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  1. #1
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    Homemade Headset spacers

    After converting my stem to the new style all I needed was the spacers to complete the job. Thought I'd make my own and paint them the colors of the bike. Turned out pretty good I think.


    Homemade Headset spacers-bikepic3.jpg
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    What are the spacers made from?
    Why do you have all those spacers, then have your stem flipped? You could have the same handlebar position without flipping the stem and use less spacers.

  3. #3
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    The spacers look good but have you considered that you have too many?

    Most forks list a maximum steerer tube height above the headset. Yours looks to be too long, too high.
    It's dangerous; you're putting a lot of bending stress on that steerer and it might snap.

    If you flip your stem you could put your bars in the same place and be able to shorten the steerer a little more, but even that might not be enough. You may have to get one of those +17 or +25 degree stems to get that bar height with a safe steerer tube.

    I'm not being harsh or giving you grief, just trying to help you be safe.

    Edit: I think most companies recommend no more than 40mm of spacers but obviously the fewer the better.
    Last edited by Randy99CL; 04-12-2013 at 09:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    What are the spacers made from?
    Why do you have all those spacers, then have your stem flipped? You could have the same handlebar position without flipping the stem and use less spacers.
    I have a new uncut fork and I'm determining the height that I want. We'll see how it goes. I think there may be quite a bit of torque on that steerer so it will probably be cut down in the future.

    The spacers are sch40 pvc pipe
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent319 View Post
    The spacers are sch40 pvc pipe
    Not a good idea. Plastic is compressive. You might not keep consistant pressure on the bearings.

    What size did you use?
    1-1/4" PVC has a 1.380" ID. Too big.
    1" PVC has a 1.049" ID. Too small.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Randy, though I think he means "steerer" where he says "head tube".

    You did an impressive job, though the whole setup reminds me again how ugly (IMO) threadless stems are compared to the old quill stems. I'm curious why you switched it. I assume it's because you needed a new fork?
    Eppur si muove.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I agree with Randy, though I think he means "steerer" where he says "head tube".
    Thanks JC, you're right, I'll do the edit.

    OP, again, sorry to rain on your parade, but you made the situation worse by using plastic. It can bend, allow the steerer to flex and will wear on the bottom and change the preload on the bearings.

    Good headset spacers are snug-fitting Al or carbon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    I'm not being harsh or giving you grief, just trying to help you be safe.

    Edit: I think most companies recommend no more than 40mm of spacers but obviously the fewer the better.
    I don't think you are being harsh but I agree it looks unsafe. It has 55mm of spacers so it's got to be cut down for sure.
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Not a good idea. Plastic is compressive. You might not keep consistent pressure on the bearings.

    What size did you use?
    1-1/4" PVC has a 1.380" ID. Too big.
    1" PVC has a 1.049" ID. Too small.
    Yeah I didn't know what roll the spacers play in this I was thinking they were cosmetic only. Not the case I guess.

    The pvc I used were the couplers for 1" pvc which have an ID of 1 1/8 which is what most steerers are today. I have a 1" steerer with a converter to 1 1/8 to accept the stem.
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    You did an impressive job, though the whole setup reminds me again how ugly (IMO) threadless stems are compared to the old quill stems. I'm curious why you switched it. I assume it's because you needed a new fork?
    I like the changeability of the stem and more options that are readily available with these stems as well.
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  11. #11
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent319 View Post
    Yeah I didn't know what roll the spacers play in this I was thinking they were cosmetic only. Not the case I guess.
    Nope, not the case. The spacers are used to adjust the preload on the bearings.

    The pvc I used were the couplers for 1" pvc which have an ID of 1 1/8 which is what most steerers are today. I have a 1" steerer with a converter to 1 1/8 to accept the stem.
    Now I'm confused. Is your steerer tube (the fork) 1" or 1 1/8".

    Did you use one of these? If so then yes, the spacers are just cosmetic. In fact you don't even need spacers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Nope, not the case. The spacers are used to adjust the preload on the bearings.

    Now I'm confused. Is your steerer tube (the fork) 1" or 1 1/8".

    Did you use one of these? If so then yes, the spacers are just cosmetic. In fact you don't even need spacers.

    My brain hurts....
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Did you use one of these? If so then yes, the spacers are just cosmetic. In fact you don't even need spacers.
    Yes, that changes everything! If you've got that extension, forget everything I said!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Yes that is what I used. I have a 1" threaded steerer converted to 1 1/8. If you look closely at the bottom of the shims you will see the headset is the old style and has a screw on shim to preload the headset bearings.

    So I can keep the pvc shims then?
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  15. #15
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent319 View Post
    Yes that is what I used. I have a 1" threaded steerer converted to 1 1/8. If you look closely at the bottom of the shims you will see the headset is the old style and has a screw on shim to preload the headset bearings.

    So I can keep the pvc shims then?
    Ahhh now it makes sense. It was hard to tell in the original photo.
    You can keep the pvc spacers. No harm will come to you. Except perhaps by the fashion police.

  16. #16
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    So you still have a threaded headset? Then, as the others have said, your spacers are non-functional. So no worries.

    Though now I'm really puzzled at the reason for the conversion, since you didn't get the one functional advantage of the threadless headset (simple bearing adjustment).

    Oh well, different tastes, I guess.

    The colors are nice :-)
    Eppur si muove.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    So you still have a threaded headset? Then, as the others have said, your spacers are non-functional. So no worries.

    Though now I'm really puzzled at the reason for the conversion, since you didn't get the one functional advantage of the threadless headset (simple bearing adjustment).

    Oh well, different tastes, I guess.

    The colors are nice :-)

    Yeah that's one thing I didn't get. Also trying to keeping that nut that keeps the bearing and fork in place from getting mangled up when removing it is a tough job. The threadless steerer eliminates that.
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Ahhh now it makes sense. It was hard to tell in the original photo.
    You can keep the pvc spacers. No harm will come to you. Except perhaps by the fashion police.
    Ok you guys know it's pvc but I shouldn't have told you so let's keep it our little secret and they'll never know.
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    Yes, that changes everything! If you've got that extension, forget everything I said!
    I'm reminded of Gilda Radner (RIP) saying "oops, nevermind".

  20. #20
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent319 View Post
    Ok you guys know it's pvc but I shouldn't have told you so let's keep it our little secret and they'll never know.
    Post #2. Question #1: "What are the spacers made from?"

    While the material wasn't known, it was obvious something wasn't normal. As well as the number of spacers and color scheme. The fashion police monitor stuff like that.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    I'm reminded of Gilda Radner (RIP) saying "oops, nevermind".
    Ah yes Roseanne Rosanadana
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent319 View Post
    Ah yes Roseanne Rosanadana
    No, it was Emily Litella.
    Eppur si muove.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    No, it was Emily Litella.

    I stand corrected
    I ride a classic and hang the vintage on the wall.

  24. #24
    Fix Altitude in My Tracks
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    My brain hurts....
    +1 I just don't get it
    Altitude Retriever corrects the altitude in your My Tracks tracks and GPX files. Bummed out by how far off the GPS altitude is on your device? Let the Altitude Retriever fetch for out.
    Get it on Google Play!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    So you still have a threaded headset? Then, as the others have said, your spacers are non-functional. So no worries.

    Though now I'm really puzzled at the reason for the conversion, since you didn't get the one functional advantage of the threadless headset (simple bearing adjustment).

    Oh well, different tastes, I guess.

    The colors are nice :-)
    Nah, another functional advantage ... to some people ... is that with threadless type stems, it's a lot easier to remove bars and or change the stem itself. You don't have to mess with removing the tape and brake levers. For whatever reason you want or need to do that. Note - I do like the looks of a threaded stem, but don't mind the looks of the threaded. I used one of those converters on a bike once just because it was easier to deal with and I could experiment with stems, and handlebars (using stuff I had laying around).

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