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Old 05-14-12, 03:49 PM   #1
ljsense
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When did mountain bikes start using 1 1/8" steer tubes?

Is it safe to assume that a late 90s aluminum Schwinn MTB (which were their higher end frames back in the day) would have a 1 1/8" steer tube? When did MTBs stop using 1" steer tubes. I had a Schwinn High Sierra chromoly frame from the late 80s or maybe 1990 with a 1" steerer.

I've always wondered what the timeline was and can never find good search results given the difficulty of searching 1 1/8 versus 1. And "steer tube diameter timeline" isn't turning up much.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-14-12, 04:04 PM   #2
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Rock Shox has a 1993 fork with a 1.125 inch steer tube. And I a cashed google ad for some bike from 1993 that has a 1" steer tube, maybe, if it's correct.

I'm going to guess that MTBs started to have 1.125" steerers right around 1993, to answer my own question before anyone else got to it.
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Old 05-14-12, 04:09 PM   #3
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The 1 1/8" headsets started in the late 80s/early 90s, and got more-n-more popular as time went on. The threadless thing is another consideration you might wanna look at. Your bike probably does have a 1 1/8" headset, but the only surefire way is to, um, check out your set up. Measuring stuff is way more informative, sometimes, than posting questions on here...

-rob
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Old 05-14-12, 06:10 PM   #4
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I don't know exactly the date but my 1993 Trek 7000 rigid fork/hardtail MTB had a 1-1/8" threaded fork.
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Old 05-14-12, 07:17 PM   #5
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Yeah I bought a bottom tier trek in 1993 with 1 1/8" threaded. I have a 1991 Cinelli/fisher with 1 1/4".

It's been a while.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:39 PM   #6
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BSO mountain bikes may still use 1" threaded headsets on the really bottom end ones, but as far as quality MTBs go they all switched over around the early 90s. I've had a couple MTBs from 1993 and 1995 with 1 1/8" threaded headsets, so that's something to look at too.

The threaded to threadless and 1" to 1 1/8" switchovers happened around the same time.
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Old 05-14-12, 10:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
BSO mountain bikes may still use 1" threaded headsets on the really bottom end ones, but as far as quality MTBs go they all switched over around the early 90s. I've had a couple MTBs from 1993 and 1995 with 1 1/8" threaded headsets, so that's something to look at too.
As far as all quality MTBs going to 1 1/8 in the early 90's, lets not forget the Trek Bontragers that kept Keith's 1 " head tube until the last 2 years, 1999 and 2000. OTOH my 93 Barracuda came stock with a 1 1/8 threaded RS Mag 21
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Old 05-15-12, 11:32 AM   #8
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Thanks -- appreciate all the info; I'm left with conviction that it's a 1 1/8".

I was wondering about a bike that's for sale that I couldn't inspect or otherwise get a definitive answer, and I just wondered whether to pursue. A 1" headset would be a no go for me. It's set up with a threadless stem. I guess those were all basically 1.125 on MTBs.
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