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.
mtn. biking 101
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
    mtbr member
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    Integrated Headset gap?

    Hi, I have a gap between my integrated headset and the frame. This gap goes away if I remove one of the silver washers. Is the picture below normal or not?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    When you say "silver washers," are you referring to the spacers between your headset and your stem? Or to something else? If something else, where does it come from?

    Regardless, it's weird that the top of the headset isn't all the way in contact. Can you move it further down with your fingers? If no, take it to your shop and get it fixed. If yes, how far above the top of the steer tube is the top of your topmost spacer?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Loosen the stem, screw down the hex bolt on the top cap until the gap goes away. Then tighten your stem. Park Tool has a good blog post on this.

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