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Old 01-01-10, 12:19 PM   #1
imi
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1" threaded or 1" threadless?

This topic must have been discussed before but I've searched and not come up with the opinions which will tip the balance.

I'll be ordering a Bob Jackson World Tour frame which comes off-the-peg either with optional 1" threaded or 1" threadless fork (I presume uncut). 1 1/8" threadless is not an option.

As far as my understanding goes the pros and cons are:

Threaded:
  • Quill stem (e.g Nitto Technomic Deluxe)
  • Height adjustability
  • Lesser choice of handlebars (26mm)
  • Converter to threadless 1 1/8" stems and thus 31.8mm handlebars

Threadless:
  • Limited stem choices
  • Shim necessary for 1 1/8" stems
  • No height adjustability once cut
At the moment I am most inclined to go for the threaded fork with a converter (what are the disadvantages of that combination?)... but will (as always) listen to BF wisdom!

Thanks and Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-10, 12:33 PM   #2
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I wouldnt worry about stem options if you go threadless, there are a billion options out there, perhaps moreso than going with a quill stem (unless you buy adjustable)

I personally am using an adapter because IMO it gives you the best of both - I can adjust height as I wish, if my reach isn't comfortable, I can swap out with moderate ease, and the same with angle. That said, I dont have 100 stems to cover all of my options... I got an adapter that goes from 1" to 1.125 & have the 31.8 mm handlebar.
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Old 01-01-10, 01:27 PM   #3
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The good thing about threadless for touring is you only have to bring an allen key for maintenance. For threaded you need to carry a large wrench, sometimes two, depending on your headset.

With that being said my touring bike has a threaded headset.
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Old 01-01-10, 01:33 PM   #4
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Personally I'd go threadless. You can have the stem cut so you can use spacers for some height adjustability: spacers can be placed below and/or above the stem, just don't overdo below-the-stem. I prefer the bar clamps on threadless stems as you don't have to finagle the bars through the stem and risk scratching them: while the odds of causing a sufficiently severe gouge to raise stress-fractures on an aluminum bar are minimal, it could happen. A shim to use 1-1/8" stems on a 1" steerer is no big deal and works well.

If you're really a stickler for stem adjustability, Look makes(? used to make?) a ridiculously adjustable threadless stem with a couple of pivot-joints, for extension and height. Not cheap, but it's an option.
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Old 01-01-10, 01:44 PM   #5
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Here's a vote for threaded. The height adjustability of a threaded setup is huge for me. Plus it just looks better IMHO. As for headset wrenches, I think with any half-decent headset, once adjusted correctly you won't need to touch it even on the longest of tours.
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Old 01-01-10, 02:30 PM   #6
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I went for threaded (quill) on my BJ. That was one of the reasons why I bought the frame. Threaded stems look better, IMHO, and are much easier to dial in the height. Plus if you cut a threaded fork and later try to sell the bike, it might be too short for prospective buyers. There is not a stem sold today that is nicer looking or higher quality than a Nitto Deluxe or Pearl. The weight differences between a Nitto and most threadless stems are minimal.
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Old 01-01-10, 02:46 PM   #7
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I've used both recently, and prefer threadless.

Quality threaded stems are very limited availability now, limiting choices in length/angle, expensive and relatively heavy.

I agree with Tarwheel in that threaded stems have an appearance advantage on C/V style bikes. I use Thomson Elite stems when I can get them discounted. They are quite good-looking for a threadless stem, and tops in strength/longevity.

For threadless all you have to do is cut the steerer extra long and add spacers above stem, then cut down later once your information/confidence improves.

Last edited by seeker333; 01-01-10 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 01-01-10, 03:13 PM   #8
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I like threaded but on a bike with couplings it would be kinda silly.
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Old 01-01-10, 03:48 PM   #9
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escii_35, why would that be silly?
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Old 01-01-10, 04:08 PM   #10
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head tube

Imi - Here is a photo of the head tube -- with a ruler -- on my 23" World Tour.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BJ head tube.jpg (37.6 KB, 23 views)
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Old 01-01-10, 05:38 PM   #11
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Both have advantages. I would probably pick the threadless though. Threaded was great for my daughter and our other Trans America companion though. They were not sure what they wanted in bar height and it was so easy to raise and lower the threaded one as they changed theier minds numerous times in the first fe weeks.

I don't like the looks of threadless with a stack of spacers, but it isn't an issue for me because I like my bars 4-5" below the saddle.
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Old 01-01-10, 07:57 PM   #12
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Thanks everybody for your answers (and for the picture Tarwheel, this was related to a PM)... Seems to be a matter of personal preference rather than a clear cut choice, but your comments have certainly clarified things for me. BF, you're BEST!
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Old 01-02-10, 10:24 AM   #13
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I wouldn't make it a major criterium in deciding on a bike. If I liked a bike, it wouldn't matter much. However, all other things being equal, I'd go with threadless. There are a bizzillion choices (I know - I've bought half a bizzillion.)
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Old 01-02-10, 12:18 PM   #14
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A lugged frame begs to have a quill stem.

However, if you don't know your reach and decide after a while you need a different length stem, changing out bars w/ a quill stem is a lot more work than with a threadless set up.
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