I recently installed a new fork on a bike I'm building up. I find that before I get the preload tension correct on the top cap to remove knocking, a squeaking sound starts emanating from the steer tube area when I turn the handlebars.

I am going to disassemble the whole stack tomorrow and make sure that everything is on in the right order and that nothing that shouldn't be there is present.

FYI I put the crown race on and installed all the bits of the headset and everything looks fine. Does anyone have any experience in what might be causing such a noise?

If it makes any difference, I'm using a carbon steer tube and a "problem solvers" expansion plug.

  • Integrated headset cups, or old-school pressed-in cups? Also, do you feel any binding when you turn it? Nov 24, 2011 at 5:45
  • @MikeBaranczak The cups are integrated. I'm not sure what you mean by binding, but there is definitely resistance when I turn the bars, but there is still knocking. Nov 24, 2011 at 14:50
  • Does the resistance vary as you turn the bars, or is it the same in all positions? If it varies it could be that the crown race is not flush against the top of the fork.
    – Andy
    Nov 24, 2011 at 15:26
  • I think I might have figured it out. I think I don't have a crown race. I think that I'm using the compression ring where the crown race should be, and that for some reason my headset didn't come with a crown race. It's so obvious now; a crown race shouldn't have a separation, but the compression ring always does. So dumb. Now I have to buy a crown race. Nov 24, 2011 at 16:38
  • 1
    Put your discovery as the answer. It's perfectly acceptable to anwer your own question. Add some photos showing the problem and the solution. This would then be a great resource for other people who are troubleshooting a threadless headset install.
    – Mac
    Nov 24, 2011 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


I figured out what was causing the problem. I had used the compression ring in the place of the crown race. I did this because I lost the crown race and the compression ring looks similar.

FYI crown races for threadless headsets aren't standard, if you need to replace one you have to get one that matches your make and model.

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