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Old 09-26-06, 07:27 PM   #1
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Spacers on threaded steerer?

So I'm trying to find a replacement fork on ebay and haven't taken the old fork off yet. It measures 6" from the crown to the top of the headset and I'm finding forks with 6.5" steerer tubes. I will probably cut them down, but just in case I can't cut enough off (run out of threading) can I put spacers on it, or would I just need to get the steerer threaded more?

BTW found a used steel fork that's not too heavy (690g), thinking about getting that instead of a carbon one for durability. Thoughts?
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Old 09-26-06, 07:34 PM   #2
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Oh and while I'm at it, it looks like the largest rake I can find is 43mm while Bianchi specs my bike at 45mm. There's plenty of space to clear the frame, but am I going to hate the extra 2mm of toe overlap? Or more squirrely steering?
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Old 09-26-06, 07:48 PM   #3
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You can't put spacers on it if the threads don't extend low enough. Make sure there's enough threads to do this before you buy the fork. Having some shop extend threads is an exercise in frustration.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:56 PM   #4
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A couple of years back B & H bike shop on Mission in So Pasadena extended the threads further down on my Cinelli fork. Then I cut the steerer down to the right length. I think they only charged me $10 for the threading job.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
A couple of years back B & H bike shop on Mission in So Pasadena extended the threads further down on my Cinelli fork. Then I cut the steerer down to the right length. I think they only charged me $10 for the threading job.
Cool, I'm sure a shop around here could do that as well. I really should pull the fork off and measure it first. It's a Miche headset with a cap, so I don't know how much of that the steerer goes into (or can go into).

What do you guys think:
used Ritchey steel (690g) for $40
used Cannondale carbon take-off (495g) for $70
new Nashbar carbon (550g) for $145
used Time carbon still bidding at $40 + 1 day (most risky threaded length though)
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Old 09-26-06, 08:21 PM   #6
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It's not about who can do it. It's who can do it, and do a good job as well. Lots of places can do it, not many can do it properly. If I was you, i'd take the Ritchey steel.

There's also a bunch of carbon forks on chucksbikes if you're interested.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:30 PM   #7
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I'm gonna throw another question in there...

If you're replacing your fork, why not go to threadless? You'd have to replace your stem and headset as well, but you'll gain easier headset adjustability and better selection of forks, as well as lighter weight and (according to some) greater fork and stem durability. Of course, the downside is aesthetics in my opinion, since quill stems are prettier.

Nashbar has a 1" Ritchey threadless headset for $13 right now, and an assortment of threadless stems for $20 or less
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Old 09-26-06, 08:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by operator
It's not about who can do it. It's who can do it, and do a good job as well. Lots of places can do it, not many can do it properly.
That's true.... Three or four LBS's I initially took my fork to didn't want to even touch it.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:14 PM   #9
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Operator, what's chicksbikes? But yeah, steel is tempting right now because it will give you warning before failing, and I never cared if my bike had a carbon fork in the first place. Luckily, the dark blue fork will be close to the dark blue of the Bianchi decals

Moxfyre, I did consider it since the same Nashbar carbon fork in threadless is like $60. Add a stem and headset and it still costs less than the threaded fork alone, but those are cheap components to replace a Bianchi branded stem and high quality headset. Plus it does look nice as you say

I ran into an old teammate who is working at my favorite LBS for the last 15 years, so he will probably tell me where to get it threaded.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:16 PM   #10
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www.chucksbikes.com pretty good deals
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Old 09-26-06, 09:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Moxfyre, I did consider it since the same Nashbar carbon fork in threadless is like $60. Add a stem and headset and it still costs less than the threaded fork alone, but those are cheap components to replace a Bianchi branded stem and high quality headset. Plus it does look nice as you say
I've been considering doing the all-Nashbar upgrade myself... but am trying to convince someone else to be my guinea pig first No but seriously, I have heard the Nashbar fork is quite solid and good (asked about it in the Road Biking forum a few days ago), although it is a bit heavier than the all carbon forks (about 550 g vs. 350-400 g).
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Old 09-26-06, 09:36 PM   #12
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Yeah, but since I'm just out to replace a carbon/aluminum (maybe carbon/steel) fork that got lacerated multiple times by flying spokes, I'm not out there for weight savings. That's why I'm considering the steel fork. 690 isn't too bad, my stock fork was probably around 500-600 anyway.

Nashbar fork, Ritchey headset and Nashbar stem comes to $96 plus shipping, which is tempting. I haven't told you about the catch, though. The wife doesn't want me spending $100 on replacement parts until her next paycheck, so the steel is even more tempting because she might let me spend $40 now. Tell you what, pay for half of the $96 and I'll be your guinea pig (worth a shot, right?) But really, the steel fork might hold up better. When I first got this bike (didn't care if the fork was carbon, just wanted a steel frame) I wondered how often a carbon fork needs to be replaced to avoid untimely failure.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:44 PM   #13
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Hey Moxfyre I just checked out that chucksbikes site again, this time to price out the threadless upgrade. $50 Martec fork, $30 Miche headset, $5 Titec stem. That's cheaper than the Nashbar upgrade! Better yet, I could drive to this place if I really wanted (about 2 hours). Hmmm, temptation. Still need wife approval for now.
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Old 09-27-06, 06:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
You can't put spacers on it if the threads don't extend low enough. Make sure there's enough threads to do this before you buy the fork. Having some shop extend threads is an exercise in frustration.
Of course you can use spacers. You install them above the upper headset race and below the lock nut to get the proper thread engagement when you install the lock nut. It's done all the time.

I agree that extending the threads is difficult and should be avoided.

BTW, the 43 mm rake will make the steering slightly slower, not "more squirrely". Less rake means more trail which is the determiner of steering response.
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Old 09-27-06, 07:42 PM   #15
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Oh, I was rationalizing the shorter wheelbase. I didn't think about it that way. Well, more stable on my somewhat small frame would be fine. And that was what I was hoping, that I could just put a spacer on top of the bottom race. I might try that before threading, but it looks like two of my options have plenty of thread.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Of course you can use spacers. You install them above the upper headset race and below the lock nut to get the proper thread engagement when you install the lock nut. It's done all the time.
Ok. So you're saying you can use a upper headset race with a fork which doesn't have threads extending low enough for the race to actually thread onto anything? And use spacers with a locknut to keep it in place?
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Old 09-27-06, 10:00 PM   #17
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Ok. So you're saying you can use a upper headset race with a fork which doesn't have threads extending low enough for the race to actually thread onto anything? And use spacers with a locknut to keep it in place?
No, you definitely can't do that. What HillRider is saying is that you can put spacers in between the race and the locknut so that the locknut doesn't sit too far down (since most locknuts aren't threaded all the way through). You can put other things besides spacers in, such as canti brake hangers and lockwasher and those stupid toother lockringamajigs on JIS headsets.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:02 PM   #18
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Didn't think so.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:03 PM   #19
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Didn't think so.
Of course, if your fork is so excessively long that the threads don't extend down to the top of the head tube, you might consider cutting it off and using it as a threadless fork
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Old 09-27-06, 10:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by moxfyre
Of course, if your fork is so excessively long that the threads don't extend down to the top of the head tube, you might consider cutting it off and using it as a threadless fork
Hmm. That would be interesting.

Note to self: make friends with tall people riding bicycles
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Old 09-27-06, 10:35 PM   #21
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Hmm. That would be interesting.

Note to self: make friends with tall people riding bicycles
Indeed! I ride 58-60 cm frames to begin with, so I'd likely need to find a fork for a 63-65 cm frame AT LEAST in order to be able to cut it down and use it threadless, to give room for the stem clamp. Anyone who finds huge forks in the dumpster in the DC area, please send 'em my way

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Old 09-27-06, 11:05 PM   #22
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lol I'm lucky since I measured my head tube to be something like 150mm long. But yeah, the threaded headset race doesn't thread onto anything, it's the nut that has to thread onto the fork, so such a spacer would bring the nut higher. Of course, I don't want my stem much higher. I do have a lower angle stem but too high and it would look bad!
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Old 09-28-06, 12:23 AM   #23
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OK I ordered the steel one. It met the wife's approval for our limited budget, it is sturdy but not too heavy, and I really hope the dark blue from ritchey is somewhat close to the dark blue decals on my Bianchi. I just want to get back on my bike. All but the worst of the road rash and bruise is healed, so I wanna be out there (tantrum)
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Old 09-28-06, 01:22 AM   #24
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But yeah, the threaded headset race doesn't thread onto anything,
It does. We just discussed that. That's why the threads need to extend at least that low.
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Old 09-28-06, 10:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Ok. So you're saying you can use a upper headset race with a fork which doesn't have threads extending low enough for the race to actually thread onto anything? And use spacers with a locknut to keep it in place?
Moxfyre has interpreted my answer correctly. No, you can't fit a fork with the threads too short to allow the top race to thread on properly but you can use spacers above it to take up the slack if the total fork length is too long to fit the lock nut correctly. Sorry for the poor initial explanation.

In fact, what you describe was done as a way to allow Shimano headsets (all for threaded forks) to be used with a threadless steerer. Team mechanic machined out the threads from the top race and slipped it over a threadless steerer. This was done by teams whose equipment supplier was Shimano so they could use Shimano headsets.
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