Headset Torque

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Paul Davis, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Paul Davis

    Paul Davis Guest

    Whilst reading the tech. info for Easton stems on their website I came
    across the following info. regarding adjusting the headset :-

    "Align the stem on the bike and install the top cap with the appropriate
    6mm hex bolt. Using a torque wrench with a 6mm hex key, compact the
    headset/stem unit by tightening the bolt to the torque specified by the
    headset manufacturer. If the headset manufacturer has not specified torque,
    tighten to 10 Nm (7.4 ft-lbs)."

    The instructions that came with my Canecreek S2 headset say to tighten the
    top cap until play is removed as do the instructions that came with my
    Raceface Prodigy stem.

    I've done this (using a dial indicating torque wrench) and the torque needed
    to remove play is in the region of 4Nm-5Nm. Does this sound reasonable or
    should I be looking to tighten it further? 10Nm seems rather high (Raceface
    recommend only 10.8Nm-12.2Nm for the stem bolts!).

    Thanks for any thoughts
    PJay
     
    Tags:


  2. Paul Davis

    Paul Davis Guest

    Whoops, Raceface recommend 12.Nm-13.5Nm for the stem bolts, 10.8-12.2 is for
    the faceplate. In any event, 10Nm still seems really high for a headset!
     
  3. Paul Davis

    Paul Davis Guest

    Whoops, Raceface recommend 12.Nm-13.5Nm for the stem bolts, 10.8-12.2 is for
    the faceplate. In any event, 10Nm still seems really high for a headset!
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Paul Davis wrote:
    > Whilst reading the tech. info for Easton stems on their website I came
    > across the following info. regarding adjusting the headset :-
    >
    > "Align the stem on the bike and install the top cap with the appropriate
    > 6mm hex bolt. Using a torque wrench with a 6mm hex key, compact the
    > headset/stem unit by tightening the bolt to the torque specified by the
    > headset manufacturer. If the headset manufacturer has not specified torque,
    > tighten to 10 Nm (7.4 ft-lbs)."
    >
    > The instructions that came with my Canecreek S2 headset say to tighten the
    > top cap until play is removed as do the instructions that came with my
    > Raceface Prodigy stem.
    >
    > I've done this (using a dial indicating torque wrench) and the torque needed
    > to remove play is in the region of 4Nm-5Nm. Does this sound reasonable or
    > should I be looking to tighten it further? 10Nm seems rather high (Raceface
    > recommend only 10.8Nm-12.2Nm for the stem bolts!).
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts
    > PJay
    >
    >

    While the torque specs are a very good guide, my advice is to not end up
    being a slave to them. The forces acting on (and the movements of) these
    bearings and races are relatively low compared with many other ball
    bearing applications, such as centre brackets and hubs.

    At the risk of stating the obvious - a headset that rattles *might*
    cause the bearing races to get scored; a headset that is too tight will
    not steer on its own when hands are removed from the bars. Between these
    extremes there is a wide range of tightness that will be quite
    acceptable, i.e. good steering as well as headset longevity.

    Rock the bike back and forth with the front brake applied. Tighten top
    cap until play disappears; I myself add about 1/16th to 1/8th of a turn
    more. Then make sure that the fork rotates freely.

    After that, tighten stem bolts, remember to back off the top cap bolt to
    finger-tight, etc.

    /Robert
     
  5. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    remember to back off the top cap bolt
    > to finger-tight, etc.


    Why?
    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Forget the torque wrench for the top bolt!! Start off with play then
    repeatedly adjust headset until play just disappears. The top bolt is
    only preloading the bearings during adhustment, it doesn't need to be very
    tight, and in fact you could ride safely without it altogether if you
    liked (once the stem clamp bolts are tight).

    ~PB
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Guest

    ZeeExSixAre wrote:

    > remember to back off the top cap bolt
    >
    >>to finger-tight, etc.

    >
    >
    > Why?


    Good point. To be more precise, I should've said "it does no harm to
    back off the tension on the top cap bolt a bit, after the stem bolts are
    tightened".

    My saying "remember to ..." was just to drive home the point that the
    top cap is, once the stem bolts are tightened, of cosmetic importance
    only. You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset without
    loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few threads about this
    earlier . . .

    No offence intended ;-)

    /Robert
     
  8. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 06:41:30 -0400, "ZeeExSixAre"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >remember to back off the top cap bolt
    >> to finger-tight, etc.

    >
    >Why?


    Perhaps because some of those flimsy top caps will break if left under
    tension. This has caused more than a few panic-stricken calls to one
    lbs; in one case, the caller was *certain* that the stem would fall
    off if that cap wasn't replaced. That shop now takes some pains to
    explain the *lack* of necessity for that particular part when they
    sell a bike.

    Personally, I'd prefer to have a quill stem.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Surrealism is a pectinated ranzel.
     
  9. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 09:11:52 +0000 (UTC), "Paul Davis"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Whilst reading the tech. info for Easton stems on their website I came
    >across the following info. regarding adjusting the headset :-
    >
    >"Align the stem on the bike and install the top cap with the appropriate
    >6mm hex bolt. Using a torque wrench with a 6mm hex key, compact the
    >headset/stem unit by tightening the bolt to the torque specified by the
    >headset manufacturer. If the headset manufacturer has not specified torque,
    >tighten to 10 Nm (7.4 ft-lbs)."
    >
    >The instructions that came with my Canecreek S2 headset say to tighten the
    >top cap until play is removed as do the instructions that came with my
    >Raceface Prodigy stem.
    >
    >I've done this (using a dial indicating torque wrench) and the torque needed
    >to remove play is in the region of 4Nm-5Nm. Does this sound reasonable or
    >should I be looking to tighten it further? 10Nm seems rather high (Raceface
    >recommend only 10.8Nm-12.2Nm for the stem bolts!).


    My experience:

    If the headset uses a resilient (rubber-like) sleeve or collar to
    center and/or maintain tension on the bearing, I go a bit tighter than
    specified because I've noticed that these tend to loosen up quickly if
    I don't. If there are no resilient parts in the stack, I barely snug
    it down, just to the point where the play is removed.

    Personally, I prefer headsets with no resilient parts. I don't think
    things with dimensions as inconstant as those have any place in a
    precision assembly...but that's just me.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Surrealism is a pectinated ranzel.
     
  10. g.daniels

    g.daniels Guest

    getting it "right" with a cone and ball threaded headset is an
    interesting experience for the first coupla timers.
    the prose reads-get the forks stiff!!
    is this with or with the wheel on?
    how does one do this using loctite?
    without pondering that's for sure.
    stabbing in the dark at this thru two-three rebuilds gave equally good
    results
    leading to the conclusion the headsets within certain parameters (thou
    shalt not be an imbecile) are forgiving.
    what i am up to is cranking the torque in (threaded) until the
    bearings rumble and the forks are stiff
    reason is the forks/wheel brace off the ground pushing bearings looser
    and relieve the rumble.
    so far so good.
    when rebuilding, buy two bearing sets or two o-rings sets, next time
    it'll go back easy. tape the stuff down into the toolbox or the
    medicine cabinet.
    start with the caged bearings and when the set shows wear go to loose
    bearings changing the race levels. that'll work to relieve a bridled
    cup. sometimes.
     
  11. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset without
    >loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few threads about this
    >earlier . . .


    Stripped ones, of course.
    --

    Cheers,

    Al
     
  12. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 22:43:40 +0100, Al C-F
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >>the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset without
    >>loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few threads about this
    >>earlier . . .

    >
    >Stripped ones, of course.


    And a few crossed.

    [bolting for the exit...]


    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  13. On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 01:55:18 GMT, Werehatrack
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 22:43:40 +0100, Al C-F
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert <[email protected]>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >>>the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset without
    >>>loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few threads about this
    >>>earlier . . .

    >>
    >>Stripped ones, of course.

    >
    >And a few crossed.
    >
    >[bolting for the exit...]
    >


    Dear Werehatrack,

    I seize your point.

    Carl [double-pun] Fogel
     
  14. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 01:55:18 GMT, Werehatrack
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 22:43:40 +0100, Al C-F
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert
    >>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >>>> the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset
    >>>> without loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few
    >>>> threads about this earlier . . .
    >>>
    >>> Stripped ones, of course.

    >>
    >> And a few crossed.
    >>
    >> [bolting for the exit...]
    >>

    >
    > Dear Werehatrack,
    >
    > I seize your point.
    >
    > Carl [double-pun] Fogel


    You're all CRACK!ed.

    Bill "rounding out the conversation" S.
     
  15. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    S o r n i wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 01:55:18 GMT, Werehatrack
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 22:43:40 +0100, Al C-F
    >>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert
    >>>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >>>>> the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset
    >>>>> without loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few
    >>>>> threads about this earlier . . .
    >>>>
    >>>> Stripped ones, of course.
    >>>
    >>> And a few crossed.
    >>>
    >>> [bolting for the exit...]
    >>>

    >>
    >> Dear Werehatrack,
    >>
    >> I seize your point.
    >>
    >> Carl [double-pun] Fogel

    >
    > You're all CRACK!ed.


    Oh, and (star) nuts, too.

    Bill "just gonna torque folks off now" S.
     
  16. H. Morgan

    H. Morgan Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 03:19:34 GMT, "S o r n i"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >S o r n i wrote:
    >> [email protected] wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 01:55:18 GMT, Werehatrack
    >>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 22:43:40 +0100, Al C-F
    >>>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:53:32 GMT, Robert
    >>>>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> You'd be surprised at the number of readers here (not necessarily
    >>>>>> the OP though) who insist on trying to tighten a loose headset
    >>>>>> without loosening the stem bolts first. There have been a few
    >>>>>> threads about this earlier . . .
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Stripped ones, of course.
    >>>>
    >>>> And a few crossed.
    >>>>
    >>>> [bolting for the exit...]
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> Dear Werehatrack,
    >>>
    >>> I seize your point.
    >>>
    >>> Carl [double-pun] Fogel

    >>
    >> You're all CRACK!ed.

    >
    >Oh, and (star) nuts, too.
    >
    >Bill "just gonna torque folks off now" S.
    >



    A crossed thread is a tight thread. ; )
     
  17. g.daniels

    g.daniels Guest

    right. resilient parts. like steel threads from 1980's japanese real
    steel and enough loctite to save the queen.
    bangbambang down the road and everything compresses a wee bit and
    takes the tightness out within the forgiving torque range,
    beware of those(the movie beware voice...)who only repair
    and never ride.bewarebeware erk erk
     
  18. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 17 Jul 2004 12:41:29 -0700, [email protected] (g.daniels) wrote:

    >right. resilient parts. like steel threads from 1980's japanese real
    >steel and enough loctite to save the queen.
    >bangbambang down the road and everything compresses a wee bit and
    >takes the tightness out within the forgiving torque range,
    >beware of those(the movie beware voice...)who only repair
    >and never ride.bewarebeware erk erk


    One *theory* behind having resilient parts in there is that they will
    keep things snug by maintaining tension as things shift. The reality,
    from where I sit, is that the resilient materials seldom maintain
    their tension; they harden, they accept permanent deformations, they
    rot...and when that happens, their supposed advantage has just become
    a liability.

    Where nonmetal parts are used, all of their characteristics have to be
    taken into account, not just the one that supplies a desired feature.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  19. g.daniels

    g.daniels Guest

    right! resilience is often wishful thinking-advertising puffery
    but i have a 40 year old volvo-there's rubber in there. Wait'll you
    feel this stuff.And a transistor the size of a sewing thimble.
    but the plastics, excellent but not the slippery live vinyl plastic of
    2004.
    the same probably goes for rubber bushings-on the porsche/merc level
    of tech overkill for the helluvit: near racing parts on street cars.
    how 'bout cannondales plastic shock headset? how's that hold up? Are
    there rear plastic shock pads?
    the locktite is plastic(y)and it gives under pressure- a thousandth of
    an inch over ??? but hangs in there keeping things tight.
    but i allow a 24 hour headset cure in 80 degrees
     
Loading...
Loading...