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Threadless headset.

Wilby_89Wilby_89 Posts: 96
edited June 2015 in Workshop
I have just brought a new Merida road bike and have noticed the headset is different to my other bike.
It seems to be a threadless headset, after having difficulty tightening it so there is not play in the forks I took it to a mechanic who was able to do it in minutes.
He said that it was a certain order for the stem clamps and the head tube to be tightened so there is no play.
I have been messing around with the bike today fitting a new stem but now I have the same problem.
Could anyone please assist on what order everything needs to be tightened for a threadless headset so there is no play in the forks, thanks.


  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    Normally it is top cap bolt first (to preload headset) followed by the two stem clamp bolts.
    The top cap is normally a few Nm of force and still fairly 'loose' (so the fork can turn freely, but doesn't move up/down or forwards/backwards within the frame), while the stem clamp bolts vary a bit more but are generally 'tight' (my stem clamp has numbers on it).
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Have a read of the info on ParkTools (link below) note that if the stem has a shorter stack height you will need to add a spacer or two to make up the difference so that you can still preload the bearings. If the stack height is more make sure the centreline of the top pinch bolt is below the top of the steerer.

    If the steerer is carbon refer to the makers fitting instructions as there may be further requirements.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Wilby_89Wilby_89 Posts: 96
    Thanks for the replies.
    I have ordered a new threadless headset ... _35364.htm
    So if i tighten this first and then tighten the stem clamps that should be not play with the forks.
  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    Wilby_89 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies.
    I have ordered a new threadless headset ... _35364.htm
    So if i tighten this first and then tighten the stem clamps that should be not play with the forks.

    I'm a bit confused. Why is a new headset needed?
    The advice I gave was for tightening the fork into place after an exchange of stem, which a home mechanic should be able to do.

    Bikes have multiple different standards for headset, I'm not sure whether Merida use threadless, integrated or internal.
    Headsets also come in multiple sizes, which seem to range up from 1 and 1/8" to 1 and 1/2".
    Before ordering a new one, make sure you know what you are getting and why.

    A new headset is normally required if the old one has worn down, or otherwise damaged. A new set of bearings will probably be required before the headset is replaced.
    My Giant integrated headset is simple enough to drop a new set of bearings into if needed, but I haven't had to yet.

    The M Part headset you have linked to includes the cups, which if you are intending to replace will need pressing into the frame with a press. It does also include the bearings, although I'm no
    It will also have the top cap and top cap bolt, but won't include spacers for around the stem if you want them.

    But why do you need a new headset? Your current one sounds like it worked well recently and simply needs adjusting.
  • Wilby_89Wilby_89 Posts: 96
    You are right Taon24.
    I have managed to get it sorted now.
    What I was looking at was a thread less headset which all I needed was the compression plug as mine bust.
    Thanks for the advice guys, got I sorted and can now use my new bike.
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