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1" to 1 1/8" Threaded vs Non-threaded Fork and Headset Conversion

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1" to 1 1/8" Threaded vs Non-threaded Fork and Headset Conversion

Old 05-23-20, 10:36 PM
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Ted Danson
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1" to 1 1/8" Threaded vs Non-threaded Fork and Headset Conversion

Hey y'all. I've currently got the Bikes Direct Windsor Wellington 2.0
That has actually proven to be an amazing bike to me for the better portion of a decade. Unfortunately, my fork has some damage and needs to be replaced. I tried to remove the fork from the frame to get some dimensions on it (to find a replacement) since there was zero info available on the fork that came with the bike. In the process, the threaded headset (which I believe is 1") more-or-less was stripped, and at this point I don't know what to do.
Should I convert threaded to threadless?
Is that even an option?
Ideally I'd like a carbon fork, but I believe my current one is 1" and it seems like most available options are 1 1/8"- am I trying to find a needle in a haystack?
Although I am astounded by how well this cheap bike has held up over the years, I'm wondering if it's just worth replacing at this point- rather than throwing a couple hundred at my current bike trying to fix it.
Any feedback or insight would be appreciated.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:09 AM
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I have no idea what the dimensions of your headset and fork are. However, if it's one inch, you can easily convert to threadless by buying a 1" threadless headset and pressing it in to the head tube, just like the threaded headset is pressed in. You might need a bike shop to press it in, but it can be a DIY if you feel confident doing it.

If you want an all carbon fork, 1" is indeed available. Columbus Minimal is a lightweight, nice looking carbon fork with carbon steerer and comes in 1". It's a top quality fork from a well-known name. But like all non-generic forks from quality makers, it's not cheap.

For what it's worth, I have a frame that originally came with a threaded headset and fork, 1". It now sports a threadless headset and the above referenced Columbus Minimal fork (I got it from Chain Reaction, but there's several vendor options).
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Old 05-24-20, 12:24 AM
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Ted Danson
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I have no idea what the dimensions of your headset and fork are. However, if it's one inch, you can easily convert to threadless by buying a 1" threadless headset and pressing it in to the head tube, just like the threaded headset is pressed in. You might need a bike shop to press it in, but it can be a DIY if you feel confident doing it.

If you want an all carbon fork, 1" is indeed available. Columbus Minimal is a lightweight, nice looking carbon fork with carbon steerer and comes in 1". It's a top quality fork from a well-known name. But like all non-generic forks from quality makers, it's not cheap.

For what it's worth, I have a frame that originally came with a threaded headset and fork, 1". It now sports a threadless headset and the above referenced Columbus Minimal fork (I got it from Chain Reaction, but there's several vendor options).
Nice. Thank you for the info. I feel very confident in being able to swap headsets DIY-style. I've also been peeping around Chain Reaction.

Do you have any concerns with frame integrity switching from threaded to threadless? I would have zero optimism at this point if this cheap bike didn't already last me so long with minimal upgrades/upkeep.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:31 AM
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I replaced the 1" threaded steel fork on my old steel bike with a 1" threadless carbon fork with alloy steerer tube. It's worked fine.
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Old 05-24-20, 04:35 AM
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You will also need a new stem with a threaless fork.
Ebay has threaded and threadless forks and headsets and stems to check out.
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Old 05-24-20, 08:12 AM
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A new carbon fork, headset and stem will cost you almost as much as you paid for the bike. So I ask if this upgrade worth it? Personally I can't see it. Currently that bike is $300. The bike has essentially paid for itself over the last decade so if you are going to replace the damaged part replace them with something that is similar to what you already have.

I am just impressed that you have kept a bike for the better part of a decade. You have done well with this bike.
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Old 05-24-20, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
A new carbon fork, headset and stem will cost you almost as much as you paid for the bike. So I ask if this upgrade worth it? Personally I can't see it. Currently that bike is $300. The bike has essentially paid for itself over the last decade so if you are going to replace the damaged part replace them with something that is similar to what you already have.

I am just impressed that you have kept a bike for the better part of a decade. You have done well with this bike.
That was my thought too. A new Columbus Minimal fork will cost almost as much as the new bike. Add to that the headset and stem....

Another alternative is to get a used or inexpensive carbon fork with a metal steerer, and an inexpensive headset and stem (used stems are very cheap on ebay).

Or save money until a new, upgraded bike is affordable.

I wanted to add to my original reply that when someone is converting to a threadless set up from a threaded stem, the handlebars will likely need a shim to be used with the new threadless stem. But those are also readily available and cheap.

But, I'd probably go the cheapest route possible to get the bike back ridebale and save my money to get a better all around bike in the future.

The modifications I made that I described were done on a 90s titanium frame, so definitely worthwhile. On a $300 bike? I don't think I'd do it. Not to knock the bike - it's obviously worked very well.

Last edited by Camilo; 05-24-20 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 05-24-20, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for everyone's feedback. I'm glad more people are siding with me that it might make more sense to simply "scrap" the bike and buy a new one (when you're comparing replacement costs). I think I will go that route unless anyone has suggestions on a frame + fork + stem replacement for around the same cost. I don't think that is going to happen considering the entire bike was scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of cost, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. At this point I'd like to buy a whole new bike rather than swap components. Even purchasing a used frame + fork + stem is going to cost the same price as a whole new replacement bike.

This bike has gotten me through some tough times. I know that if I were to post about purchasing this bike 10 years ago, everyone would have told me I'm crazy. But it really has done well for me and I just wanted to mention that I have a ton of faith in what Bikes Direct pushes out (or I just got extremely lucky).
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Old 05-24-20, 06:05 PM
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If you just need something to ride I'd get a basic steel fork, if you're good at measuring you can get threaded just get something the exact same length or slightly longer, you can add a spacer or two between the two threaded parts of the headset if a little long. Probably set you back 50-75. A basic threadless will need a cheap 10.00 stem and 20.00 headset but will a little looking can be done for about 100.00, that'll keep you riding till you can afford newer and better.
You can not go from 1" to 1 1/8, Chris King frames had a 1" steerer tube with 1 1/8 fork but to do it they had to cut out the parts that insert into the frame to make room for the steerer tube and braze the cups to the frame.

Last edited by Russ Roth; 05-24-20 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
If you just need something to ride I'd get a basic steel fork, if you're good at measuring you can get threaded just get something the exact same length or slightly longer, you can add a spacer or two between the two threaded parts of the headset if a little long. Probably set you back 50-75. A basic threadless will need a cheap 10.00 stem and 20.00 headset but will a little looking can be done for about 100.00, that'll keep you riding till you can afford newer and better.
You can not go from 1" to 1 1/8, Chris King frames had a 1" steerer tube with 1 1/8 fork but to do it they had to cut out the parts that insert into the frame to make room for the steerer tube and braze the cups to the frame.
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