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Continually loose headset

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
So my road bike has an Edge fork with their carbon expansion plug. Got it nice and covered in some Finish Line carbon paste to keep it from slipping. Edge doesn't give a torque value for it, but I try to keep it pretty snug. The problem is, if I properly pre-load the headset, the thing gets loose in a matter of a few rides, and the expansion plug has slipped a few millimeters. I torque my Thomson stem to spec too. Any ideas on how I can keep that damned plug in the fork, or keeping the headset from coming loose? It seems like once the stem is tight, the headset shouldn't budge. Maybe it's slipping around a bit on the carbon steerer? Anyone had this issue before? Sometimes I wish I had a press-fit headset and a metal steerer....
 

shiggy

Monkey
Oct 3, 2006
155
0
PDX
So my road bike has an Edge fork with their carbon expansion plug. Got it nice and covered in some Finish Line carbon paste to keep it from slipping. Edge doesn't give a torque value for it, but I try to keep it pretty snug. The problem is, if I properly pre-load the headset, the thing gets loose in a matter of a few rides, and the expansion plug has slipped a few millimeters. I torque my Thomson stem to spec too. Any ideas on how I can keep that damned plug in the fork, or keeping the headset from coming loose? It seems like once the stem is tight, the headset shouldn't budge. Maybe it's slipping around a bit on the carbon steerer? Anyone had this issue before? Sometimes I wish I had a press-fit headset and a metal steerer....
The top cap is not meant to hold the HS, just adjust it.


I would try using the carbon paste between the stem and steer tube.
 

oldfart

Turbo Monkey
Jul 5, 2001
1,206
24
North Van
Something else may be off too. If any part of the headset is not quite square it can cause the headset to become loose. In theory only the stem is required to hold the headset in adjustment but in practice both the stem and top cap do contribute. I have a Q20 cross fork (Profile?) and it uses an aluminum sleeve which is epoxied in place and a standard star nut. My sleeve became unglued and the headset would not stay tight. I use a torque wrench too so the stem was done to spec assuming the torque wrench was properly calibrated and I believe it is. So that combo needed both. Reglued the sleeve and it's all good now.

So if the plug is not holding at all, maybe some assembly paste will help. Also how many spacers are you using? It is o=possible I suppose if you have too many that the steer tube is flexing under the stem and above the headset and walking itself loose.
 
Last edited:

Spinarou

Chimp
Dec 7, 2010
1
0
Double check that you have 2-3 mm between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer tube. The steerer should not be flush with the top of the stem. Add an extra spacer (2.5mm) and retorque everything.
 

DhDork

Monkey
Mar 30, 2007
353
0
Hell, AZ
Double check that you have 2-3 mm between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer tube. The steerer should not be flush with the top of the stem. Add an extra spacer (2.5mm) and retorque everything.
I always try and put a spacer on top of the stem. It prevents crushing the top of carbon steerer's. makes sure you get 100% grip on the steerer from the stem, and no risk of overtightening that top bolt and breaking your stem.
 

ltr450rider

Chimp
Jun 17, 2010
43
0
Goleta, CA
Lets cut some threads into that steerer tube and throw on an Origin8 threaded headset. Then all you need is a set of your sisters skinny jeans and we can call it a day!