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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that there is some play in the area where I'm pointing in this photo:


If I put one hand on the frame and another on the wheel, I can move the fork around some. It doesn't seem to be affecting my riding but I have no idea if it's supposed to be like this. This is a mail order bike that I had my LBS assemble for me.

I doubt it would have anything to do with it, but I tightened the three screws where I've circled in white:


Thanks for any input/advice!
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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your headset is loose. which means your LBS is 'doing it wrong'. you need to loosen the 2 bolts (bolts...bicycles don't have 'screws')on the stem that tighten it on the steerer tube. they are the ones that use a 4mm allen wrench. then tighten the bolt that goes through the top cap until the play is gone. rock the bike back and forth while holding the front brake to determine if you've done this. then tighten the 2 bolts on the stem back up, to 5nm. do NOT ride the bike like this, it will quickly ruin the headset bearings.
 

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What the what???
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Others with more experience can certainly disagree, but try this.

1.) Loosen those bolts you just tightened on the side of the stem.
2.) Once the stem is loose, tighten just the bolt on top (the top cap) until there is no more play in the headset. Stand over the bike, engage the front brake, and you'll feel if there is still any play or not.
3.) Once you've removed the play in the headset, reposition the stem where you want it and retighten the bolts on the sides.

dang, cxwrench beat me to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a lot guys!! Problem fixed. I had the right idea originally with the *bolts* but didn't realize I had to loosen the two side ones before tightening the top one.

I have ridden many miles with it like this. Hopefully there's no permanent damage. At times I've noticed a bit of wobble on high speed descents. I'm hoping this tightening may help with this.

My 2002 Jamis also had a loose headset. I followed these steps and it's much better. There might be a slight bit of looseness still but this a much older bike with who knows how many miles ridden in the loose condition.

Ironically, my oldest bike, the 2000 Specialized, has a completely tight headset that doesn't need any attention.

It is strange that the Motobecane that my LBS put together in the Fall of 2011 would have such a loose headset. I guess it wasn't put together correctly.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the help!!!
 

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lol does it really matter? Both are the same to me ;p
OMG......................to an engineer, they are hugely different. If you tried to tell an ME they were the same, he'd likely start to shake and shutter in the sheer shock of it all. :cool:
 

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Technically, you got it backward. Bikes have screws and very few bolts. The difference between a screw and a bolt by The Engineer
The "engineer" who wrote this was apparently trying to use this as an opportunity to push his own view on this pet peeve. The explanation at the link falls apart pretty quickly once we consider the inclusion of self-tapping fasteners into the category of "screws". The article at the link also mentions that issue, but fails to coherently address it.

Meanwhile, the proper terminology is much more simple and logical: "screw" is a common name for all threaded and headed fasteners. Everything is a screw. Different kinds of screws can be used

1) in self-tapping applications when the thread is made in the material being joined,
2) in pre-threaded applications when the thread is made in the material being joined (no nuts)
3) with nuts, i.e. in pre-threaded applications when the thread is a part of two-part fastener

Each application requires a special kind of fastener. American English terminology uses aggregate terms like "self-tapping screw" or "sheet metal screw" for the 1st kind, and uses the term "bolt" for the 3rd kind. But it never bothered to develop separate term for the 2nd kind of screw, which is what causes the confusion. Other languages often contain dedicated terms for each category (like, for example, in Russian 1 is "шуруп" ("shurup"), 2 is "винт" ("vint") and 3 is "болт" ("bolt").

So, every bolted assembly has a screw in it. But I agree, a modern road bike does not have many bolts on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The "engineer" who wrote this was apparently trying to use this as an opportunity to push his own view on this pet peeve. The explanation at the link falls apart pretty quickly once we consider the inclusion of self-tapping fasteners into the category of "screws". The article at the link also mentions that issue, but fails to coherently address it.

Meanwhile, the proper terminology is much more simple and logical: "screw" is a common name for all threaded and headed fasteners. Everything is a screw. Different kinds of screws can be used

1) in self-tapping applications when the thread is made in the material being joined,
2) in pre-threaded applications when the thread is made in the material being joined (no nuts)
3) with nuts, i.e. in pre-threaded applications when the thread is a part of two-part fastener

Each application requires a special kind of fastener. American English terminology uses aggregate terms like "self-tapping screw" or "sheet metal screw" for the 1st kind, and uses the term "bolt" for the 3rd kind. But it never bothered to develop separate term for the 2nd kind of screw, which is what causes the confusion. Other languages often contain dedicated terms for each category (like, for example, in Russian 1 is "шуруп" ("shurup"), 2 is "винт" ("vint") and 3 is "болт" ("bolt").

So, every bolted assembly has a screw in it. But I agree, a modern road bike does not have many bolts on it.
So, I was correct to call them screws?
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Yes, you were.

As long as one's not trying to use the term "screw" in restrictive assertions (as in "this one's a screw, but that one's a bolt, not a screw") it is virtually impossible to be wrong here. Everything is a screw.
i guess every bike mechanic around is wrong, 'cuz we all refer to them as bolts. i guess it's like chain 'stretch'.
 

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i guess every bike mechanic around is wrong, 'cuz we all refer to them as bolts. i guess it's like chain 'stretch'.
As I said above, screw is a generic term. There's nothing wrong with referring to a screw with a nut on it as bolt, the latter being a specific term that refers to a specific application of a screw.

What I meant as wrong is arguments in which people try to argue whether it is a screw or a bolt, implying that these terms are mutually exclusive. They aren't. It is like standing in front of an oak and arguing whether it is a tree or an oak.
 

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As I said above, screw is a generic term. There's nothing wrong with referring to a screw with a nut on it as bolt, the latter being a specific term that refers to a specific application of a screw.

What I meant as wrong is arguments in which people try to argue whether it is a screw or a bolt, implying that these terms are mutually exclusive. They aren't. It is like standing in front of an oak and arguing whether it is a tree or an oak.
As an engineer with 30+ yrs experience, I really liked this and Andrey's earlier post.

Otherwise I will have to start torquing cylinder head SCREWS on my next engine build, and that just sounds so wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is This Supposed to Be Regular Maintenance?

I tightened the headsets of both bikes in April. I checked them recently and noticed that both were a bit loose again. The Jamis I was able to get 100% tight again but the Motobecane still has a bit of play despite my turning the bolts (screws) as tight as possible.

Is it normal that they would loosen in 4 months?

Is it normal there would still be a bit of play despite my tightening the bolts?

Thanks for any insight!
 

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If it loosens, you didn't get the stem bolts (screws?) tight enough. If they are tightened properly, the stem won't move on the steerer tube, and the headset won't loosen.

There should be no play, but you don't get rid of it by tightening the stem bolts. You do that with the top cap, and THEN tighten the other bolts to hold the adjustment. If adjustment of the top cap (with the stem bolts loosened) can't get you adjusted properly, then you may have one of the problems nhluhr mentioned.
 
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