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Play in the head tube

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by j-sworks, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. j-sworks

    j-sworks Maximum Pace

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    Hey,

    I recently put my bike together from being shipped in a Sarfas travel case and I've noticed that there is some play in the head tube. You know, when you put your front brake on and kind of jiggle the bike forward and back, it never had any play before so I'm concerned.

    I retitgnted the head tube bolt and it still does it, can anyone tell me why this might be happening and how to fix it?

    Thanks
  2. onm

    onm

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    1. Undo the stem bolts, then undo the top cap on the steerer-tube.

    2. Wiggle it about to make sure the bearings are seated correctly.

    3. Tighten down the top cap on the steerer-tube until the play is eliminated.

    4. Make sure the front wheel is aligned, then tighten the stem bolts.

    Done.
  3. StuInTokyo

    StuInTokyo Maximum Pace

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    Exactly :cool:
  4. Yamabushi

    Yamabushi Maximum Pace Ride Leader

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    Yep, you didn't have proper pre-loading/compression. What Owen prescribed will sort that out!
  5. j-sworks

    j-sworks Maximum Pace

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    Thanks Owen I'll try that tomorrow and hopefully I'll be all set :beer1:
  6. onm

    onm

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    Cool.

    It really is a 3 minute job, and absolutely nothing can go wrong. Ahem.
  7. j-sworks

    j-sworks Maximum Pace

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    Bingo!

    Done and done, the most difficult part was lining up the headset with the front wheel - stupid eyes playing tricks on me...

    Thanks and I'm off for a spin today :bike:
  8. zenbiker

    zenbiker Maximum Pace

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    I can never get this right either. Line it all up, looks OK, get on the bike and...:eek: Stop bars need to move a centimeter right..:eek:
    Luckily my seat post is aero so is always spot on.
  9. SurlyCyclist

    SurlyCyclist Speeding Up

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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one with this issue. I've often wondered if there's some trick to getting this straight on.
  10. zenbiker

    zenbiker Maximum Pace

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    There is. My garage has a big cross on the floor. Put both wheels on the down line, then line up the bars with the cross. Or get a friend to look before you tighten the bolts.:eek:
  11. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    And you never will - everyone has one arm and leg slightly longer than the other so although you get the stem perfectly lined up once you get on the bike you''l be out by a few mm due to the arm length difference.

    The cross on the floor is also a good idea or of you have wooden floor boards you can line it up - but again this won't factor in the arm length issue.
  12. zenbiker

    zenbiker Maximum Pace

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    But regardless of arm length, wouldn`t you still want the wheels and frame to be level and the bars at 90 degress to the frame?
  13. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

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    Unless you overtighten the titanium stem bolts and one breaks and the splinters go flying and get stuck in your eye.

  14. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

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    Not necessarily - like FE says, most people have some discrepency in their arm lengths - so the bike will actually 'feel' off center if you have it perfectly centered. The amount be not much - but it is noticable if you have your fit dialed in.

    But 90 degrees is a good to place to start..

  15. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    As Tim said - actually there was an amusing peice in Velo news about an argument between a Pro rider and the wrench - they ended up using lasers to perfectly line up the bars, stem, frame and forks and yet the rider was still urguing it wasn't straight. :D

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