Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,

Today I noticed on my Cannondale Supersix 105 Compact Road Bike Replica (2012) headset started to come loose when out cycling. The handlebars would slip into awkward cycling positions. It wasn't critical and I got home. I tightened it so that the handlebars didn't rotate.

The problem I am having is that there is a small rocking motion when I apply pressure on the handle bars (especially the bottom handlebars).

I think I got the headset to stop slipping around but there is some play further back where the headset is connected to the frame (I think its called the stem cap). I have two Allen keys that fit the stem cap but its already a tight fit and I cannot get rid of the play in the headset?

Any ideas ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
hi,

Today I noticed on my Cannondale Supersix 105 Compact Road Bike Replica (2012) headset started to come loose when out cycling. The handlebars would slip into awkward cycling positions. It wasn't critical and I got home. I tightened it so that the handlebars didn't rotate.

The problem I am having is that there is a small rocking motion when I apply pressure on the handle bars (especially the bottom handlebars).

I think I got the headset to stop slipping around but there is some play further back where the headset is connected to the frame (I think its called the stem cap). I have two Allen keys that fit the stem cap but its already a tight fit and I cannot get rid of the play in the headset?

Any ideas ?
Let me preface by saying it's a little difficult to follow your description ...

When you say the handlebars are rotating? Do you mean rotating about the steerer (the stem is sliding on the steerer), or along the stem (the handlebars are rotating in the stem clamp)? I'm guessing the steerer.

Are you saying the fork has play (up/down movement)? Is there play where the fork meets the headtube? If so, you need to loosen the stem bolts (on the steerer), then tighten the top cap until all play is gone in the fork, and then re-torque the stem bolts (alternating, and to proper torque specs).
 

·
Pathlete and Pedalphile
Joined
·
3,182 Posts
The allen bolt on your stem cap is what sets your bearing preload. Loosen the two stem bolts, tighten the stem cap bolt until there is no more play in your headset (hold your front brake on and try rocking headset back and forth). Don't tighten so much that your headset is binding. Tighten and torque the two stem bolts and you're good to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I grab the handle bars in the lower grip position while standing next to the bike I can lift the handlebars up slightly.

I can see the play at the stem of the top cap where there is a piece of plastic funnel shaped. The only thing that can be touched around is stem cap but its already tight.

From what I can read I have to loosen with the bigger Allen key then tighten with the smaller allen key (the inside part of the stem) ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
If I grab the handle bars in the lower grip position while standing next to the bike I can lift the handlebars up slightly.

I can see the play at the stem of the top cap where there is a piece of plastic funnel shaped. The only thing that can be touched around is stem cap but its already tight.

From what I can read I have to loosen with the bigger Allen key then tighten with the smaller allen key (the inside part of the stem) ?
Wait, you aren't loosening the compression plug of a carbon steerer, are you? When you say "inside of stem", are you putting your allen through the top of of the top cap (a hole shaped like an allen wrench), and then trying to loosen/tighten a smaller bolt inside?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I haven't done anything yet. I am just figuring out what I can do about it
I'm assuming you have a carbon steerer? I don't know the SystemSix headset, or what you're using, but if it's similar to the CAAD10, there's a compression plug that expands within the steerer, and the bolt that expands/contracts this plug is visible through the hex wrench hole in the top cap. Do not mess with this compression plug bolt. To adjust the top cap, use the larger allen in the top cap hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes its a full carbon bike.

I may have to go to the LBS and have them take a look at it but don't want to pay the cash. I have a spare stem cap that I bought but didn't use. The two allen keys fit and you can see how it expands inside. I guess that would stop the movement but I am unsure about even touching it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Yes its a full carbon bike.

I may have to go to the LBS and have them take a look at it but don't want to pay the cash. I have a spare stem cap that I bought but didn't use. The two allen keys fit and you can see how it expands inside. I guess that would stop the movement but I am unsure about even touching it.
Most likely your safest move is to take it to the shop. This is definitely true if you don't own a torque wrench.

Is the compression plug actually loose inside the steerer? Who tuned this headset last?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When I got the bike new I assembled it out of a box. In the beginning I had a sore neck (and still do sometimes) so I tried to loosen the stem cap and raise the headset . It was awkward and I gave up on raising it and thought I put it back the way I got it.

Its only today that under close examination that I noticed the play. The roads have been poor. Maybe the play has been there for a while or not I can't tell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
When I got the bike new I assembled it out of a box. In the beginning I had a sore neck (and still do sometimes) so I tried to loosen the stem cap and raise the headset . It was awkward and I gave up on raising it and thought I put it back the way I got it.

Its only today that under close examination that I noticed the play. The roads have been poor. Maybe the play has been there for a while or not I can't tell.
You didn't answer if the compression plug is loose.

Frankly, I don't understand how you assembled a (carbon) bike from scratch, but don't understand how to adjust/tighten the headset?? Did you use a torque wrench? Did you cut the steerer yourself? When you raised the stem, how much steerer was left in the stem? So many questions. I think you should take a picture of the headset area and post it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You didn't answer if the compression plug is loose.

Frankly, I don't understand how you assembled a (carbon) bike from scratch, but don't understand how to adjust/tighten the headset?? Did you use a torque wrench? Did you cut the steerer yourself? When you raised the stem, how much steerer was left in the stem? So many questions. I think you should take a picture of the headset area and post it.
No the compression plug is not loose. I find it a bit confusing as it is tight when I used both Allen Keys on it but there is still play in the headset.

I had no problem putting the bike together. There was only a few big parts that came in the box to be assembled. The Allen keys felt right when applying pressure and I had it together without any hassle.

I only used Allen keys and no wrench of any kind.

I didn't want to mess around with the headset too much when I couldn't raise it easy. Maybe I might have introduced the play in the headset myself when attempting to raise the headset's height. I'm not sure if it will do the bike any damage.

I will have to go to the LBS Tuesday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
No the compression plug is not loose. I find it a bit confusing as it is tight when I used both Allen Keys on it but there is still play in the headset.

I had no problem putting the bike together. There was only a few big parts that came in the box to be assembled. The Allen keys felt right when applying pressure and I had it together without any hassle.

I only used Allen keys and no wrench of any kind.

I didn't want to mess around with the headset too much when I couldn't raise it easy. Maybe I might have introduced the play in the headset myself when attempting to raise the headset's height. I'm not sure if it will do the bike any damage.

I will have to go to the LBS Tuesday.
A torque wrench is used in combination with a number of interfaces (sockets), including allen keys. It helps ensure you don't apply too much stress to bolts, steerers, the frame, etc. This is especially important for carbon. For instance, see the torque spec below on the compression plug? 6.8Nm. If you over-torque that bolt, you can expand it and crack your carbon steerer. Likewise, if you apply too much torque to your stem steerer bolts, you can also crack the steerer. And it doesn't take much ... they are typically speced for 5Nm.

Just curious ... how exactly did you raise your stem? You were provided spacers? And by how much? There are a number of issues here. Potentially too many spacers under the stem can cause issues for carbon steerers. You may have also had limited contact between the stem and the steerer by raising it too high. I'm just guessing because I don't know how high you tried to raise it. Ideally, the steerer should be about 2-3mm below the top of the stem, with NO spacers on top of the stem (this is a Cannondale specific thing with the top cap).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
No the compression plug is not loose. I find it a bit confusing as it is tight when I used both Allen Keys on it but there is still play in the headset.
You need to clarify. When you say you "use both Allen keys" ... both on what? The top cap is only one allen bolt. If the compression plug is tight, and properly positioned, you should be able to loosen the two stem bolts (around the steerer), tighten down the top cap with the ONE allen wrench, and then re-tighten the stem bolts (with a torque wrench). If the top cap is not pulling the headset tight, then most likely either your compression plug is loose (you say it's not), OR you have the compression plug positioned too high (so the top cap is running into the plug when tightened), OR your steerer is too high in the stem (closer than say 1-2mm below the top of the stem) and the top cap is hitting the top of the steerer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A torque wrench is used in combination with a number of interfaces (sockets), including allen keys. It helps ensure you don't apply too much stress to bolts, steerers, the frame, etc. This is especially important for carbon. For instance, see the torque spec below on the compression plug? 6.8Nm. If you over-torque that bolt, you can expand it and crack your carbon steerer. Likewise, if you apply too much torque to your stem steerer bolts, you can also crack the steerer. And it doesn't take much ... they are typically speced for 5Nm.

Just curious ... how exactly did you raise your stem? You were provided spacers? And by how much? There are a number of issues here. Potentially too many spacers under the stem can cause issues for carbon steerers. You may have also had limited contact between the stem and the steerer by raising it too high. I'm just guessing because I don't know how high you tried to raise it. Ideally, the steerer should be about 2-3mm below the top of the stem, with NO spacers on top of the stem (this is a Cannondale specific thing with the top cap).
A torque wrench is pretty handy but I didn't want to invest in one as I didn't think I would be changing the bike too much.

I don't have any spacers and never got the stem out. It looks like there is not much room for spacers though. I was more taking a look at what I could adjust that actually making the change. I think after a few turns of the allen key I got a gut feeling that it was not really designed to be adjusted that easy and I left it.

When I have my hands on the top bar I don't get a sore neck but when I have my hands on the lower bar I get a sharp pain and did want to change that but I was thinking of leaving it.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top