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Since I first got the 2002 Giant NRS I've always had issues with the headset. It's either too loose or too tight with no perfect in between.

When it's loose, it's really loose and sloppy feeling with a ton of play, but that's only way I can ride without feeling off balance.

If I tighten the headset to where there's just barely any play, or just barely no play at all, the entire bike feels out of balance, the front wheel turns stiff and don't even think about riding with no hands!

If I try to ride with no hands, the wheel just sticks and tracks its own line - no steering with the hips. And this is even with a loose and sloppy headset.

I tried replacing the headset but still have the same problems. My LBS isn't sure what's wrong either. They guess it may be that the headtube may need to be refaced and the cups reset.

So it's not just me and a lack of ability to adjust the headset (my other bikes adjust just fine.)

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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The problem could very possibly be your threadless stem. If the mating surface of the stem is not perfectly true, the result will be similar to the symptoms you are experiencing because a poorly machined stem will put the headset bearings in a bind. Good bike shops have a tool the cuts a true face into the mating surface of the stem just for this purpose.
 
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