Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB workshop & tech

Normal to feel resistance in head / stem on turning?

muranmuran Posts: 105
edited May 2012 in MTB workshop & tech
When lifting the bars up so the wheel is free of the ground, is it normal to feel (and hear) just a little resistance in the ead / stem as you turn the wheel side to side?

I've tried loosening the stem bolts and loosening and tightening the head before re-securing the stem bolts but although the firmness is altered one way or another, the noise and resistance is not.

Normal, to be expected?

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Should be smooth and free moving.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    Oh it is, but you can definitely feel a tiny bit of resistance and hear something if I listen very carefully.

    Am I doing damage riding it like this (not that I seem to be able to free it up any more despite trying)?

    edit: forget this, just read up on it elsewhere, seems my stem needs adjustment. Will be looking at it tomorrow.
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    muran wrote:
    Oh it is, but you can definitely feel a tiny bit of resistance and hear something if I listen very carefully.

    Am I doing damage riding it like this (not that I seem to be able to free it up any more despite trying)?
    What headset type is it?
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    386ka wrote:
    What headset type is it?

    threadless cartridge system is about all I can tell you until tomorrow. Stock fitted to a Carrera Kraken 2009-10

    Just been reading it should be completely smooth through and any resistance means it's probably badly adjusted so going to have another look at it tomorrow and loosen off completely before nipping it up a little at a time as advised in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2RHkdRePa8
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    muran wrote:
    386ka wrote:
    What headset type is it?

    threadless cartridge system is about all I can tell you until tomorrow. Stock fitted to a Carrera Kraken 2009-10

    Just been reading it should be completely smooth through and any resistance means it's probably badly adjusted so going to have another look at it tomorrow and loosen off completely before nipping it up a little at a time as advised in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2RHkdRePa8
    If it has cartridge bearings, then it should not cause any damage if you continue to use it. I am delaying the replacement of my cartridge bearings until they become... unbearable :D
    Ps, you can try to prise the seals off them, and regrease the bearings.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    Standard bearings are 'semi cartridge' in that you can't just replace a cartridge bearing within carriers but have to replace the lot. Just use it until they are junk and replace!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    386ka wrote:
    If it has cartridge bearings, then it should not cause any damage if you continue to use it. I am delaying the replacement of my cartridge bearings until they become... unbearable :D
    Ps, you can try to prise the seals off them, and regrease the bearings.

    Thanks, that's re-assuring. No doubt it's better / easier to just replace the entire cartridge when the time comes? Saying that though I haven't looked at cost yet!
    Standard bearings are 'semi cartridge' in that you can't just replace a cartridge bearing within carriers but have to replace the lot. Just use it until they are junk and replace!

    I think (hope) there's a long way to go before they are junk in mine. I made an adjustment today and although I can still feel it as I turn the bars I didn't experience any problems out on my ride. In fact yesterdays ride was over a LOT rougher terrain and I didn't feel anything there either :-)
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    Yes, it is easier to just replace the entire cartridge when the time comes, but where is the fun to that? :D Regreasing them sometimes work, sometimes not. But prise off the seals only, not the bearing brace... believe me, it isn't fun to reassemble an industrial bearing.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    haha, I'm all for ease ... enjoy riding it but not keen on getting involved in things like that unless I absolutely have to. Would be afraid of breaking something or not being able to get it all back together again!

    Seems ok for now so I think I will leave well alone!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    You aren't preloading them too much are you? The top cap bolt only needs 'nipping' up, too tight and the bearings bind up. An FSA replacement is about £17 from Halfords.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    You aren't preloading them too much are you? The top cap bolt only needs 'nipping' up, too tight and the bearings bind up. An FSA replacement is about £17 from Halfords.

    I would be surprised if I am. Using hardly any force at all to nip up the centre bolt before securing the stem bolts - just enough to prevent any play in fact.
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    If you've done that then they should be free and smooth, just enough to prevent any play is perfect and exactly how tight it should be.
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    Yep, that's my problem. It's not really a problem when riding to be fair but even with the adjustments described I still feel a little 'drag' when lifting the bars and turning the wheel in the air.

    I think I'll just leave as is though as it's there however it's adjusted it seems.
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    If it's not a problem when riding then there is no problem.
  • muranmuran Posts: 105
    If it's not a problem when riding then there is no problem.

    Yep, just wanted to be sure I was not causing any damage by riding it this way... seems not.
Sign In or Register to comment.