headset spacer now threaded

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ozone, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. ozone

    ozone New Member

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    I have a 1 inch threaded Campy Record headset, and have discovered that the spacer under the locknut has become threaded. The 4 mm thick spacer has 4-5 threads in the tab which fits into the groove in the fork threads. When I tighten the headset, it turns. And the headset now loosens on me regularly. Obviously I need to replace this spacer with one that stays put. Just wondering if anyone else has seen this happen and how common it is. Maybe this explains why threaded headsets are no longer being used.
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    I have seen this happen to the tab before where the threads of the fork essentially cut threads into the washer.

    Most shops should be able to get you a replacement tabbed washer, but
    you don't need to replace the tabbed washer if you have two headset wrenches. Use one to hold the adjustable cup while you use the other to tighten the locknut.
     
  3. ozone

    ozone New Member

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    I do tighten it with 2 wrenches. And it keeps coming loose, I'm guessing because the locknut and top cup and washer can all turn together. I'll replace the washer and see if stays put longer.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Why is your current spacer so thick?

    It sounds as though your current steerer is too long ... or, that you replaced a different headset which had a taller stack height with the current Campagnolo headset.

    You can either add another "standard" 2mm spacer OR remove a couple of millimeters of the steerer with a flat file.

    FWIW. The reason that threadless headsets are now commonplace is because it is actually cheaper (that is, if "time is money") to provide a ready-made bike with a threadless steerer/headset than a threaded one ...
     
  5. ozone

    ozone New Member

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    This Campy Record headset was original with the frame and fork purchase in 1983 or thereabouts. The 4 mm spacer has Campagnolo imprinted on it. The steerer and this headset are the perfect height for each other (small gap between top of steerer and lip of locknut). Why do you say that a 4 mm spacer is too long? My post had nothing to do with steerer height, only the fact that the washer now turns and it wasn't intended to.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Most washers (vs. spacers) for 1" steerers are 2mm thick ...

    The 4mm washer on your bike AND the fact that the washer is turning suggests that the steerer is too long otherwise it wouldn't turn as you tighten the locknut.

    FWIW. I have had SEVERAL Campagnolo threaded headsets ... none had a 4mm washer. It sounds as though whoever set up your bike didn't feel like "cutting" the steerer to the proper length.
     
  7. John M

    John M New Member

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    You don't need to change the spacer height. 2mm difference is neglible with regards to steerer strength or bicycle fit. If you need a new spacer washer and cannot find a single 4mm, use a 2mm tabbed washer and a 2mm untabbed one or (2) 2mm tabbed ones. The turning of the locknuts has nothing to do with the length of the steerer of the height of that tabbed washer.

    I think that alfeng suspected that the fork steerer was long enough that the headset locknut was actually not locking down, but you accurate dispelled that idea.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, essentially I was (am!?!) NOT fully appreciating the problem. Sorry.

    FWIW. Depending on how tight the spacer fits on the steerer, it may be possible to cut a (full/half/partial) "sleeve" from a soda can & cram it between the steerer & spacer which will keep it from turning. Not an ideal solution, and/but ... that probably won't keep the headset lock nut from loosening.
     
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