Trouble with King headset bind please help!

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
Hey Guys,
Been putting a new Santa Cruz build together and having some issues with the Chris King headset. When I tighten the top cap on the stem to tighten the headset up it binds ever so slightly (not a huge amount but noticeable). Even with the star nut bolt done up finger tight I get the binding happening. Any ideas guys?

All the bearing cup surfaces were prepped and flat before installation and are sitting dead flat against the head tube. There doesn't appear to be any binding in the bearing when not under load. I've checked and re-checked the assembly order of the individual headset parts and its all good. Can I get hold of shims to maybe space it out a bit? The bearing cap that goes under the stem does seem to be just touching the outer of the bearing cup. Any ideas on how to solve this would be most welcome!

Cheers
Simon
 

ajay

^Once punched Jeff Kennett. Don't pick an e-fight
When you say its binding, do you mean it seizes? or does it just get a bit notchy? It sounds as if you're missing part of the assembly or a bearing isn't sitting sqaure. Both cups are definiately square to your head tube? It may be worth getting your head tube faced if it isnt already.... Got a pic?
 

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
Hi,
Definitely no parts missing, checked and double checked the assembly diagram. It's not completely seizing but there is some drag which I wouldn't expect from a King headset (never had drag from any other headsets). All the bearings and mounting surfaces are dead flat, cups are sitting flat on the head tube, I've checked and rechecked these also. Do they take some time to bed in? I wouldn't imagine they would? I thought the same as you, something is missing, maybe a washer or shim of some type but it's all there :( Pics wouldn't really tell you anything I don't think, it appears okay visually. The "drag" is also consistent through a full revolution of the handlebars so that I'd imagine that rules out being out of square as the problem?

Cheers
Simon
 

creaky

The obviative
HTML:
Hi Simon,

Finger tight can be too tight for the topcap bolt. If you don't tighten it as much as you are then tighten the stem bolts is there obvious play in the headset ?

Just wondering if you have built bikes before and understand how loose/tight the topcap bolt has to be to remove play but avoid binding ?

If you are all over that issue then excuse my reply, just worth mentioning in case you haven't done it before.
 

ajay

^Once punched Jeff Kennett. Don't pick an e-fight
How does the bearing feel with your fingers? does it run smoothly? If it IS out of square, then you will feel it run rough through the whole revolution. It may appear flush, but double check it with a spirit level. Is the compression ring in there?

And yeah you're right, they dont need "bedding in" or anything like that. You're using the supplied crown race yeah? Can you tell if its binding up on the top OR bottom bearing?
 

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
Creaky, its binding just as the top cap bolt begins to meet resistance. I've built a few bikes before (about 4 or 5) and none have had to be this loose to avoid binding.

Bearing is running smoothly through a full revolution with no load on it Ajay. I'm using all the supplied parts that came with the headset no non-King bits. I'll pull the forks out again and recheck that the bearings are sitting flush etc.

Cheers Guys.
 

Shredden

Knows his goats
I have had 3 king headsets, never taken particular care installing them (wood and hammer) and never had any issues with binding. If that worked out for me, then I doubt you would be having problems with alignment, unless its like obviously wrong. Maybe take it to a shop and just let them have a look?
 

OCD'R

Likes Dirt
Seems silly to ask, but you've got the crown race on the correct way? Also the three parts under the top cover (split ring, green rubber seal etc) are in the correct order and correct orientation?

I installed a CK HS on Friday and could put a massive amount of load onto the stem cap bolt and it still ran very smooth and freely FYI.
 

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
I think I may have to take a trip to the LBS :( I did read on the King website that sometimes new seals can cause "drag" for the first 50-100 hours. Maybe I should just ride it for a while and see what happens. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
Seems silly to ask, but you've got the crown race on the correct way? Also the three parts under the top cover (split ring, green rubber seal etc) are in the correct order and correct orientation?

I installed a CK HS on Friday and could put a massive amount of load onto the stem cap bolt and it still ran very smooth and freely FYI.
Yeah I've checked and triple checked everything now. It's definitely all in the right order/orientation :(
 

skwiz05

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Got a few pics?
Didnt put the top and bottom cups in the frame wrong way (top in bottom, bottom in top?)
Are you using a King race on your fork?
If you look closely at the top bearing from the side, is there a tiny gap between the top race and top cup, even on both sides?(1/2 mm)
If you look at the top of each bearing, are the snap rings in properly and clear of the centre metal inner bearing race, so you just see about 1/2mm of the black rubber seal evenly all round?
 

Lube

Likes Dirt
I have had 3 king headsets, never taken particular care installing them (wood and hammer) and never had any issues with binding. If that worked out for me, then I doubt you would be having problems with alignment, unless its like obviously wrong. Maybe take it to a shop and just let them have a look?
I just shuddered reading this! You did not really smack a King headset in with the old timber and hammer trick did you?! That is some kind of sick joke yeah?
 

Pullstarter

Likes Bikes
Got a few pics?
Didnt put the top and bottom cups in the frame wrong way (top in bottom, bottom in top?)
Are you using a King race on your fork?
If you look closely at the top bearing from the side, is there a tiny gap between the top race and top cup, even on both sides?(1/2 mm)
If you look at the top of each bearing, are the snap rings in properly and clear of the centre metal inner bearing race, so you just see about 1/2mm of the black rubber seal evenly all round?
Yep checked all that and its as you describe. Not quite sure what to make of it. Like I said I've installed about 4 or 5 other headsets in my time and never had any issues whatsoever. I'll grab some shims tomorrow and see if that helps.
 

Shredden

Knows his goats
I just shuddered reading this! You did not really smack a King headset in with the old timber and hammer trick did you?! That is some kind of sick joke yeah?
Sure did. I dont really care much for CK, the huge price, average weight, lack of a split wedge thingy and the fact I have seen two crack sort of make it hard to justify in my mind. Sure, the bearings last a long time but I change frames every year or so, so paying $300 for a headset that lasts 8 years is kinda unnesessery when I can get a cane creek for ~$60 that does the exact same job. The three kings that I owned were all a few years old by the way, probably wouldnt have been worth much more than $60 each.

Anyway, at the end of the day, its just bikes. Its not like we are on a formula one forum.
 

noddy

Likes Dirt
What fork is this on and in what condition is the steerer/crown?, I've had issues with king headsets and a slightly bent steerer. The High accuracy of the king works against any missalignment issues here. I ended up using a different lower race, FSA Pig, uses massive 1/4 balls no more issues just a bit jipped i only run half my king.
 

EMF

Eats Squid
Steerer cut square

Seen poor cut steerers or star nut insertion not square inside tube

Thus uneven preload on bearings
 

Trigger02

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I used a hammer and wood for a Crank brothers opium headset, probably the most fragile headset out there, I made a proper tool at Tafe but the hammer and wood work fine unless your not all there.
 
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