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headset torque setting

dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
edited January 2013 in Workshop
Hi, does anyone know what torque setting should be for tightening a headset? Is it the same for alloy and carbon steerer?


  • mikeneticmikenetic Posts: 486
    Do you mean clamping torque for the stem onto the steerer? In that case it should be written on the stem. Most are set at around 4.5 - 5.0 Nm
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    Do you mean for tightening the stem to the steerer?

    If you mean the torque on the end cap - then there isn't really one. Just tighten up enough so the bearing rotates freely but with no free play.

    If you do mean the stem clamp, there should be a max torque on the stem (or available online). Note, this torque is the max torque required to close the clamp - and may differ between stems (some Deda stems have 8Nm as max, compared to the usual 4 or 5Nm), even thought it would result in the same force on the steerer.

    If it is a carbon steerer, use carbon paste between the steerer and stem - which will reduce the force required. Certainly don't exceed the torque on the stem but you could try a bit less. If the headset develops play over a week or two, then readjust and tighten a bit more than last time.
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    Sorry, I meant on the top cap, so I guess there isn't a torque setting, just tight enough to stop any play, Thanks.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    Yup, the top cap is just used to preload the headset bearings before tightening it all up properly. When it's all back together, you could actually take the top cap off and it'll have no effect (other than letting the rain in).

    Loosen the stem. Adjust the bearing preload with the top cap - then retighten the stem (to hold it firmly).
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    Without taking it all to bits, would I be able to tell if it is an Alloy steerer or Carbon steerer?
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Just take the top cap off and look. Once you've tightened the stem bolts it is just decoration ;)
    Faster than a tent.......
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