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Extend Steerer tube.

Old 09-17-21, 01:17 PM
  #1  
carldrost
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Extend Steerer tube.

Anybody know of a place that can extend a steerer tube. Unknown if i will be able to straighten out the fork blades on my Mercier fork but i have a great shape Mercier fork that can replace it but the steerer tube is about 50 mm too short. Old forks steerer tube is in great shape so wish to splice together to get the length i need. Can mail parts if need too. The bike is an 84 or 85 Bordeaux=Paris model. I know it is not worth that much but it is too me.

Thanks.
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Old 09-17-21, 01:24 PM
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If you can find someone that can straighten those forks, then you've probably found the person that can extend the steerer.

Steel steerer? Quill or fork? It can be cut off a few inches above the fork crown and then a internal coupling used to braze a new tube to it. You don't want to cut it so close to the crown that the heat of brazing affects that. Nor do you want it so high that the internal union interferes with the quill.

If you have any LBS's around and the owners or mechanics have been around awhile, then they probably know someone that can do brazing.
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Old 09-17-21, 02:20 PM
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You would think it would be that simple. I have done that and so far, no a vale here in Austin, TX. I am very surprised by that. I have talked to a custom frame builder and he says it is real difficult. Well i have seen the YouTube video where the guy does exactly as you mention and no big deal. like a 20 minute job. I have an engineering degree and some welding experience but i do not have a welder, tools, table, etc. so wanted to just a find a person. I had one guy say 'well, maybe i guy i know in New York could do it but it would be like $500'. I was like, it is just welding a tube together. I have been very disappointed with the local 'custom / craft' bike culture here. I may just have to but my own welder and go for it. I appreciate the note on the point to mate the tubes together in reference to crown and quill point. The guy in the video had a tube that basically press fitted into the old steerer tube but i might not be able to find one that good so i have tought of just using a piece of flat steel of an appropriate thickness and roll it into a tube shape where the ends almost touch each other and then i can squeeze together and place in tube and it would expand and hold old tube in place while welding. Kind of like a expanding piston ring idea.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 09-17-21, 03:07 PM
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there's some framebuilders on the forum here that oughta be able to help somehow with either straightening one fork or extending the other. gugie or post over in framebuilders or classic and vintage section. try this avenue before going out and buying a welder you might use two or three times

failing all that, i know a cheap but doable/safe hack, if you're open to it. let me know
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Old 09-17-21, 03:11 PM
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Thanks and will check into the sections as well.
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Old 09-17-21, 03:52 PM
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Try this place. Yellow Jersey, Service Not the only place that can do a great job but they seem to have pretty reasonable prices too. Don't be put off by the website that looks like it's from 1999.
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Old 09-17-21, 03:58 PM
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I wouldn't weld it. I'd braze it with the proper silver solder. Not the silver solder they sell for plumbing, it's the wrong strength of what ever the proper word is for that. I suppose brazing with brass might be just as good. As another mentioned there are frame builders in the frame builder forum. One or two occasionally come here.

If you think you know enough to describe what you want done, then just find a machine shop, fabrication shop or welding shop in the local area and they'll probably have a good welder that can braze it. Or ask around a welding supply store.

I was all ready to have the same done to my steerer on my old Raleigh when I was going to put a new groupset on it. I was going to make it threadless too. I found an old fork at a LBS and bought it for a few bucks. I was going to use the unthreaded part of it's tube to replace my threaded section. Project still on hold, I got new bike fever and it's been on hold ever since.

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Old 09-17-21, 04:29 PM
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Yeah, ask around in Framebuilders and/or C&V. Rather than brazing an extension into your existing steerer tube, they might insist on sweating out the old steerer and brazing in a new longer one. If they are willing to take on the job in the first place...
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Old 09-18-21, 10:01 PM
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I guess I am missing the gene that makes a person want to consider paying more for a repair/modification than the entire bike is worth but that's me. Normally these kinds of kludges don't cost 4x what the bike is worth but this one certainly would. If a Nitto stem of sufficient shaft length can't do the job just forget saving that fork. There have got to be worse things than having a non-original fork on a C/V bike.
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Old 09-19-21, 09:25 AM
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While I agree that 100 dollars is probably 4 times what most vintage bikes are worth, it still seems less than what a decent fork replacement will be.
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Old 09-19-21, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I guess I am missing the gene that makes a person want to consider paying more for a repair/modification than the entire bike is worth but that's me. Normally these kinds of kludges don't cost 4x what the bike is worth but this one certainly would. If a Nitto stem of sufficient shaft length can't do the job just forget saving that fork. There have got to be worse things than having a non-original fork on a C/V bike.
it certainly doesn't seem practical, for sure. but, i just sold a fellow BF'r a fork because it seems to be getting harder to find forks to appropriately replace these old ones; axle to crown height, offset, and particularly if you need a long steer tube. and, i gotta say some of these aftermarket forks i've seen are fugly. it's like they used a 2x4 to bend the blades against.
i'm no frame builder, so i have no authority (for lack of a better word) on what a fair price would be, but the guy i had install them charged me $85 a side for canti bosses. could/should a steerer extension cost much more than that? you wouldn't even have to jig it up
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Old 09-19-21, 04:24 PM
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This was interesting, May give you an idea for your fork.

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Old 09-19-21, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I wouldn't weld it. I'd braze it with the proper silver solder. Not the silver solder they sell for plumbing, it's the wrong strength of what ever the proper word is for that. I suppose brazing with brass might be just as good.
Both were/are apparently used in building brazed and lugged frames. Here's a brief article I found interesting that describes the differences between the two, from Dave Moulton's blog.

Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Brass vs. Silver

Moulton seems to be a fan of brass vice silver, but indicates both are suitable for frame building. I don't have any experience in the area, so I have no opinion regarding which might be "better".
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Old 09-20-21, 10:38 AM
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Leisesturm; While i agree that the bike is not worth in dollars a lot. it worth much more in historical reason pertaining to my individual history with it. Ask a car guy if he wishes he never sold his first hot rod. It is not about the money. If that were they case then nobody would really keep vintage bikes because the new ones work way better then any of them so just go buy a new lowend Trek and the components will beat the pants of most 60's to 80's stuff. I got a 69 camaro in my junior year of high school. I changed out engines in it, pulled front clip and doors off to do a repaint, i changed out a rear axel, i drove it in college, i raced people, i went on many a trip in it, etc., etc. It needs a complete rebuild as well and will not be worth dollar wise what i put into it. But people who know what i speak of know. I understand your value comment but i hope you get to have the sentimental feeling for a bike, car, etc. that is worth more than the dollar amount of it. There is an appreciation for what it was at the time it was that as well.

To others, thanks for all the help. I finally found a frame builder who looked at it and he straightened it for $50. Mission accomplished. This is not going to be a commuter / daily rider nor a racer. It may just be wall art of times gone by.
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Old 09-20-21, 10:40 AM
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Wizardof Boz, that video you posted is exactly the video i found as well and was like, how can nobody say they can do this, it is trivial. Thanks for finding it for me.
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Old 09-20-21, 10:42 AM
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Crankycrank, I talked with that YellowJersey place and they helped me as well via picture of what they though of realigning it. Not to mention they are hilarious and have great attitudes there. Just from talking with them i recommend that place. Going to buy a shirt from them just because they were so cool.
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Old 09-20-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by carldrost View Post
Crankycrank, I talked with that YellowJersey place and they helped me as well via picture of what they though of realigning it. Not to mention they are hilarious and have great attitudes there. Just from talking with them i recommend that place. Going to buy a shirt from them just because they were so cool.
Good to hear. They're great folks.
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Old 09-20-21, 04:26 PM
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I did this.

Took a fork to a local metal fabrication shop who does a lot of work with pipes.

There is a minimum charge of an hour of shop time for everything and I needed to go find a rusty clunker to get a properly sized extension off of. He found a tube that fit inside and welded around it. Mine only needed minor extension so the weld is under the stem clamp (thread less).

It cost me $100 and works great. Iím happy with the work.
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Old 09-21-21, 05:03 PM
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Good for you, Caldrost. You got the job done.
I did the fork tube extension myself. Mated CF steerer with aluminum tubes via splicing and rivets. No brazing. So far good. Creaked after initial install, but amended it and now silent. I felt I had no choice but to do this job myself after I found no aftermarket forks I liked from the limited options available from on-line retailers. I appreciate the Yellow Jersey link. I may just give them a call if need be. But my fork feels pretty darn solid now. I ride the bike with confidence. It took quite a bit of time, but it was the kind of project I like. I'll share it again here.
​​​​​​​DIY Steerer Tube Extension and Internal Cable Routing for 2020 Merida 8000e
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Old 09-22-21, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by carldrost View Post
Wizardof Boz, that video you posted is exactly the video i found as well and was like, how can nobody say they can do this, it is trivial. Thanks for finding it for me.
Ah, the Wizard of Boz's google foo is powerful...

Seriously, glad this helped. I do have a bit of a problem with the way the guy welded this, though. I would think that he should have left a space of about 1/16" between the tubes, to ensure a full penetration weld and to fix the insert tube as part of the weld. But... I've never built a frame, and the guy in the video has so what do I know?

Glad you liked it.
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Old 09-23-21, 08:12 AM
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I'd seen that video too when I was in the planning part for changing my steerer tube. He didn't go over it or say why, but he made a small mention of only making a small weld on one side and then turning it. This is probably because welding puts so much heat is a small area that expansion and contraction after cooling can really make parts you had aligned straight, very crooked when finished. I know first hand of this on other things I've welded.

That's partly my preference to say braze it. With brazing the entire section to be joined is heated to the same temps at the same time. Also brazing whether brass or silver solder will flow to the entire surface of the parts to be mated including the internal union. Unlike the weld that will only be at the seam and leaves more potential for embrittlement if done improperly with wrong flux or shielding gas.

I've also seen my father do some destructive testing on peices of metal he silver soldered. The metal broke after finally fatiguing. Not the solder joining the flat pieces together.
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