important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

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.

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