Can't tighten Chris King HS properly - loose

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  • Really desparate here.

    Bought unused 1 1/8 Chris King headset for my brand new Mash Work V3 frame.
    Had the fork steerer shortened and headset installed profesionally in my local bike shop.

    Since day one (and that's few months now) I'm having trouble with tightening the headset properly.
    Upon closer inspection, everything looks as it should, but once you start riding and ride over something bumpy, you can feel/hear the annoying hollow sound of loose headset.

    As I said, everything look like is installed properly, there's enough grease, top spacer and top cap bolt are long enough.

    I took it apart so many times already, but just can't get it right...

    Would anybody have an idea what's wrong with it/ what I'm doing wrong?

    Thanks so much...


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  • have you. tried a taller spacer at the top?

  • Is the star nut moving?

    You are loosening the stem bolts before applying the pre load on the top cap??

  • Will test that out.

    If that's the problem, I'm dumb.

  • if your top cap is recessed then it might be bottoming out on the top of the steer tube

  • had this issue spent months trying to work out why the headset was loose, turned out to be the front wheel bearings were loose and needed replacing, that was causing a loose feeling in the whole steering dept

    worth a try, sometimes the location of a rattle klonk ting can be difficult to pin down

  • Tried all above. Nothing worked.

    Added another spacer on top, star nut is in place and not moving, top cap is little recessed, but it's not touching the tube, tried different front wheel...

  • Something prevented the compression ring from seating down properly onto the bearing?

    Incidentally have you pinned the loose sound down to a loose headset (turn front wheel sideways and rock the bike forward and backward feeling for play between the stem and headtube)?

  • Is there anything more than a sound?
    After a ride, when you think it’s loose, if you apply the front brake firmly and rock the bike forward and backward, can you see or feel any movement in the headset? You should be able to hold your fingers over where the bearing cover meets the cup or just watch closely to see if they’re moving separately

  • Preload the ‘set with your own weight. See what happens when you ride.

  • is the lip on the crown race big enough?

    Also are you riding with the frame bag on every time, and do you have CO2 in the frame bag?

  • Ok, the crown race might be the problem.

    I haven’t checked it yet, but now realised that I’ve used crown race from different CK as the one I bought was missing one.

    I’ll inspect that soon.

  • Will this work? Read on here that these are compatible with CKs.

    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/headsets/fsa­-headset-orbit-xlii-crown-race-for-1-18-­inch/

  • Is it not just the shit scuff washer failing to do its job? Or is this one running a proper preload wedge?

  • not sure they're compatible as they need to be the same angle (usually 45 or 36 degrees) but get a spilt one what ever you get, as they just slot on or off and don't need to be unnecessarily bashed either way.

  • Certainly looks like the crown race is wrong. It should look like this:


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  • has this been resolved?

  • Apologies for the silence.

    Got so frustrated about it, with trying everything above and nothing helping.

    Luckly, today went to SBC and @broken_777 was in who did a thorough inspection.

    Found out that top bit of headset is missing rubber oring.

    Tried a top cap from a different Chris King and rattling stopped.

    Thanks for everyones advices!


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Can't tighten Chris King HS properly - loose

Posted by Avatar for DragunovCZ1 @DragunovCZ1

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