Old 03-13-18, 12:15 AM
A Roadie Forever
79pmooney's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,807

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

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I made the decision to go a 1" threadless steel fork when I had my first ti bike built. Figured 1" had always worked for me so why change. (I was going steel fork from the start.) Bike was designed around a 120mm -17 stem.

I now have a decade and 11,000 miles on it. One of the features I really am not in love with is the ramifications of threadless stems. Having a nice long range of vertical height means lots of washers, usually on top. I have to mess with the headset bearings every time I move the stem. Every time I move the stem I have to fuss with washers and three bolts. Torque matters.

Now I am thanking myself for going 1". When this headset dies, the fork is going back to the builder to be cut and threaded and a conventional headset spun on. Yes, the Tanges don't go the distance of a Chris King but I can live with headset that lasts only 8,000 miles, costs $30 and has to be adjusted 1/8" turn 3 times over that distance. And never has to be even thought about when I raise or lower the stem.

I've always kinda looked at stem height a little like how tight I tie my shoe laces. I have my favorite setting (at any given time) but I really like being able to loosen the laces or raise the stem on a whim. And I like both of those operations being 5 minutes or less.

Edit: the there's the stems you have to live with. I never get tired of looking at the Nitto Pearls.


Last edited by 79pmooney; 03-13-18 at 12:18 AM.
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