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Machine a standard quill to fit a Schwinn/BMX steerer?

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Machine a standard quill to fit a Schwinn/BMX steerer?

Old 03-17-08, 07:39 PM
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Machine a standard quill to fit a Schwinn/BMX steerer?

Hi,

Here's my predicament. I have an early 80's Schwinn MTB frame that I am building up. I recently replaced the rusted Tang Falcon headset with a NOS Stronglight A9. Afterwards I find out to my dismay that the steerer tube measures in at 21.1mm ID, not the standard 22.2mm!

Would it be bad to take a high quality stem such as a Nitto and machine off 0.55mm to make it fit? The question is "bad" as in "will it break," not should I do that to a nice component. Who here has done something similar?

Thanks!
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Old 03-17-08, 07:49 PM
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21.1 stems are far less hassle to buy than to make a one off of.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:10 PM
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I'm in a similar predicament with an older Huffy tandem MTB. The headset is really crappy, the stem is too long for me, and the steerer's ID is 21.1mm. I found a frame and I plan on taking the headset, stem and fork from it.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:37 PM
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Here's another approach; check out this thread, posts 27 and 28 : http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=reamer&page=2

I've never done it, can't guarantee whether it would be safe, etc etc. But Sheldon didn't seem to hesitate to say it should be doable. I've got quite a few old Schwinns, I've thought about this issue quite a few times. As it is right now, I don't have a pressing need for a different stem, so I won't be trying it anytime soon. I would actually scour ebay for a suitable 21.15mm (.833") stem before I would resort to enlarging the steerer tube ID or altering a larger diameter stem. When I needed a stem for my '83 Schwinn le tour luxe, I got lucky and found a wonderfully tall 21.15mm SR stem on ebay for about six or seven dollars. I knew what I was looking for, and I don't think the seller was even aware that it wasn't a 22.2mm stem.

One word of caution if you shop for a 21.15mm stem: most of the ones you'll see are made with a 22.2mm clamp diameter (for steel handlebars). Íf that's what you need, there are plenty out there. It's the ones that have a 25.4mm clamp diameter that are kind of hard to find, at least from my experience-

Last edited by well biked; 03-17-08 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
21.1 stems are far less hassle to buy than to make a one off of.
All the ones I've seen so far are ugly, as well as this problem...

Originally Posted by well biked View Post
One word of caution if you shop for a 21.15mm stem: most of the ones you'll see are made with a 22.2mm clamp diameter (for steel handlebars). Íf that's what you need, there are plenty out there. It's the ones that have a 25.4mm clamp diameter that are kind of hard to find, at least from my experience-
Aesthetics are a big consideration for this build. So I'm not too worried about the hassle of getting what I want as long as it's not going to snap on me.

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Old 03-17-08, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
Here's another approach; check out this thread, posts 27 and 28 : http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=reamer&page=2
Sheldon keeps on teaching. This was the first thing I thought of, but then I saw how much material I would be removing from the tube. The poster in the above thread notes that the outside diameters are the same for a 22.2mm and a 21.1mm steerer. The only difference is the wall thickness. If this is the case, I would rather go this route than modifying a stem.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
The poster in the above thread notes that the outside diameters are the same for a 22.2mm and a 21.1mm steerer. The only difference is the wall thickness. If this is the case, I would rather go this route than modifying a stem.
I was the poster that noted that in the thread. I closely examined two Tange forks, one off a Schwinn, one off a Centurion. Both relatively inexpensive hi-ten forks, everything apparently identical in terms of construction except the ID of the steerer tubes. That's what got me thinking along the lines of enlarging the ID of the Schwinn steerer tube.

Last edited by well biked; 03-18-08 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:20 AM
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Details details...

Today I'm going to compare the wall thicknesses of my other bikes with threaded headsets.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:46 AM
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Yeah, I can tell you that if you're dealing with a fork/headset of the "standard" one inch size, you'll find that there's no difference between that and the Schwinn except the wall thickness of the steerer tube, which of course affects the ID. But the headsets are interchangeable (assuming the same diameter crown race, 27.0 vs. 26.4), with the only oddity on the Schwinn headset being the locknut's inside diameter where it fits snugly around the smaller diameter stem. I've sanded out (with a dremel tool) the locknut from a headset on an old Schwinn to fit around a 22.2mm stem, and used the Schwinn headset on a bike with a 22.2mm ID steerer tube.

Basically, the 21.15mm stem/steerer thing for Schwinn was something that went back at least to the '60's, for whatever reason they wanted a thick-walled steerer tube on some of their bikes at the expense of a smaller diameter quill. In some cases at least, such as a Tange fork from an early '80's Schwinn, I don't think it would make any difference if the ID of the steerer were enlarged. But again, no guarantees-

Last edited by well biked; 03-18-08 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 03-18-08, 05:53 PM
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I need to buy better tools! Using my $10 plastic calipers, I measured the steerer tubes of three forks. My '84 Fuji Touring 3 has an Ishiwata 4*C tube like my Schwinn except that its tubing wall is about .5mm thinner. I need to remove .55+mm from the Schwinn's tube to make a standard quill to fit--just over half a millimeter!

This mimics your observations with the Tang forks, well biked.

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Old 03-18-08, 07:12 PM
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you can buy a new one here .
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