19 March, 2020

Headset Spacers - Cycling's Equivalent to a Belt?

By Scott

In a post a while back about the little details, I outlined some things about our bikes/frames that can get glossed over by the first look, but most certainly deserve a second or even third glance/inspection to understand the level of work that goes into them. Belts are similar in the clothing world, that they are useful, can add an interesting accent to your outfit, but are often over looked. I think headset spacers fall into a similar category in the cycling world of being an overlooked, but essential way to achieve a cohesive aesthetic.

My interest in spacers can be a little awkward when I talk to other cyclists. When I ask, "what's your favorite headset spacer?" most people slowly back away while trying to maintain eye contact with me. (odd, huh?)

With some of our new frames, headset spacers have become a more interesting aspect to the bike. With the Neutrino frame as a prime example, the long steerer tube can result in a greater than normal spacer stack. Due to this, we now have 1 1/8" 20 mm thick alloy spacers (black and silver thank you). The 20 mm thickness/height helps out on builds like this. Having 4 x 5mm thick spacers does the same job, but the bumps between spacers can be a bit jarring from a cosmetic standpoint.

Now if you're looking for something for the classic bike in your life, the brass spacers from Blue Lug add some interesting mixes of color to the headset area and the patina that will develop from the road will bring back memories in years to come. They even have a brass top cap for your threadless headset.

Finally, coming back to VO product #1, the bell spacer - the first product offered under the Velo Orange brand back in 2006. With sizes available to fit on 1" and 1 1/8" headsets, it makes mounting a bell easy. But if we think a little out of the box, you can use the M5 threaded section on the mount to attach something like our Rack to Light Bracket to it as well, if you want to have a front dynamo light. (Shout out to Jim S for this suggestion and photo)

Where do headset spacers fit in your world? Something to obsess over or just part of the background of cycling?

1 comment:

Bryce said...

I have a black bike with some copper/orangey-brown accents, and I can't believe a bronze/copper coloured headset spacer doesn't exist.