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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wobble in headset after tighening

HI

I own a Cannondale Super Six 105 (ultegra now) Carbon 2012 bike and I can't stop the wobble in the front head set. If I tighten down the top cap I can get rid of the wobble but I cannot move the wheels freely with the handlebars.

I stripped it down - cleaned it and assembled it again but its still wobbly after tightening the inner 5mm allen key.

Do I need a new headset ? KP044 I think.

The bearings move around nice and easy but the compression ring feels very rough.

The bike is 4 years old, 30,000+km cycled on it. Would a new KP044 fix it for me or could the bike be kaput ? Also if I cycle on (1-2 weeks) with a wobble will it do damage to the frame ?
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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4 years and you still post this in GD? Post in the correct section, you'll get better results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you make sure to loosen the stem before tightening the top cap?
Yes I made sure to do that. I have seen a number of videos. loosen the stem bolts first before trying to tighten inside the top cap

I don't know how to move this thread... maybe I need to re post it.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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You can't move it. Don't bother re-posting either.

How can the bearings move freely but the compression ring feel rough? Sounds like you need to go to the local bike shop and have someone show you how to adjust it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went to the local bike shop today - I showed them the inside of the headset. They said get a new headset ( like KP044 ) or think about flogging the bike since its getting on.

They weren't sure if a new headset would fix it, its like the bike sits up on the frame but then slips down into a lower position.
 

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Don't know if this LBS is totally incompetent or just putting you on as a way of selling you a new bike.

I'll say one thing - based on your description - it's not the bearings. You have assembled and/or adjusted it incorrectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don't know if this LBS is totally incompetent or just putting you on as a way of selling you a new bike.

I'll say one thing - based on your description - it's not the bearings. You have assembled and/or adjusted it incorrectly.
The main bike guy was on his lunch break so just the sales effort. I reckon the parts are worn but ok.

I think the headset is more complex than the standard - loosen the stem bolts then tighten the inside 5mm top cap - job. There is a bit of a fiddle to do when tightening the 5mm and 6mm top cap.

I just ordered a new €50 head set from here :

https://www.westbrookcycles.co.uk/cannondale-supersix-headset-kp044-p210925

I will try them and then the lbs... hopefully its nothing more serious like the bike is getting on.
 

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Others know the specifics of Cannondale Super Six headsets, but when I used to run into this problem, there was another adjustment inside the stem that set up bearings, not the dust cap on top of the stem. Fuji had an allen screw inside the stem that adjusted bearing clearance.

I say this because: if headset is too loose [wobbly] and when you adjust it is too tight [binding], there's a point in between that would be just right! If the bearings are trashed, you can readily feel roughness by turning it in your hand. If not still rough in loose setting, the bearing is still good.

Definitely check that out before throwing the baby out with the bath water. :yesnod:
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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The main bike guy was on his lunch break so just the sales effort. I reckon the parts are worn but ok.

I think the headset is more complex than the standard - loosen the stem bolts then tighten the inside 5mm top cap - job. There is a bit of a fiddle to do when tightening the 5mm and 6mm top cap.

I just ordered a new €50 head set from here :

https://www.westbrookcycles.co.uk/cannondale-supersix-headset-kp044-p210925

I will try them and then the lbs... hopefully its nothing more serious like the bike is getting on.
They're pretty much all the same and all very easy. Never trust a sales guy to do a mechanic's job. I won't let our sales guys touch tools.
 

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Others know the specifics of Cannondale Super Six headsets, but when I used to run into this problem, there was another adjustment inside the stem that set up bearings, not the dust cap on top of the stem. Fuji had an allen screw inside the stem that adjusted bearing clearance.

I say this because: if headset is too loose [wobbly] and when you adjust it is too tight [binding], there's a point in between that would be just right! If the bearings are trashed, you can readily feel roughness by turning it in your hand. If not still rough in loose setting, the bearing is still good.

Definitely check that out before throwing the baby out with the bath water. :yesnod:
CX already said. There's nothing special or complicated about a SS headset. I have one.

Unless the lower bearing has totally disintegrated, the system is not going to be "wobbly". And OP said the bearings move around "nice and easy".

Did you read the thread at all??
 

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Did you read the thread at all??
:nono: Yes, sweetheart, I read the thread. :wink: CX made a comment about headsets in general, the way I read it. Nobody made it clear the standard headset scheme was what is on the Super Six.

What I said about testing the bearings in your hands is still accurate. Worn out bearings do not move around "nice and easy."

But guess it's too late to fix it. When in doubt, replace the sucker! Ohhh…kay. :frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They're pretty much all the same and all very easy. Never trust a sales guy to do a mechanic's job. I won't let our sales guys touch tools.
The headset will arrive this week, until then I will use my indoor trainer.

I'm going to swap all the old headset pieces with the new headset piece piece for piece - then tighten the 5mm followed by the 6mm and finally finish with the stems. Hopefully it will be good enough.


The sales guy is part of a big warehouse, the cycle in only one small part of the store. The other LBS which is totally bike oriented small and just mechanic guys there. I'll try it again if the new headset doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Now I'm wondering WTH is going on since our OP posted an almost identical thread 3 years ago. Cannondale Supersix headset rocking when pressure applied
I assembled the bike myself when I bought it 4 odd years ago and wasn't 100% sure on how everything fitted together, correct torque etc back then, pretty newbie. I got there in the end but the headset isn't something I fully worked out, I know enough of the rest of the bike.

Its been to the LBS many times since then and usually the headset gets tightened but it has to be redone often and they can never actually tell me what i need to do . Maybe the bike came with a missing bearing somewhere - like at the bottom.
 

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When you get the new one, take it to the little bike shop with the mech and they will put it together like it is suppose to be, not like you did/do it. It will be problem free for years.
 

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I assembled the bike myself when I bought it 4 odd years ago and wasn't 100% sure on how everything fitted together, correct torque etc back then, pretty newbie. I got there in the end but the headset isn't something I fully worked out, I know enough of the rest of the bike.

Its been to the LBS many times since then and usually the headset gets tightened but it has to be redone often and they can never actually tell me what i need to do . Maybe the bike came with a missing bearing somewhere - like at the bottom.
Zero chance of this if you've ridden it this long and it's been worked on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Zero chance of this if you've ridden it this long and it's been worked on.
Yes your right, double checking the KP044 there is only 3 rings - the orange bottom one, a top bearing and the compression ring. The compression ring probably has given its all so a new one of them will probably help at least.

View attachment 314798

The bottom bearing doesn't lift off.
 

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When you get the new one, take it to the little bike shop with the mech and they will put it together like it is suppose to be, not like you did/do it. It will be problem free for years.
I agree with duriel here. Something was wrong from the get go here with the installation of this headset. I am all for DIY, but its worth the money to take it to a knowledgeable shop
 

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The main bike guy was on his lunch break so just the sales effort. I reckon the parts are worn but ok.

I think the headset is more complex than the standard - loosen the stem bolts then tighten the inside 5mm top cap - job. There is a bit of a fiddle to do when tightening the 5mm and 6mm top cap.

I just ordered a new €50 head set from here :

https://www.westbrookcycles.co.uk/cannondale-supersix-headset-kp044-p210925

I will try them and then the lbs... hopefully its nothing more serious like the bike is getting on.
I think you are doing it wrong. The 5mm is for securing the plug inside the steerer tube. The 6mm is for the top cap preload adjustments. You shouldn't have to do anything to the 5mm once the plug is secured in place.

The steerer plug needs to be far enough down that you can tighten the top cap correctly. And the top spacer or stem must be higher than the top of the steerer so that the top cap has room to do it's job. These may be your problems.

And your previous thread's responses covered the subject. Why is this still a problem?

At most, you needed replacement bearings, not a new plug, new top cap, new bearing cap.
 
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