Bicycle Mechanics - Do I need a headset spacer?
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12-06-11, 11:08 PM
I've worked my way down to taking off the last little spacer under my stem.
I have an FSA threadless headset. Pretty standard stuff. Is there any reason I need to have a spacer between the headset and the stem? I thought I remembered hearing this was recommended for some reason (maybe to help the bars turn easier or something), but I could be mistaken.
12-06-11, 11:38 PM
This page explains it better than I can. http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/threadless-headset-service Jump down to "Headset Adjustment--Threadless Type."
A few considerations. 1st of all the stem and spacer stack must be higher than the steerer by 2-5 millimeters so the top cap can press on it without bottoming against the top of the steerer.
Then there's the reason some people suggest a spacer below the stem. It's critical that the lowest item in the stack touch only on the centering cone, and not on the upper cup or cover. The bottom of some stems is too broad and can touch the cup, so you use a spacer as insurance against that.
If you want to go without the spacer, assemble the the headset and stem stack. Then look under the stem, and if you see a bit of a gap all the way around you're good to go as is.
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