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Old 12-16-07, 10:04 PM   #1
ZXiMan
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Swapping roadbike fork questions...

Sorry if this topic has been hashed out but the search feature isn't working...

Anyways...

I just bought a new Easton EC90 SL-X fork and want to swap it out myself.

The details:

My bike currently has an alloy steerer tube cut to 230mm. It uses a star nut, bolt, traditional stem cap and Cane Creek IS-2 threadless headset. My frame uses integrated type fork.

The new fork has an uncut 300mm carbon steerer tube. I want to cut it so that it is the same size as my existing steerer tube heigth and use the same amount of spacers (approximately 27mm).

My questions are these:

1. How difficult will this swap be? I enjoy learning how to work on my own stuff. I'm a mechanical engineer so I have no problems understanding how/why something works when looking at it. However, I have never done this kind of swap before and I'm just wondering what the steps are (I don't want to mess up my brand new expensive fork!)

2. Is there a better way to secure the stem cap bolt any other way than using a star nut? I've heard that these will cut into a carbon steerer tube and are not recommended.

3. Can I use my existing headset or will I need to purchase a new one?

Any help is genuinely appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by ZXiMan; 12-16-07 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 12-16-07, 10:41 PM   #2
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1. If you a mech engineer, it shouldnt be hard at all for you.

2. Yes, they make devices specifically for carbon steerers. Its a peice that slips into the steerer and then is tightened (lightly) in place with a allen wrench instead of pressed in like a star nut. From there it works just like a star nut.

3. You should be able to. You will need to pull of the crown race from your old fork and have it pressed onto the crown (the base of the steerer) of the new fork. maybe $10 at the LBS. Sometimes you can get lucky and pry them off yourself with a razor. However, I wouldn't try that with carbon!.

Hope that helps.

-Jerry
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Old 12-17-07, 12:04 AM   #3
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Use a super-special carbon blade on the hacksaw. You probably know that already.
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Old 12-17-07, 08:23 AM   #4
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You must NOT use a starnut in a carbon steerer. FSA and others make compression plug type expanders specifically for carbon steerer tubes and they have to be used. BTW, if your fork came with Easton's "Bear Trap" headset adjuster, do not even consider using it. It's a very clever idea that doesn't work. Get the proper compression plug.

Your current headset should be fine. As noted you will have to transfer the crown race to the new fork.

A new, sharp 32tpi hacksaw blade used with a cutting guide of some sort is fine for cutting carbon steerers. I suggest wrapping a layer of masking tape at the cut line and use very little pressure while cutting. I've installed two of these exact same forks and cut them that way with completely satisfactory results.

Measure at least twice before cutting and leave a little extra so you can have a thin spacer above the stem. That way the stem clamp doesn't overlap the steerer's top edge and the support is better.

Don't torque the stem clamp bolts too tight. Most recommend about 8 N-m and that's too much for a carbon steerer. You want it snug enough not to slip but no more.
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Old 12-17-07, 08:35 AM   #5
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If the Cane Creek IS2 is an integrated headset, you probably won't even need extra tools to get the parts off of the old steerer tube/crown race (at least I didn't with the headset on my Cannondale). It should slip right off.
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Old 12-17-07, 09:52 AM   #6
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Thanks guys.
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