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  1. #1
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    quill vs threadless headset

    buying a bike for my wife (online) because i don't want to spend $$ on something she might not enjoy (she SAYS she wants to try to start riding).

    anyhow, i have seen some less $ bikes with quill headsets/handlebar mounts... i knwo that i can adjust this up/down within reason, but on a threadless headset i can easily swap out stems and move fore/aft pretty easily.

    likely she will not be getting a womens specific frame and I will be doing her setup. so i will buy a size below her 'height' requirement so that her top tube length is appropriate. Just want to make sure that there is sufficient adjustability in whatever i choose.

    i ahve been searching on google and here, and most vids i have found for adjustment are typically for tension on the quill...

    help if u can thx

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Not sure what your question is. Yes, a quill stem in a threaded setup can be adjusted up and down, while a 'threadless' stem can't. There are a variety of stems in different rises and extensions of both styles. There are 'threadless' adjustable stems; those stems can be used with threaded forks if a threadless adapter is used.

    Edit:
    Looks as if there are also adjustable quill stems on the market.
    http://www.bikeman.com/SM2931.html
    Last edited by JanMM; 12-18-09 at 04:50 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I wouldn't overstate the vertical adjustability of most quill stems. In most cases an inch or so is all the range you have to work with.

  4. #4
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I wouldn't overstate the vertical adjustability of most quill stems. In most cases an inch or so is all the range you have to work with.
    Generally, this is true. But, at least there is the option of buying a much taller stem (Nitto, for example, makes a number of very tall ones).

    To some extent this can be accomplished with a threadless set up by using a stem with a lot of rise. Or perhaps a different kind of bar; riser bars for flat bars, for example.

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  5. #5
    on your left.
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    your best bet is to A) buy a bike that fits her and B) spend a little money on your girl!

    but a threadless stem is, IMO, easier to adjust. you can pick from a huge number of stem choices, with various length and rise. you can also get a stem extender which which can raise the bars 1-4"
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    I have a bike that has a quill, I bought the dimensions 1" quill to 1.125" threadless adapter... it was like 18 bucks on jensonusa.com... saved me the monery on a threadless fork but gave me the versatility of being able to adjust my reach and angle as I wish.

  7. #7
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    well, i would definately just go out and buy her a bike and a serotta fitting, but she won't allow it... haha. she holds the checkbook and has put a dollar limit on what i can spend... i have been watching CL and ebay etc religiously.

    my orig. question was basically pros/cons. i have only really seen threadless anymore, so figured quill was just a moneysaver for the company

  8. #8
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    threadless is more common on newer bikes... some say it can be a disadvantage (example, I bought my road bike used & wouldnt mind having my bars a little higher but i'm maxed) and some say it can be an advantage (stems are readily available at different lengths and angles.)

    I wouldnt buy a bike just because it has one or the other. if you really want threadless but the bike you find has quill, go buy a fork and put it on the bike. Or just get the adapter like I have and then pick your stems from there... I dont know much about going from threadless to quill but I also havent really heard of anybody wanting to.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I wouldn't overstate the vertical adjustability of most quill stems. In most cases an inch or so is all the range you have to work with.
    Not necessarily so. I have two Nitto stems that give five inches of adjustment. I don't NEED five inches, but it's there if I do. I bought the first one after I started having back problems, and it was so comfortable I got one for another bike.
    As to the general question, I've never seen a reason for the general move to threadless. I've ridden at least 60,000 miles with quill stems in the last 40 years, and I've never had nor heard of a problem with them. They work fine, as do threadless. But if you read this forum often, you've certainly seen many discussions of fit where a problem might be solved by moving the bars up or down. With quill stems it takes 12 seconds and it's free. With threadless, you have to flip the stem or buy a new one.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The general trend is for most "New" bikes to be fitted with threadless headsets. But it doesn't matter what type you have on a bike as by buying a different stem- you will be able to adjust the Height or reach of the bars. Once you have got the bars to the right position- then I doubt that you would ever move them. My only thought is that Threadless stems are available at all bike shops and in a variety of lenghts and reach. The older Quill stems are not held in quite as many sizes as Threadless versions.

    Saying that- For futureproofing- I would steer clear of the 1" stems as they are not the easiest to find at shops and for a bike that is ridden regularly- more maintenance is required on the smaller headset bearings.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member bigvegan's Avatar
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    Why would you buy a bike unseen online if she's not even sure she wants to ride it and can't quite figure out what size she needs?

    Why wouldn't you just buy something used off of craigslist with her, and then let her take it for a test ride, so you wouldn't spend much money, and she could get something that actually fits?


    Quote Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
    buying a bike for my wife (online) because i don't want to spend $$ on something she might not enjoy (she SAYS she wants to try to start riding).

    anyhow, i have seen some less $ bikes with quill headsets/handlebar mounts... i knwo that i can adjust this up/down within reason, but on a threadless headset i can easily swap out stems and move fore/aft pretty easily.

    likely she will not be getting a womens specific frame and I will be doing her setup. so i will buy a size below her 'height' requirement so that her top tube length is appropriate. Just want to make sure that there is sufficient adjustability in whatever i choose.

    i ahve been searching on google and here, and most vids i have found for adjustment are typically for tension on the quill...

    help if u can thx

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    Not necessarily so. I have two Nitto stems that give five inches of adjustment. I don't NEED five inches, but it's there if I do. I bought the first one after I started having back problems, and it was so comfortable I got one for another bike.
    As to the general question, I've never seen a reason for the general move to threadless. I've ridden at least 60,000 miles with quill stems in the last 40 years, and I've never had nor heard of a problem with them. They work fine, as do threadless. But if you read this forum often, you've certainly seen many discussions of fit where a problem might be solved by moving the bars up or down. With quill stems it takes 12 seconds and it's free. With threadless, you have to flip the stem or buy a new one.
    You have a point but I'm betting you don't really have 5 inches of adjustment.

    I like my handlebar about 1 or 2 inches below my seat height so I use Nitto Technomic stems too. Unless, however, you have a really long steerer tube you are going to bottom out that long quill stem before you lower it 5 inches. The Nitto stem yields a higher handlebar position but, in order to adjust it back down more than an inch or so, you'll have to replace it with a shorter quill stem.

    The quill stem is MUCH quicker for making fine height adjustments - I think it looks better too. If you want to make a major handlebar height adjustment, however, you need to replace the stem just the same as if you had a threadless headset.

  13. #13
    bikegeekmn bikegeekmn's Avatar
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    get the threadless, you can use an allen to adjust it
    that alone is worth the price of adimission
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