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SlowSchmoe
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bike is a Caad10. The steerer tube seems like it is too small diameter-wise by around a millimeter, so I can move it even with the headset tightened down. The headset is cannondale oem. Is there a spacer that needs to be used? I'm already using the split spacer/shim.
 

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If the top cap has bottomed out before the headset has sufficient preload, then that's exactly what happens.

Perhaps the expander plug moved.

If expander plug is correctly located, either shorten steerer to Cannondale spec or add spacer to achieve Cannondale spec.
 

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SlowSchmoe
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried those but no luck. I could even tighten the headset to the point where it's hard to turn the handlebars, but I could still get some side to side/fore aft movement of the steerer tube within the head.
 

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Presumably it hasn't always been like this? Did you do anything, like change bearings for instance?
 

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I've tried those but no luck. I could even tighten the headset to the point where it's hard to turn the handlebars, but I could still get some side to side/fore aft movement of the steerer tube within the head.
Please clarify this. Are you saying that there is a visible gap around the steerer tube and that the steerer tube can therefore slap back and forth within the HEADSET? Tightening the top cap would have nothing to do with this. Tightening the top cap is to preload the bearings and it SOUNDS like your bearings aren't actually touching the steerer tube.

If that is the case then it seems like you have the wrong headset for your frame or the wrong fork steerer tube for your frame/headset.
 

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SlowSchmoe
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Please clarify this. Are you saying that there is a visible gap around the steerer tube and that the steerer tube can therefore slap back and forth within the HEADSET? Tightening the top cap would have nothing to do with this. Tightening the top cap is to preload the bearings and it SOUNDS like your bearings aren't actually touching the steerer tube.

If that is the case then it seems like you have the wrong headset for your frame or the wrong fork steerer tube for your frame/headset.
Yes. This is what I am confused about because the the headset is oem Cannondale.
 

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The story of how this came to be might help.

Still too little info provided to help you.

Perhaps take it all apart and show us with a picture of the bits.
 

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hello
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Sounds to me like the assembly was taken apart and reassembled incorrectly or with perhaps a part missing...?
Did you install a new or different stem other than oem?
 

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OP mentions that he's concerned about the diameter of the steer tube. Unless I'm missing something (I've only installed a dozen or so forks/headsets), the diameter is standard and really has nothing to do with the movement he's describing. It's the vertical pressure between the bottom bearings between the fork crown and the head tube that is adjusted by the top cap pulling up on the expander plug that sets the fork - the diameter of the steer tube itself has nothing to do with it.

Unless, maybe? he's got a straight steertube in a tapered head tube?

Pictures? more description and history - like when did this problem start? New to you bike? new fork? New headset?
 

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I'm guessing there should be a conical split ring that sits on top of the inner race of the top headset bearing that's missing or installed incorrectly.
 

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SlowSchmoe
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Circle Silver Nickel Aluminium Bottle cap
There's not really many parts to put together. So bearing on bottom, bearing on top, spilt ring goes on top of top bearing, then headset cone (Im using a lower profile headset cone and some micro-shims). Race goes on fork. Stock caad10 fork on stock caad10 frame. I'll try to take a picture tonight after work lol. Maybe the split ring is out of spec.... I don't know when this all started but I just noticed it when rolling the bike forward-backward with the front brake on one day.
 

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Well, you have said "OEM Cannondale" and that's clearly not the case.

Perhaps the lower cap you are using is not bearing properly on the split ring (and I'm assuming that you know which way the split ring goes).

Or perhaps the bearings have replaced with incorrect ones? And therefore don't seat properly. Any lettering on the bearings?
 

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SlowSchmoe
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How do I know i know if it is bearing properly on the split ring? At least for me there is noticeable vertical play here. And I can tighten the headset down where turning is harder and still have a tiny gap between facing edges of headtube and headset cover. And really the split ring can only be installed one way because if it's upside down then you'll have a sizeable gap under the headset cover. The bearings are the original ones from the cannondale headset kit and have not been replaced. I'll check for lettering later. Thanks!
 

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Hard to fix some things over the internet.

spilt ring goes on top of top bearing, then headset cone (Im using a lower profile headset cone and some micro-shims)
The split ring goes into the bearing.

That's not a lower profile cone. There should be a stock top cap (low profile), plus a tall cap if you want it.

And the tall Cane Creek cap is not "stock"

How do I know i know if it is bearing properly on the split ring? At least for me there is noticeable vertical play here.
If the split ring is not being compressed into the top bearing, then you would have exactly the side play that you described originally.

And obviously there should not be any vertical play.

Is there a reasonably knowledgeable LBS you can take it to? Not safe as is.
 

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One thing to note is that Cannondale officially requires ZERO space above the stem. I've seen problems with the headset coming loose with too many spacers above it a few times. If you keep tightening the bearing you have crushed it hence the "indexed" steering feel. I would recommend the following course of action

1 - Make sure bearings are smooth.
2 - Install stem without any spacers on top (making sure there is a little space below the top of the stem and the steerer tube so you can get proper compression) and see if it works fine.
 

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Unless specs have changed, CAAD 10's came with Tange Seiki headsets and FSA/Si expander plugs. Cane Creek and Tange Seiki may have different clearance/specs, causing your compatibility issue. Try installing the original top bearing cover that came with your bike.
 

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Take your head tube and wrap it at the loose bearing with that metal mechanical duct tape to add 1mm. You're good to go!
 
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