headset adjustment - how tight is too tight?
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  1. #1
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    headset adjustment - how tight is too tight?

    i bought a used fondriest with the fondriest dds headset last winter. i finally got it all put together today, but was unable to take all of the play out of the headset. i had the top cap screwed on extremely tight, much tighter than i would normally like and much tighter than for my record headset. in fact, it was so tight that i could easily turn the wheel with the handlebars even though the stem bolts were still loose. is this normal for a headset with sealed bearings (this is my first) or is something wrong?

    anyone have any experience with the fondy dds headsets?

    thank you!

  2. #2
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    Don't know about that headset, but....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonked
    i bought a used fondriest with the fondriest dds headset last winter. i finally got it all put together today, but was unable to take all of the play out of the headset. i had the top cap screwed on extremely tight, much tighter than i would normally like and much tighter than for my record headset. in fact, it was so tight that i could easily turn the wheel with the handlebars even though the stem bolts were still loose. is this normal for a headset with sealed bearings (this is my first) or is something wrong?

    anyone have any experience with the fondy dds headsets?

    thank you!
    you should check to make sure your fork steerer is cut short enough and that you're not bottoming out on the top of the steerer. Maybe by the time everything compresses the gap between the top of the steerer and the top of the stem shrinks to nothing?

    Bryan

  3. #3
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    thanks for the thought and i was hoping that was it...but just went to check and i still have around 1/4" of clearance between the top of the steerer and the top of the spacer.

  4. #4
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    Crank it down to take out the play. Pick up the bike by the top tube,and rock it left to right. If the front wheel falls side-to-side, your headset isn't too tight. If it binds, it is too tight.

    I would have all of the alignments checked, but is it an integrated system (meaning you are SOL if the bearing seats are not parallel)? Take it all apart, make sure the races/seats are flat and in place. Bind it down hard (essentially using the top cap and headset as a press in itself) and then back it off to try again.

  5. #5
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    the answer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonked
    thanks for the thought and i was hoping that was it...but just went to check and i still have around 1/4" of clearance between the top of the steerer and the top of the spacer.
    The fondriest headset has the same type of cartridege bearings used in an integrated headset. These bearings require a lot more top cap tension than a conventional headset.

    Keep tightening until you get a noticeable drag when turning the fork, then back off the tension a bit. With this type of bearing, rocking the bike to feel play does not work.

  6. #6
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    thanks for all of the responses. so i take it that with this headset you really have to crank down on the top cap to get it seated properly? if so, would the stresses induced by that have contributed to the crack my stem put in the steerer?

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