I got hit by a car and it damaged the front wheel and fork. I took my bike (canyon inflite AL) into a store and they ordered a replacement fork and wheel. The problem is they had to replace one of the internal bolts in the headset because it had been stripped in the crash. I keep trying to reset the handlebars to be centered and they feel centered for a bit then it seems like they are off again. Has anyone else had this problem or have a solution they'd propose?

  • What kind of fork? Which bolt? Oct 3, 2020 at 17:50
  • (And I'd suggest you sell that Ford Prefect before it throws a rod!) Oct 3, 2020 at 17:50
  • @DanielRHicks, replacement from canyon and the top bolt that goes vertically into the fork Oct 3, 2020 at 19:00
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    It’s the clamping of the stem on the fork that holds alignment. The bolt that runs into the star nut in the stem just squishes the headset before you tighten the stem bolts. Are you tightening the stem bolts to the recommended torque ( probably circa 5 N/m ) Oct 3, 2020 at 21:04
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    Your stem may have been damaged in the crash, making it unable to clamp properly and stay put. I’d be tempted to replace the bars too just to be safe.
    – MaplePanda
    Oct 3, 2020 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


Presumably what is happening is that the stem bolts are not providing enough clamping force of the stem onto the steerer, and the stem is moving off center. You can check the alignment of the stem and wheel by looking down on then from above. The stem being mis-aligned should be obvious.

There are no 'internal bolts' in the headset, so you may mean either the steerer tube expansion plug or one of the stem bolts. If one of the stem bolts was stripped the thread in the stem may also be damaged.

Try making sure the bolts are tightened to correct torque (should be printed on the stem). If a bolt will not tighten to that torque the stem thread is damaged and you need to replace the stem. You can also try a carbon installation compound that helps grip carbon components.

  • So this answer is fundamentally right but for a different reason. The place I took the bike to for fork replacement didn't include the metal cap but only the ornamental plastic one when they replaced the fork so the bolt couldn't get sufficient compression on just the plastic cap Oct 5, 2020 at 15:33

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