues when I'm not riding it - the steering doesnt feel loose/stiff or shaky or anything.

Any ideas what could be wrong??


Road: Kuota Kebel
TT: Canyon Speedmax
Work: Norco search


  • davis
    davis Posts: 2,506
    Is your headset tight enough?
    Is your headset tight enough? (it bears repeating)

    Basically, check the tightness of your stem clamp and your handlebar clamp. If you don't know how to adjust tightness of your headset then find out. I'd take your steerer out completely and check for play in the bearings too -- probably replace them actually -- and the surface of your headset cups.

    It's actually one of the easier things to work on, follow Park Tools' guide and double check that you've done the bolts up before you go for a ride otherwise you'll point the bars one way and the front wheel will go the other. The good part about that is that you'll be the proud owner of a few new scars.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • Broken front axle ? The axle itself, not the QR spindle.
    Never had one on a QR wheel break, but read of it. I think its one of those things that can break and you can still ride, but gives 'interesting' handling problems.
  • mw22
    mw22 Posts: 78
    Thanks for the replies.
    Well the headset was definitely knackered. I took it to LBS who said the bearings literally fell out when they took it apart. So thats all been replaced.

    So I'm hoping thats gonna resolve all my issues.

    Cheers guys
    Road: Kuota Kebel
    TT: Canyon Speedmax
    Work: Norco search