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  1. #1
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    Need Headset Install Advice

    I installed a Shimano 600 headset on an old Vitus frame and fork (threaded). The headset came with the usual keyed washer that goes between the top race cap and the locknut. The problem is that the threaded steerer on the fork doesn't have the slot machined through the threads that holds the "key" on the washer so it doesn't turn when you tighten the locknut. Also, the stack height is 2mm too high so the washer wouldn't go on even if I filed off the key on the washer.
    Would the headset hold the setting if I just tighten the locknut against the cap (without the washer)? I tried it once but it loosened after a couple of rides. Should I make it tighter?
    I don't want to take a couple of headset wrenches along on every ride!
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    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.

  3. #3
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Sure, you can do without the washer. A little trickier to adjust, this requires two wrenches. A thin headset wrench to adjust and 'hold' the bottom nut while you tighten the top nut with another headset wrench or a large monkey wrench.
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