Creak from headset/steam fix

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Brian Ray, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. Brian Ray

    Brian Ray Guest

    Perhaps this will help somebody trying to hunt down one of those elusive creaks. The situation:
    After doing an annual teardown and rebuild on my bike, up front things start creaking a few test
    rides into the season. Threadless carbon steerer, aluminum stem and bars, Chris King headset.

    Ok, check and see if the headset has some play by yanking the fork crown and the steerer in opposite
    directions, a technique that's served in the past. No play, no creaking. Twist the bars back and
    forth on the axis of the stem--creak, creak. Ok, I've had this problem before, the bar clamp needs a
    bit more grease on it.

    Roll home and regrease the bar clamp. Still creaks. Pop the stem and spacers, re-grease all the
    interfaces between them, re-assemble. Still creaks. Hmmm.

    Google search for posts on creaking stems, headsets, carbon fiber steerers. Never
    grease a carbon fiber surface, make sure to grease all metal interfaces. Ok, ok ... epiphany.

    I pop off the stem again plus the bearing cap, then lightly grease the surface that contacts the
    sealed bearing unit. It seems the likely culprit given a bit of the (anodized?) finish is worn where
    it contacts the bearing unit. Re-assemble the thing, yank on the bars again, and nothing but
    refreshing silence.

    So if you think you've greased everything in trying to kill a creak from the headset, check the
    bearing cap.

    Brian Ray

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