1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: LoneReaction's Avatar
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    I F***ed up a simple stem flip!! :O

    Pardon me if I use the wrong names for stuff.

    I was trying to flip the stem on my road bike, so my back won't ache so much. But it appears that it is slightly different than on my mountain bike. The "topcap" thing screws into some stuff that expands the more you screw in. I unscrewed it all the way and the bottom dropped into the fork.

    Pictures:
    Expanding metal thing held together by a rubber band, on the bottom left. And the roller thingmajig in the center.


    Took out the whole fork to get the expanding metal thing to drop out.


    Were these gaps there before I dismantled it? I don't know!





    I put everything back together, took it for a short ride and nothing seems to be loose.
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  2. #2
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    The expanding thing is an alternate to the "star fangled nut" to grab onto the inner part of your steer tube.
    Quill stems work in a similar way. The proper way to handle this type of set up is to loosen the bolt on your stem's top cap, but not all the way! You don't want the split piece to fall into your steer tube (like it did for you).
    Instead, you just loosen the bolt until it is sticking up above the top cap a half an inch or so, then give the bolt a little tap to push the bottom wedge out of the split piece, so the diameter will decrease and you can pull the assembly out of the steer tube.

  3. #3
    Derptastic
    Reputation: Nadric's Avatar
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    Your spacers aren't lined up right! Redo!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    The proper way to handle this type of set up is to loosen the bolt on your stem's top cap, but not all the way! You don't want the split piece to fall into your steer tube (like it did for you).
    Like a dumbass I loosened it until the bottom part dropped out. I only realized it when it was impossible to screw back the top cap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadric
    Your spacers aren't lined up right! Redo!
    Ooo I just noticed that!

    I'm still wondering if the gaps are supposed to be there, keep reading about how you need special tools for headsets.. but then again, it doesn't look like on my mountain bike.
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  5. #5
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    your crown race may be upside down. Its the thin ring that sits at the base of the steer tube of the fork, and up against the head tube.

  6. #6
    usually cranky
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    it does look like either: your crown race is upside down, your crown race isnt fully seated, or you put the lower bearing in facing the wrong way. the angled edge should point up towards the ceiling. like wise the angled edge on the top bearing should point down towards the floor.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    it does look like either: your crown race is upside down, your crown race isnt fully seated, or you put the lower bearing in facing the wrong way. the angled edge should point up towards the ceiling. like wise the angled edge on the top bearing should point down towards the floor.
    I doubt if an upside down crown race would seat at all. the fork would probably be wiggling all over the place if that was it. If its turning smoothly with no slop or wiggle you are probably ok and the gap is normal.

  8. #8
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I doubt if an upside down crown race would seat at all. the fork would probably be wiggling all over the place if that was it. If its turning smoothly with no slop or wiggle you are probably ok and the gap is normal.
    me too. especially if a shop installed it. but might as well check everything it possibly could be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I doubt if an upside down crown race would seat at all. the fork would probably be wiggling all over the place if that was it. If its turning smoothly with no slop or wiggle you are probably ok and the gap is normal.
    Hmm, I went for a slow 2 hour ride today, and nothing feels wiggly. I will open it up again and check when I'm free, just in case. How do I make sure the crown race, and the head tube roller thing, are snug in place?
    Hammer them lightly with a screwdriver?
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  10. #10
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    You can see the crown race has a flat surface for the bearings to roll on and a vertical cone projection to keep the bearings centered and the steer tube from moving.
    You can imagine that putting that thing upside down would cause a gap, but would also cause the steer tube to wallow around since the race wouldn't be in the gap between bearing and steer tube to hold the gap constant.
    When you knock that crown race into place, it sits flat on the top of your fork crown, with no gap, and often looks like its just part of the fork, not a removable piece.
    In your close up shot, it looks like the crown race is tapering wider as you go up toward the head tube, which is why people assumed the race was upside down, but in the catalog image I posted, which is for a cane creek road bike crown race, you can see that the bottom of the race tapers wider to the bearing surface, and then tapers down again for the bearing "cone".
    I suspect that yours looks much like this, that it is installed correctly, and based on your close up photo, there is no gap under it. Now go ride!

  11. #11
    Rub it............
    Reputation: frdfandc's Avatar
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    If it was fine before you flipped the stem, the crown race is ok. There is supposed to be a space between the fork and the frame to prevent the fork from binding on the frame when turning.

    Just make sure those bearings are fully seated. The top bearing looks like it could be further inserted in the head tube.

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