The headset of your bike is located inside the headtube and allows the fork steering column and front wheel to rotate and turn.
The headset can loosen over time with normal use, so it is important to periodically check the headset tightness and to tighten it properly when necessary. With periodic checks and tightening when needed, you can keep your bike safe and fun to ride.
Follow the steps below to check headset tightness and perform an adjustment on your RadMini if needed. This guide uses a 2019 RadMini, but the steps will be the same for most RadMini models, including the RadMini Step-Thru.
- 5 mm Allen wrench
- 6 mm Allen wrench
- Torque wrench with a 6 mm Allen bit
- Get the bike ready for maintenance. Turn off the bike, remove the battery, and press and hold the MODE button on the LCD display remote to discharge remaining power.
- Check if the headset needs to be adjusted.
- Check if the headset is too loose.
- Place one hand over the spot where the top of the front fork meets the bike's headtube (indicated by the circle in the image below).
- Turn the handlebar so the front wheel is perpendicular to the frame. With one hand in place near the headtube, use your other hand to squeeze the left brake lever, and gently rock the bike front to back.
If you feel a knocking sensation under your hand or hear a "clunking" or rattling sound, the headset is likely too loose.
- Check if the headset is too tight. Hold onto the top tube (indicated by the arrow in the illustration below) and lift the front wheel off the ground slightly. Without holding the handlebar, carefully tilt the bike slightly to one side and check if the front wheel "flops," or easily and quickly turns to the side.
If the front wheel will not flop to the side, the headset is likely too tight.
- Check if the headset is too loose.
- Adjust the headset.
- Loosen the stem riser clamp bolts. Use a 6 mm Allen wrench to loosen (but not remove) the two stem riser clamp bolts, until the handlebar stem can move independently of the front wheel.
- Fold down the handlebar. Press the red button on the lever and push the lever down to open the clasp. Fold the handlebar downward.
- Loosen or tighten the headset. Use a 5 mm Allen wrench to turn the top cap bolt 1/4 turn, clockwise to tighten or counterclockwise to loosen. Do not overtighten.
Do not overtighten the headset. Overtightening the headset can damage the headset bearings and/or cause premature wear of components.
- Check the headset tension. Repeat step 2 to check if the headset needs to be adjusted further. Perform another adjustment, if needed.
- Align the handlebar.
- Close and lock the handlebar stem. Once the headset has been adjusted, lift the handlebar to unfold, and close the locking lever until the handlebar stem is secure.
- Adjust the front wheel so it points directly forward and is in line with the frame. Rotate the handlebar stem independently of the wheel so the handlebar is centered and perpendicular to the wheel direction. To ensure proper alignment, do not use the fender as a reference point for the handlebar alignment.
- Evenly tighten the stem riser clamp bolts.
- For RadMini 4 and RadMini Step-Thru 2 ebikes delivered between January 1st, 2020 and May 30th, 2020: Follow the steps HERE to tighten the stem riser clamp bolts.
- For all other RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru ebikes: Once the handlebar is aligned, use a 6 mm Allen wrench to tighten the bolts 1/2 turn starting with the top bolt, and alternating between each bolt to ensure they are tightened evenly. Torque the bolts to 16-18 Nm to achieve adequate clamping force.
- Check that the stem is secure. Stand over the front wheel and hold it in place between your legs. Place one hand on each handlebar grip, and try to turn the handlebar from side to side. Push forward with one hand with approximately 20 lb of force, while pulling backwards with the other hand with approximately 20 lb of force. The stem should be tight enough that it does not turn independently of the wheel.
- If the stem turns independently of the wheel, loosen the stem clamp bolts and repeat steps 4 through 6 to make sure the headset is properly aligned and secure.
Loose or improperly torqued stem hardware can cause loss of control, serious injury, or death. Check that all hardware is tightened securely to recommended torque specifications before each ride.
- Once properly secured, reinstall the battery and test the bike fully before riding.