Headset adjustment question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jlficken, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. jlficken

    jlficken New Member

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    I got a 2000 Univega Modo Volare awhile back and noticed a wobble in the headset. After looking on how to adjust a threadless headset correctly I found something interesting.

    In order for me to get the wobble to just go away I have to tighten it down a bit of course, however, when I do that the gap on the headset seems to not be even anymore.

    It appears as though either the spacers or possible the stem (it's an ITM Spider 90mm) may not be machined correctly. Is there any chance that this could hurt anything? It still steers without any binding after I took everything apart and greased it as it was bone dry but the spacing was this way before that so I'm sure I didn't mess anything up.

    Thanks!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    You want your stem & spacers to be stacked squarely atop the headset ... if you leave it as-is then there will be uneven wear AND you could experience sloppy handling.

    • I had a stem which was square in one installation, but NOT square when the stem was flipped ...
    • It took me a few minutes to figure out that the one side needed to be squared ... this requires a good FLAT FILE + an understanding of how far off the "face" is from being square.

    To determine whether the upper & lower faces are square, remove the stem ...

    • Take a sheet of printer-paper, roll it up, stick it into the stem as if it were the steerer, move one edge to one face & square the end that isn't in the stem ...

    • If it is square, then the edge of the paper should be flush ...

    • Flip the stem & repeat.

    Correct, as necessary.
     
  3. jlficken

    jlficken New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Is it possible to just file down a spacer instead of filing on the stem and accomplish the same thing? Will filing on the stem hurt anything other than removing the anodizing?
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    No harm will come from filing your stem. It will also be easier to file the stem you can leave the handle bar attached for clamping.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If the spacer is not anchored (e.g., glued) to the stem, it can rotate and exacerbate the situation ...

    Filing on the stem will only become a problem if you fail to correct the problem ... try "flipping" the stem to see if you can replicate the problem ...

    CHECK for square on both the top & bottom BEFORE you attempt to make any corrections to the stem using the rolled up printer paper method.


    • I presume you-or-whoever-installed-the-headset did not forget to incude the compression collar that fits between the upper cartridge bearing (if applicable!?!) and serves the same purpose as the "cone" in a loose-or-caged bearing assembly

    Why does it look as though the lowest spacer is crushing INTO the bearing shroud?

    Is it possible that the bearing assembly/cartridge was inserted upside down?!?

    BTW. There is an infinitesimally small chance that the head tube isn't square and needs to be faced ...
     
  6. jlficken

    jlficken New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the help. I don't know whether anything is missing as I didn't install the headset. There is an aluminum "collar" that is there just below the shroud that says "Aheadset" and then I beleive there was also a little plastic piece (sorry I know not techical) below that I believe too. The spacers seem to be resting on top of the shroud that has "Aheadset" on it and it looks fine to me. I did check both sides of the stem using the paper method and it does appear the one was off a bit on the back. I did some filing and this was my result. Is this acceptable or should I keep going? Also, the stem had an aluminum split spacer that went over the tube that seems to be about 1/4" taller than the tube but still 1/4" shorter than the top of the stem. Is that alright? [​IMG]
     
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