Strange headset issue!

Gatters

Senior Member
Location
Right Here
Hi all, just about completed a new build on an old frame. I noticed that my Shimano 600 headset was missing the lock washer that goes between the top race and the locking nut. When I rode the bike the headset was often loosening off, so I put this down to the missing lock washer. Anyway I bought another headset from ebay that had the lock washer included. Now you'll no doubt know that these lock washers have a little pip of metal protruding from the inside which no doubt locates into a slot in the fork steerer thread. I've just tried to fit it on my bike and theres no slot at all and the washer wont go on, which is probably why it was missing in the first place?
Has anyone come across this issue before?
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Just grind the 'tab' off. I don't have the tabs for my 600 or Dura Ace headsets. I don't even have a washer on my MTB headset, as the original headset was a very low stack, and I only just got a Shimano STX headset to fit. Just wanged them tight ! I do prefer ahead sets for ease of adjustment, but they aten't as as aesthetically pleasing as a quill set up.
 
OP
Gatters

Gatters

Senior Member
Location
Right Here
Will do guys, is this commonplace that some fork steerers don't have a flat or a slot? Just not got the experience to know.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
The washer doesn't usually work very well anyway. Just tighten the locknut hard against the adjustable race and it'll be fine, assuming:

1. the frame and fork are correctly faced (I reckon about 50% of bikes aren't good enough in this respect, and I've never regretted buying the tools)

2. The headset has been correctly assembled...the seals usually only go one way up.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Will do guys, is this commonplace that some fork steerers don't have a flat or a slot? Just not got the experience to know.
Common on better bikes - the cheap ones have the cut out. Never had a cut out on a decent bike (can cause the threads to strip).

Grease it up, then tighten with 'quality tools' - this is what I do - you are local to me - give me a PM - is the headset seated OK ?
 
OP
Gatters

Gatters

Senior Member
Location
Right Here
The washer doesn't usually work very well anyway. Just tighten the locknut hard against the adjustable race and it'll be fine, assuming:

1. the frame and fork are correctly faced (I reckon about 50% of bikes aren't good enough in this respect, and I've never regretted buying the tools)

2. The headset has been correctly assembled...the seals usually only go one way up.
The top race on this particular headset is recessed a little for the washer to seat, so doesn't offer much of a flat face against the lock nut. It'll be better to fit the washer. I'm not sure what you mean about properly faced but it all looks good to me, the races are fully in the head tube.
 
OP
Gatters

Gatters

Senior Member
Location
Right Here
Common on better bikes - the cheap ones have the cut out. Never had a cut out on a decent bike (can cause the threads to strip).

Grease it up, then tighten with 'quality tools' - this is what I do - you are local to me - give me a PM - is the headset seated OK ?
Thanks for clearing that one up fossyant, you may have guessed its a Frank Herety but not the one in the profile pic, I finally got around to fixing it up after a spell off bikes, so looking forward to finishing it and getting some rides in
 
OP
Gatters

Gatters

Senior Member
Location
Right Here
IMG_1678.JPG
 

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rogerzilla

Legendary Member
Properly faced = the fork crown seat and the top and bottom of the head tube are neatly cut and all parallel with each other. A headset that goes straight from loose to tight, and tends to go looser when ridden, is usually a sign of poor or non-existent facing. It can be fixed in a few minutes with the correct tools, which a good bike shop will have. The tools have to be very sharp to avoid chipping any paint off the sides!
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I built a bike in my teens that had problems with the top and bottom of the head tube not being parallel. I remember diagnosing it but I'd never heard of facing and as there was no internet and it wasn't in Richard's Bicycle Book I just put up with it. For about 10 years.

I only learned it existed recently
 
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