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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...so coming from my tires thread over to a properly titled thread...I have come home and I was actually wrong...it appears there are 3 spacers on my headset...two smaller ones and a much larger wider one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now...if I remove that cap at the top of my stem...am I going to open up pandora's box to a bunch of bolts, bearings, etc? I tried looking at Zinn's book...but it was talking about about 10 different styles of these things and I don't even know what I have...

Would I first start by loosening the stem and removing it from the headset? And then I remove the top cap which will allow me to gain access to the spacers?

After the spacers are removed, I replaced the stem, then put the pulled off spacer on top of the stem, then put the top cap back on?

Is that right? I am just guessing based on what folks have said and what my less than mechanically inclined mind views...
 

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Remove the top cap bolt.

Remove top cap.

Loosen Stem bolts.

Slid stem up and off. Forks may fall off or just slid out a bit so put the bike in the work stand with the front wheel on the ground.

Remove speacers.

Replace stem, and spacers on top of Stem and snug stem bolts evenly and smoothly.

Install top cap and top cap bolt.

Place your finger on the split between where the fork goes into the headset at the bottom.

Tighten top cap bolt, until when you move the bike back and forth you don't feel any wiggle in the split with your finger (Also align the front wheel and with bike).

Tighten stem bolts. (Note in a pinch the top cap bolt can be removed and used elsewhere as a spare; the stem holds the thing togeather)

You have a standard threadless headset (Ithink Zinn calls it a cane creek.

Remember to apply grease to all interfaces.
 

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Start by removing the top cap. Nothing will (should!) burst out. Then, you can remove the stem. Re-arange spacers and/or flip stem as desired. Do be sure to use all of the spacers though, don't completely remove any. Here's a link from Park Tool's site, scroll down, and check out the picture with "Gap Here" on it (that'll make more sense when you see it). Follow those instructions for re-assembling/tightening. Big picture. tighten top cap FIRST, and then stem.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=65

Cheers, Chris

EDIT: LOL, jeffscott beat me to it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks...gonna try it tomorrow
 

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jeffscott said:
Remove the top cap bolt.

Remove top cap.

Loosen Stem bolts.

Slid stem up and off. Forks may fall off or just slid out a bit so put the bike in the work stand with the front wheel on the ground.

Remove speacers.

Replace stem, and spacers on top of Stem and snug stem bolts evenly and smoothly.

Install top cap and top cap bolt.

Place your finger on the split between where the fork goes into the headset at the bottom.

Tighten top cap bolt, until when you move the bike back and forth you don't feel any wiggle in the split with your finger (Also align the front wheel and with bike).

Tighten stem bolts. (Note in a pinch the top cap bolt can be removed and used elsewhere as a spare; the stem holds the thing togeather)

You have a standard threadless headset (Ithink Zinn calls it a cane creek.

Remember to apply grease to all interfaces.
Nonononno, you're supposed to tighten the top cap before tightening the stem bolts. Otherwise, you won't preload your headset correctly because the topcap won't be able to press the tightened stem onto the bearing cup. This is very bad - you could ruin your frame or your headset if the headset is not adjusted properly.

Please read the Park Tool link posted previously, especially the "Headset Adjustment - Threadless Type" section.

If you are still unsure about this whole process, take the bike to your local bike shop (LBS) and have them show you how to do it properly. Good luck!
 

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zhen said:
Nonononno, you're supposed to tighten the top cap before tightening the stem bolts. Otherwise, you won't preload your headset correctly because the topcap won't be able to press the tightened stem onto the bearing cup. This is very bad - you could ruin your frame or your headset if the headset is not adjusted properly.

Please read the Park Tool link posted previously, especially the "Headset Adjustment - Threadless Type" section.

If you are still unsure about this whole process, take the bike to your local bike shop (LBS) and have them show you how to do it properly. Good luck!
Read jeffscott's post again. He got it right. I "snug" (not tighten!) my stem bolts first too so it's not swinging all over the place. Not required, but I think it's good technique.

It's all good; we are all saying the same thing here!

Cheers, Chris
 

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With that many spacers - your top cap bolt might not be long enough to reach the star nun inside the fork steerer with all the spacers on top. Just bear than in mind.

Bars level with saddle (assuming correct saddle height) is a good starting point.

Bars higher than saddle more suited to drops.

Bars significantly lower than saddle is for aggressive / steep climbing.

As you lower your bars, they will also get slightly further away, too - trigonometry was useful in school after all....
 

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Sideknob said:
With that many spacers - your top cap bolt might not be long enough to reach the star nun inside the fork steerer with all the spacers on top. Just bear than in mind..
No, he'll be fine. The distance that the bolt has to span will be the same regardless of whether the spacers are on top or bottom of the stem. It all takes up the same distance it's just that things are arranged in a different order.

Personally, I'd cut the steerer tube down rather than put all those spacers on the stem but that's a bit more work.
 

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dir-T said:
No, he'll be fine. The distance that the bolt has to span will be the same regardless of whether the spacers are on top or bottom of the stem. It all takes up the same distance it's just that things are arranged in a different order.

Personally, I'd cut the steerer tube down rather than put all those spacers on the stem but that's a bit more work.
Agree with both points. Actually, cutting the steerer tube is easy if you pick up a $10 pipe cutter from home depot. Just rememember - measure twice, cut once.

Ant
 

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PanicFan, there's nothing at all wrong with cutting the steerer tube down, but before you do that, consider if you'd ever perhaps sell that fork later or use it on another bike in the future. Those are the reasons many folks don't cut the tube. Just something to consider...

Cheers, Chris
 

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And if you cut the tube, you have to do it pretty accurately to a correct length so that the top cap and bolt can pull on the star nut and the remaining tube.
 
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