Making things harder for yourself

Imlach

Kona Fan
Specialized Fan
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So, naysayers..

I know it works but particularly metalwrangler Mickey made me rethink the whole idea. Perhaps it's not as foolproof as I once thought. I've been mulling it over for a very long time, but I have concluded that this is best left to the realm of fantasy, for those late hours where I'm feeling hot and bothered.

But this doesn't mean you've all won! It just means I'm throwing in the towel 'til next season. More ideas of greatness to come.
 

hookooekoo

Senior Retro Guru
Interesting idea.

If I recall correctly the main reason for the shift to threadless was because the thread cutting process on a steel steerer was expensive and time consuming. Since that change happened carbon and aluminium steerers have become much more common, so I'd only do this if the fork and steerer are steel.

By the way, on my latest project the steerer is totally uncut, I just don't want to reduce my options, especially as I haven't ridden it much so far. I have a massive stack of spacers under the stem but I don't care. Oh, and it's a steel fork, so it can take the extra leverage caused by the extra length.
 

hookooekoo

Senior Retro Guru
Interesting idea.

If I recall correctly the main reason for the shift to threadless was because the thread cutting process on a steel steerer was expensive and time consuming. Since that change happened carbon and aluminium steerers have become much more common, so I'd only do this if the fork and steerer are steel.

By the way, on my latest project the steerer is totally uncut, I just don't want to reduce my options, especially as I haven't ridden it much so far. I have a massive stack of spacers under the stem but I don't care. Oh, and it's a steel fork, so it can take the extra leverage caused by the extra length.
I've just measured the stack of spacers under my stem. Including the brake hanger I have 120mm between the bottom of the stem and the top of the headset. It's an off-roader and I have complete faith in that steel steerer. It's steel! It can take it!

Just don't try this with your fancy carbon and aluminium stuff!
 

hookooekoo

Senior Retro Guru
Ahead is a much better clamping interface, quill just fits where it touches on doing up the expander wedge.
This is true, although the stem (if well made) should be a fairly close fit inside the steerer, so any loads from pulling on the handlebars will be transferred to the inside of the steel steerer, which is immensely strong. For those of us who aren't olympian velodrome racers, we probably don't have much to worry about. Like a lot of things in cycling, it's worked very well for a long time, and the main reason for discarding it was the cost of cutting threads rather than a perceived inadequacy.
 
This is true, although the stem (if well made) should be a fairly close fit inside the steerer, so any loads from pulling on the handlebars will be transferred to the inside of the steel steerer, which is immensely strong. For those of us who aren't olympian velodrome racers, we probably don't have much to worry about. Like a lot of things in cycling, it's worked very well for a long time, and the main reason for discarding it was the cost of cutting threads rather than a perceived inadequacy.
A quill stem mechanically and in a engineering design sense is inferior. By its very nature it can be nothing else: ie poor fit, steerer tube takes the load because of the sliding fit. Just because "we've always done that" doesn't mean theres no room for improvement. The cost of threading is negligible. I think we will have to agree to differ 👍PS I like quill stems.
 

hookooekoo

Senior Retro Guru
A quill stem mechanically and in a engineering design sense is inferior. By its very nature it can be nothing else: ie poor fit, steerer tube takes the load because of the sliding fit. Just because "we've always done that" doesn't mean theres no room for improvement. The cost of threading is negligible. I think we will have to agree to differ 👍PS I like quill stems.
I don't think we differ that much. I agree that quill stems are inferior from an engineering (strength, stiffness, and fit) perspective. I just don't think it's worth worrying about for the average cyclist, because either design will work fine :)

I agree that the cost of threading is fairly small in terms of the total cost of a bike, but one way to save 10% is by saving 0.5% in 20 different areas of the manufacturing process. By getting rid of the threading process an entire process is removed from the work flow of making a fork, and ultimately making a bicycle 💡

And arguably the biggest advantage to the end user of threadless is that it's possible to adjust the headset out on the road without carrying a pair of large and heavy spanners 👍
 

Woz

Old School Grand Master
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Let's not forget A-headset threadless came from the MTB side. Pace did it first (or one of the first if I recall correctly).

Something had to be done on the MTB to beef up stiffness on the front end. 1" -> 1 1/8" or 1 1 1/4"

On the road side we moaned like cats stolen of their fish dinner because they were ugly as sin on skinny steel frames. The fact that some of those Cinelli stems were visually sublime but let's me honest a bit floppy too. When most stuff went AL it made more visual sense.
 
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