I'm replacing the fork on my Giant Defy 3 (2013) road bike. Since I couldn't find an exact replacement for the Overdrive taper, I chose a straight 1-1/8" fork, and ordered some new parts to make it fit. When I test fit the new fork, it has noticeably more resistance than the original when steering. Other than that, it looks like it fits and works well. So I'm wondering how much resistance is normal here?

New parts:
Bontrager XXX light carbon fork straight 1-1/8"
Cane Creek 110 series crown race 1-1/8"
Cane Creek ZN40 bearing 41mm
Cane Creek Lower Integrated Head Tube Adapter (Converts 47mm to 41mm)

The new crown race has a rubber seal which the original did not have. Maybe this rubbing on the head tube is causing the resistance.

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1 Answer 1


The steering is not supposed to have significant resistance.

Have you adjusted the preload? Set it to just tight enough that there's no play and that's the correct setting. If there's then a bit of drag from grease or seals don't worry about it.

The way you adjust the preload on this type of headset is loosen the stem bolts and then adjust the bolt on the top. Loosen it first until you have a bit of play (the steerer wobbles a little bit in the headtube) and then tighten it until the play has gone but no tighter. Then do up the stem bolts to the recommended torque. You need the top of the spacer stack to be a little bit higher than that top cap for this to work which you can do by swapping out spacers.

  • 1
    With both steerer and handlebar horizontal, the handlebar should tip freely to left or right at the slightest push.
    – Carel
    Nov 27, 2019 at 9:25
  • I haven't yet tightened the top cap. I just slid the other pieces on with the bike upside down. I think the extra drag is coming from both the new bearing and the rubber seal.
    – Elliott B
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:00
  • Then I don't think it's a problem, provided you're sure you got the bearings in the right way round and it feels like grease and rubber and not metal scraping on metal or anything.
    – user68014
    Nov 27, 2019 at 17:04

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