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I have an old road bike. It's suddenly very noisy around the fork section and the headset. I've checked and everything around the front wheel seems perfect. However, i month ago i tighten the headset so i'm suspecting a bearing got loose and now jumps around inside.

Is that even possible? if so should i just buy a new headset-set ? Would love your input thank you.

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    Are you able to add photos of the affected areas?
    – Criggie
    Dec 11, 2018 at 10:28
  • If you stand beside the bike and hold the front wheel brake lever with one hand, and wrap your other hand around the headset, and wiggle the bike forward and backward, then do you feel any "play" between the steerer and the frame? Try and isolate what's making the noise - even if you have to temporarily swap front wheels with someone else to help eliminate bits.
    – Criggie
    Dec 11, 2018 at 10:30
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    Wow you detected the problem, i had no idea it was actually the front wheel! I had another wheel from another bike. What do you think is wrong with the wheel? I tried shaking it, and rolling it around without being attached to the bike.. there was no weird sound there.
    – nammerkage
    Dec 11, 2018 at 13:29
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    Cool - good work. You can add your own answer showing what you find, with photos. At a guess the front wheel's axle is loose in the bearings, and it needs a tweak at least, and would benefit from a clean and new ball bearings. If the cones are damaged then replace them, and if the cup is damaged its time for a new hub.
    – Criggie
    Dec 12, 2018 at 0:49
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    It is easy to test a headset on a bike with front brakes and no suspension: Straddle the bike (but don't sit on it) and apply the front brakes. Push the bike back and forth. A loose headset will result in significant motion in the headset. Dec 14, 2018 at 12:52

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So I was wrong about the loose part in the headset. Changing the front wheel fixed the problem. I tried fixing the old wheel, and one bearing jumped out straight away as I opened the hub. I think that was the loose part.

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    Yeah, my first guess was going to be that it was the front wheel bearings. They can make some scary (and bizarrely intermittent) noises as they start to come apart. Dec 14, 2018 at 15:15
  • Nice work - thank you for coming back with the update.
    – Criggie
    Mar 19, 2019 at 10:49

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