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Old 03-17-06, 12:03 PM   #1
desertrat30
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headset size opinions

I am going to buy a new road frame so I can build a bike that will last me well into the future. I know the material, deminsions, and geometry I want. After reading frame articles, and talking to bike people, I have no clue what headtube size to get. 1" or 1 1/8", threaded or unthreaded. I get so many different stories. I want the best size for as many higher end component varieties and future change out of components. I love to do all of my own work, but do use my LBS for specialty tool work. I am inclined to go with 1 1/8" unthreaded, but some good frame builders don't like that. What is your opinion?
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Old 03-17-06, 12:09 PM   #2
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1 1/8 unthreaded.
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Old 03-17-06, 12:14 PM   #3
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agreed. that is the most common these days and you will be able to find parts for the bike for years to come
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Old 03-17-06, 12:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by concernicus
agreed. that is the most common these days and you will be able to find parts for the bike for years to come
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Old 03-17-06, 12:25 PM   #5
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1" is designed for steel tubing {esp the fork steerer tube**. 1 1/8" is more appropriate to lightweight carbon forks and it is the current std.
If you want headset std that will last, suggest you "steer" clear of the many integrated or internal designs. They may work well and look pretty but how available will parts be in 10yrs time?

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Old 03-17-06, 01:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MichaelW
1" is designed for steel tubing. 1 1/8" is more appropriate to lightweight carbon forks and it is the current std.
If you want headset std that will last, suggest you "steer" clear of the many integrated or internal designs. They may work well and look pretty but how available will parts be in 10yrs time?
I think you hit the problem. I am a big man and have decided to go with a steel frame. I must have been talking to steel makers who just do not like change. I studied one Ti maker who had a frame for the same price as a custom steel, but they said 1". Most other Ti makers said 1 1/8", but I do have a budget. This really tells me who to stay away from.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:27 PM   #7
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I wouldn't dismiss any builders just because they use 1" instead of 1 1/8". The answer to your question is, 1 1/8" are more common, but that doesn't mean bikes with 1" are outdated. Some excellent builders are putting out 1" bikes, Waterford for example.
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Old 03-17-06, 04:52 PM   #8
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I agree that the standard 1 1/8" threadless is probably your best bet for future parts availablity, but I also strongly agree that you should not write off a builder simply because he/she uses only 1" on steel frames. A good builder will have good reasons for spec'ing 1". I honestly don't know enough about frame building to explain those reasons, but the builder is the professional.

My suggestion would be to find the frameset that suits you best, within your budget. If that particular frame and fork has a 1" headset, then I say just get a spare headset or two and cache them away. I doubt that you'll need them within your lifetime, but it should ease your concerns. Heck, a good quality headset last about forever if properly maintained.

Don't fret if your concern is the availability of 1" stems for your 1" steerer tube. Many 1 1/8" stems come with an adapter sleeve for use on 1" steerer tubes.
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Old 03-17-06, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertrat30
I think you hit the problem. I am a big man and have decided to go with a steel frame. I must have been talking to steel makers who just do not like change. I studied one Ti maker who had a frame for the same price as a custom steel, but they said 1". Most other Ti makers said 1 1/8", but I do have a budget. This really tells me who to stay away from.
As I understand it, the original reason for 1 1/8" headsets was to use a fatter head tube which is easier to miter big, fat aluminum downtubes onto. Steel or titanium frames with conventional tubeing sizes don't have that issue. It's an esthetic thing, but I really like the slim, athletic look of steel framed bike with a conventional quil stem.
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