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Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:39 am
by calpartz
Hi,

I rode some km (maybe 10-15) with a loose headset / with a play in the headset which I now fixed correctly.

Now, I have fear that I damaged in this way something, for example: the carbon-fork or the headtube because of the play.

What do you think about this? Do I have now to change the carbon-fork with a new one?

​​​​​​​Thank you and sorry for my english.

Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:39 am
by Weenie

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 am
by TobinHatesYou
No way for me to know for sure, but unless the whole steerer/headset assembly was super loose, the amount of travel and vibration was unlikely to cause significant damage in the distance covered.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:00 am
by calpartz
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 am
No way for me to know for sure, but unless the whole steerer/headset assembly was super loose, the amount of travel and vibration was unlikely to cause significant damage in the distance covered.
Thank you for this reply – which helps me.

The headset was just a very little loose in direction front/back. For this reason I did not noticed it before.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:45 am
by calpartz
Other opinions? Then Canyon would have to receive the bike back, what I wouldn't since there is no other same models to buy ...

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:24 pm
by NiFTY
Just have a quick squizz at the fork. Unlikely to be an issue,

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:42 pm
by mattr
Unless it's very loose and you've been doing huge jumps to flat the absolute worst case scenario is that you might possibly need a new bottom bearing.
If it's massively loose, how the hell didn't you notice as soon as you touched the bike. and adjust it?

I doubt canyon will be interested, IIRC checking headset adjustment is part of the normal pre ride/assembly check.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 pm
by calpartz
NiFTY wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:24 pm
Just have a quick squizz at the fork. Unlikely to be an issue,
It seems to me ok!
mattr wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:42 pm
Unless it's very loose and you've been doing huge jumps to flat the absolute worst case scenario is that you might possibly need a new bottom bearing.
If it's massively loose, how the hell didn't you notice as soon as you touched the bike. and adjust it?

I doubt canyon will be interested, IIRC checking headset adjustment is part of the normal pre ride/assembly check.
It was not so loose, that's because I did not noticed it before.

So, you mean that in the "absolute worst case", namely in the case that the headseat has much play / was very loose the carbon-fork frame would not have been damaged, right?

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:02 pm
by mattr
If you were able to get on the bike and ride it without being scared for your very life by the amount of play in the headset, it'll be fine.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:25 pm
by kode54
if anything...bearing would take the grunt of damage. but i doubt it from what you're saying. are the bearings still smooth?

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:54 pm
by jfranci3
It's note great as you can damage the side of your headtube or put a score on your fork. As it gets loose, it'll feel notchy.
If goes full loose (lets say you break a spacer), I don't think it'll bind, as it doesn't have enough room. I think the worst cases are scoring your fork stem (which could eventually break, but I doubt it), breaking spacers, you hammer the bottom bearing into the fork, and destroying your bearings.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:10 pm
by mattr
Yeah. But it'd have to really loose for that. As in all but unusable.
A little bit of wobble isn't going to do that unless you run it for months or are using it as a trail/dh bike

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:50 pm
by bm0p700f
If you could ride the bike then you would not have damaged anything. Very loose headset means the bike is unrideable. You simply wont make it round a bend. I have had steerer/stem combinations that have refused to be without play and no damage has ever occurred. My single speed MTB always has a small amount of headset play so that fork is going in the bin but again no issues. If a carbon steerer headset bearings on an MTB that is ridden fast off road can survive I don't think your steerer is going to be under too much stress.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:18 am
by calpartz
Hi,

thank you everyone for the reply. This helps me much!

Anyway, I forgot to say that the headset is *without* fork crown race (https://imgur.com/a/RvcH4Bq): is this a relevant information for to answer my question? Is the answer the same?

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:36 am
by mattr
Yes

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:44 am
by calpartz
mattr wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:36 am
Yes
Thank you again. Now I can ride the bike without be worried!

Have a nice weekend.

Re: Ride with a loose headset: risk of some dangerous?

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:44 am
by Weenie