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  1. #1
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    Threadless vs. Threaded for touring?

    I'm spending a little time and money "reinventing" an old frame that I've had since 1991. It is a Schwinn High Plains mtn bike that I have owned since new. It was originally a 3x7 speed and has a 1" steer tube. Over the years I swapped out parts, tried it as a single-speed, etc. Now I'm building it out as a light, 26" touring bike.

    Rear frame spacing is 126mm (7 speed) so I had to build a new set of 26" wheels. I found some used Shimano 600EX (pre-Ultegra) hubs and laced those to 26" hoops I picked up.

    Drivetrain is now a mix of STX-RC (rear der.), Deore LX (front der.), Sugino (triple crankset), and Ultegra (bar end shifters). It's back to being 3x7 (48/36/26T and 11-28T). The original Shimano 200GS parts were junk.

    Braking is Avid Single Digit V's and Tektro levers.

    Rear rack is Topeak that pairs with a Topeak bag and the front is a cheap Nashbar $10 rack.

    So far I'm pleased with the result. My only question is with the fork, headset and stem. Currently it has a Tange rigid fork, cheap threadless Aheadset, and a cheap threadless stem. The bike originally came with a threaded fork and associated parts. I'm considering going back to the original fork due to the better color match and the extra attachment points for rack and fenders. I just don't know if it is a wise decision? I originally went threadless to run a suspension fork (when I was younger and less knowledgeable).

    So these are my options:

    - Keep the threadless setup, paint fork to match the frame and live with only 1 attachment point per leg

    - Switch back to the original threaded fork with 2 attachment points per leg, buy a new threaded headset and quill stem

    Am I better off with the threadless setup I have or would a threaded configuration along with the added eyelets be worth the swap? Just looking for comments!

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    You may want to peruse this recent thread. Forget about the title, but keep reading and you will find comments about threaded v threadless, that might just answer your questions... or not.

    Edit: OOPS, forgot the link brad provided:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=threadless

    Last edited by Rowan; 10-28-12 at 08:40 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    You may want to peruse this recent thread. Forget about the title, but keep reading and you will find comments about threaded v threadless, that might just answer your questions... or not.
    Link?

  4. #4
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    zang, Just read into this a little: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=threadless .

    Brad

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    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    The only advantage of that threaded stem other than matching your paint and a second attachment is that fact it's so darn easy to raise and lower your bars to exactly where you want on any given day. Now for some, that's a worthwhile feature.

  6. #6
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Looks like he easily can go 1.5" lower with current setup, though.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  7. #7
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    wow! a high plains! excellent choice!

    i gots one too...........

    highplains.jpg
    highplains2.jpg

    Front derailleur: XT
    Rear derailleur: XT
    Cranks: XT 175mm 5-arm
    Chainrings: 24-36-46
    Freewheel: Sunrace 7-spd 13-30
    Bottom bracket: XT (UN-72)
    Brakes: XT cantilever with aluminum brake boosters
    Brake levers: XT with genuine XT hoods
    Headset: Orbit XL-II
    Bars: Brahma Zoom bars with real live Brahma grips
    Shifters: SUNTOUR THUMBIES !!
    Fenders: Zefal
    Saddle: Liberator TI
    Racks: front and rear Blackburn Mountain racks
    Wheelset custom built by Joe Young of Fredericksburg, TX:

    Hubs: Phil Wood bolt-on, 36-spoke
    Rims: Sun RhynoLite (machined & welded), rims made in USA of quality metal
    Spokes: DT Competition
    Tires: Performance Versatrack K 26x2.0
    also has prototype Phil Wood bolts for BOB trailer attachment.

    **go ahead and get a new threadless fork.....don't worry about the color match.
    a second color looks cool, and will be covered by the bags anyways. i got my frame
    NOS for $10 on ebay, the fork is steel with dropout eyelets and low-rider mounts,
    picked up on sale from nashbar, also for $10. if i remember, this is the fork they
    sell for their touring frame.

    **what do you think of your front rack? i just picked one up for my other touring
    bike, haven't installed yet. carrying capacity? feels solid?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    zang, Just read into this a little: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=threadless .

    Brad
    Thanks! Quite the discussion. I think it has convinced me to stay with threadless.

    Looks like he easily can go 1.5" lower with current setup, though.
    I do have a bit of adjustment. I left the steer tube uncut for reasons cited in the posted thread. I wanted the ability to make adjustments despite it looking a little ugly.

    go ahead and get a new threadless fork.....don't worry about the color match.
    a second color looks cool, and will be covered by the bags anyways. i got my frame
    NOS for $10 on ebay, the fork is steel with dropout eyelets and low-rider mounts,
    picked up on sale from nashbar, also for $10. if i remember, this is the fork they
    sell for their touring frame.
    That may be easier said than done. 26" rigid forks with 1" steer tube and more eyelets/attachment points than I already have are not common.

    what do you think of your front rack? i just picked one up for my other touring
    bike, haven't installed yet. carrying capacity? feels solid?
    I haven't loaded it yet. If you read the reviews, it gets 4 out of 5 stars. You just need to be realistic about the weight you plan to carry on it. I would say that any poor reviews were due to people overloading it.
    Last edited by zanq; 10-28-12 at 09:20 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    That may be easier said than done. 26" rigid forks with 1" steer tube and more eyelets/attachment points than I already have are not common.

    I haven't loaded it yet. If you read the reviews, it gets 4 out of 5 stars. You just need to be realistic about the weight you plan to carry on it. I would say that any poor reviews were due to people overloading it.
    oops, i missed the 1", i was thinking this 1-1/8":
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...46_-1___202347

    no overloading the rack........spare tire and a gallon of water. max ~10 pounds

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a threaded custom fork, the threads were cut longer
    than the usual 50mm.. extends tall..
    then I had a long insert quill stem,
    so the stem backed up the cut threads, and was pretty safe in not worrying about cracks thru cut thread.

    I also have a threadless steerer bike, modified with a steerer extender stem raiser..

    there is also a mixed option if you can find a thru threaded locknut
    to tighten against the final top locknut, then a threadless upper race, spacers,
    and Quill stem may also work.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-29-12 at 09:49 AM.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    I'm spending a little time and money "reinventing" an old frame that I've had since 1991. It is a Schwinn High Plains mtn bike that I have owned since new. It was originally a 3x7 speed and has a 1" steer tube. Over the years I swapped out parts, tried it as a single-speed, etc. Now I'm building it out as a light, 26" touring bike.

    Rear frame spacing is 126mm (7 speed) so I had to build a new set of 26" wheels. I found some used Shimano 600EX (pre-Ultegra) hubs and laced those to 26" hoops I picked up.

    Drivetrain is now a mix of STX-RC (rear der.), Deore LX (front der.), Sugino (triple crankset), and Ultegra (bar end shifters). It's back to being 3x7 (48/36/26T and 11-28T). The original Shimano 200GS parts were junk.

    Braking is Avid Single Digit V's and Tektro levers.

    Rear rack is Topeak that pairs with a Topeak bag and the front is a cheap Nashbar $10 rack.

    So far I'm pleased with the result. My only question is with the fork, headset and stem. Currently it has a Tange rigid fork, cheap threadless Aheadset, and a cheap threadless stem. The bike originally came with a threaded fork and associated parts. I'm considering going back to the original fork due to the better color match and the extra attachment points for rack and fenders. I just don't know if it is a wise decision? I originally went threadless to run a suspension fork (when I was younger and less knowledgeable).

    So these are my options:

    - Keep the threadless setup, paint fork to match the frame and live with only 1 attachment point per leg

    - Switch back to the original threaded fork with 2 attachment points per leg, buy a new threaded headset and quill stem

    Am I better off with the threadless setup I have or would a threaded configuration along with the added eyelets be worth the swap? Just looking for comments!

    Thanks!
    First, choosing a suspension fork isn't foolish...if the bike is ridden for its intended purpose. If you bought the bike for road riding, a suspension fork is of dubious value but then buying a mountain bike for road riding isn't the best choice either.

    On to the other issues. Since you have the bike set up for threadless and it appears that you have the handlebar height you want, I'd suggest leaving sleeping dogs lie. There are many different ways to attached fork mounted lowriders and racks. Many touring bikes from the early 80s don't have lowrider attachments but that didn't stop us from mounting them. Tubus makes a very nice bolt on fork attachment now. With a set of Tubus lowrider racks you even have an attachment point on the rack for fenders.

    Adjustability is a red herring. If your original fork is anything like most forks I've seen, it is cut as short as possible. A threaded stem has only an limited amount of adjustability as well...probably about the 1 1/2" you currently have.

    Stick with what you have now. Not worth the effort.
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  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    looks like the frames design is pre suspension fork,
    and so the fork you have is fine..

    If the expenditure for a repaint is planned , have the braze ons added
    then do the repaint..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    looks like the frames design is pre suspension fork,
    and so the fork you have is fine..

    If the expenditure for a repaint is planned , have the braze ons added
    then do the repaint..
    The repaint will involve some sandpaper and a carefully executed rattle-bomb paint job. Nothing fancy or expensive.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Then all you need to do is touch up patches after the braze ons are finished.

    black is fine.. I wouldn't bother changing the base color.

    but this site seems to bring out the OCD in people..

  15. #15
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    As an old guy who has been playing with bikes since Christ was a corporal, I am used to threaded headsets and was somewhat mystified with my first non-threaded headset. I think I have gotten it figured out, but I think I still favor threads for precise adjustment, but that is just me. What I have seen as a major advancement are the threadless stems with the removable face plates. I have modified all my bikes with threaded steering tubes to the threadless type stems using an adapter. It certainly increases the versatility of the whole setup and makes dialing in stem length and height much easier, at least for me.

    One other thing I have done is have all my steel frames spread to 135mm rear dropout spacing. As someone who grew up with freewheels, I didnít see the need to change to free hubs until good freewheels became extinct. As I have been replacing wheels with newer freehubs, I have gone to 135mm to get the max rear wheel lateral strength, but I am an over weight fat guy who likes strong wheels. My wheels also typically have 40 or 48 spokes. 48 is now overkill with the newer, stiffer rims. 40 may be overkill, but I have had enough spoke/wheel problems over the years I would rather be safe than sorry.

  16. #16
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    zang, For a light/credit card tourer you probably already now have all of what you'll need. Some handlebar tape and fenders and off you go. Purchase racks and panniers when and if you need to to make the bike an expedition level tourer.

    Brad

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