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Extending Steerer Tube

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Extending Steerer Tube

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Old 03-03-09, 08:09 AM
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patgoral
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Extending Steerer Tube

I cut my steerer tube on my LHT too short. I don't want one of those ugly extenders they sell, and was thinking about taking it to a welder and having them add 2 1/2 inches. I've read articles about MTB riders adding more steerer tube and it working fine, so I assume a bike that takes even less impact would be ok too. Any advice?
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Old 03-03-09, 08:20 AM
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I'd like to see those articles. Working fine off the driveway or fine off an 8 footer? A broken steerer is bad news. Ask George Hincapie.
I think you'd need to weld in a tube on the inside of the steerer to make it remotely safe.
I doubt it could be done properly economically, that is, for less than the price of a new fork.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:27 AM
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Oh, bummer.

Best option being a new fork, I'm afraid the extender is a better option than the welder. In comparison to the cost of a new fork, I don't think the extender is ugly at all.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:52 AM
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I don't mind the cost of a new fork but for the Long Haul Trucker all I can get is a black fork and I have an Olive bike.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:58 AM
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I also was looking at one of these http://www.bbbparts.com/headparts_extender-bhp20.php instead of the extenders that clamp onto the outside of your steerer tube. They clamp in like a quill stem. Do you think this is my best option until I can find an Olive replacement fork? In my experience I've never had a problem with a quill stem, and it would give me even more height than I originally had to add something like an accessory stem.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:03 AM
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I would try a high rise stem first before attempting anything else. What rise stem are you using now?
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Old 03-03-09, 11:11 AM
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it's a 100mm 7 degree rise stem. I feel a little too stretched out, and I don't want to go with a much shorter stem because it causes twitchy steering. I cut 2 1/2 inches off my steer tube when I should've cut 1 1/2 I put all the spacers on but forgot about the spacer for the cantilever brake guide so I cut it a bit short. I don't mind paying for a new fork, but I just can't find one right now. I didn't have everything planned right and was stupid. I want to add an accessory stem and I'd like the bars a little higher for comfort. I think I'm going to go to a welding shop and explain the forces being applied to the steerer tube and see what they can do for a reasonable price and if they can't do it, then I'll order up one of the steerer tube extensions and see how that goes. I've read that some welding shops will do something like this for 20 dollars and they hold up fine, I've even heard of people doing it to cyclocross bikes and it working fine.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
I also was looking at one of these http://www.bbbparts.com/headparts_extender-bhp20.php instead of the extenders that clamp onto the outside of your steerer tube. They clamp in like a quill stem. Do you think this is my best option until I can find an Olive replacement fork? In my experience I've never had a problem with a quill stem, and it would give me even more height than I originally had to add something like an accessory stem.
Yes, that's your best option, I think. There are a variety of different versions, such as ; also one of the various extenders that are made for converting a threaded fork to a threadless system would be worth a try.

Welding on to the end of a tube is not impossible, but the odds of finding someone who can do a good enough job are iffy; and even if everything looks good, you will not have complete confidence in it.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
it's a 100mm 7 degree rise stem. I feel a little too stretched out, and I don't want to go with a much shorter stem because it causes twitchy steering.
Well actually, the higher up you go the closer the bars will be, using the same stem.
The "twitchy steering" that a lot of people talk about when using shorter stems is, in practice, insignificant. You can say the same about using narrower handlebars.

If you are thinking about installing a second stem, then the longer steerer tube is your only option.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:30 AM
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I agree with you roadfix, the higher my stem is I won't feel quite so stretched out. Even if I get that 2 1/2 inches welded on, I wouldn't put my stem completely above it, I'd probablly leave it RIGHT halfway over the welded spot for support. So I'm off Thursday and I'll try to find a welder who will do it, then if not I will throw on a steerer tube extender. I'll let you know how it goes
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Old 03-03-09, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
... I feel a little too stretched out, and I don't want to go with a much shorter stem because it causes twitchy steering...
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
...
The "twitchy steering" that a lot of people talk about when using shorter stems is, in practice, insignificant. You can say the same about using narrower handlebars. ...
Hold on. I don't mean to nitpick or anything, but a longer stem moves your center of gravity forward; this increases stability. A shorter stem causes twitchy steering because it moves your center of gravity backward. A taller stem will have the same effect.

I would not say the effect is insignificant, but weight on the front wheel will tend to counteract it.

Wider handlebars give you more leverage, but I don't see how they'd effect stability.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Hold on. I don't mean to nitpick or anything, but a longer stem moves your center of gravity forward; this increases stability. A shorter stem causes twitchy steering because it moves your center of gravity backward. A taller stem will have the same effect.

I would not say the effect is insignificant, but weight on the front wheel will tend to counteract it.

Wider handlebars give you more leverage, but I don't see how they'd effect stability.
I understand what you're saying but the bottom line is if the shorter stem gives you a better fit, the "twitchy steering" should not steer you away from doing so. Besides, even *if* there was a noticeable difference in handling by going to a shorter stem, you'll completely adjust to it after a couple of rides and won't even be an issue.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:19 PM
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According to what you've said, You're going to raise your stem half of 2.5 inches. That's 1 1/4" or 31mm. To get that exact position, you want a total rise of 45mm.
You can get that exact rise, handling and position from a 110mm 25 degree rise stem.
http://www.habcycles.com/fitting.html
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Old 03-03-09, 12:22 PM
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I understand what you're saying but finding a stem like that, is a bit of a challenge with a 25.4'' clamp. I also want to throw on an accessory stem for my lights. I wish I just hadn't cut that 2 1/2 inches that would've been a MUCH easier fix, but oh well you live and learn. I'm still in talks with Surly about getting a new fork, that is my #1 option, after that we'll try welding or an extender.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
I understand what you're saying but finding a stem like that, is a bit of a challenge with a 25.4'' clamp.
Here's my LHT with a Salsa high rise stem. All of their stem are available in both 25.4 and 26.0 versions.

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Old 03-03-09, 12:29 PM
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HMMM! I like that alot, your stack height of spacers looks to be the same as mine. Does that stem come in silver?
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Old 03-03-09, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
Does that stem come in silver?
They don't make them in silver but there are other brands out there in silver. Try Universal Cycles. They have one of the best selection of stems. I've ordered several stems from them before.

I've also de-anodized and polished stems and other components in the past so most any component can be turned into a polished silver.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
I understand what you're saying but the bottom line is if the shorter stem gives you a better fit, the "twitchy steering" should not steer you away from doing so. Besides, even *if* there was a noticeable difference in handling by going to a shorter stem, you'll completely adjust to it after a couple of rides and won't even be an issue.
Agreed, absolutely. In a nutshell, a better fit --even if it means a shorter stem-- is better. My point was that a higher stem will give you increased twitchiness for exactly the same reasons as a shorter one, so twitchiness need not enter into the choice between the two.

I used to ride with a stem that was too long. Increased stability? Ha! It was so long I preferred to ride no-hands, effectively throwing the increased stability right out the window.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:07 PM
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SO! am I better off with trying to get it welded, a steerer tube extender, OR a hi rise stem. I'm leaning towards the first two since I kinda want an accessory stem.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:39 PM
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I don't off hand know what the inside diameter of your steerer tube is, but it should be possible to insert a 1 inch diameter piece of tubing into the 1-1/8 steerer tube and braze, not weld, it in place. Any competent welder can braze as well. Steerer tubes are pretty thick, so you might have to drill out the existing tube to enable the 1 inch tube to slip inside. I wouldn't run the tube down the full length of the original steerer, just 2 inches or so. That way, you're not heating the tube up really close to the fork crown and potentially compromising that joint.

You can buy a 1 inch unthreaded cromoly steer tube from Henry James in California for about $10 plus shipping. Then you can use a shim designed specifically for clamping a 1-1/8" stem to a 1" steerer tube. Problem Solvers makes these I think.

I would also ask this question in the framebuilders section. Feel free to paste in this reply and see what other's have to say. There are certainly folks on there that have much more experience with this sort of thing than I.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:53 PM
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Patgoral, do you still have the piece you cut off?
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Old 03-03-09, 01:55 PM
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Unfortunately not. I looked all over my shop for it, but my boss chucked it on my day off BUMMER!
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Old 03-03-09, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
Any competent welder can braze as well.
Not true.

In theory, yes.

In reality most welders have never had a need to braze, and probably the majority couldn't accurately define brazing.

Go into a welding supply store - tell them you want to do some brazing and need some flux and silver or brass rod for 4130. Then observe the blank stare and follow-up questions....

There are very few qualified to perform proper repairs on a bike.

I believe welding an extension to the steerer is a bad idea. You'll end up with some distortion and a joint right in the area where you're least able to tolerate it. Plus you'll always be wondering if it will break, although it shouldn't.

Steerer extension will work. They are very heavy, solid steel usually - 500g!

Riser stem is best solution. Here's some 25.4mm clamp 90mm length stems:

http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...nsearch=Search

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Old 03-03-09, 07:29 PM
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My first fix will be the extender, then I will probablly go with a riser stem.
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