Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
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Quoted: 353 Post(s)
The headset should hold it's adjustment without the washer. Just get the upper race and locknut very tight (not "gorilla tight", but real tight) against each other.
I had to do the same thing on an older Trek road bike when the replacement headset had a larger stack height than the OEM and Trek, for what ever reason, cut the steerer JUST long enough for the original one.
BTW, see if you can find a NOS Tange Levin headset. They had the lowest stack height of all the low-cost headsets I know about. They weren't very durable but they were short.