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  1. #1
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    Question about headset bearing spacer seal

    I have a new Scalpel Carbon and want to move the bearing spacer that is on top of the head tube to the bottom to slacken it out a little. I've read old threads about it, but nobody that I saw ever answered the question: does the bearing seal that is currently on top of the spacer and upper bearing also move down so that it will be under the bottom bearing or does the seal stay up top?

    My shop was unaware that we could move the whole bearing spacer to the bottom - they've only ever moved the seal. I would imagine that the seal could therefore either remain at the top or go ahead and move to the bottom. Moving it to the bottom would protect the bottom bearing but slacken the head angle even more. Leaving it at the top would allow the angle to be slackened a little less and would maintain the original intent of the seal.

    What have you done?
    Has anyone tried it both ways? (sequentially, not simultaneously of course)
    Thanks in advance.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Question about headset bearing spacer seal

    I moved the bearing spacer from the top to the bottom last night. I looked at how things would come together if I moved the bearing seal down along with the spacer and decided NOT to do that. The angle/shape of the Lefty clamps are such that the upper lefty clamp would have been making contact with (or getting REALLY close to) the very outside edge of the frame's head tube. Putting the rubber bearing seal up top eliminated that. So I moved the spacer to the bottom but left the seal up top.
    Can't wait to try it out this weekend.

    P.S., I'll cross post this tip in a recent thread about the spacer, but a lot of people have complained that there was not enough of an edge on the inside of the spacer in order to pop it out, so they have attacked it externally with a screwdriver. In found that there IS a tiny lip, and a 1 3/4 inch PVC pipe fits perfectly through the headtube from below (after removing the bottom bearing) and hits onto that lip all the way around. A couple of taps with a mallet and it popped the spacer, with the top bearing still in, it right off. I moved the spacer, bearing and all, to the bottom and put the original bottom bearing up top and pressed them in.


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  3. #3
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    hows this working out for you ? a few threads say you have to take the bearings out of the spacer and headset and swap them around, but that doest make sense ?? the upper and lower bearings are the same, so why would you need to take the bearings out of the spacer at all , all you need is to take the lower bearing out and press that into the top of the head tube right ?

  4. #4
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    Re: Question about headset bearing spacer seal

    Quote Originally Posted by haquea View Post
    hows this working out for you ? a few threads say you have to take the bearings out of the spacer and headset and swap them around, but that doest make sense ?? the upper and lower bearings are the same, so why would you need to take the bearings out of the spacer at all , all you need is to take the lower bearing out and press that into the top of the head tube right ?
    You are right about the bearing - just leave the bearing in the spacer. Take the bottom bearing out and press it up top.

    I only rode it with the swapped spacer a couple of times last fall. Had a bad front wheel washout crash in a fast turn, so I put it back to stock. Not sure that the more relaxed geo was at fault but figured it could be since the front end was definitely lighter in climbs as well. I went with a shorter stem and like the fit and handling much better. The spacer swap is simple enough to do that it is definitely with trying out since so much of geo/handling is personal taste.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
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    my stem is -15deg 100m, i am swapping it for a -6 deg 100m to make it less aggressive . While i have the stem apart, i figured i might aswell swap the spacer around as well , or you reckon just the higher stem might be worth riding with first . I have the opposite issue, on my second ride of my scalpel 1, i front flipped the bike over a bump and broke my collarbone. just rode it again after 3mths out i noticed any small jump was causing me to lurch forward..obviously bad technique, but I'm 40 and an average rider, so i figure i will relax the geometry a bit, I'm not out for racing, just like to be able to keep up with the others though .

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about headset bearing spacer seal

    I went from a 110mm -15deg stem to a 90mm -5 deg stem. With a change in spacers, I kept the bar height the same but just had it move closer to me by 2cm. That significantly reduced that tendency to endo or to have the rear come up on jumps, etc. It also made turn-in easier without getting squirly.
    For what you describe, I would certainly try swapping the spacer. I'm not sure whether going with a more upright stem/position will keep you from going over the bars much because once your weight gets going forward it still has the same lever arm and is almost as far forward as with the lower angled stem. Changing the spacer will make a big difference...you just have to test it to see if you like it. :thumbup:

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

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