I've bought a headset and I'm not exactly sure what goes where:

enter image description here

Presumably, the thing on the left bottom corner would be crown race, but it's not closed and doesn't really fit snugly to the bottom of the stem (rotates freely), which has 30 mm in diameter (the rest of the stem apart from the bottom has 28.6 mm). Is this how it's supposed to be or am I missing some part?... A photo from the other side:

enter image description here

The other ring in the middle is narrower.

  • How freely does it rotate on the fork? Mar 8, 2019 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, the piece in the lower left is the crown race. Split types (with the slit) should gently pinch onto the crown race seat of the fork. What's important with that type is that there's zero play (slop or free movement) between the race and the fork. It will be able to turn but shouldn't be able to just spin freely.

If there is play or free spinning, you could go a couple different directions. You could measure carefully (with a caliper) and determine whether the race internal diameter is oversized and/or if the fork's crown race seat is undersized. Then you could get a different one of whichever is causing the problem.

Alternatively, if you just want to make the parts you have work, a good approach here may be finding a shop that has a Stein knurling tool, which is a very fast way of slightly raising the surface of the material, for round parts that are supposed to fit just a little bit snugger than they are.

The other piece is the compression ring, which goes between the upper bearing and the top plate.

  • hmm there's definitely a bit of play, even if very slight. The stem seems to very so slightly narrow just at the end, judging by the resistance when sliding the crown race down.
    – Artefacto
    Mar 9, 2019 at 2:12
  • Should I worry? the force coming from above into the outwards 45 deg contact area of the race will compress it a bit, right?
    – Artefacto
    Mar 9, 2019 at 2:21

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