How to Tighten A Bicycle Headset

Bike Category: 

One of the most basic maintenance tasks you can do but one that can make a tremendous impact on how your bike handles is tightening your headset. If you are noticing that your fork shakes or you hear rattling coming from the front of the bike, it is probably time to learn how to tighten your bikes headset. Professional bicycle mechanic Brad Smith will teach you, step by step, everything you need to know and show you all of the tools you need to get that handling dialed in and you back on the road.

Step 1: Check your bicycle for play in the headset by listening for vibration and by holding the front brake and moving the bike forward and back.

Start with side stem bolts

Step 2: Loosen the two bolts that clamp your stem onto your steerer tube using an allen wrench.

Step 3: Tighten your stem cap using an allen wrench. It doesn't have to be incredibly tight, just snug.

Top Bolt

Step 4: Check your bicycle to see if the play in the headset is gone.

Step 5: Align your stem with the front tire so your handlebars are straight and then re-tighten the bolts on your stem.