Aftermarket Headset Spacer: Tightening out play binding up.

dilatory Posts: 565
edited June 2014 in Workshop
Here's a pic of the carbon headset cap I am trying to use to reduce stack height.

Behind it is the existing (huge) one. Existing one works fine, tightens up snug and is still free and turns well, new one as soon as the play is tightened out steered is stiff, if I hold bike up the bars don't move, turning them produces a friction noise from stem on the carbon cap (cap isn't moving so it's not rubbing into the bearings or anything).

Is this something that needs to bed in, is it an issue of tolerances, could it be because I have an absurd amount of spacers on top currently to check if I am happy with height (as you'll see by another post I was planning on cutting down using the existing one, but picked this up from a friend today so figured I'd save myself the double cut if possible).


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,850
    the cover is supposed to ride on the bearing, so that it turns with the bars/steerer

    sounds like the new one isn't correct for the headset, so instead it is simply clamping to the headtube when you take out the play

    a possible alternative is that it needs one or more micro spacers, some integrated headsets use these for fine adjustment

    exactly which headset is it?
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • dilatory
    dilatory Posts: 565
    Whatever Cannondale's integrated headset for the new CAAD10 is. Spec sheet just says Headset CAAD10, 1-1/4 "lower bearing, 25mm top cap.

    I think maybe that's what's happening, there's a little recessed bit at the base of the new one where the old is flat, so it's probably just clamping to the headtube. Sorry, bit of a newbie to this stuff! Infact that's almost certainly what's happening. Just not a compatible piece. Will have to get one of those "slammed" look ones as they seem to be one of the only ones I can find that will work with the headset.
  • Hi, I had this same problem. I used micro spacers to raise the cover just enough to stop it sitting in the head tube.
    If you google ' headset micro spacers' you will see what they are. I seem to remember that I got some via amazon.
    Good luck.
  • mitchgixer6
    mitchgixer6 Posts: 729
    I've got some of these spacers going spare if you want them?
  • dilatory
    dilatory Posts: 565
    Thanks, it sounds like a great solution! PM me what you want for 'em and your paypal details.
  • simonj
    simonj Posts: 346
    Did you need something like this :- ... 2KP253/%22