Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?
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  1. #1
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    Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?

    So, I've had this 2019 Specialized Tarmac Pro Disc for about a month. I noticed the gap between the top of the head tube and the bearing cover within a day or two and it had bothered me ever since. I thought maybe the bearing just wasn't seated correctly so I pulled it apart and it just looks like poor tolerances when it was made.

    The gap between the top of the bearing and the top of the head tube is between 1.95-2.15mm all the way around except on the left side where its 2.77mm.

    So my question is should I just stop nitpicking and ride the thing or should I genuinely be bothered that my $6700 bike doesn't have seamless lines.

    (I've also got a carbon crux and its perfectly flush on that bike)

    Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_2215.jpgHeadset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_2217.jpgHeadset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_2213.jpgHeadset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_2207.jpg

  2. #2
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    Well you are bothered but I'd just ride the thing. You can always use that gap as more motivation to ride in anger, if it makes you angry. Are you losing races because of it?

  3. #3
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    No, Iím not losing races because of it. But say you bought a brand new expensive car and when you picked it up the seam where the hood meets the front quarter panels wasnít flush like itís supposed to be. Say the hood sat proud about a half inch. Is that keeping you from driving to work? No. Does it look like itís supposed to? No. Do cyclist care more than we should about shallow aesthetics? YES.

  4. #4
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    Is there any play in the headset ?, does something not tighten down ?.

    If it all tightens up and works, why worry about it ?. Maybe go look at another similar Specialized at the shop and see if itís your frame or common to this model.

  5. #5
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    Itís not okay. Thatís a lot of money. Take it to a bike shop you didnít buy it from and get their take on it.

  6. #6
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    Visual aesthetics count... at least at first.

  7. #7
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    It's carbon, from a company banging out thousands of carbon frames a year. Read: It's mass produced. In Asia. That's all you can expect from them. If the bearings are smooth and it doesn't bind of develop play as you rotate the fork, then you'll probably be stuck with it. It would be better if the fork rotated poorly; then you'd have a gripe they couldn't stammer their way out of.

    I agree that it looks lousy but I don't think you're going to get anywhere with a claim.

  8. #8
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    Specialized? They can afford to replace the frame. Junk. Obvious weak spot at 8 o'clock. Kinda sucks to pay big money for that. Looks like the race-head tube juncture is flat, so does the bike steer freely? If so, ok, guess you could ride the hell out of it, but man, that's an embarrassment to the brand.

  9. #9
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    From looking at the cap, it seems that there is no way you wouldn't end up with an inconsistent gap.
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  10. #10
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    Have you looked at others (same frame) to see if they have the same issue?
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  11. #11
    What the what???
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    If it were anything but brand new, Iíd say just ride it. But if itís brand new, that would bother me, too. If QC is off on something that visible... what about areas you canít see?

    It should at least have been discounted like a scratch & dent frame might have been.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdlbb View Post
    No, Iím not losing races because of it. Do cyclist care more than we should about shallow aesthetics? YES.
    So there, you know what to do. Good Luck. The bike they have on their homepage appears to have the same thing. Certainly isn't flat across the top of head tube.
    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...c-pro/p/154559
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-gap.jpg  

  13. #13
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    I emailed specialized and plan on stopping by the shop to see what other tarmacs look like. Just for reference hereís my 2018 Specialized Crux which is also carbon but about half the cost of the tarmac. Much more consistent gap. Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-ff38408a-a3a9-4e57-ad83-fabd4b267f2a.jpg

  14. #14
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    it appears that perhaps the LEFT side of the headtube is not consistent with the right side of the headtube. Must be a rookie worker who just got hired at the factory. Denitely this is not normal, and I would definitely want a new frame or a major discount (assuming the current frame doesn't give issue at that area, must check really thoroughly)

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't like that. It's fugly. Good place for water and grit to get into your headset.

    Can't tell for sure but it looks like the top cap is touching the frame at 12:00 and 6:00? If so, that's a big deal.
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  16. #16
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    My Tarmac is not like that but itís an SL5 from 2018. The kinda money you paid for that bike commands Much nicer aesthetics than that. That is a defect and should be addressed as such. I had a 2014 Tarmac that had clear coat pealing off and it was warranted. I had that bike less than a week and the finish was failing but this is a clear visible manufacturing defect. I do a complete look over before I accept a bike or buy it since.
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  17. #17
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    I'm surprised anyone here thinks that's even close to acceptable. I'd give the shop a chance to do the right thing: Swap the bike/frame and deal with Specialized... then talk with Specialized.

    This isn't your problem - it's the shop's and Specialized's.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I'm surprised anyone here thinks that's even close to acceptable. I'd give the shop a chance to do the right thing: Swap the bike/frame and deal with Specialized... then talk with Specialized.

    This isn't your problem - it's the shop's and Specialized's.
    Just curious, but what would be your opinion if you found out that every bike of this model/year looked exactly like this?

  19. #19
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    That Iím really glad I donít own a Specialized.

  20. #20
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Just curious, but what would be your opinion if you found out that every bike of this model/year looked exactly like this?
    But they're not.
    All of these are nice and flush/even.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=239257-157777
    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=227260-154624
    https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...c.php?t=153364
    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/sp...ne-365019.html
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  21. #21
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    If it were just the slightly larger gap in that one spot from the frame to the bearing cap, I'd maybe say just ride it. But since the wall thickness of the carbon around the bearing is super thin in the same spot, definitely send it back. It looks like the bearing seat is perfectly round, which is good, but the carbon being super thin in that spot is bad quality control. Shouldn't have let that frame out of the factory.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdlbb View Post
    No, Iím not losing races because of it. But say you bought a brand new expensive car and when you picked it up the seam where the hood meets the front quarter panels wasnít flush like itís supposed to be. Say the hood sat proud about a half inch. Is that keeping you from driving to work? No. Does it look like itís supposed to? No. Do cyclist care more than we should about shallow aesthetics? YES.
    I would say that you shouldn't be driving a Tesla...any model. But does it do what its supposed to? Yes very well in fact, if it doesn't catch on fire D)

  23. #23
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    That does not seem normal. I'll double check my sl6 when I get home but don't remember ever noticing a gap like that. From this picture it doesn't look like there is a gap but it isn't a very close up shot. On the shot of the frame before it was built up it doesn't look there is a curve that would form a gap like that though.

    Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_5745s.jpg
    Headset - Is this acceptable on a brand new bike?-img_4588.jpg

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    If it were just the slightly larger gap in that one spot from the frame to the bearing cap, I'd maybe say just ride it. But since the wall thickness of the carbon around the bearing is super thin in the same spot, definitely send it back. It looks like the bearing seat is perfectly round, which is good, but the carbon being super thin in that spot is bad quality control. Shouldn't have let that frame out of the factory.
    Absolutely. Trash.

    Structural failures occur at the weakest spots. With the amazing number of shocks and torsional flex the headset has to handle, the head tube should be stout, top to bottom.

  25. #25
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    looks like crap to me...

    I'd do a 'let me speak to the manager' routine.
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