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The headset on my merida ride 100 has come loose. I watched a few videos to see how to tighten a threadless headset. They all say loosen the stem then tighten the top cap. However on my bike the top cap seems to do nothing, it's not threaded or anything and there's nothing inside.

How do I go about tightening the headset on a setup like this?

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I was curious about your bike brand, Merida. I learned via Googling, that the Merida Ride 100 has a headset called "Big Conoid semi neck pro." Googling that mouthful led me to a Q & A from another bike forum which may shed some light onto your problem. It seems that while the bearings are loaded with the use of a bolt (after the stem bolts are loosed), it is located under the top cap. I've tried unsuccessfully to find instructions specific to big Conoid semi neck pro, though a plethora of how - to videos are out there on the subject of threadless headset install and adjustment.

  • After following your googling I realised that part of the compression had dropped down the stem. After fishing it out I was able to put it back together correctly – Peck3277 Aug 25 at 19:35
  • @Peck3277 Awesome. Note that sort of issue was suggested another answer. There's nothing quite like figuring out and fixing the problem, gaining a bit of wisdom along the way. Happy riding! – Jeff Aug 25 at 19:57
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On threadless headsets the top cap has a bolt passing through it that threaded into either an expansion plug or star nut that is pressed into the steerer tube. Tightening the bolt pulls the top cap down which compresses the headset bearings.

I'm guessing your top cap bolt is missing. Any local bike shop will be able to provide a replacement. Perhaps the expansion plug, no longer attached to the top cap, has dropped down into the steerer tube. Have a look down the steerer tube with a bright light. You may be able to fish it out with a length of coat-hanger wire.

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    Concur - the steerer cap provides preload for the bearings in the headset. Its not optional. The good news is they're cheap-ish and simple. You can even get steerer-caps with gopro mounts on top, or garmin quarter turn mounts. – Criggie Aug 23 at 12:15
  • @Peck3277 You may be missing the bolt and you've obviously had the cap off if you've (correctly) determined it has no threading. I thought I'd mention that some headset top caps have little plastic covers that slip into the bolt hole and cover the bolt head. – Jeff Aug 24 at 0:08

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