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  1. #1
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    1" --> 1 1/8" headset conversion?

    Hi guys -- stupid question but I'm looking at upgrading forks and my current fork has a 1" diameter steerer tube. Of course (as my luck would have it) the fork I'm looking at buying is 1 1/8". Can I use this new fork if I also replace my headset with a 1 1/8" headset?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    from what I understand you can get a spacer to go smaller, but there is no way to go larger.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, that's what I figured, but I wasn't sure how much room there may be to play around with inside the head tube. Damn those ever changing standards...

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    I have made the modifications to the 1" frame before. It is an undertaking to say the least. You cannot fit an 1-1/8 set into a 1 head. To make it fit the head has to be enlarged. If it is aluminum it is more trouble than its worth. Steel is much easier.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, the frame is steel but my guess it'll be more trouble than it's worth...

  6. #6
    l33t lunchbox's Avatar
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    you'd need a machinest and a welder to do this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
    Steel is much easier.
    You'd be surprised at how many steel headtubes aren't thick enough for the bigger cups. How does that make it easier??

  8. #8
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    My first question would be mountain or road bike, and what kind of fork are you looking ar? Sure, suspension forks don't usually come in a 1" headset size (but they used to). There are plenty of road forks in 1" headset available, so just get the fork that's right for your frame.

    If it's a mountain bike and you want to go rigid, check with your LBS to see what they have laying around from other people's upgrades.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point
    My first question would be mountain or road bike, and what kind of fork are you looking ar? Sure, suspension forks don't usually come in a 1" headset size (but they used to). There are plenty of road forks in 1" headset available, so just get the fork that's right for your frame.

    If it's a mountain bike and you want to go rigid, check with your LBS to see what they have laying around from other people's upgrades.
    It's a mountain bike -- I'm looking at upgrading the (don't laugh) Rock Shox Quadra 21R to a 2002 SID SL. Unfortunately for me it's Marzocchi or a new frame. I'll probably ride the current bike for this year and upgrade completely next year...

    As a side question, what instigated the change from a 1" --> 1 1/8" tube diameter?

  10. #10
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    You'd be surprised at how many steel headtubes aren't thick enough for the bigger cups. How does that make it easier??
    Because its easier to find someone that will cut out & weld in a new headtube in steel than aluminum?

  11. #11
    Senior Member squeegy200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcdove
    It's a mountain bike -- I'm looking at upgrading the (don't laugh) Rock Shox Quadra 21R to a 2002 SID SL. Unfortunately for me it's Marzocchi or a new frame. I'll probably ride the current bike for this year and upgrade completely next year...

    As a side question, what instigated the change from a 1" --> 1 1/8" tube diameter?
    I wouldn't risk the danger of frame failure on a modified frame. Frames are just to easily available for reasonable cost to risk trying to save a few bucks by modifying a frame headtube.

    Your choices:
    1. Nashbar sells an RST front shock with a 1" steerer tube.
    2. Get yourself a new frame to fit your new 1 1/8" fork. Hardtail Alu frames can often be found for around $100-150 bucks.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfbiked
    Because its easier to find someone that will cut out & weld in a new headtube in steel than aluminum?
    Yeah....works for me. Now ya wanna talk about cost effectiveness?....LOL

  13. #13
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    I'm not sure, but Rock Shox used to sell 1" steerer tubes as replacements on some forks. It might be worth asking your LBS if it's easier to change the steerer on your new fork to match your frame.

    As for your question on what brought about this change in headset size? In about 1990 Gary Fisher came up with a 1-1/4" Evolution headset, and other makers followed suit with 1-1/8". The larger size has been working it's way into all mountain bikes and most road bikes since that time.

    I've never felt any difference in front end stiffness with any size, and I've owned all three sizes.

  14. #14
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point
    As for your question on what brought about this change in headset size? In about 1990 Gary Fisher came up with a 1-1/4" Evolution headset, and other makers followed suit with 1-1/8". The larger size has been working it's way into all mountain bikes and most road bikes since that time.
    Hmm... I hope that 1" road forks don't go obsolete any time soon. Was the larger size introduced to improve stiffness, or just to decrease the chances of head tube failure on mountain bikes? If the latter, why the heck is it creeping into the road market?
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  15. #15
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    I think the larger size was introduced to help stiffness on mountain bikes, but I'm not sure why on road bikes. I have owned/still own mt bikes with all three sizes, and never could tell a major difference. Too many other variable on the frame/fork combo to quantify anything from riding.

    I too think the old 1" standard was fine, and there was no need to change.

  16. #16
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Yeah....works for me. Now ya wanna talk about cost effectiveness?....LOL
    No, I don't. Thanks for asking.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcdove
    As a side question, what instigated the change from a 1" --> 1 1/8" tube diameter?
    Actually, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the original driving factor was to increase the diameter of the head tube so that a fat down tube would be easier join onto it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    The method I use to modify the head tube is neither structurally weak nor machining. It involves cutting 2 notches in the ends of the tube. These notches are then used as expansion points and filled with MIG welding bead which is then ground smooth. When it is done propperly there is virtually no trace of the operation other than the slight shoulder.
    I have one test bike that I did it to and logged a lot of semi-freeride work with. Not a single complaint.
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