Suddenly play in the headset while touring… how is this possible?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
jih
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:54 pm

by jih

Compression plug is to get initial preload. Once the stem is clamped onto the steerer, this should lock in the preload, and at that point the compression plug does nothing to keep the headset from coming loose.

As others have said, the stem probably isn’t properly clamping onto the steerer. Check that first - may need more toque in the fasteners (up to the maximum spec) or grip enhancing paste.

by Weenie


zefs
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

Well in my case the top cap was making the compression plug come loose (even if you tightened the plug to higher torque) which ended up ruining the bottom bearing. Solution was to use another spacer below the top cap to fix the issue, thought it was worth mentioning.

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Have you checked the lower bearing, over the fork crown?
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

calpartz
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:57 pm

by calpartz

That's just strange since also the compression plug is torqued correctly.
Again, I'm paranoid (maybe a bit too?), that's because I check the play, bolts etc. before I start a tour and everything was right. Just after the tour I noticed the play casually.
@wheelsONfire: yes.

I fixed the play and I will see if it happens again after a tour.

In the meanwhile I will try to stay calm about a possible damage of the fork/frame because of the play I had.

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

zefs wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm
Well in my case the top cap was making the compression plug come loose (even if you tightened the plug to higher torque) which ended up ruining the bottom bearing. Solution was to use another spacer below the top cap to fix the issue, thought it was worth mentioning.
Sounds like someone was clutching at straws there, or explaining it badly.

1415chris
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by 1415chris

jih wrote:Compression plug is to get initial preload. Once the stem is clamped onto the steerer, this should lock in the preload, and at that point the compression plug does nothing to keep the headset from coming loose.

As others have said, the stem probably isn’t properly clamping onto the steerer. Check that first - may need more toque in the fasteners (up to the maximum spec) or grip enhancing paste.
In theory and most real world situations, that is the case.
But not always. Even recently somebody was posting a very similar experience to mine. Years ago I had a frameset, where the steerer tube without any internal support, couldn't keep the stem in place.
Under the stem bolts load it was compressed causing the headset play.
Probably not having steerer tube long enough above the top stem bolt didn't help.
With installed compression plug, there was no problem.
But in Canyon case they use 1 1/4 steerer so it should be less prone to this issue. And as mater of fact when I owned Canyon I was riding it without any plugs. Their headset preload system, I think it was Acros was taking off the play after the stem was finally clamped.

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

calpartz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:56 pm
That's just strange since also the compression plug is torqued correctly.
Again, I'm paranoid (maybe a bit too?), that's because I check the play, bolts etc. before I start a tour and everything was right. Just after the tour I noticed the play casually.
Don't endlessly check bolts, do them up properly and leave them.
Check them when the bike is serviced or repaired.

And what do you mean by touring? Panniers and suchlike, 7-14 days or racing, or jsut a ride?

calpartz
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:57 pm

by calpartz

mattr wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm
calpartz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:56 pm
That's just strange since also the compression plug is torqued correctly.
Again, I'm paranoid (maybe a bit too?), that's because I check the play, bolts etc. before I start a tour and everything was right. Just after the tour I noticed the play casually.
Don't endlessly check bolts, do them up properly and leave them.
Check them when the bike is serviced or repaired.

And what do you mean by touring? Panniers and suchlike, 7-14 days or racing, or jsut a ride?
Sorry, I meant "ride" (+/- 80KM).

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

1415chris wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:24 pm
Under the stem bolts load it was compressed causing the headset play.
Probably not having steerer tube long enough above the top stem bolt didn't help.
With installed compression plug, there was no problem.
Badly built bike has problems. Bodged use of preload device fixed it......

You'd have been stuffed if they were still using the original concept caps!

This is also related to correct installation of the bung, some of them are used to support the inside of the steerer (on very light forks), so isn't directly related to achieving endload, but if it's incorrectly installed, you'll lose endload. OP says correctly installed.

GothicCastle
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

alcatraz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:31 am
What kind of compression plug are you using?

Are you using carbon paste and torquing the stem bolts properly?
I thought these Canyon models had that crazy headset without a compression plug. The preload is set with that (slightly weird) expanding top cap. If there is play in the system, I’d guess that the issue is with the top cap or the plastic split compression ring they supply. If either of these is worn or not assembled correctly, the headset will loosen. I don’t believe there should be any grease/carbon paste in any one interfaces.

Consider replacing the top cap and compression ring if either appears worn, or see if you can find a Canyon-friendly mechanic.

There are no torque settings in the headset itself; just enough to set preload. Continually checking tightness on threaded interfaces will result in over-torquing.

calpartz
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:57 pm

by calpartz

GothicCastle wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:41 pm
alcatraz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:31 am
What kind of compression plug are you using?

Are you using carbon paste and torquing the stem bolts properly?
I thought these Canyon models had that crazy headset without a compression plug. The preload is set with that (slightly weird) expanding top cap. If there is play in the system, I’d guess that the issue is with the top cap or the plastic split compression ring they supply. If either of these is worn or not assembled correctly, the headset will loosen. I don’t believe there should be any grease/carbon paste in any one interfaces.

Consider replacing the top cap and compression ring if either appears worn, or see if you can find a Canyon-friendly mechanic.

There are no torque settings in the headset itself; just enough to set preload. Continually checking tightness on threaded interfaces will result in over-torquing.
Again, I just fixed the play again through the aheadset (first the top cup, on 1,5NM, dann the stem on 4NM and finally the bottom cup on 1,5NM). I don't have the play anymore.
I did the same also before but then comes the play just while/after the last ride. That's just strange.

GothicCastle
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

calpartz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:56 pm
Again, I just fixed the play again through the aheadset (first the top cup, on 1,5NM, dann the stem on 4NM and finally the bottom cup on 1,5NM). I don't have the play anymore.
Respectfully, if it keeps loosening, you haven’t fixed it.

Those bearings are press-fit, I believe (not drop-in). Be sure the lower bearing itself hasn’t developed play. If the bearings are OK, I’d suspect the top cap or compression ring. Replacing these isn’t expensive and they might be the issue. Both are plastic and (in my opinion) don’t wear well.

calpartz
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:57 pm

by calpartz

GothicCastle wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:03 pm
calpartz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:56 pm
Again, I just fixed the play again through the aheadset (first the top cup, on 1,5NM, dann the stem on 4NM and finally the bottom cup on 1,5NM). I don't have the play anymore.
Respectfully, if it keeps loosening, you haven’t fixed it.

Those bearings are press-fit, I believe (not drop-in). Be sure the lower bearing itself hasn’t developed play. If the bearings are OK, I’d suspect the top cap or compression ring. Replacing these isn’t expensive and they might be the issue. Both are plastic and (in my opinion) don’t wear well.
It was just once loose – after the last ride . Now I fixed it and it is not loose anymore. But I must control this again on/after a ride.
Yes, it is press-fit and the lower bearing is ok. Maybe got the ahead schrew loose on the ride?! This could caused the play.

My only concern is if the fork/frame/tube got damaged from the play. But others suppose not, so I want to trust them.

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

calpartz wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm
It was just once loose
Twice, you posted before.

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ultimobici
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by ultimobici

mattr wrote:Once the headset is installed and the stem clamp bolts are tight, the compression plug is completely superfluous. It's only there to provide a preload during assembly.
Canyon and their Acros system & 1 1/4” steerer aside, this is completely incorrect. The compression bung has two functions. First is to allow you to apply load to the bearings, but also it supports the steerer tube. Almost every fork manufacturer expressly advises against removing the bung after adjusting the headset.


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by Weenie


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