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How to fit JIS carbon fork with ISO headset?

Old 01-05-21, 07:50 PM
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How to fit JIS carbon fork with ISO headset?

I have a 90’s Cannondale 2.8 Aluminum that I have been renovating. Just added a Campagnolo Veloce groupset with Zondas. It looks and feels amazing, almost better than brand new. But here’s the thing...

I purchased a full carbon fork to replace the aluminum one. The fork steering tube is 1” but it will only accept a 27mm (JIS) crown race. I got this particular fork because it perfectly matched the candy red paint job and I was unable to find another 1” like this anywhere. You think there would be more demand for 1” carbon forks in different colors but I guess not.

I wanted to purchase a high quality 1” threadless headset, like a Chris King to replace the old threaded Shimano 105. The problem is that Chris King doesn’t make a headset to fit a 27mm crown race, or anyone else really. SO, I have these options. Which is best?

• Sand down 0.6mm of the carbon fork steering tube to accept the 26.4mm crown race. I heard from some places that this is possible but not advisable and most likely dangerous, but could work if done precisely. Or...

• Get a Chris King headset with 26.4mm baseplate and machine off 0.6mm of the inner diameter of the crown race (precisely) so that it fits on the 27mm steering tube. Or...

• Just get a lesser quality headset that fits the headtube (was it 30.2 or 30mm, I forget at the moment?) and that can sit on the 27mm crown race. I guess Origin 8 makes a headset that comes with a 26.4 and a 27mm crown race. And there are maybe 1 or 2 other no name headsets with the: Threadless 1”, 30.2mm (or 30.0?) x27mm ID. But this would mean having to sacrifice bling/ride quality. OR...

• Find a new 1” fork that accepts a 26.4mm crown race, but it has to match the Cannondale’s candy red color. And I haven't found one anywhere. Been looking a long time.

SO, should I:

• Alter the 27mm carbon fork?
• Alter the high quality 26.4mm headset crown
• Get a low quality headset to fit?
• Search for a different fork?
• Or none if these things?

Oh great and wise bike sages, please advise!
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Old 01-06-21, 12:22 AM
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Tange and Velo Orange both make headsets for 27.0 crown race. Shimano headsets also came in both 26.4 and 27.0 flavors.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:52 AM
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Don't alter the fork. Crown races are cheap compared to forks and easily replaced if you screw it up.
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Old 01-06-21, 08:11 AM
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Maybe it's just me, but what's the rationale behind having an expensive high quality headset (apart from feeling good about having expensive parts on your bike)? Headsets are such simple pieces of engineering that pretty much any one that fits, is installed and adjusted properly, will do the job fine. So my answer would be option 3.
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Old 01-06-21, 10:03 AM
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^ this.
The Origin8 headset that has both crown races is a sealed cartridge bearing headset that is absolutely as good or better than a 105 headset from the early 90s. And it comes in silver or black so itll match any cockpit.
Its a headset- after the $45 mark, its all just branding/luxury/prestige. A CaneCreek 40 is 95% of a CaneCreek 110, and its debatable how important that 5% difference even is. I dont understand the appeal of King headsets for the price, but the variety in colors and desire for some to have 'KING' showing seems to be a strong pull.
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Old 01-06-21, 02:13 PM
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find the one that fits physically the best & have a body shop paint the part to match. It might cost a pretty penny, but the time it'll save will bring you sooner to your end goal.
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Old 01-06-21, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Maybe it's just me, but what's the rationale behind having an expensive high quality headset (apart from feeling good about having expensive parts on your bike)? Headsets are such simple pieces of engineering that pretty much any one that fits, is installed and adjusted properly, will do the job fine. So my answer would be option 3.
For me some of it is aesthetic and some of it is wanting reliability and durability and a good warranty behind it. I mean a Cane Creek 40 is a fine headset and I have used it and continue to use them but the 110 just looks nicer and is machined in 'Murica as are the CK stuff and CK comes in 3DV which you don't always get from the cheapies. Some headsets look so god awful I couldn't stand to look at them and some are reasonably priced. machined and logo'd but don't cost a ton but I still don't mind having the upgrade.
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Old 01-07-21, 02:22 AM
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Edit: Reread the OP and realized it's threadless. This post is about threaded. I have no idea if Tange makes a threadless HS.

My take? Buy a $35 Tang, install it and accept that in 7000 miles you will probably have to take out the bottom cage and put in more loose balls. In 8-9000 miles you'll have to install a new one. In between you will simply have to put up with perfect except perhaps having to tighten the adjustment a touch once or twice. (All this assumes your headtube ends and fork crown are parallel.)

I have Tanges in three bikes, a roller bearing Stronglight in one and Chris King in my one threadless HS bike. All run perfect. (I like the Stronglight the best. It has a ridiculous number of miles on it and still runs perfect. Only issue I have is the aluminum wrench flats that now look like aluminum wrench flats after 25 years and thousands of miles. A Tange locknut would be looking a lot better. Never needs adjustment. But I can go out tomorrow and buy a near perfect (as stated above) Tange from any bike shop for pocket change. (And Tanges have another very useful feature - virtually all models are interchangeable. I've mixed and matched 3 different sets to match the stack height the bike was built for. (A threaded Chris King that drove me nuts.)

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Old 01-07-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Tange and Velo Orange both make headsets for 27.0 crown race. Shimano headsets also came in both 26.4 and 27.0 flavors.
That sounds like an option, however, will they all fit 30.2mm cups? Most 27mm cr headsets I’ve seen are 30.0mm.
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Old 01-07-21, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
Don't alter the fork. Crown races are cheap compared to forks and easily replaced if you screw it up.
So you think I could shave off some of the inner diameter of the CK 26.4mm crown race, fit it on the 27mm steering tube and get away with it? I’m sure I can find a frame builder somewhere here in NYC.
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Old 01-07-21, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
Don't alter the fork. Crown races are cheap compared to forks and easily replaced if you screw it up.
I will take this advice. And you think I could alter the 26.4mm crown race to become a 27mm and be ok?
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Old 01-07-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
^ this.
The Origin8 headset that has both crown races is a sealed cartridge bearing headset that is absolutely as good or better than a 105 headset from the early 90s. And it comes in silver or black so itll match any cockpit.
Its a headset- after the $45 mark, its all just branding/luxury/prestige. A CaneCreek 40 is 95% of a CaneCreek 110, and its debatable how important that 5% difference even is. I dont understand the appeal of King headsets for the price, but the variety in colors and desire for some to have 'KING' showing seems to be a strong pull.
I did notice the Origin8 headset, that seemed to be a problem solver but didn’t want to concede to it without asking if I could get away with altering a “higher quality” headset first. I may just go that route. I know having a CK or campy record headset is branding/luxury/prestige but it’s also top quality and thats what I want for my ride. I think high quality ends up being cheaper and less maintenance/hassle over time. It just looks better too. Also Im a sucker for good design
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Old 01-07-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HearEyeAm View Post
I did notice the Origin8 headset, that seemed to be a problem solver but didn’t want to concede to it without asking if I could get away with altering a “higher quality” headset first. I may just go that route. I know having a CK or campy record headset is branding/luxury/prestige but it’s also top quality and thats what I want for my ride. I think high quality ends up being cheaper and less maintenance/hassle over time. It just looks better too. Also Im a sucker for good design
I totally get the idea of wanting higher quality.
I just see some items as being easy to see the differences in quality and some items where the difference isnt so clear or significant.

Whatever you end up doing- post some pics! Modernizing older bikes is basically the coolest.
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Old 01-07-21, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HearEyeAm View Post
I will take this advice. And you think I could alter the 26.4mm crown race to become a 27mm and be ok?
I don't know your level of experience with such things, but it can be done safely. I don't know if the race is hardened, so the method of removing material will depend on that. I would do it on my lathe, but you could probably carefully remove the material with a dremel and a sanding drum attachment. Clamp the crown race in a vice and go around the inside with the sanding drum evenly and measure often.
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Old 01-07-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HearEyeAm View Post
That sounds like an option, however, will they all fit 30.2mm cups? Most 27mm cr headsets I’ve seen are 30.0mm.
Here:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tange-Seiki...e/174495257191
This is EC30 size, which is 30.2mm
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Old 01-07-21, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I don't know your level of experience with such things, but it can be done safely. I don't know if the race is hardened, so the method of removing material will depend on that. I would do it on my lathe, but you could probably carefully remove the material with a dremel and a sanding drum attachment. Clamp the crown race in a vice and go around the inside with the sanding drum evenly and measure often.
You know, a 27.0mm crown race is $3. Are you really telling the OP to hand file a 26.4mm crown race to 27mm just to save $3? Crown races are interchangeable. Meaning you can just swap out the crown race for one that fits your new fork, and leave all the other pieces of the headset alone.
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Old 01-07-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
You know, a 27.0mm crown race is $3. Are you really telling the OP to hand file a 26.4mm crown race to 27mm just to save $3? Crown races are interchangeable. Meaning you can just swap out the crown race for one that fits your new fork, and leave all the other pieces of the headset alone.
Clearly, if a suitable crown race can be found for $3, that is the way to go. However, crown races aren't all interchangeable and King uses an 36 degree bearing, where most others use a 45 degree bearing.
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Old 01-07-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
However, crown races aren't all interchangeable and King uses an 36 degree bearing, where most others use a 45 degree bearing.
Ahh I see! I have no experience with King headsets. I've only played with the usual cheapo headsets!
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Old 01-08-21, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
You know, a 27.0mm crown race is $3. Are you really telling the OP to hand file a 26.4mm crown race to 27mm just to save $3? Crown races are interchangeable. Meaning you can just swap out the crown race for one that fits your new fork, and leave all the other pieces of the headset alone.
I wish it were that easy. I actually called chris king and their rep said that their crown races are 45 degree angles made specifically for their bearings and others are slightly different too, like FSA is 36 degrees and so on. Not sure about Campagnolo but if you know which ones are interchangeable I’m all for it! Id rather get a crown race readymade than alter a new one but I havent seen any and I’ve looked almost everywhere.

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Old 01-08-21, 11:49 AM
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I once used a round grounding attachment on a drill to open up a crown race that wouldn't go on. This was 20 years ago before I had calipers to measure and probably didn't even know about the size differences.
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Old 01-08-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
I once used a round grounding attachment on a drill to open up a crown race that wouldn't go on. This was 20 years ago before I had calipers to measure and probably didn't even know about the size differences.
How did it work out for you? Did it fit and function well? I may be looking to do the same thing. I have a vice and a drill but would need to pick up the right bit. You’re saying you used a type of grinding attachment?
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Old 01-08-21, 04:30 PM
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I went to the Tange website. Found this:

Technoglide Classic | TANGE SEIKI

Black cartridge headset for traditional but threadless. 25.4 mm steerer (1"), 30.0 or 30.2 headtube ID, 27.0 or 26.4 crown. Took me maybe 2 minutes to find.

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Old 01-08-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by HearEyeAm View Post
How did it work out for you? Did it fit and function well? I may be looking to do the same thing. I have a vice and a drill but would need to pick up the right bit. You’re saying you used a type of grinding attachment?
It worked out fine - I actually went a little too far and then had to use some soda can shims. I picked up an attachment similar to this at the hardware store.

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Old 01-09-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by HearEyeAm View Post
I wish it were that easy. I actually called chris king and their rep said that their crown races are 45 degree angles made specifically for their bearings and others are slightly different too, like FSA is 36 degrees and so on. Not sure about Campagnolo but if you know which ones are interchangeable I’m all for it! Id rather get a crown race readymade than alter a new one but I havent seen any and I’ve looked almost everywhere.
these are the sealed cartridge bearing types, right? I was talking about the old fashion open caged ball bearing headsets like Shimano headsets. You can swap out crown races and cups to fit what you have- they all apparently use the same size ball bearings.
In any event whatever advantage you are trying to gain with the Chris King headset will be lost if you try to hand grind the crown race to fit. It will not be concentric.
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Old 01-09-21, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
In any event whatever advantage you are trying to gain with the Chris King headset will be lost if you try to hand grind the crown race to fit. It will not be concentric.
Noted. I am currently looking for a bike frame builder in NYC to lathe the crown race so that it is concentric. I dont think im skilled enough with the drill to do it by hand. Will report back on my findings. Thanks for your advice.
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