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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks...

So I had a new bike built, and it uses a Chris King NoThreadset 1" headset. I was trying out different stems, and was using a torque wrench to tighten the headset cap bolt. Unfortunately, I had it set on Nm and not inch/pounds as per the headset guide. As a result, I over-tightened it.

What actually happened was, instead of the bolt getting progressively harder to turn, it just kept turning with the same level of force required to turn it. I pulled off the bolt and cap to look inside, and the star nut was still about 1cm below the top of the steerer tube. The nut looked in good shape, though.

My question - could I possibly have damaged anything in there? The headset still turns fine.

... as I was typing this, the shop that put the bike together called me back (I'd left them a message), and they said the worst that could have happened, given what I described, is that I pulled the star nut up a bit in the steerer, but as long as there is resistance when turning the bolt, and as long as the star nut looks undamaged and is below the top of the steerer, everything is likely fine.

Does this seem like the right diagnosis, folks?

(I should have read more about headsets before attempting to tighten that bolt, I admit - live and learn :) ).

- Tim
 

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Never use a torque wrench to tighten a headset cap bolt. Doesn't matter if it's set to Nm or in-lb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never use a torque wrench to tighten a headset cap bolt. Doesn't matter if it's set to Nm or in-lb.
The instructions for the headset give a torque setting for that bolt, so it LOOKS like they have an idea of how much they think should be applied. You're suggesting to ignore the manufacturer's instructions?

Anyway, besides that advice, do you think any damage could have occurred, given what I said above?

- Tim
 

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Chris King have always been quick and helpful in response to emails. I not had a issue like your's but I bet they have. No shame in contacting them. Their web site will have contact details.

Post picture of your bike when you have the chance.

Good luck.
 

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Never use a torque wrench to tighten a headset cap bolt. Doesn't matter if it's set to Nm or in-lb.
Why not?
 
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You tighten the top cap to eliminate play in the headset which is different than tightening until you reach a specified torque value. I think we had this conversation about a year ago and how a torque spec on a top cap created confusion.
 

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You tighten the top cap to eliminate play in the headset which is different than tightening until you reach a specified torque value. I think we had this conversation about a year ago and how a torque spec on a top cap created confusion.
In other words, tighten until before the point where steering resistance is felt?
 
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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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^This^ Just adjust it properly, don't worry about a number on a torque wrench. Sounds like you pulled the threaded insert in the star nut loose from over tightening. Take the cap off and put the bolt back in and see if it's loose. If it is you can just put another one in on top of it and pound them down to the right spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chris King have always been quick and helpful in response to emails. I not had a issue like your's but I bet they have. No shame in contacting them. Their web site will have contact details.

Post picture of your bike when you have the chance.

Good luck.
I'll give them a call today, thanks!

Here's the bike - it has a Jethro Tull theme (don't laugh! ;-) )... it's a light-tourer/gravel-bike (uses an older drivetrain that I prefer over current trends). Fillet-brazed frame by Steve Rex, paint by Dark Matter Finishing, wrenching by Roaring Mouse Cycles in San Francisco...

479425


479426


479427
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Nice! Rex does great work. Who built your bike...Tom? I used to work with both him and Rodrigo. Great guys.
 

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Looking at that 3rd pic, that looks like a collapsible frame. Am I right?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looking at that 3rd pic, that looks like a collapsible frame. Am I right?
Yeah - I've done a few tours in Europe, and decided that it was easier to lug a bike around that had been taken apart, than to try to get the bike from place to place in a bike box, or even a whole bike. Just is easier all 'round (except for the pain of taking it apart and putting it together).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice! Rex does great work. Who built your bike...Tom? I used to work with both him and Rodrigo. Great guys.
I don't recall - Chris (the owner) told me who was building it, but I forgot. I'll ask him again and report back here.

I agree, great folks working at that shop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice! Rex does great work. Who built your bike...Tom? I used to work with both him and Rodrigo. Great guys.
Ok, I asked Chris. He said that Tom moved to Southern California recently.

The bike was built by Charley Nash, whom Chris says likes working with old-style steel frames.
 
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