My bike currently has a headset base spacer ring (aka conical or cone spacer) installed (like the tapered ring in the picture enter image description here).

Can this ring be completely removed if the steerer and spacers are adjusted accordingly or does this serve some purpose?

2 Answers 2


EDIT - removing old answer bc question changed.

That conical spacer presses against the upper bearing assembly. If you take it out you'll need some way to pre-load the bearings. Unless you can find another part to replace the function of the conical spacer you cannot remove it.

Why do you want to remove it? Are you trying to slam your stem?

Here is an article about an appropriately named product that might get you where you want to go: Slam that Stem.

  • Sorry, I just grabbed that picture from Google to demonstrate the tapered spacer, it is not my bike. Aug 19, 2015 at 17:46
  • I am referring to the tapered base spacer, not the two above it. Aug 19, 2015 at 17:47
  • Oh, using the wrong term, conical spacer is what I was referring to, not a base spacer. Aug 19, 2015 at 17:52
  • I don't see how a stem or small spacer wouldn't do the same thing. The bearing has to contact the steerer, as does the spacer. The outer bearing section shouldn't be in contact with the moving parts at all, so if the conical spacer is doing that AFAIK it's defective.
    – Móż
    Aug 20, 2015 at 8:08
  • 2
    @Mσᶎ that is what I was trying to get at, why is this different from a normal spacer? It seems like Nhân Lê pointed out that it has a seal which provides some protection besides adding height to the stack. Aug 20, 2015 at 12:50

The tapered spacer is usually for water proofing the headset (dust cover), you can remove it as long as there is enough pre-load tension when assemble back the stem.

It is actually quiet useful to keep all the dirt and water away, especially if you leave the bike outside the rain. There usually is a set of O-ring(s) inside to keep the water dripping down the steerer tube.

  • If you're voting down it would be nice to leave a comment – help the author know how to improve (or give her/him a chance to explain the reasoning behind the answer) and let the rest of us know what seems wrong to you.
    – dlu
    Aug 19, 2015 at 19:43
  • @dlu Do you know what might be wrong in the answer?
    – Nhân Lê
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:45
  • I'm sorry, I don't. I don't have very much experience with threadless headsets. One thing that might be wrong is that it might help to explain that you'd need to make up the distance with other spacers to get the preload or perhaps include a link to instructions for setting up a threadless headset. You mention the issue, but perhaps not clearly enough? My other question would be "do they really keep water out?" I wish people would take the time to explain down votes – otherwise they just seem mean.
    – dlu
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:58

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