rocking headset

jonny jeez

Legendary Member
Hi. I have noticed that my forks click a little when i apply my front brake. Also if I bounce the front of the bike there is a rattle (kind of rattle).

Is this most likely a headset bearing or do I just need to nip it up a little.
It was a tiny bit loose so I tightened the headset nut but the rattle persists.
Bike has done a good 10,000 miles.
 
Location
Loch side.
Check your headset again.
1) Sit on the bike's top tube as if you are riding a horse like a Victorian lady in public*.
2) Pull the front brake with one hand.
3)With the other hand, place your thumb and forefinger on the bottom headset bearing assembly so that one half of your finger is on the head tube part of the bearing and the other on the fork part.
4) Now rock forwards and backwards.
5) Feel for mechanical play (not slight flex and not sideways steering movement) between your two fingers.
6) You should also feel some mechanical clack-clack feedback through your bum.

If play is felt, adjust headset tighter and tighter to the point where the steering still swings freely but you have no play in the headset.









* Sidesaddle style.
 
OP
jonny jeez

jonny jeez

Legendary Member
Check your headset again.
1) Sit on the bike's top tube as if you are riding a horse like a Victorian lady in public*.
2) Pull the front brake with one hand.
3)With the other hand, place your thumb and forefinger on the bottom headset bearing assembly so that one half of your finger is on the head tube part of the bearing and the other on the fork part.
4) Now rock forwards and backwards.
5) Feel for mechanical play (not slight flex and not sideways steering movement) between your two fingers.
6) You should also feel some mechanical clack-clack feedback through your bum.

If play is felt, adjust headset tighter and tighter to the point where the steering still swings freely but you have no play in the headset.

* Sidesaddle style.
Thanks, will do that tonight.
 

MickeyBlueEyes

Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat.
Location
Derbyshire
Make sure you undo the stem clamp bolts before trying to adjust the headset bolt or it won't work - and don't forget to retighten when either :smile:
^^ This.

I learned the hard way about three years ago, sheared the bottom of the counter bore in the top cap trying to tighten it, then realised I hadn't undone the stem bolts :blush:
 

Justinslow

Lovely jubbly
Location
Suffolk
With my old MTB I was getting the "play" but tightening up to try to remove the play just made the steering stiff and I couldn't find the sweet spot where it moved freely without the play. So I replaced the headset, job sorted, as it was knackered.
 
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