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  1. #1
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    Steerer tube swap on carbon fork?

    I've never been able to look at a carbon fork to see it's construction, so I'm wondering if it's possible to swap steerer tube's on a carbon fork. Reason being, I have an old, lugged frame I want to build up as a cross style bike. It has a 1" head tube. I want to set it up threadless, though. I already got my hands on a vintage 1" Salsa threadless stem and want to use it. So, I've been looking at a carbon fork to keep things light, but all I'm seeing so far is the Nashbar fork. Meh....looks fine and could certainly live with the 690g's of weight, but there are lighter and, IMO, better looking forks out there. However, they all have 1 1/8" steerer tubes. If found a killer deal on a nice carbon fork WITHOUT disc tabs...just canti studs....I'd like to get a 1" threadless steerer and swap. Obviously anything with a carbon steerer is out, but I wondered about something with an alloy steerer. Maybe???

    I do have access to a real press, btw. I've swapped tubes on several sus' forks, so I know how to do it.

  2. #2
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    Well, worth a shot. Thanks anyway.

  3. #3
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    This is a hard question and probably, no-one has tried it.

    Some valid points. You have pressed out steerer's from alloy suspension crowns? This can be done because they are swagged to start with. My understanding on carbon is that they are bonded in the lay-up process and the epoxy resin grips the steerer. To press out is a destructive method and therefore an unlikely success story. I guess that if you want to pursue this thought, you would most likely be better to drill out the old stem from the crown and re-bond a new one in, but its not a thought I would really want to try. Get imagination idea, but no reality to it.

    If its old school, get a suitable old school fork to fit and get on with it. Carbon has moved on and suits the larger DIA tube sizing - hence the incoming 1.5 lower bearing sizing.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

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    Yeah, it's old school, but I really wanted to try and lighten it up a bit. I've never been a weight weenie and I'm not starting now, but with it's current set up it's a bit of a tank. I figured a carbon fork would certainly help among other things. Hey....the frame was free, it's a decent frame, and it fits. In the end, I may end up getting a Cross Check fork with a 1" steer tube for it unless a really good deal comes up on one of them Nashbar CF cross forks and I can just shave off the disc tabs.

    Otherwise, I have found recently there are some internet reports of atleast one guy successfully removing the steerer from a CF with an aluminum crown. He used judicious application of heat to soften the epoxy bonding and then glued in a new one. He's been riding that fork for five years with no ill effect, apparently. Still I'm not really convinced I wanna give that a go.

  5. #5
    GMF
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    I've converted a 1 1/8 steerer suspension fork to a 1" by drilling, reaming and then heating the alloy crown (oven), cooling the steel steerer (dry ice) and pressing them together. I also used a set screw to help act as a shear pin. It's been a year, and so far so good, despite no longer being gentle with it. I do have a small creak, but I actually think that is coming from one of the legs, and not the steerer.

    If you can find a fork with a drilled crown, you can try the above (possibly minus the oven part) and give it a go.

    RST steerers are cheap and work and make a fine swap candidate (but yes, a little heavy, being steel)

    The other option is simply to troll ebay for a while and wait for an older 'cross fork with the proper steerer tube size to show up...

  6. #6
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    Carbon fork with a drilled crown? I'm not even sure what a "drilled crown" is. I've never heard the term used. I'll google it.

    I've been trolling ebay for a good while. The problem I've had is either the steerer is threaded, or too short, and/or they want more for the fork than I'd want to pay for a used steel fork. But, I do keep looking anyway.

  7. #7
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    From Genuine Bicycle Products. They make a steel headset that allows a 1" head tube to run a 1 1/8" inch steerer tube. Check the inner diameter of the head tube. If it is 32mm you are in and can run any fork you want.

    "Retro Ryder Headset.

    With this headset, you can run an 1 1/8 NON-Tapered fork in an older bike that normally takes a American Standard 1" threaded headset (32mm). Fits old Schwinns and other American cruiser bikes, some bmx bikes and some older mountain bikes. This means it won't fit everything, you'll have to measure the inside diameter of your head tube to see if it will work. 32.0 mm I.D. is what it is. this headset not being all things to all people, I made it for old Schwinn bikes foremost in my mind, early mountain bikes usually take the Japanese standard of 27mm, later ones are often 1 1/4 or 1 1/8 threaded which this headset will not work for, 1" only.. Ask questions if you're unsure, there are no stupid questions with this thing. Be sure. Made in the USA, 45.00 shipped. Made out of steel, not for weight weenines. Look at the pics, I have several pics with a digital caliper so you can be sure it will meet your needs (or not). Available in Black or Silver, be sure to specify."

  8. #8
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    or you could get a burly headset and maybe machine it down to press into your headtube?

    Also, you could buy a new 1" threadless, cyclocross fork from woundup it looks like.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    From Genuine Bicycle Products. They make a steel headset that allows a 1" head tube to run a 1 1/8" inch steerer tube. Check the inner diameter of the head tube. If it is 32mm you are in and can run any fork you want.

    "Retro Ryder Headset.

    With this headset, you can run an 1 1/8 NON-Tapered fork in an older bike that normally takes a American Standard 1" threaded headset (32mm). Fits old Schwinns and other American cruiser bikes, some bmx bikes and some older mountain bikes. This means it won't fit everything, you'll have to measure the inside diameter of your head tube to see if it will work. 32.0 mm I.D. is what it is. this headset not being all things to all people, I made it for old Schwinn bikes foremost in my mind, early mountain bikes usually take the Japanese standard of 27mm, later ones are often 1 1/4 or 1 1/8 threaded which this headset will not work for, 1" only.. Ask questions if you're unsure, there are no stupid questions with this thing. Be sure. Made in the USA, 45.00 shipped. Made out of steel, not for weight weenines. Look at the pics, I have several pics with a digital caliper so you can be sure it will meet your needs (or not). Available in Black or Silver, be sure to specify."
    In all my web searching I have run across this, actually. I even found a website or two where they were doing this conversion. I did try mocking up 1 1/8" steer tube from a sus' fork in the head tube of my Univega and didn't see how it could it possibly work. I think I'd have to machine off too much of the headset cups to be safe. I've not actually measured anything, but I'll re-explore the idea since I've just acquired some metric calipers. It would sure open up possibilities if it could safely work.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    or you could get a burly headset and maybe machine it down to press into your headtube?

    Also, you could buy a new 1" threadless, cyclocross fork from woundup it looks like.
    For $455 it's not THAT important...lol! With that kind of money, I'd be half way to a custom frame. The Wound Up sure is nice looking, though. Hrm...

    (note to self: fill out lottery ticket)

    So, what's a burly headset? I just ran a google and I'm not turning up much of anything specific. I'll keep trying.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post

    If you can find a fork with a drilled crown, you can try the above (possibly minus the oven part) and give it a go.
    Ran some google searches.....

    By drilled crown do you mean a fork with a drilled hole that would accept a road caliper style brake?

    Edit: (a search or two later)

    You mean something like this?

    http://www.aspirevelotech.com/images...k_Cross_CU.jpg

  12. #12
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    I just found this.....though it's a bit heavy. Heavier than the Nashbar.

    4ZA Zornyc Fork Cyclocross Carbon Alloy 1 Inch | eBay
    Last edited by thook; 11-15-2013 at 12:38 PM.

  13. #13
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    Here's a "so far" good deal on a WU w/ 1 1/8 steerer.

    Wound Up Team x Carbon Cyclocross Fork for Cantilever 1 1 8" | eBay

    If you look under the crown, I don't see how I'd be able to swap steerers, though. I mean, on sus' forks that I'm familiar with the tube will press down and out of the crown. This WU would have to come up and out. Plus, hmm....doesn't look to have much tire clearance for more than a 32-35mm tire and running my all time fav tire at 40mm. Arhg.

    Edit: I could be wrong, but if I were to assume the construction of that WU fork was anything like what I've recently seen with a disassembled CF road fork with the same style of crown, then the crown would be a molded one piece alloy unit with a "stub" that the steerer is pressed and cemented over. If that's the case, there is a guy over on a 'bent forum that's done successful swapping. I mentioned that in an above post. He used a heat gun to soften the cement and then rebonded.

  14. #14
    GMF
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Check the inner diameter of the head tube. If it is 32mm you are in and can run any fork you want.
    That pretty much applies to old (like 1950s old) cruiser bikes, and cheap bikes - nothing that we are talking about. Our 1" head tubes are too small a diameter to take a 1 1/8 steerer Just not enough room.

    Nashbar, Ebay, troll for used, pay for custom... those look like the main choices (what I am going through with my '00 Bianchi).

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    ^^^^ That's what it's looking like.....more and more. Ha!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    I just found this.....though it's a bit heavy. Heavier than the Nashbar.

    4ZA Zornyc Fork Cyclocross Carbon Alloy 1 Inch | eBay
    Edit: I've found other reports that this fork weighs at 630g's. Lighter (and cheaper) than the Nashbar. Plus, it's a Ridley fork noted for high quality. This one is looking really good if the tire clearance is right for me!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    That pretty much applies to old (like 1950s old) cruiser bikes, and cheap bikes - nothing that we are talking about. Our 1" head tubes are too small a diameter to take a 1 1/8 steerer Just not enough room.

    Nashbar, Ebay, troll for used, pay for custom... those look like the main choices (what I am going through with my '00 Bianchi).

    I figured as much. I wanted to exhaust all possibilities.

  18. #18
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    How To Convert 1inch Threaded To 1 1/8 Threadless - BMXmuseum.com Forums

    Speaking of exhausting all possibilities...

    How about this technique? combine two headsets and some new, smaller bearings. Use the 1" cups in the frame, the upper and lower bearing races from the new headset, and smaller loose-ball bearings packed into the cups so that the new bearing races can slide into the old cups. If you are up for experimenting?

  19. #19
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    That's actually one of the websites I'd run across before that I'd mentioned earlier.

    I'm always up for experimenting, but the problem with that is the BMX and cruiser bikes have a larger head tube than older road bikes even though they still utilized a 1" steerer and headset. The head tube diameter is not much bigger, but enough to allow for the "machining" of the bearing cups without making the portion that inserts into the head tube too thin. What would be cool and what I think would work.....though it'd probably be a lot of trouble....is to have/fab' a headset that would press on externally to the head tube of the older road bikes. That way I believe one could get a 1 1/8" fork to fit and work. Now, I haven't fully thought that idea out, so there may be a problem there, too.

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