Threaded Headset Keeps Loosening

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by p38lightning, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

    Apr 19, 2004
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    I have an 83 Bianchi with an Ofmega 1'' steel threaded headset. It keeps loosening up after about 200 miles of riding. When adjusted correctly it is smooth, without any signs of detent, as is sometimes found in a worn fork crown race. Visual inspection shows no signs of wear on any of the parts. The fork steering tube and the headset upper race and locknut are clean and free of grease. All threads look and feel good. The caged balls are in the correct position in the cups.

    When I adjust the headet I follow the advise of my old friend and mechanic "Woodie" at the LBS and do the following:
    1.Overtighten the upper race so that there is resistance in turning the bars.
    2.Loosen the upper race while tightening the locknut(the keyed shim is in place) very snugly, as to get a firm double nut lock.(I use correct headset wrenches)
    3. Check that the final adjustment is smooth with a SLIGHT amount of resistance in turning the bars.(Woodie has told me to adjust it this way as headsets tend to "pound in" in a few miles)

    Lately I've been eyeing the Locktite 242(Blue) in my garage and am tempted to try it, but I've never had to resort to this before on other bikes, and think that it is THE WRONG WAY TO GO!

    Any advice would be appreciated

  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
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    You didn't mention the WASHER that is often placed between the locknut and the upper race. Is it absent?

    The washer is "optional"/superfluous if there is a brake cable "hanger" in the stack.

    If you don't have a washer in the stack, then look through your toolbox (in case you thought it wasn't necessary at one time) OR go to your LBS for one ... if there is a groove in steerer, then get a washer with the 'tongue' that will fit inside the groove. If your fork's steerer doesn't have a groove and the only washers that are available have the tongue (more than likely), then simply file out the tongue with a half-round file.

    If an LBS isn't convenient between now & your next ride, then CUT a "washer" from a soft plastic (but, not a milk jug) container OR the cap from a milk/juice jug.
  3. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
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    Have the headtube faced along with the fork crown seat.