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  1. #1
    i ride a bicycle
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    Headset and stem - Road vs. mtb

    I'm in the market for a 1 1/8" threadless headset, and a stem. The primary shopping criteria is "cheap". When browsing eBay and Craigslist for deals, is there any real difference between threadless headsets and stems marketed as "Road" or "Mountain"?

    I sometimes find it's more trouble than it's worth to try and source stuff on eBay/CL; can someone make a recommendation for innexpensive headsets if I decide to buy new?

    Thanks,

    Mac

    P.S. I do realize the stem needs to have the proper clamp diameter for my bars.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The difference, as you suspected, is the handlebar clamp size.

  3. #3
    i ride a bicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    The difference, as you suspected, is the handlebar clamp size.
    How about headsets - Can I just use any 1 1/8" headset my little heart desires? Is it that simple? (admittedly disregarding arguments about quality)

    Mac

  4. #4
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    With headsets, up to a certain price point, you get what you pay for so don't go too cheap there...
    As far as stems, you can find bargain stems everywhere....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  5. #5
    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac02
    How about headsets - Can I just use any 1 1/8" headset my little heart desires? Is it that simple? (admittedly disregarding arguments about quality)

    Mac
    as long as the crown race diameter matches your fork.

  6. #6
    Your mom
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    Have to agree with headset cost. I have a $10 Nashbar headset on my fixie and I cannot adjust it correctly - either too tight or too loose. I'm newly converted to the opinion that any part with bearings needs to be quality.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    My gut tells me that decent mountain headsets will have better seals than the same priced road headsets, at the cost of a little more drag. I could be totally off on this however.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho
    Have to agree with headset cost. I have a $10 Nashbar headset on my fixie and I cannot adjust it correctly - either too tight or too loose. I'm newly converted to the opinion that any part with bearings needs to be quality.
    I have a $15 (I must have gotten the delux version. ) Nashbar 1" cartridge bearing threaded headset on my rain/beater/errand bike and, after three years and about 6000 miles of abuse and bad weather, it is still smooth and quiet and has held it's adjustment perfectly.

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