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Cracking noise from headtube/headset area with extra long quill stem

I don't know if this is anything to worry about but as I'm v tall I need higher bars so I fitted this:
to one of these:

I cleaned out the headset bearings/races a few months ago and put new grease in. At first there was a bit of play when holding the front brake, so I tightened up the top race and locknut again and it seemed fine. Recently I bought that new extra long stem and fitted it making sure the min insertion point line was not visible. However on my last couple of rides I noticed an intermittent click/cracking noise from the front area, so I checked the stem faceplate bolts and the main quill bolts which were properly tight.

I put grease on the shaft of this new extra long quill but kept the wedge at the bottom dry (I daren't grease the wedge after having an old stem work loose while riding... ain't fun.) so I don't know what to do? Are long stems like this going to damage the headset or headtube?

It's seems to be a ~22.5" frame so it's not small but I thought a longer seat post and quill stem would have been the answer. I mean I'm comfy now, but that noise is kinda offputting lol.


  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    the longer the stem the greater the leverage. Physics is Physics. make sure everything is adjusted properly and inspect regularly.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The stem angle adjustment is probably the weakest link, not at all unusual for them to develop some play over time.if you're happy with it you could use bearing lock on all the joints to try and stop it moving.
  • pileykpileyk Posts: 7
    Thanks for the replies! As it was a brand new stem with no play, I didnt check angle adj. bolt apart from tightening originally at 90°!

    Well big thanks for that suggestion, I took the bolt right out and the stepped wedge it runs thru had a tiny 'scab' of metal on one of the steps. I filed it off and put a dab of oil there... put back together and the noise seems to be gone :D

    It's seems a shoddy product tbh, in terms of the quality and hardness of the metal but apart from the expensive Nitto stems there's not much choice out there?

    Thanks again :))
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