Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 50

50 | Cycling World Bicycle Maintenance 101 By Catherine Thompson, Head Mechanic and Instructor, Outspoken Cycles Headset Adjustment W hether you’ve decided to adjust your stem height or change to a different si e stem, it’s always important to make sure you’ve set your headset up properly afterwards. Leaving it poorly adjusted not only makes your ride feel poor, but it can also do long term damage to the headset, frame or forks. 2 1 Firstly, and importantly, you need to be able to correctly assess your headset for set-up or wear. To start, check that your steering feels free and smooth. Lift the handlebars up and rotate left and right, checking they run easily and smoothly from side to side. 3 f you find it s not feeling right, you can make adjustments to set it up correctly. Before making any changes to the top bolt adjuster, it’s really important to undo the stem bolts. If you adjust the top bolt before loosening the stem bolts, you could really damage your components. Make sure the stem can move easily, independent of the forks, and that the wheel and bolts are loose 1 2 Next, test whether it’s too loose (or worn). Place the bike on the ground and wrap your left hand around the top of the headset. Pull the front brake and rock the bike backwards and forwards. If it’s loose, you’ll feel it wobble in your left hand as the steerer column moves with the frame. 3