Re: Tightening headsets for going no-hands
- Hi Cara,
It is hard to diagnose a headset over the internet :( ... Here are some thoughts (in no
1. It could actually be a bit loose. Sometimes I've found there is a bit of "settling" after the
initial build of a bike, causing things to loosen up a bit. So it might warrant loosening the
stem bolt(s), tightening the top cap a bit, seeing if you can get rid of the play while not
removing the ability of the wheel to flop side to side as Todd mentioned. Make sure to re-
tighten the stem bolt(s) when you're done! I failed to tighten the quick-release stem on a
folding bike once and the result was a major wipeout!
2. On one or two occasions I've noticed "play" in the front end of a bike that initially
seemed due to the headset, but was actually due to something else. The something else
typically was a bit too much play in the front wheel bearings, which for the old fashioned
cup and cone kind, requires a simple (but finicky) adjustment
3. Riding without hands also depends on bike geometry. The steeper your head tube, the
more responsive the steering, but also the harder to ride w/o hands. I don't have
experience with that particular frame, but it could be that it's just an aggressive design
with steep head tube.
4. Adding the Xtracycle can further change the geometry of your bike, and in particular,
affect the head angle. On one of my bikes I found it changed the head angle a bit too
much installing it in the "standard" way with the tongue on top of the chainstay bridge, so
instead I installed it with the tongue underneath. The reason this can affect your head
angle is just like a wheelbarrow. When you lift on the handles of the wheelbarrow, it
changes the angles of the front of the wheelbarrow with respect to the ground. Installing
the Xtra can do the same thing, albeit only very small changes.
I hope that's helpful!
--- In email@example.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...> wrote:
> Todd Fahrner wrote:
> > Yet when you lock the front brake and rock the bike back
> > and forth, you shouldn't feel any play in the mechanism.
> > The first clue for me that a headset is going bad is
> > difficulty in riding no-hands, because irregularities in
> > the bearing races mean that the steering binds at certain
> > spots, much like an over-tight headset would feel.
> Hi Todd,
> This is a good point. But what about difficulty riding no-hands on a
> brand new bike? It seems that my headset has been a little on the loose
> side from the very beginning.
> You also mention that when the headset is adjusted right, there is
> absolutely no play. From the very beginning, I've felt a slight
> shifting. At the moment, my adjustment is one of the best in terms of
> minimizing play, but there is still some. It may be hard to see, but
> putting my finger on the upper or lower joints of headset and frame, I
> can feel some play.
> I don't notice any differences in the play as the handlebars move from
> one side to the other. There's no stiffening or locking up.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Devian Gilbert <asanacycles@...> wrote:
> a custom deck is by far the best
Congrats on your Big Dummy. The video looks good too.
Look what I found this morning:
It links thru my blog (so it's a self-serving shameless plug as well as a .contribution to the discussion) but it's pretty darn cool stuff .