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Is it possible to ride without a dust cap on the headset, provided that the bearings are kept clean? This is with regards to any cartridge type 1 1/8th headset. The only reason why I ask is because my headset has a really tall dust cap which really bumps up my bars. I need a lower bar, but was unable to find a dust cap with minimal stack for sale on it's own. Currently, my bars are setup with no dust cap for the headset at all.

There is no play in the fork/frame assembly since the bearings are still getting ample preload.
Any ideas if this is ok to do?
 

· Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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You'll be okay.
 

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no...

What you are calling a dustcap is a necessary part of the headset - the top section that bears against the upper bearing race. You can buy headsets with a top section that is as little as 8mm tall. If that's too tall, then you need a different stem angle. Integrated headsets are not that expensive. Buy a new one if you really need to lower the bars.

I will add however, that at long as a small spacer is pressing against the upper race, the top section could be removed, but then the bearings and head tube are exposed to both dirt and water. Not a great idea.

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?...rated+Headset&vendorCode=FSA&major=1&minor=16
 
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