We love our friends in the Maker community, and during a recent build, John stumbled upon some nifty headset spacers from White Industries. Check out what makes these spacers so unique below!
I’ve used many headset spacers on my personal build projects over the years. Some favorites include Paragon Machine Works, Sim Works (Nitto), Velo Orange’s brass spacers, Moots’ bead blasted titanium spacers, and Chris King’s custom anodized matte spacers. While all of these brands’ intentions are to have their headset spacers match their products, be it stems or headsets, it was White Industries’ offering that caused pause and motivated me to document them here.
When I was in Transit Cycles in Tucson last December, they were selling these White Industries headset spacer sets. As I was already picking up a few small items, I bought a set as an impulse buy. That shop has oodles of bike goodies, all merchandised right around the cash register. Beware!
While in Arizona, I was in the middle of building up my Oddity back home–I promise I’ll post a full article soon!–and had just bought a polished White Industries headset from Sincere Cycles, so I was keen to see how well these spacers would match the headset on the bike. Why did I need spacers? Well, through the process of fitting myself on the bike, I found myself once again lamenting the trend of short stack heights and short headtubes. I needed 20 mm of spacers under my stem to have the bike fit correctly. This wasn’t a custom frame. It was bought second-hand off our Rad Bazaar, so I chose to make it work and be a bit creative about it.
What was most striking and appealing about the White Industries spacers was that two of them in the set were tapered, creating a clean transition to the headset cap and the stem.
This is a great example of how you can achieve a proper fit on a production bike with a bit of classic-inspired style. Part of the allure of these components is the consistent finishing. The polished aluminum finish mimics classic nickel and chrome-plated stems of yesteryear without all those gnar-gnar chemicals. As a completed cockpit system, paired with a polished Paul Boxcar 22.2 stem, I’d say it looks pretty dang nice.
I should also note: if you wanted any of White Industries’ other colors, the headset spacers match those as well.
White Industries offers two designs with its headset spacer sets:
- “Tapered” spacers are designed to go directly above the headset bearing cover and are relieved internally to save weight.
- “Straight” spacers are designed to go above the tapered spacer or on top of the stem.
When you buy a set ($36.70), you receive the following:
Sets include one each of:
- 2.5 mm straight (S2.5)
- 5 mm straight (S5)
- 10 mm straight (S10)
- 5 mm tapered (T5)
- 10 mm tapered (T10)
The result is a beautiful transition from the headset cap to the spacer and then from the stem to the top cap. Look. There’s nothing pretty about modern mountain bike stems. Not when compared to a beautiful Bullmoose from the 1980s or a stub stem found on Potts and Cunninghams. Yet, a certain utilitarian toughness found with modern MTB components can be softened with the right touches.
One of my favorite parts of my personal builds is how honing in on the details just seems to make the day-to-day stresses subside, albeit momentarily, and I get to have my maker friends along with me on every ride.
You can find more information on these headset spacers and headsets at White Industries, and you can order these parts from your local dealer.