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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-03-07, 02:06 PM   #1
JellyMeetsJam
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Threaded vs Threadless

So I've been considering threading my steerer/getting a threaded fork. I'm wondering though if this is just a step backwards in terms of function. I don't really like the look of the stock pista fork, or of threadless stems but I like thompson elite's so I could just get one of those and be done with it. Opinions? Thanks.
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Old 11-03-07, 02:13 PM   #2
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Threadless is certainly a better system mechanically. I would recommend against trying to thread a threadless fork. Do it properly and buy a threaded fork if you like the aesthetic.
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Old 11-03-07, 02:18 PM   #3
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Aesthetically, threaded is superior in every way to threadless.
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Old 11-03-07, 02:42 PM   #4
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functionally, they both steer. switching bars is easier with threadless.
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Old 11-03-07, 03:27 PM   #5
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functionally, they both steer. switching bars is easier with threadless.
That is, unless you get a pop top quill. Then it's just as easy to switch bars.
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Old 11-03-07, 03:32 PM   #6
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adjusting bar height is easier with threaded.

from a performance standpoint (mainly stiffness/weight/flex) threadless is better.
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Old 11-03-07, 03:33 PM   #7
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That is, unless you get a pop top quill. Then it's just as easy to switch bars.
I had a hard time finding any, let alone ones that didn't look like ass.
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Old 11-03-07, 03:52 PM   #8
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adjusting bar height is easier with threaded.

from a performance standpoint (mainly stiffness/weight/flex) threadless is better.
true, they each have their fine points. and if you're not racing the performance aspects you mentioned are....i mean, they're nice, but they're not vital.

as far as the pop top quills, they exist, but i can't recall what they are (since most of my bikes have been threadless, i haven't worried about it much, and the ones that were threaded were mostly left as-was for bar/stem combo) so i didn't mention those. anyone?
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Old 11-03-07, 03:58 PM   #9
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Adjusting bar height is also easy on threadless if you have spacers.
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Old 11-03-07, 03:59 PM   #10
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Salsa makes a pop top quill stem. Most of the pop top quill stems I have seen would negate the "pretty" edge that threaded has over threadless, though.
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Old 11-03-07, 05:44 PM   #11
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Seems to me threaded is easier to work on than threadless.
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Old 11-03-07, 06:09 PM   #12
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Salsa makes a pop top quill stem. Most of the pop top quill stems I have seen would negate the "pretty" edge that threaded has over threadless, though.
Salsa makes the ugliest quill 2 bolt stems. The problem with quill stems is that for 2 bolt (non ugly a.k.a salsa), you really have only 2 options - local craigslist or ebay.

Like the 3ttt motus or mutant and the cinelli frog. An additional good luck if you need it with a drop.
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Old 11-03-07, 06:46 PM   #13
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I picked up a Cinelli Oyster from eBay...not too bad. Regarding flex, I replaced the stock steel fork with a carbon fiber jobbie from Nashbar ~ I don't know what's generating my front-end-flex all of a sudden, but I can see the bars, stem, and even a bit of fork flex when I grind up hills.
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Old 11-03-07, 06:57 PM   #14
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Seems to me threaded is easier to work on than threadless.
I disagree.
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Old 11-03-07, 07:25 PM   #15
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i don't know about the weight part, the actual stem may weigh less but there's still that steer tube to account for
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Old 11-03-07, 07:33 PM   #16
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I have both. I like both.
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Old 11-03-07, 08:18 PM   #17
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I picked up a Cinelli Oyster from eBay...not too bad. Regarding flex, I replaced the stock steel fork with a carbon fiber jobbie from Nashbar ~ I don't know what's generating my front-end-flex all of a sudden, but I can see the bars, stem, and even a bit of fork flex when I grind up hills.
They are going for an insane price everywhere i've looked or for a sane price but in stupid lengths (140mm anyone)?
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Old 11-03-07, 08:18 PM   #18
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Jobst "Miserable Old *******" Brandt on threaded vs. threadless:

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Threadless headsets are a welcome and major improvement over the quill handlebar stem and the large octagonal head bearing nuts that fit on threaded steertubes. Besides, the quill stem was never adequately attached to the fork, moving radially at its upper end, where it had a loose fit in the steertube.

The need for special wrenches to adjust head bearings was cumbersome, but was more an inconvenience than a functional failing, one for which the threadless design is an ideal solution. Attachment problems, head bearing adjustment, and the greater force exerted on stems with MTB handlebars demanded a design change.

Upper stem movement, although small, pumped perspiration enriched rain water into the interface and on occasion froze aluminum quill stems in the steertube. They became stuck and sometimes unremovable because aluminum oxide has a greater volume than aluminum and, at times, expanded with enough force to cause a bulge in the steertube. Such an interference fit can make removal by force impossible and in many cases requires machining.

The threadless steertube solved these problems elegantly. The stem is clamped to the outside of the steertube with one or twoAllen screws to give a rigid interface. The head bearing is centered on the steertube by a conical ring that is pressed into engagement by a sleeve beneath the stem, and clamping the stem locks the adjustment.

Failsafe clamping is important in selecting a threadless stem. Unlike the quill stem, where an attachment screw failure caused a loose handlebar, the threadless stem handlebar clamp can completely separate in the event of failure, if it uses only one pair of screws. Therefore, a steertube clamp with two screws and the handlebar clamp with four screws is preferable.

When converting from a quill stem, the improvement is most noticeable in that the entire bicycle seems to become more rigid, especially when accelerating or climbing hills standing. Maintenance of head bearings and removal of handlebars, without untaping handlebars or removing brake levers, becomes trivial.

The shortcoming is that handlebar height cannot easily be changed without a special stem, one with an articulated extension. This is not a problem for people who know what handlebar height they want. It seems to be more a problem for new riders or rental bicycles that require adjustable height.
Personally, I really like threadless mechanically and as for aesthetics, there's tons of nice threadless stems out there.
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Old 11-03-07, 10:08 PM   #19
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They are going for an insane price everywhere i've looked or for a sane price but in stupid lengths (140mm anyone)?
Yeah - I scooped up a 120mm & I definitely like the look...I'm just worried by the flex & the occasional *creak* that I hear. Had one really bad face-plant this year & I don't want another.
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Old 11-03-07, 10:23 PM   #20
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Aesthetically, threaded is superior in every way to threadless.
You said it, man.
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Old 11-03-07, 10:48 PM   #21
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Quill stems look good on appropriate frames. I would never attempt to install a standard 1" quill stem & a 1" threaded fork on a 1 & 1/8" head tubed frame using a headset reducer, for instance. That would look like a fat man with a small penis.
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Old 11-03-07, 11:03 PM   #22
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I upgraded (though I'm sure some would say otherwise [looks towards dutret**) my pista fork to threaded, crowned beauty I scored from spicer cycles. Pearl stem for the rb-21s and jaguar stem for the b-123aa bars. I'm super happy with it.
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Old 11-04-07, 01:11 AM   #23
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I think threadless looks good on a newer style frame built of large diameter tubing. And there's no question that it's mechanically a better system.
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Old 11-04-07, 02:09 AM   #24
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I think threadless looks good on a newer style frame built of large diameter tubing. And there's no question that it's mechanically a better system.
+1 absolutely
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Old 11-05-07, 05:37 PM   #25
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Aesthetically, threaded is superior in every way to threadless.
Aesthetics are by definition in the eye of the beholder. I for one have always thought that threadless looked burlier and manlier. Part of this is because I was a die hard mountain biker when threadless systems appeared, and it was like a breath of fresh air - suddenly there was a system made all of the problems inherent in the weak quill stem attachment go away. I used to hate my quill stem with a passion, and loved my newly threadless look with unreasonable fondness.

On road bikes you notice the problems a lot less, maybe even never. So it's really about the aesthetic more than anything, and that's totally subjective.
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