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Thread: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

  1. #1
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    Default Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    After having to re-load the headset and retorque the stem about a half-dozen or dozen times since building up my MTB in rigid mode (carbon fork steerer) and checking the different variables, I did more hunting around on the web and I think it might be the stem plain ol' not gripping. Whiskey carbon fork, Thomson X4. I've heard a lot of the same thing when going rigid, X4 won't grip people's carbon steerers. I haven't used cf assembly paste yet, but most other experiences I've heard ended in just needing a different stem no matter what people did in that department.

    Looking at Pauls. They look OK, but $$$ for something pretty basic/functional. I like the idea of ti, but how do we feel about the application? (rigid SSXCMTB). Like my ti handlebars, would you think it would last longer than cf or al?

    And, I'll be hunting around ebay or something, can't call up Firefly or Moots for one, unfortunately. The J&Ls from Taiwan look nice. Anyone tried one?

    TIA,
    JZ Out.

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    Obviously, try the carbon paste first.

    After that, perhaps try scuffing the inside of the stem with sandpaper? Even 400 grit would be better than nothing.

    If the stem is truly the cause and you don't want to ruin the sell-ability of the stem, then I suggest buying a cheapo POS stem just to prove the concept that another aluminum stem will work. THEN move on to try a Ti stem if you desire.

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    Steel fork w/ 200 grs aluminum or steel stem.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    You may have done this as part of your "checking the different variables" process, but are you absolutely sure it isn't something like just needing an extra little spacer to ensure that things are not bottoming out when the compression is set? I once had a set up where the headset appeared to be adjusted properly ( no play yet moved freely) when on the stand and on the ground. But after a ride or two play would show up. I added a 2.5 spacer and the issue was solved.
    In other words if the steerer were ~1mm shorter I would have never seen the issue occur.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    Quote Originally Posted by Bewheels View Post
    You may have done this as part of your "checking the different variables" process, but are you absolutely sure it isn't something like just needing an extra little spacer to ensure that things are not bottoming out when the compression is set? I once had a set up where the headset appeared to be adjusted properly ( no play yet moved freely) when on the stand and on the ground. But after a ride or two play would show up. I added a 2.5 spacer and the issue was solved.
    In other words if the steerer were ~1mm shorter I would have never seen the issue occur.
    Beat me to it. I had this exact same problem on my Ti-Carbon Firefly with ENVE fork and Ti Firefly stem. It was constantly coming loose. I added a 1mm anodized spacer from them to guarantee that I was getting the compression properly set and I havenít had a problem in the subsequent 10K miles.

    If thatís really not it, Iíd try a cheap Ritchey or something just to rule out the X4.

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    I have had this problem recently. Tried different stems, different spacers, different forks, etc. The common denominator is the headset and frame. The frame is a Surly that's a few months old. The cups pressed in smoothly with no gaps. I think the Cane Creek 40 headset bearings may be damaged or the crown race is worn unevenly.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: Loosening headset mid ride --> stem a problem --> need a new (Ti?) stem

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I have had this problem recently. Tried different stems, different spacers, different forks, etc. The common denominator is the headset and frame. The frame is a Surly that's a few months old. The cups pressed in smoothly with no gaps. I think the Cane Creek 40 headset bearings may be damaged or the crown race is worn unevenly.
    I am having trouble w/ the bottom races of a cane creek S2 headset. It creaks like crazy unless i tighten it too hard. I will have to replace it w/ something else. I find their headsets a bit on flimsy side of lightweight.
    I came here for the socks.

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