Headset wobble after tightening stem bolts


I hope someone might be able to help me with this.
I have wobble in my headset after tightening the stem bolts. Meaning that there is no wobble when I tighten the top cap but after tightening the stem bolts the wobbling begins… does anyone have an idea why? Might it have anything to do with my compression plug? :grin:

Can you fully define “wobble” in this context?

  • While riding, stationary on the ground, up in a stand, more specifics like that.
  • And by fully tighten, you mean to proper spec with a torque wrench?
  • What makes you think the compression plug could be related?

Hi @mcneese.chad!

Yes, by ‘wobble’ I mean that test it by holding the front brake and it ‘gives in’. But only after tightening the stem bolts and the not the top cap…
I use the a torque wrench to be sure that I tighten it the correct amount.
The reason that I thought it might have something to do with the compression plug is because when I tightened the stem bolts it made a sound as if something was given in…
I have now had the compression plug out and put it back in and tightened it the exact amount. Now there is no sound anymore but still wobble after tightening the stem bolts.

Compression plug might not have been properly installed… stem tightened down on carbon… strange sounds.

It might be good to check if the steerer has been damaged.

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Thanks @CincoBoy. How do I check if the steered has been damaged?

Remove the stem, then inspect the steerer for dents, cracks or other places with questionable colors.


I had a similar issue… if you recently removed the fork, check to see whether you have a small “collar” piece that goes over your steer tube (inside the upper bearing) that may have been reinstalled upside -down. I was about to tear my hair out and chuck the bike into a nearby ditch because I could never get the headset to not wobble until an ex-pro team mechanic friend fixed it for me in about 30 seconds…