Old 03-13-18, 03:44 PM
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jonwvara's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington County, Vermont, USA
Posts: 2,894

Bikes: 1966 Dawes Double Blue, 1976 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1975 Raleigh Sprite 27, 1980 Univega Viva Sport, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1984 Lotus Classique, 1976 Motobecane Grand Record

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If have no argument with those who like threadless headsets. They're admittedly convenient in many ways. But I value the ability to move the stem up or down as I feel like it. On a long tour I did last year, I must have adjusted it half a dozen times. I moved it up over an inch in response to the neck stiffness I was getting over the first few days. The tour started in February, and living in Vermont I hadn't been able to do any training rides. It was a big jump going from 0 miles to riding my age every day.

Then I gradually crept it back down as I got more limber, although I moved it back up a couple of times, too. I change stem height from time to time even when I'm riding locally, depending on how I feel. Maybe those occasional adjustments explain why I've never had a stem seize, or even become noticeably stiff. That and grease.

I'll come clean, though: I want to go threaded on the LHT so I can do the ringko-style breakdown for travel. Does that make me a beatnik or something? You can ringko a bike with a threadless stem--it's easier, in fact--but then you've got all that extra steerer sticking out. Given the length of the head tube on this bike, that's going to make the package four or five inches longer. That would be likely be the difference between managing to sneak a slightly-oversized item onto the plane or not managing to. I hate boxing bikes for shipment so much that I'll do almost anything to avoid it.

I could ringko one of my other bikes with threaded headsets. But I'm liking the idea of doing my next tour on the cushy ultra-wide Compass tires I have on the LHT. They're what, 52mm wide or something? At 35 psi it's like riding on clouds. My butt took a fairly serious beating during the first week of the last tour--see my 0 to 63 comment above.

"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."
--Ogden Nash
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