Loose threaded headset.

The headset on my CX bike keeps coming loose. I replaced the headset when I rebuilt the bike with a Tange one. It’s not the most expensive one, but I had a matching one on my roadie and it worked fine.

Currently I have to tighten the headset so the steering is reasonably stiff and the headset still loosens up eventually.

The headset has been working loose since I have had the bike (even with the old headset). I think a combination of bumpy riding, and the cable hanger spacer ruining the threads on the forks. I no longer use a cable hanger spacer in the headset. Will rethreading the steerer and possibly replacing the headset solve my problems?

Had this happen on the commuter. Mine was a combination of aluminium top nut + steel steerer + being (over)tightened over a number of years meant the softer thread had expanded and would never grip. If yours was new, I dont see this being an issue. Running a hanger shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you’ve got enough of the top nut threaded on (couple of turns?) Got a notched washer in there?

Interested to hear resolution.

TC: this happened to me and I eventually realised one of the bearing cages was in upside down.

I was actually thinking this may be the case too… I’ll pull the headset apart tonight. I’ve been hesitant to do this because I’ll probably have to disconnect my brake and shifter cables, which are set up perfectly.

do you just tighten the top nut when you adjust it?

or do you hold the top cup (which holds the bearing racers) and then tighten the top nut?

Hold the top cup, tighten the top nut.

Like v-brakes over canti’s, I didn’t miss threaded headsets once threadless came out, particually in mtb.
Of course everything still has it’s place on older or period style bikes.

If all else fails try a small amount of plumbers thread tape.

Whilst one of the most over-rated parts of a bicycle, I still love a silver, shiny 1" threaded headset.


Buy a Giant.

Or buy this from me, it replaces the top nut and has a ring that gets clamped down onto the steerer.:

Do you have it in black?

Is the fork steerer perhaps a smidge too long? Try adding another small spacer and see how that works …

Funnily enough, my wife had a Giant Kronos with a locking topnut, just like yours Blakey. Go figure… JLN, defs time to buy a Giant.

I think the steerer is the right length, I did have a few different sized spacers that I was trying. I haven’t had a chance to pull it apart yet because its been too damn hot here to do any bike stuff. I’ll have a look tomorrow night.

My method to tighting up a threaded head set is… Tighten the top cone down a touch over tight. Then tighten the top nut down on to the top cone, next take your headset spanner and turn the top cone back into the top nut… This will set the preload right and get the cone and nut locked into each other nicely plus it only requires one headset spanner… You could just use one of these instead though

i love these zoltan help threads

i had this problem for ages and couldn’t figure it out. turned out, my cheapo headset was 1" JIS and the frame was made for 1" ISO. Only a .2mm difference, but it was enough for the headset cups to have a little play in them, which eventually caused the top nut to work loose.

you are probably smarter than me and actually bought the correct part though…

Don’t be so sure.

Ride the Cannondale between now and next Tuesday.
Tighten headset before the race Tuesday night.
Replace headset Wednesday night and worry about front brake after that.

Do like the plumbers tape solution.