How to Adjust a Threadless Headset
Learn how to check the adjustment of a threadless (Aheadset) and align the handlebars.
In today’s tutorial, we’ll learn how to adjust a threadless headset, otherwise known as an ‘Aheadset. For this job, you’ll need either a 5mm or a 6mm allen key, depending on your stem.
To loosen the stem, simply turn the allen key on top counter-clockwise a few turns. Don’t remove it completely. Then loosen the two bolts on the side. Now your stem should turn freely.
To check if the headset is tight, lift the front of the bike off the ground. The handlebar should rotate freely and fall to one side or the other. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to loosen the top bolt a little bit and try it again.
To check for play, hold the front brake, place one hand on your headset, and rock the bike forward and backward. If the headset is loose you’ll feel it, and you’ll have to tighten the top bolt a little bit.
Once the adjustment is set, check the alignment. I find it easiest to line up the stem with the front wheel while you’re sitting on the bike. Once the handlebar is straight, tighten the two stem bolts and check the adjustment again just to be sure.
- Park Tool: Threadless Headset Service
- Sheldon Brown: Servicing Bicycle Headsets
- Bicycle Torque Specifications
- Park Tool HXS-1.2 Hex Wrench Set
- Park Tool AWS-1 3-Way Hex Wrench
- Park Tool AWS-10 Folding Hex Wrench Set
- Park Tool WTK-2 Essential Tool Kit
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
Discuss this topic in the Headset Forums
I am trying to remove the head stem on a Jamis X3. The top screw will turn but, not release. The head stem is not separating as seen on instructional videos. What I am doing wrong? Thanks, Brian...Read more
I'm refurbishing my Cannondale: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2002&brand=Cannondale&model=Bad+Boy I'm trying to replace the bearings from the headset, but am finding it difficult to get the right size. They are 30mm (inside diameter) X 44mm (outside diameter). Regarding the angle, I'm not sure as I don't have a clear way to measure. I contacted Cannondale and t...Read more
Has anyone heard about a recall on Focus bikes with the acros headset. I have seen something on their website relating to the Izalco. I have a Cayo that seems to share the same headset. Just trying to do some research before I contact my LBS. They haven't been overly helpful since I bought a very good but expensive bike from them. Cheers Stevo...Read more
hi all, my first post here. i decided i needed a little project so i boughta 1968 Hercules with a 21" frame. it will be a surprise for my daughter. I'd like to replace the parts shown in the pics with new ones. When i took it apart all the bearings fell out. i wonder if i could replace the bearings with caged ones? what are the names of these parts please? thanks zac [attachment=4170] [atta...Read more
On the top of a traditional 1" threaded fork you install the bearing retainer, threaded race, keyed washer and lock nut. All of this went ok although I have to take it apart and replace the lower fork crown face. The compression nut on the very top is where I have the problen. The fork is 1/2 inch too long. Can I use spacers to fill the gap between the lock nut and the very top compression nut? Or...Read more
Ive run into a problem and would like some assistance from others who may know, before I buy parts. I have a Walmart 29" GX7 beach cruiser chrome, 7 speed. Someone replaced the forks and the headset, but not correctly. I need to fix this, but im unsure of what to buy. you can see in the pictures, the bicycles headtube is flared on top and also on the bottom. the inside diameter of the flared spa...Read more
Ok I decided that I would like to get the same set up that Alex has on his GT Triple Triangle shown on his video "How to overhaul a Threaded Headset"! I am not sure of what that set up is called but I really like it. Unless someone has a better idea with out me having to buy a 200.00 facing and reaming tool to go threadless. Integrated headsets are out of the question too lol....Read more
If I have a threaded headset with a 1-1/8" steerer tube, would I have to have the bearing cups on the frame replaced to use a threadless steerer tube?...Read more
I'm installing a new RST fork on my Schwinn Sidewinder, and I ran into a few problems today. Steerer tubes on these forks are interchangeable, meaning that the tube is sold seprately, and installed by the customer.I chose a 160mm threaded steerer tube, because I wanted to keep the existing headset. I installed the steerer tube today without any problem, but when I went to put the new fork on the b...Read more
I'm going to be installing a new fork on a bike with a threaded headset, and the new steerer tube doesn't have a keyway, the way the old one did. What's the better option, to cut a keyway into the steerer tube, or file off the tab on the keyed washer? Is there some other choice I haven't thought of?...Read more
Hello first post, but I have found a lot of good info on this site. I have an old garry fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 1997/1998. The headset was missing the top seal part and I couldnt find a good replacement part. I found a cheap techno glide j-27 to replace the whole thing. http://www.tangeseiki.com/tangeseiki_news/Glide-1-1a-200902050641394.png.html Now I have 2 problems. 1. I need a new crown r...Read more
I brought a new 1" threaded rigid fork to replace old one. The Old fork tube diameter is 22.2mm, however I've just found out the new one has tube diameter of 21.1mm therefore my stem doesn't fit into the forks. Is there any way around this or do I need either a new stem or new set of forks again. I can return the forks as I I've scratched them when fitting the crown race thanks. They are both 1", ...Read more
I have a 2006 Bianchi 928 with a FSA Orbit ZS headset. I have a creaking sound coming from the head tube when I am out of the saddle and climbing. I replaced the headset parts other than the plastic cups that are pressed into the frame and the crown race which is pressed onto the fork. I have tightened the headset bolt up to almost 4 NM but I still have the creaking sound. I cannot tell exact...Read more
Hello. I've recently rounded off a screw (pictured) and firstly I'm confused weather that part comes with my headset or my stem? Also can any headset fit with any stem? I'm sure I could just buy a new screw but I'd rather buy a new headset. If it helps I have a Social Narc 2013 bmx and the stem is a social freeloader it says the headset is just a "internal headset" now I don't know if that is ...Read more
Hi Everyone. New to the forum. I have an older dual suspension mountain bike, a giant ATX900. It has a weird head tube inside diameter of 42mm, which puts it somewhere in between the old 1 1/4" standard and the 1 1/2" standard. Anyone know what type of head set was intended for this diameter head tube? Cheers Cam...Read more