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    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Can anybody tell me where to find . . .

    You know the stock that they cut headset spacers from--basically aluminum alloy pipe--size 1 1/8" Inside Diameter?

    I would like to get 3 or 4 pieces of this stuff, each about 15cm long (i will cut to exact size later).

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    I believe they're milled from 6061 barstock. Inquire at a machine shop.

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    Buy 40mm spacers from Bike Parts.com and cut to size.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    I need a continuous piece, not sliced into spacers. Machine shop possibility--Is tubing normally sized by inside diameter?

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Would be stocked by OD and Wall thickness , if you ask, they may help sort out getting a 9/8 ID..

    I bought a couple packs of Cane creek 'Interlok' spacers , molded in Polycarbonate plastic, they are about .123" wall ..
    9/8 +1/8+1/8, or 11/8 OD, the 'interlok' spacers are low cost and as the name suggests they snap together
    so that is what I used to make a 2" tall spacer stack. 5 and 10mm sections and a 3mm one for the top..

    'Aircraft Spruce' is an aluminum tube source, 'Dragon Plate' sells carbon composite tubes.

    You would be wise to use a lathe to cut off the tube, having the ends square all the way around helps make even pressure all the way around the bearing races.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-20-10 at 08:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    read between the lines


    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Would be stocked by OD and Wall thickness , if you ask, they may help sort out getting a 9/8 ID..

    I bought a couple packs of Cane creek 'Interlok' spacers , molded in Polycarbonate plastic, they are about .123" wall ..
    9/8 +1/8+1/8, or 11/8 OD, the 'interlok' spacers are low cost and as the name suggests they snap together
    so that is what I used to make a 2" tall spacer stack. 5 and 10mm sections and a 3mm one for the top..
    .................................................................................................... ......................
    How rigid is the stack when snapped together--rigid enough to provide meaningful support for steerer?
    .................................................................................................... ...........................
    'Aircraft Spruce' is an aluminum tube source, 'Dragon Plate' sells carbon composite tubes.
    .................................................................................................... ............................
    I am Googling aircraft spruce now.

    Do you think a carbon tube would be durable enough for steerer sleeve "spacer"?
    .................................................................................................... .................................
    You would be wise to use a lathe to cut off the tube, having the ends square all the way around helps make even pressure all the way around the bearing races.
    .................................................................................................... .....................................
    I was planning on using one of those tubing cutters like plumbers use on copper pipe . . . ???

  7. #7
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    I checked Aircraft Spruce--closest they have is 1.18" where i need something like 1.147". So the stuff used for headset spacers is non-standard (what else is new-haha)--So somebody has to make it in bulk before they slice it up and call it "headset spacers" and sell it for more than its weight in gold. I wonder who that somebody could be . . .

  8. #8
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    My headset spacers are just about right on 1.125 ID.

    Aircraft Spruce has some CrMo that's 1.135 ID, 1.375 OD, that's probably what I'd go for. It's a little thick on the OD, but that's no matter that I can think of.

    After shipping, you're probably looking at $14.00 for a foot of it.

    Oh, BTW, all the headset spacers I have are more than just sliced up. They're sliced up then powdercoated. Never tried any of the fancy CF stuff, tho.

    I wouldn't use a pipe cutter, they tend to decrease the diameters near the cut. Not a huge deal, though, as you'll need to clean up either a hacksaw or pipecutter cut with a file. Actually a couple of files - a flat one for the ends and outside and a rat tail for the inside.

    A mirror is good for checking flatness of the ends on.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 07-20-10 at 09:24 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  9. #9
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Squaring the ends with a file is certainly possible but it's a brutally slow and skill loaded solution. The lathe is far quicker and better.

    A tubing cutter will leave a bad ridge as mentioned already and also an edge that is far from flat. And then there's the squish it makes on the diameter to make the inside smaller in diameter.

    If you don't have the tools your best bet is to stick to buying them. And why the insistance on only one? Granted it would look neater but not if it's raw pipe cut with a tubing cutter.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Yeah, thinking about it some more, cleaning up the pipecutter cut would be brutal. Even with a hacksaw and a good miter box it would take some amount of finesse to get the end right.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    My headset spacers are just about right on 1.125 ID.

    Aircraft Spruce has some CrMo that's 1.135 ID, 1.375 OD, that's probably what I'd go for. It's a little thick on the OD, but that's no matter that I can think of.

    After shipping, you're probably looking at $14.00 for a foot of it.

    Oh, BTW, all the headset spacers I have are more than just sliced up. They're sliced up then powdercoated. Never tried any of the fancy CF stuff, tho.

    I wouldn't use a pipe cutter, they tend to decrease the diameters near the cut. Not a huge deal, though, as you'll need to clean up either a hacksaw or pipecutter cut with a file. Actually a couple of files - a flat one for the ends and outside and a rat tail for the inside.

    A mirror is good for checking flatness of the ends on.
    Hmmm . . . I just measured the steerer on this new fork i have, and i get 1.124 OD. Is it truly possible that they make headset spacers that are only one thousandth of an inch larger in ID, meaning clearance is 1/2 of 1/1000th of an inch on each side?? I'm having trouble with that. The slightest imperfection would prevent "Penetration" as they say.

    The spacers I had handy measure 1.147 and 1.143".

    I didn't look at the cromo because of weight assumptions--need to revisit.

    Perhaps your powdercoating has increased the ID, accounting for that tight fit??--or do they mask off the inside.

    Thanks for the info and prices--Perhaps I could get the vendor to cut it to the correct length with a precision cut?? I'm really not set up here for that kind of stuff.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Squaring the ends with a file is certainly possible but it's a brutally slow and skill loaded solution. The lathe is far quicker and better.

    A tubing cutter will leave a bad ridge as mentioned already and also an edge that is far from flat. And then there's the squish it makes on the diameter to make the inside smaller in diameter.

    If you don't have the tools your best bet is to stick to buying them. And why the insistance on only one? Granted it would look neater but not if it's raw pipe cut with a tubing cutter.
    Yeah, i should have explained. Because i am old fart and need bars higher, there is LONG hunk of (uncut) steer tube sticking out of top of head tube, with high-rise stem on top. I am thinking that one rigid spacer would help support the setup better than no spacers or an unrigid setup of thin spacers.

    Perhaps it is unnecessary, but it seemed like an idea worth pursuing. Naturally it is easier in conception than in execution.

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    Yeah, i should have explained. Because i am old fart and need bars higher, there is LONG hunk of (uncut) steer tube sticking out of top of head tube, with high-rise stem on top. I am thinking that one rigid spacer would help support the setup better than no spacers or an unrigid setup of thin spacers.

    Perhaps it is unnecessary, but it seemed like an idea worth pursuing. Naturally it is easier in conception than in execution.
    Having one continuous piece of spacer vs many small ones won't make an iota of difference. You're wasting your efforts. Also, even alloy steerers have a max safe height. If you need anymore than ~ 50mm, your bike is much too small for you.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    "How rigid is the stack when snapped together--rigid enough to provide meaningful support for steerer?"

    Given that is what they are made to do , they're fine, Got 2" worth between 2 stems and the 'Wise *******'

    steerer mounted bottle opener.. it's another spacer..
    there are Interlok (patented) spacers of aluminum, by Cane Creek, also..

    FWIW Mine: Its a trekking bike.. Koga Miyata cut the steerer tube too short , otherwise frame is a good size,
    But I got a clever stem riser from BBB, of NL also, it's a quill inside the steerer with shims equal to the steerer tube wall thickness, to gain another 40mm
    so well reinforced ,
    additional stem is for HB bag mount ..

    http://www.bikeman.com/HD2245.html

    Al :http://www.bikeman.com/HD2331.html

    Note : They get them from QBP so can your LBS.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-20-10 at 11:34 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    One piece or many, the function of the spacer is the same and no benifit will occur by having one tube or many. And I totally concur with Operator about the frame size unless this is a situation where you're looking for a very upright riding style. If that is the case then you'll best get it by using a combo of a large enough frame and bars that lift up and further back such as the Northroad style. And despite how many poo-poo them the adjustable stem that rises up to a crazy high angle sounds like it would suit you. That way you can stick with a more normal spacer stack height.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  16. #16
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Yeah, well, "more upright riding style" is the name of the game.

    And it's got to be drop bars.

    So the choice is either a tall stack height or a custom frame with longer head tube but OK effective top tube.

    So choice is between giraffe and Rhino look-alikes.

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    They do make some pretty hi-rise stems which might help you out.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
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    The easiest way to cut aluminum is with a chopsaw. Any chopsaw that you can get to cut square. Any carbide blade cuts thru aluminum like butter.

  19. #19
    Holy Spokes it's Batsman! Glennfordx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    Yeah, i should have explained. Because i am old fart and need bars higher, there is LONG hunk of (uncut) steer tube sticking out of top of head tube, with high-rise stem on top. I am thinking that one rigid spacer would help support the setup better than no spacers or an unrigid setup of thin spacers.

    Perhaps it is unnecessary, but it seemed like an idea worth pursuing. Naturally it is easier in conception than in execution.
    I made my own for a 1" fork that I wanted to do for the same reason and found a old Echo commercial weed trimmer had the same ID and OD as stock spacers did, I did use a pipe cutter and then touched up with a file and they came out perfect. I then polished it and used a Shimano 600 star nut on top.
    Glenn



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  20. #20
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I agree I think you need to check your overall fit. I like to situp to but it sounds like you want your bars higher than your seat. you may benifit from a slightly larger frame or perhaps a Moustache style bar so you do not have to reach as far.

    see some of my bars are pretty high.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    I need a continuous piece, not sliced into spacers. Machine shop possibility--Is tubing normally sized by inside diameter?
    Tubing is sold by outside diameter, and wall thickness. You won't find a commercial tube with the right inside and outside diameter. In any case you'll need a lathe to cut spacers because the squareness of the ends is critical for headset spacers. Try to figure your exact needs and buy the longest spacer smaller than that and fine tune with thinner spacers. If you have a small home lathe you can buy one of the 40mm ones and cut the exact length.

    BTW- commercial tubing is usually sold in 8 or 12' lengths, with a big time up charge for smaller pieces. Any purchase of a tube, and/or visit to a machine shop will cost you vastly more than buying what you need from a bicycle source.
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  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    threadless headset spacers work in compression, so thin or thick wall tube won't matter, as the compression is along the length, its not flexing .
    besides old farts and upright bars is a lot less force on stuff than Young Immortals dropping off steep drops and getting their adrenalin rush in the process.

  23. #23
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    my LBS sell spacers for $1 a piece - in all sizes. by the time you figure all this out, order them and try to cut them, you could have just bought these and gone for a two day ride.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
    I made my own for a 1" fork that I wanted to do for the same reason and found a old Echo commercial weed trimmer had the same ID and OD as stock spacers did, I did use a pipe cutter and then touched up with a file and they came out perfect. I then polished it and used a Shimano 600 star nut on top.
    Glenn
    A man after my own heart--and i bet you really enjoyed doing it too--sometimes I really miss my shop and all the tools I used to have back in TX before they put a *** to my head and forced me to move here.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interesting posts--I just came across this photo

    of Look 566 bike which has long head tube but looks good anyway. May be design to mimic in custom Ti build.

    ASIDE: I don't understand why this photo which measures about 4" x 5" and comes from roadbikereviews is "too large" to post on here when I see some really huge photos here??????????????????????????????????

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