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  1. #1
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    converting to a threadless headset

    I use an older Bianchi roadbike for cummuting in Chicago, and now i'm debating its next upgrade project. I was thinking either driveline or a conversion from the factory threaded headset/quil stem setup. looking at my past history with bikes, i see nothing but annoiances with threaded setups and nothing but satisfaction with threadless, so i'll go ahead and make that my next project.

    so i'm aware that i'll need a new fork, a new headset and a new stem. i'm guessing its a 1" steerer tube. anything else i need to know? any caveets you can caution me about, any recomendations on products?

    a picture of the bike is attached below.


  2. #2
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    Nothing but annoyances with threaded and nothing but satisfaction with threadless? What have you been using?

    Suggestion; get a modern cartridge bearing threaded headset, say a Shimano Ultegra or Cane Creek or FSA. Install it, adjust it once and forget it. Come back in 5 years and see if it's still ok.

    I agree loose bearing threaded (or threadless) headsets are maintainance intensive and can be short lived. Cartridge bearing headsets are far more reliable and relatively cheap. A new fork, headset and stem are going to be FAR more expensive to no real benefit.

    And yes, it almost certainly has a standard 1" steerer.

  3. #3
    THIS SPACE FOR RENT
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    Agreed. Get a good threaded setup (which will set you back plenty), and save the rest of the $$ and messing with it time for other projects. Nice setup with the bullhorns and the 1x6, btw
    "I don't buy new frames, it just encourages them."

    -T.G.

  4. #4
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    wow guys, i'm really trying hard to spend my money and find myself projects for rainy weekends, but you keep talking me out of it. okay, so you have me thinking twice about it, but beyond the headset species, i still think i would like to replace the fork and stem so lets continue the discussion.

    yeah i really like the bullhorn setup, and the 6x gearing has proven to work very well around in the city. though i'll admit i really hate the friction shifting. it is very usable but i really miss the rapidfire setup on my mountainbike.

    other project? what would you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Nothing but annoyances with threaded and nothing but satisfaction with threadless? What have you been using?
    i come from a mountain bike background, i had two Treks with threaded/quill setups that were total hassles and i'm now on stumpjumper #3 and i've never, not once, ever messed one of the headsets.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Your Bianchi's decals look alot like mine. What's your serial number?

    I concur that threadless headsets are a fad.

    Do you dislike friction shifting or removing one hand from the bars? Barcons are a good option for the latter objection. With a little practice, you will find that friction shifting is easy, fast, and reliable.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    I concur that threadless headsets are a fad..
    They are NOT a fad. They have their advantages and are pretty much standard equipment on all new bikes so they aren't going away anytime soon. However, I didn't see any crying need to install one in place of a perfectly good threaded system.

    Ok, now that your really set on the idea and want to replace your fork anyway, consider the house brand carbon forks from Nashbar or Performance. They are decently made and very reasonably priced. Another relatively inexpensive fork, and my favorite, is the Kestrel EMS Pro. It's $150 normally and sometimes $100 on sale. It's available with a 1" Cr-Mo steerer or a 1-1/8" Al steerer. You need the 1".

    FSA and Cane Creek make good cartridge bearing threadless headsets.

    Nashbar and Performance also sell house branded stems that are light and well made and real bargains.

    Of course, if money is no object, or spending it IS the object, spring for a Reynolds, Look or Time carbon fork, a boutique carbon stem and a Chris King headset and live it up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    Your Bianchi's decals look alot like mine. What's your serial number?
    where would i look on the bike for a serial number? will that indicate the year/model?

    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    I concur that threadless headsets are a fad.
    a fad? my last three MTB's came with threadless headsets, so thats about like 92-current, um, 14 years? i see that for quite a number of years basiclly all new road and mtb are so equipped.

    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    Do you dislike friction shifting or removing one hand from the bars? Barcons are a good option for the latter objection. With a little practice, you will find that friction shifting is easy, fast, and reliable.
    the friction shifting isn't really a problem, i've gotten basicly used to it, it is most problematic in having to get my hands off the bars to shift while in traffic.

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    re: converting to a threadless headset

    Quote Originally Posted by euroford
    i see nothing but annoiances with threaded setups...
    a lot of misinformation here...

    I've got an old threaded headset (Campagnolo) that still works flawlessly. I've even got cheap, no-name threaded HSs that are still good.

    ...and nothing but satisfaction with threadless
    some things that make threadless HS seem better:

    - generally less maintenance (install-and-forget, as with cartridge bearing types)
    - wide selection of stems (length, angle, style)
    - cleaner lines on the bike

    i'm guessing its a 1" steerer tube.
    yes

    anything else i need to know? any caveets you can caution me about...
    first, find a threadless stem. things to take note of:

    - make sure it's for a 1" steerer
    - determine the specs you like (rise, length, etc..)
    - know your bar diameter (for the bar clamp)

    then...

    1. determine the stack height of your chosen HS (including spacers, if any)
    2. determine the clamp height of your stem
    3. cut the steerer
    4. install the star nut
    5. assemble

    ParkTool has the complete drill.

  9. #9
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I would just get a new threaded headset if you don't like the performance of yours. It think it would be cheaper and maintain the all celeste look of the bike (which is rather nice). For my taste, a threadless headset would look a little odd on that bicycle. I don't think threadless is a fad and it has its strengths, but I don't know if the upgrade will be worth the money.

    Why do you want to make the change? If you are looking for adjustability and want to try it out, you could buy a threadless adapter and a stem (you may already have one) and see how it looks/feels. Nashbar has one for $12. If you like it, go all the way for the fork and headset.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    Hi,

    I would just get a new threaded headset if you don't like the performance of yours. It think it would be cheaper and maintain the all celeste look of the bike (which is rather nice). For my taste, a threadless headset would look a little odd on that bicycle. I don't think threadless is a fad and it has its strengths, but I don't know if the upgrade will be worth the money.
    Several of us said the same thing right at the start of this thread but the OP seems hell-bent on spending more money .

  11. #11
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    i just thought i would bump this up and give you the update.

    well, first off the bike originally asked about was stolen....

    fortunatly i managed to replace it with almost the exact same bike, but with a slightly smaller frame that fits me better.

    so i kept an eye out on ebay for a long time searching out the parts i wanted. i managed to aquire a bianchi full carbon 1" threadless fork, an ahead 1" threadless headset, an ITM carbon fibre ergo drop bar and an ITM aluminum 110mm stem.

    this replaced the orginal bianchi steel fork, orginial gipimme threaded headset, orginial ITM drop bars and an aftermarket ITM 110mm quill stem.

    i don't have the figures for each part with me, but i weighed the forks, stems and bars. with these parts i saved 22oz from the orginal setup. i didn't weigh the headsets as i had my local shop remove and press the cups for me. i'm sure the new headset weighs less, but i doubt by much, and maybe the compression wedge negates this diffrence.

    in a nutshell, i'm -very- happy with the conversion. i knew i'd save some weight, but i didn't think nearly that much. it also feels great, the front end and the whole bikes feels noticably lightrer, the entire front end flexes allot less, the ride quality is great and as a matter of taste, i think it looks awsome.

    i havn't taken a shot of the new setup yet, but will later tonight probobly.

    this is what it looked like before surgery.





    ps: i also bought a sweet new kryptonite evolution u-lock and lovely kryptonite nyc chain thus mitigating any point of saving weight as i'm carrying 20 pounds worth of locks.

  12. #12
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    not the best photo, but anyways, here is the finished product.

    actually, let me take that back, its never finished.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford
    yeah i really like the bullhorn setup, and the 6x gearing has proven to work very well around in the city. though i'll admit i really hate the friction shifting. it is very usable but i really miss the rapidfire setup on my mountainbike.
    Pick up a set of suntour accushift shifters (or just the right side) - indexes fine for me with shimano 6 speed freewheel and shifter. Use mine on Kelly take-off to move them up the the brake levers for a STI like riding position. like this http://picasaweb.google.com/dacullen...15728968024082
    I think I seen accushift bar-cons or you might be able to fit the lever on to the existing post on your bar-con. Or get a "silver" bar-con post from Riverdell
    Last edited by dcullen; 09-03-06 at 08:56 PM.

  14. #14
    cab horn
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    Nice, dare I say - you should've kept the original fork?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  15. #15
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Nice, dare I say - you should've kept the original fork?
    becouse its weighs a pound more and doesn't ride as nice? yes i know, its a matter of taste.


    re: shifting. i think the bike is going to end up with a full Centaur group in the not to distant future. check out the end of the right side drop, i have a suntour acushift on their right now. but it has to run in friction mode, i could never get it to index properly.

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