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Bent Bike Headset Locknut | Quick Fix


Hey, everyone. Peter at Sixthreezero. Bent headset locknut. Let's do it.


Okay. So this doesn't happen too often, but every now and then in shipping, you might find a bent headset locknut. What to do about that.

First of all, give us a call. We'll send out a new one for you, but in the meantime, you should be able to ride the bike just fine. I'll show you how.


Nate, I'll have you come up here. We'll get a little detail. First, let me show you a trick I learned in second grade. Here's a headset locknut, by the way. Whoa, what? I'm just kidding. It's right there. Okay. So this one's bent. Nate, can you see? I banged it with a hammer to bend it. I didn't have one that was bent. So the lip there is bent a little bit.

Okay. So this is called the headset. These parts that hold the fork in the head tube here, and then the locknut is this top part. So you can see there are two nuts here. This one here is called the cone, the bottom one, and that actually does the adjusting to make sure that the fork has the correct tightness. So it's loose enough for it to turn nicely, but it has enough tension on it so that the fork isn't loose.

Then the locknut just holds the cone in place. So I brought one over here. It's a different size and different color obviously. We're not seeing it very often nowadays, but every now and then FedEx may drop the box really hard or something on the front here, and it can bend the top part of the locknut. If that's causing you any issues, there are a few things you can do.


First of all, call us. We'll send you a new locknut. But in the meantime, obviously, you're going to want to ride the bike. If this is still in the bike, you can usually get a flathead screwdriver in there before you put the stem or gooseneck in. And then you could just pry it up. If you break that lip off, it's no problem. It doesn't matter, as long as it holds that cone in place.


You could even ride the bike, I'm not saying you should do this, but I'm saying that it is conceivably possible you could ride it without a locknut. Don't do that, but the locknut really just holds the cone in place. The cone is the important one. But anyway, you can bend that out with a flathead. You can even break the lip off. Sometimes, when that's still in there, you can just put enough pressure and just pop it off. If you need to screw it down more, or if it's causing ... The main problem is that most people won't be able to get the stem in.

Let me grab a stem really fast. All right, Nate, here we go, I got one right here. So the issue will be that you're trying to get the stem in, the handlebar stem, and it'll be blocked from going in because the lip is bent. So just bend that lip back out with a flathead. You can even break it. It's fine. We'll send you a new one. They're super easy to replace. You can just use an adjustable wrench actually.

So here's the locknut. We would take the stem out, but I'm just going to loosen this for you so you can see. And then you just loosen it like any fastener. So now I've got it loose, and I can do it with my fingers at this point. There it is. It's completely off. I did that in what, eight seconds? And you can put the new one back on. Just cinch it back down.


Again, there's a little washer here, and then this is just the cone. That's actually the adjustment for the fork and the steer tube, and then the locknut just holds everything in place. So we'll screw that backdown, pretending we're putting another new one on, and then give it a nice little turn. You'll have to hold the handlebars or the wheel if you don't have the handlebars and the stem in yet. Cinch it down a little bit.

And then if your bike comes with a headset cover, you can put that down. This piece, of course, is not at all necessary or functional. It's just aesthetic. It just covers the top part of the headset. So there you go. Don't sweat it too much. We'll send you out a new one for sure. But in the meantime, please get your bike riding. Just lift that lip up so you can get the stem down into the head tube.


I truly hope that that was helpful for you. If you liked it, please do like it and hit subscribe. It helps grow our channel. And if you need any help at all, please contact us. You can call us at (310)982-2877, or email us at theteam@sixthreezero.com. Remember Sixthreezero is spelled out, S-I-X-T-H-R-E-E-Z-E-R-O, theteam@sixthreezero.com. Thanks.

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