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-   -   Headset Spacer concerns (https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/1245064-headset-spacer-concerns.html)

tiger1964 01-12-22 03:42 PM

Headset Spacer concerns
 
As I was musing in another topic, on my 1974 Zeus track bike project, “The nice fork I bought here on C&V/BF looks great, but the steerer is long and the top nut bottoms out while about 9/16” of threads are still exposed. Hmmm, if I could locate a spacer to fill that instead of cutting the steerer, I could leave the bars higher while not sourcing a long stem, right? Looks like plenty of support for the stem.” Well, measuring a bit more accurately, I find that the “excess steerer length” is from 19.9mm when only engaging the top nut threads 1.5 turns (likely not enough, eh?), down to 16.7mm all the way down. Furthermore, there’s a 1.5mm keyed washer which could take the latter figure down to 15mm. Looking online, 15mm x 1” silver aluminum spacers all seem to be out of stock everywhere. Again, is it acceptable to “stack” spacers? And I’ll presume that the existence of such spacers (wow, I’ve seen 40mm ones out there?) implies that such things are indeed used out there, presumably safely.

P!N20 01-12-22 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22371619)
Again, is it acceptable to “stack” spacers?

Yeah I don't see any issues with that.

thinktubes 01-12-22 07:13 PM

No issues…

https://live.staticflickr.com/834/43...c9ca3722_k.jpg

Indurain did it and it worked “ok” for him if you need more proof.

https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/cG...70-80.jpg.webp

merziac 01-12-22 07:39 PM

@tiger1964

It absolutely is. ;)

Mine,

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...61cd2ad549.jpg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...76590fe1c4.jpg

And this, it was my inspiration. :)

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...hins-duel.html

I made it from some SS thick wall tubing that shined up well, I can send you a chunk if you want. Has to be pretty level and square. Wasn't to hard to do.

tiger1964 01-13-22 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by P!N20 (Post 22371805)
Yeah I don't see any issues with that.


Originally Posted by thinktubes (Post 22371852)
No issues… Indurain did it and it worked “ok” for him if you need more proof.

Sounds like I should proceed. Now to find them online, seems like a lot of sellers have "supply chain issues" :troll: So perhaps a 10mm and two 3mm.


Originally Posted by merziac (Post 22371874)
@tiger1964 It absolutely is. ;) I made it from some SS thick wall tubing that shined up well, I can send you a chunk if you want. Has to be pretty level and square. Wasn't to hard to do.

If I had access to machine tools, I'd be all over that offer!:thumb:

merziac 01-13-22 05:53 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22372641)
Sounds like I should proceed. Now to find them online, seems like a lot of sellers have "supply chain issues" :troll: So perhaps a 10mm and two 3mm.



If I had access to machine tools, I'd be all over that offer!:thumb:

No need for machines, flat surface, emery cloth, small level, square, calipers and a bit of chi/patience.

I can cut the spacer with a pipe cutter that gets very close on both ends then you sand/file them down to finish.

I have never been a fan of stacking spacers, especially aluminum that can easily be made to be one piece.

The stainless shines up better and looks so much better than anything other than chrome.

I can send you a piece anyway if you want, just need the size. ;)

gugie 01-13-22 10:08 PM

Just make absolutely sure that the expander is below the threaded part of the stem.

merziac 01-13-22 10:48 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22372641)
Sounds like I should proceed. Now to find them online, seems like a lot of sellers have "supply chain issues" :troll: So perhaps a 10mm and two 3mm.

If I had access to machine tools, I'd be all over that offer!:thumb:


Originally Posted by gugie (Post 22373313)
Just make absolutely sure that the expander is below the threaded part of the stem.

And maybe a bit more for good measure with that much stem sticking up. :twitchy:

SurferRosa 01-14-22 12:26 AM


Originally Posted by thinktubes (Post 22371852)

I have issues with this! OK? I have issues! :troll:

Bianchigirll 01-14-22 04:26 AM

I detest the idea of cutting a steerer especially if you’re cutting less than an inch.

as my hairstylist says when she breaks out the Aquanet “stack it to Jesus Honey”.

BTinNYC 01-14-22 07:05 AM


Originally Posted by Bianchigirll (Post 22373443)
as my hairstylist says when she breaks out the Aquanet “stack it to Jesus Honey”.

😂 thanks for that good laugh!

tiger1964 01-14-22 10:06 AM


Originally Posted by merziac (Post 22373020)
No need for machines, flat surface, emery cloth, small level, square, calipers and a bit of chi/patience. I can cut the spacer with a pipe cutter that gets very close on both ends then you sand/file them down to finish. I have never been a fan of stacking spacers, especially aluminum that can easily be made to be one piece. The stainless shines up better and looks so much better than anything other than chrome. I can send you a piece anyway if you want, just need the size. ;)

OK, you sold me! As a bonus I get to spend extra time on the buffing machine making it glow. :thumb: I figure on a finished spacer of, eh, 16mm, and I'll PM you an address.

merziac 01-14-22 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22373752)
OK, you sold me! As a bonus I get to spend extra time on the buffing machine making it glow. :thumb: I figure on a finished spacer of, eh, 16mm, and I'll PM you an address.

All about the glow, easy peasy on this. I did it by hand with Scotch-Brite and Blue Magic polish, you may have to sand a bit but probably not much. ;)

Steel Charlie 01-14-22 03:44 PM

Search "headset spacers" on ebay there are about a bazillion sellers

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...s&_sacat=57262

tiger1964 01-27-22 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by merziac (Post 22373020)
I can send you a piece anyway if you want, just need the size. ;)

Thanks and it arrived yesterday. Nice looking chunk of metal that should polish up nicely. :thumb: Well, it looks like the top locknut on the headset has about 7.84mm of threads. The steerer's threads are exposed a little over 3mm with the spacer in place PLUS the keyed washer. If I ran without the washer (well, the spacer is sort of a washer after all, just not keyed) would gain me a little over 1.5mm more. Regardless, needs filing down to grip enough threads (I presume, is there an accepted normal minimum engagement or is "you can never get enough" the criterion?). I went to the "home center" and no files wider than the spacer's diameter stocked there and I figure the best way to avoid introducing a slanted surface to the spacer while filing is have the file wide enough to have contact across the entire spacer diameter. So, off to Amazon and NOT Prime so I get to wait. Meanwhile other parts of the bike to attend to.

Hey, I realized that out in the garage with the "car tools" I was once given a de-burring tool, and now I may actually have a use for it!

merziac 01-27-22 03:01 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22388991)
Thanks and it arrived yesterday. Nice looking chunk of metal that should polish up nicely. :thumb: Well, it looks like the top locknut on the headset has about 7.84mm of threads. The steerer's threads are exposed a little over 3mm with the spacer in place PLUS the keyed washer. If I ran without the washer (well, the spacer is sort of a washer after all, just not keyed) would gain me a little over 1.5mm more. Regardless, needs filing down to grip enough threads (I presume, is there an accepted normal minimum engagement or is "you can never get enough" the criterion?). I went to the "home center" and no files wider than the spacer's diameter stocked there and I figure the best way to avoid introducing a slanted surface to the spacer while filing is have the file wide enough to have contact across the entire spacer diameter. So, off to Amazon and NOT Prime so I get to wait. Meanwhile other parts of the bike to attend to.

Hey, I realized that out in the garage with the "car tools" I was once given a de-burring tool, and now I may actually have a use for it!

You're welcome, now comes the hard part. ;)

So a file wide enough is likely to be long and unwieldly, may need more finesse to keep it on track, I rotate the tubing as I file and actually lay the file on the bench and move the piece across it rotating a little bit every stroke and checking often. By the time you get it down, you should gain a couple more mm so should be good, I like to have max threads in a case like this with all the extra going on.

tiger1964 01-27-22 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by merziac (Post 22389452)
You're welcome, now comes the hard part. ;)

So a file wide enough is likely to be long and unwieldly, may need more finesse to keep it on track, I rotate the tubing as I file and actually lay the file on the bench and move the piece across it rotating a little bit every stroke and checking often. By the time you get it down, you should gain a couple more mm so should be good, I like to have max threads in a case like this with all the extra going on.

I'm on board. I figure one stroke on the file, and a quarter turn of the spacer. And measure frequently.

Yeah, holding the file in my hand looked no-go from the outset. I am thinking of defacing my workbench with a couple of screws almost flush to act as the equivalent of woodworkers' "bench dogs" to keep the file from sliding, and I can concentrate on handling the spacer.

merziac 01-27-22 04:02 PM


Originally Posted by tiger1964 (Post 22389523)
I'm on board. I figure one stroke on the file, and a quarter turn of the spacer. And measure frequently.

Yeah, holding the file in my hand looked no-go from the outset. I am thinking of defacing my workbench with a couple of screws almost flush to act as the equivalent of woodworkers' "bench dogs" to keep the file from sliding, and I can concentrate on handling the spacer.

DOH!

Said hard, meant "fun". ;)


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