Why is my MTB headset loose?

How tight should MTB headset be?

When tightening the headset top cap it MUST push down on the stem, or the spacer above it, and not the fork column itself (the top cap pushes down on the headset which tightens it up). Do up the headset top cap until it is just tight — at this point you should be unable to turn your stem spacers. Do not overtighten it.

Can you ride a bike with a loose headset?

A loose headset may damage or destroy the fork steerer or headtube. Riding a loose headset is extremely detrimental to bearing lifespan. If you suspect a loose headset feel for a “clunk”, “knock” or “click” in the front end of the bike. Pull the front brake and rock the bike back and forth.

Is my headset too loose?

If your headset is loose you’ll feel a knocking through the hand that you’re holding over the lower headset cup. If you have a dirt jump bike without a front brake, you can turn the front wheel 90 degrees and check for the same knocking with your hand.

Is riding with a loose headset bad?

The Cyclist guide to diagnosing problems with headset bearings. Playing havoc with your bike’s handling, a poorly set-up headset isn’t just annoying, it’s potentially dangerous. … Whether loose or cartridge-style, all bearings will eventually wear out.

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How long do headset bearings last?

Every 30 years, whether they need it or not. It should be noted headset bearings — at least the old “threaded” style — can come completely apart (all the balls fall out) without severely impairing the handling of the bike (though certainly this condition would drive a “bike nut” crazy).

How do I know if my headset bearings are worn?

Bounce the front wheel off the ground a few times: a rattling sound indicates the headset is loose. If the bars lock in the middle and point straight then it’s either too tight or the bearings are heavily worn.