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Cogsy1976Cogsy1976 Posts: 143
edited January 2014 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi all

I had my headset replaced by LBS the other day which had old stem and bars on, I know it was fine when I got it home as I rocked it and there was no play, have since changed the bars and stem and can I get rid of the play? can I ****

I have put it on and off numerous times and still cant get rid of the play! any suggestions? the new stem is a tighter fit than the previous one but still wouldnt of thought this would make any difference!


  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    You need a gap so you can pre-load it. Ensure you have the correct gap.

    All the info is on the Park Tools website.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Tighten the top cap bolt before the stem bolts, and lift the front wheel off the ground by holding under the fork brace whilst doing it... unless you have a bike stand ;)
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  • micedenmiceden Posts: 225
    You need to tension the headset... loosen the stem bolts and take the top cap off, there should be a ~3mm gap between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer post, if there isn't you need to chuck a spacer underneath the stem. Put the top cap on and tighten the bolt, this will pull everything together, do up the stem bolts and your done.
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    Is the new stem slightly shorter in height on the steerer than your old one? Even 1 or 2 mm can make a difference and stop the headset being able to tighten. Try getting another thin 3 or 5mm spacer under the stem and see if it helps.
  • Cogsy1976Cogsy1976 Posts: 143
    Just to let you all know I did all this a few times and still wasn't any better, however upon putting old stem back on it was fine! so looked at the 'new' stem and it was mis-shapen so can only assume it was a funked stem! my bargain on ebay wasnt one.

    Lesson learned!
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    edited January 2014
    Has anyone got a definitive way of checking for play in headset?

    If I hold on the front brake on level ground and rock the bike, I can feel a tiny amount of play, but I think this is coming from the fork lowers (which is normal according to a suspension technician)
  • Cogsy1976Cogsy1976 Posts: 143
    normally you can feel if its from the headset by rocking, but placing one hand on the headset, you can tell if the play is coming from there
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    Or turn the bars 90 degrees and rock it then, loading the fork sideways.
  • Cogsy1976Cogsy1976 Posts: 143
    if your fork has lock out, lock it then rock it!
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