Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-17-12, 01:24 PM   #1
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Star washer in carbon fork

The carbon fork on my Jake the Snake 2012 has very recently been replaced and disassembling the headset has revealed that the bike shop who fitted the headset and steerer have used a star-spangled(fangled?) washer which, according to Bike Mechanics 101, is a complete no-no and can dangerously damage the cardon fork tube.
Is that the case? Or am I worrying about nothing? I'm guessing that if I need to remove the fork from the headset/steerer then the fork tube will incur serious damage when I try to remove the washer?
Any advice gratefully accepted please.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 01:57 PM   #2
BikeWise1
30 YR Wrench
 
BikeWise1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oxford, OH
Bikes: Waterford R-33, Madone 6.5, Trek 520
Posts: 2,007
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
The carbon fork on my Jake the Snake 2012 has very recently been replaced and disassembling the headset has revealed that the bike shop who fitted the headset and steerer have used a star-spangled(fangled?) washer which, according to Bike Mechanics 101, is a complete no-no and can dangerously damage the cardon fork tube.
Is that the case? Or am I worrying about nothing? I'm guessing that if I need to remove the fork from the headset/steerer then the fork tube will incur serious damage when I try to remove the washer?
Any advice gratefully accepted please.
Is the steerer tube silver colored? It might be an aluminum steerer, in which a star nut is just fine.
BikeWise1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 02:05 PM   #3
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
Is the steerer tube silver colored? It might be an aluminum steerer, in which a star nut is just fine.
+1

Lots of carbon forks have an aluminum steerer. If, however, the steerer is carbon, you should consider pulling out the starnut (actually, more like "pull" it out) - I do this with a simple ad-hoc tool I made from a threaded rod, a few large washers and a couple of nuts. Anyhow.... replace the starnut with something like this or these
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:01 PM   #4
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
Is the steerer tube silver colored? It might be an aluminum steerer, in which a star nut is just fine.
Good point, but it's a full carbon fork and the steerer tube is carbon.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:04 PM   #5
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
+1

Lots of carbon forks have an aluminum steerer. If, however, the steerer is carbon, you should consider pulling out the starnut (actually, more like "pull" it out) - I do this with a simple ad-hoc tool I made from a threaded rod, a few large washers and a couple of nuts. Anyhow.... replace the starnut with something like this or these
The problem is that in removing the stamut I'll damage the carbon steerer tube, and given that carbon is prone to sudden failure when the surface is damaged, I didn't think it'd be a safe option.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:08 PM   #6
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,263
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Did you go back and talk to them? What is the brand of the fork? Have them explain it, install it correctly, or replace it if it can't be corrected without damaging the new fork.

My assumption is that it is in error - but that would be very surprising since it's such a common understanding, I can't imagine any shop actually making that blunder. I believe there are carbon steertubes that do use a star nut, but have no idea if that's the case here.

Last edited by Camilo; 09-17-12 at 03:14 PM.
Camilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:09 PM   #7
bsektzer
Senior Member
 
bsektzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern CA
Bikes: Pinarello Paris/Ui2, BMC TeamMachine SLR01/Campy Record EPS
Posts: 517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Perhaps just pushing it down out of the way would be a safe and acceptable option (?)
bsektzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:16 PM   #8
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Did you go back and talk to them? What is the brand of the fork?

My assumption is that it is in error - but that would be very surprising since it's such a common understanding, I can't imagine any shop actually making that blunder. I believe there are carbon steertubes that do use a star nut, but have no idea if that's the case here.
I haven't spoken to the bike mechanic at the shop yet - he wasn't available.
The shop that fitted the fork (it's a Kona all carbon fork fitted as standard on a Jake the Snake 2012) aren't the most competent and seemed a bit overwhelmed at the job of fittng the fork. Another more local shop checked the bike over for me and found the star washer in the carbon steerer.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:16 PM   #9
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
The problem is that in removing the stamut I'll damage the carbon steerer tube, and given that carbon is prone to sudden failure when the surface is damaged, I didn't think it'd be a safe option.
Well, of course, if you push it down or hammer it down, then of course you will damage the steerer. That's why I use my self-built starnut remover tool - it gently pulls the starnut out of the steerer tube. It does this keeping the starnut perfecly coaxial to the steerer, minimizing scratches.
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:19 PM   #10
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsektzer View Post
Perhaps just pushing it down out of the way would be a safe and acceptable option (?)
Much easier to keep the starnut coaxial with the steerer, if it's pulled instead of pushed.

You need a threaded rod of appropriate length, a large washer (or two, depending on details of your implementation) and two nuts to build your own starnut remover tool.
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 03:48 PM   #11
jimc101
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Bikes:
Posts: 4,882
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
The shop that fitted the fork (it's a Kona all carbon fork fitted as standard on a Jake the Snake 2012) aren't the most competent and seemed a bit overwhelmed at the job of fittng the fork. Another more local shop checked the bike over for me and found the star washer in the carbon steerer.
So why did you use them?

Did they have the mechanics Cytech Level / Technical 2 certificate posted on a wall? This is the standard training for bike mechanics in the UK, and most shops will have these posted for customers to see, as it proves that their mechanics are trained.

Was the fork a warranty replacement / aftermarket, did it have the SFN pre installed?
jimc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 04:13 PM   #12
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
So why did you use them?
I had no choice - they're the bike store my employer's cycle-to-work scheme uses. you may be able to guess which bike store I'm talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Was the fork a warranty replacement / aftermarket, did it have the SFN pre installed?
Yes the fork (and frame) were warranty replacements but the headset internals weren't supplied but sourced and fitted by the bike shop.

What's an SFN? You mean a star fangled nut?
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 04:24 PM   #13
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 29,117
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
There are some carbon steerer forks that use a specific starnut (IIRC Cannondale provides them) but for most carbon steerers a starnut is an absolute no-no. I'd go back to the dealer and explain the problem and have the fork replaced. There are few bike accidents more serious than a fork failure.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 04:53 PM   #14
Airburst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: England, currently dividing my time between university in Guildford and home just outside Reading
Bikes: Too many to list here!
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
I had no choice - they're the bike store my employer's cycle-to-work scheme uses. you may be able to guess which bike store I'm talking about.

I've a shrewd feeling I can. Does this store also sell other lines of products unrelated to bikes, by any chance?
Airburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 05:32 PM   #15
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Bikes: velospace.org/viewcluster?c=873
Posts: 7,115
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I can picture only two ways to remove the star nut without further damaging the carbon.

1, simply grind the bastard out with a dremel. Highly tedious.

2, fashion a clamp that forces the nut into a cone shape. Possibly painstaking, but I'd consider it first. It could be used on other star nuts.

I guess a possible dealbreaker is the hole in the bottom of the crown being too small to allow a large enough tube inside.
Kimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-12, 09:39 PM   #16
jimc101
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Bikes:
Posts: 4,882
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Guessing it's the store with a name beginning with H.

For the nut, wouldn't touch it, and demand that the store replace the fork, if they refuse, contact your local trading standards.
jimc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-12, 01:42 AM   #17
jolly_ross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bad luck.
+1 for the suggestion to pull the SFN down only as far ar required to get it out of the way of proper carbon steerer bung. (Confirm that the SFN is a problem first though, write to the manufacturer)

Semi-informed mental ramblings:
How stressed is the steerer though? A damaged fork leg would worry me a lot, particularly higher up near the crown. The steerer area we're talking about is above the crown race - the crown race is carrying the bulk of the weight of you and the bike. The middle to upper steerer is bearing a lateral force (what's left of it after the forks flex, that is). I suppose this is at its greatest under brakes or whacking into a pothole.

Salient question:
Horror stories abound about carbon fork legs breaking. But has anyone in the forum seen a carbon fork failure in the steerer?

Possible tactic:
Complain to the shop. The local manager will gamble on it being not an issue and deny any possible problem. Go high in the H-Hierarchy, with veiled threats about trying to get them removed as the bike-to-work supplier.
jolly_ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-12, 01:58 AM   #18
Pendergast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Here's an infamous steerer break. Aluminum, and I think Hincapie may have weakened it in an earlier crash.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...cGlYkQyNX7MiiQ
Pendergast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-12, 02:01 AM   #19
Airburst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: England, currently dividing my time between university in Guildford and home just outside Reading
Bikes: Too many to list here!
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
Possible tactic:
Complain to the shop. The local manager will gamble on it being not an issue and deny any possible problem. Go high in the H-Hierarchy, with veiled threats about trying to get them removed as the bike-to-work supplier.
From what I heard from someone who used to work there, a lot of the mechanics don't really know what they're doing. It's entirely possible they'll believe there is no problem...
Airburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-12, 02:07 AM   #20
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airburst View Post
From what I heard from someone who used to work there, a lot of the mechanics don't really know what they're doing. It's entirely possible they'll believe there is no problem...
That is very possible, the the problem is that the next time the headset is serviced and the star washer needs to be removed, the steerer tube might end up being destroyed.

Thanks to everyone for your advice.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-12, 02:14 AM   #21
Airburst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: England, currently dividing my time between university in Guildford and home just outside Reading
Bikes: Too many to list here!
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
That is very possible, the the problem is that the next time the headset is serviced and the star washer needs to be removed, the steerer tube might end up being destroyed.

Thanks to everyone for your advice.
You don't need to remove it when you service the headset, or even when you replace it.

That said, anything can happen at Halfords. I've seen them sell bikes with the forks on backwards before, not even realising it.
Airburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-12, 07:34 AM   #22
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I've spoken to Halfords and the guy I spoke to admitted that the star-fangled washer shouldn't have been used so he'd be speaking to the mechanic to find out why he did that and he'd speak to his manager about ordering another fork from Kona. Haven't heard back yet but assuming they do order a new fork, I'd prefer that they just give me the fork so I can get it fitted myself, but no doubt they'll insist on doing the job using the same mechanic who cut the steerer 1.5" too short (so the handlebars are way too low for me) and used the wrong type of fitting, a mistake that ranks up there with putting petrol in a diesel engine.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-12, 08:34 AM   #23
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Bikes: velospace.org/viewcluster?c=873
Posts: 7,115
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I'd flat-out insist on them giving me the fork to install myself. Get them to pull the crown race off the old one and that's it.

The monkey cutting your steerer too short should've been enough to earn you a new fork in the first place... that's just woeful.
Kimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-12, 08:36 AM   #24
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 22,152
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1132 Post(s)
If you have requirements for taller than the minimum height stem ,
More exposed steerer and spacers,
so much has been said... don't go with another Carbon steerer fork.

It's just a wrong application. Metal steerer.. is what is better..


angled up rise stem..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-12, 08:48 AM   #25
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
If you have requirements for taller than the minimum height stem ,
More exposed steerer and spacers,
so much has been said... don't go with another Carbon steerer fork.
+1
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.