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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-03-12, 04:57 PM   #1
smurray
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Headset installation w/o stem

I'm ready to have my headset installed in my new frame/fork. I do not have a stem yet though, I am still trying to decide what stem/bar combination I want. This may be a stupid question, but does it make sense to have the headset installed if I don't have a stem, or should I wait? It's a threadless stem, if that makes any difference.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:12 PM   #2
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Go for it. Just don't cut the tube until you've ridden it for a while.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:34 PM   #3
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You won't be able to tighten / adjust the headset without a stem. But you can have the cups pressed into the frame and baseplate / crown race pressed onto the fork.

Who is doing this for you? If you are bringing it to the LBS, just do it all at once. Which would also include cutting the steerer tube and putting the star nut in. Will save you an extra trip.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:38 PM   #4
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Will I run into issues if I want to change headsets after having the steerer tube cut? I was planning on buying a cheap headset at first until I decide exactly what size/angle I want, then switching to a nicer one.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:51 PM   #5
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buy the headset you really want, rather than tacking cost of the 'interim' headset onto the price of the real one. be patient!
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Old 07-03-12, 05:56 PM   #6
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Ok, next question. Is there a good way to know about how many spacers I should run on the stem? I know it's a personal preference, but is there a good starting point? I assume it's better to start with too many and remove some, since you can't uncut the steerer tube.
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Old 07-03-12, 06:06 PM   #7
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Start with it uncut and all the way up. Drop until it's comfortable.
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Old 07-03-12, 07:22 PM   #8
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I started with a 5 pack of 20 mm spacers then slowly lowered it to a comfy spot.
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Old 07-03-12, 08:02 PM   #9
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^^ This. Remember, you can always put the spacers above the stem while finding the height you like. Then you can have the steer tube cut to size, or leave some extra play room and have some spacers above the stem for future changes if wanted.
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Old 07-03-12, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyIII View Post
buy the headset you really want, rather than tacking cost of the 'interim' headset onto the price of the real one. be patient!
Do bear in mind though that the headset is one of the least important bearings on the bike. A Chris King will work pretty much as well as an entry level.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:22 PM   #11
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most of the time, i start with 2-3 10mm spacers, and adjust till im at a comfy spot, also its wise to leave a spacer or two if you plan to change stems, some stems are taller than others, so you want some space to move around just in case
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Old 07-04-12, 03:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
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buy the headset you really want, rather than tacking cost of the 'interim' headset onto the price of the real one. be patient!
It's not the headset I was planning on swapping out, it was the stem.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Do bear in mind though that the headset is one of the least important bearings on the bike. A Chris King will work pretty much as well as an entry level.
And a POS will be harder to adjust for that sweet spot, which may just kill the bike's steeing. Some designs, like CK's, work better for longevity and low maintenance.


Quote:
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Will I run into issues if I want to change headsets after having the steerer tube cut? I was planning on buying a cheap headset at first until I decide exactly what size/angle I want, then switching to a nicer one.
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It's not the headset I was planning on swapping out, it was the stem.
you said it yourself. it will cost a lot in shop labor to buy cheap now and upgrading later.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:44 AM   #14
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as a rule of thumb I like to leave a 5`10mm spacer above my stem as it aids in future changes

I also use a fit calculator to assist in setting up my bike and then make little tweaks for comfort I think competitive cyclist has a really good one
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Old 07-04-12, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I was planning on buying a cheap headset at first until I decide exactly what size/angle I want, then switching to a nicer one.
Have you been watching videos of cute girls assembling bikes?
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