Headset Confusion- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Headset Confusion

    Looking at purchasing a used (new to me) fork on ebay. The steerer is cut just a bit shorter than the fork currently installed. Thinking I could purchase a different headset to compensate for the difference. Confused about the different types of headsets. Needing a 1 1/8 headset. I have the FSA Orbit currently installed. Am what I'm looking for called the zero stack or the low-stack? Anyone who can shed some light on this would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    What bike do you have?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    What bike do you have?
    I guess I should have mentioned that. It is a 2009 GT Force 3.0.

  4. #4
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    https://blue.canecreek.com/headset-fit-finder

    This can help, and CC are also helpful to speak to directly.

  5. #5
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    Appreciate it. I'll give it a look and see if I can contact them.

  6. #6
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    I think you may be out of luck as I believe that bike uses a traditional external cup headset. You might find a headset and crown race that save a mm or two, but not much more. It certainly wouldn't hurt to talk to CC. How much shorter is the steerer? Do you currently have spacers under the stem that you can remove or replace with shorter ones?
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    The headset currently installed does appear to be the external type. I thought a different headset could go on the inside of the head tube. But that's why I'm asking questions here! I haven't removed the installed fork to measure the steerer tube, I just roughly measured from the top of the crown to the top of the head tube. I will remove the fork this evening and measure it exactly. There are spacers below the stem. I always thought it was good practice to not have the stem directly on top of the headset. But again, advice from someone more knowledgeable is always welcome.

  8. #8
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    If you have spacers below the stem, you can remove them (or one of, or trim, or replace with a different size, etc.) to make up for the shorter steerer tube. Of course this means you'll be lowering your handle bars. But that could be made up by replacing the stem with one that in turn brings the bars back up. Or, replace the bars with ones that have more rise to make up the difference. All of these options are less expensive than a new fork.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  9. #9
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    Looking at the photo here
    https://www.rei.com/product/784286/g...tain-bike-2009
    The head tube is sized for straight 1.25" steer tubes and can only accept a 1.25" external headset. If it was sized for 1.5" or tapered steerers, you could fit a zero stack lower cup while using a straight 1.25" steerer. As others have said, you can reduce the size or number of spacers under the stem.

  10. #10
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    Thank you to all that have commented. After doing the math the steerer is 23mm (29/32) shorter than what I have currently installed.

  11. #11
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    Now that I know an internal headset and a zero stack headset is not possible are there any external headsets I could use that don't stick out as much? Or are they all pretty much the same thickness?

  12. #12
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    There are variations between different brands and models, but you can hardly save more than 5mm from a "standard" external cup headset compared to a "low" stack external cup headset and you would be spending some extra $$ on the "low" stack one.
    A difference of 23mm is a considerable amount of length on a head tube, unless you have that amount on spacers under your stem on your current setup I would carefully think about getting that fork.
    Also if you get that fork and lower your stem by 20mm, you would need a new handlebar with that same amount of rise to put you on the same position you correctly have, but you can get a new handlebar with ~20mm of rise for cheap, less than 25$ if you do some search.

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