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  1. #1
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    Paragon 1.5" tapered steerer

    anyone use one yet? I was thinking about making one, and I was somewhat concerned about doing that, but since Paragon is making one it seems more interesting.

  2. #2
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    I have one. Have not yet built anything with it. I am a little concerned about the oversized crown race bulge (according to Mark it's gotta be turned down after building) since my lathe isn't large enough to handle an entire fork. I may join the crown segments to the steerer, turn to size on the lathe, then come back and weld in the blades, I guess.

    It does seem somewhat pointless, though, since nobody is complaining about rigid forks being not rigid enough, and adapter baseplates for 1 1/8->1.5 are readily available.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Walt, thanks, that is a good point about the stiffness of rigid forks. I'll probably try one out later to see what I think.

    I can spin a complete fork, and I find it mildly amusing. However, I usually use the lathe before the blades go on because I mostly build road forks with crowns

  4. #4
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    I think they will look a lot cleaner with modern mountain frames. Such as the Cielo Mountain frame/fork combo. I love the look of it but as Walt stated, it does seem sort of pointless.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Paragon 1.5" tapered steerer-8517548851_409eacc3aa_o.jpg  

    Paragon 1.5" tapered steerer-8517550113_e695e2e34c_o.jpg  

    My motorcycle runs on infant blood

  5. #5
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    The diameter is (IMO) large enough that there will probably be some distortion of the whole base of the steerer, which is I assume why it was machined a bit oversized. Putting a $50 steerer into the lathe to finish the crown race seat is not something that makes me super happy, though.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    1/4 pound and $40 is something to take into consideration

  7. #7
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    I'd totally get a Waltworks fork with a Paragon tapered steerer... for a rigid 29er I currently don't have.

  8. #8
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    Seems to be another "innovation" that is driven by marketing than by any functional improvement or performance.

    I've built a lot of custom rigid forks, don't ever remember any customer complaining that their fork was not stiff enough to track well or provide front end stability.

    The tapered steerer is simply another casualty of designing around weaker materials.
    As requested by the MTBR gods, I am the voice of Groovy Cycleworks, check it out... http://www.groovycycleworks.com

  9. #9
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    I saw the steerer out of the corner of my eye in a NAHBS pic. Wishful thinking made me think it was a tapered HT. When I asked Paragon about it the reply was, "don't you mean the steerer?"

    Mark went on to explain that they would have to machine tapered HT's from billet, making them very spendy. The steerer on the other hand can be turned down from a stock tubing size.
    Last edited by G-reg; 05-15-2013 at 06:24 AM. Reason: cell typing
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  10. #10
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    I have built with the steerer and was the reason Mark ultimately offered this as a part. You have to understand where this part was originally thought to be used. It is/was for a tandem I made for Mark. I feel this is not overkill or even close to marketing hype. The tandem is a 29+ tandem and the steerer made both Mark and I very happy since this bike will see massive forces and high speeds. It also allowed us the get some extra tire clearance without needing the legs to be more flexible from extra bend. The forks have all been coming in between 950 grams and 1100 grams with 15mm thru axle drop outs. That IMO is not heavy.

    As for the crown race seat. We both wanted to have room for correction but I can say I needed maybe .004" before I was getting a full cut on the steerer. I can see it being difficult for some but really single point turning a steerer is not a big deal.

    The part has a spot in the mtb world as well but it is more for the people that want a multi purpose bike that they can switch rigid and suspension forks. I personally think a standard steerer with a 1.5" adapter looks horrible on a bike and would always prefer the look of this steerer.

    I personally am glad Mark and I got this off the ground.

    -Drew
    Engin Cycles - www.engincycles.com

  11. #11
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    Yeah, my plan was to use the one I have for a tandem. I don't see any reason to use it on a single bike. Honestly when I've run into this in the past I've just done straight 1.5" steerers, which is WAY more lathe work than this will be, so take my whining for what it's worth - not much.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  12. #12
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    Drew,
    Thanks for chiming in. That's a really great application for it.

  13. #13
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    Drew,

    Glad to have you back, but will have to disagree; each season the cycling industry grabs ahold of a new "standard" to re-define the norm and regenerate market share. The tapered steerer is simply not needed in many situations.

    You've been around long enough to know where the tapered steerer came from...weight weenie road bikes where straight 1.125 carbon steerers were failing, so the lower portion was increased in OD to compensate.

    The marketing hype is that the tapered steerer increases stiffness and tracking in most applications...simply not true. 15 mm thru axels and larger diameter stantion tubes have done more to solve front end flex issues than any tapered steerer will ever prevent.

    I concede that in off road tandem use with a rigid fork, it will offer greater strength, but is it needed? I've logged thousands of on and off road tandem miles, never once felt that my performance exceeded the bikes capacity with a straight 1.125" steerer of steel, ti, or Al.

    Sincerely, your old school grump,

    rody
    As requested by the MTBR gods, I am the voice of Groovy Cycleworks, check it out... http://www.groovycycleworks.com

  14. #14
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    I don't know, I feel like a can tell the difference between a tapered/non tapered steerer on a fairly long axle-crown suspension fork - and I'm only 145 pounds. And yes, I compared head to head with the same model/travel of fork (Fox RLC 100mm, through axle, 29er) mounted to the same bike with all the same controls and setup. If you are an aggressive descender and like to roll steep stuff/jump things/slam into berms, IMO it feels a little bit less like the front wheel is trying to tuck under you. Enough to make you into Steve Peat? No, but at the very worst it's not hurting anything and maybe it provides some placebo effect.

    Of course I have zero actual measurements or data to back that up.

    I can easily imagine some minor benefit to doing a tapered steerer on a tandem since it's impossible to unweight the front wheel in most cases and you're just slamming into stuff. That said there are plenty of tandems out there with 1" steerers that are ridden pretty hard on dirt roads and such with no problems.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  15. #15
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    Doesn't Euro CEN testing have a lot to do with the quick acceptance of the tapered steerer?

  16. #16
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    Walt,

    My biggest grump is the fact that when changes like this occur, options for custom builders dissapear. Give Fox a call and see if you are even able to get a 1.125 steerer with a 15mm t/a...forces us to over design the frame when not needed for many applications (riding style, anticipated terrain, etc...).

    The majority of my clientel do not require the oversized headtube requisite of tapered steerers and do not want the added weight or bulbous aesthetic. I've been moving folks that way simply to insure long term compaitibility for their frames with future components. A compromise for me that is in the best interest of the customer.

    I more than anyone applaud Drew for seeing an application and moving the progression of a product forward to meet his needs, a process that I fervently encourage every builder to tackle. However, I hate the wholesale adoption of a "standard" when it simply creates new market money and does not truly provide a solution to a documented issue.

    I presented this argument in an interview with Greg of MTBR two years ago in Austin while at Nahbs. We were discussing a single speed build with a titanium fork and Greg asked why I was still using an obsolete 1.125" steerer...that video was never posted.

    rody
    As requested by the MTBR gods, I am the voice of Groovy Cycleworks, check it out... http://www.groovycycleworks.com

  17. #17
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    for road you don't even need 1 1/8", but we've all been assimilated

  18. #18
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    My Fox price list still shows 1 1/8 forks from fox up to 120mm travel (180mm for 26" wheels). I've purchased several non-tapered forks from them in the last few months. Are they getting rid of that for 2014 or something?

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  19. #19
    DWF
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    No dog in this fight, but just a comment about price. I do this stuff for a living, so trust me (or not) when I say Mark's stuff is inexpensive for the amount of work that goes into them. Sometimes it's so cheap I wonder if he's making margin on it. $60 retail for that steerer, if you have an application that requires it, is a bargain. Think about it, that piece starts out as a 5+ pound chunk of 4130 and then over 4-pounds of that gets machined off to end up with a usable part. That's a lot of chips, machine time, and labor.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rody View Post
    Walt,
    I presented this argument in an interview with Greg of MTBR two years ago in Austin while at Nahbs. We were discussing a single speed build with a titanium fork and Greg asked why I was still using an obsolete 1.125" steerer...that video was never posted.
    Does anyone still use or want to use 1" forks? It seems to me that the future is tapered and the sooner it becomes the full standard the better. In particular I can't be 100% sure but I strongly believe that headset bearings will last longer with the larger format. Less stress per ball and a larger phyiscal bearing. To me tapered and oversized headsets seems like a great idea. I am almost supprized that someone like Cannondale did not to this sort of thing in the 90s (oh wait, they did...)

    Last year, I had my Chris King headset wear out on me and also one cheap headset wear out. It is true that I road a lot in the rain, slop, bad roads, etc. I also went through two shimano bottom brackets. Hopefully the larger bearings in the tapered and oversided BB shells plus the move to 142x12 will move the sport forward.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  21. #21
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    Yeah, it's hard not to hear echoes of the old 1"-is-fine-for-everything argument from 20 years ago here. Forks are WAY longer and people are doing much crazier stuff with their bikes now...

    At worst, the tapered setups add a few grams of head tube and make life a tiny bit trickier for small custom builders while providing no actual benefit. At best they actually improve the rider experience significantly. My experience is that the truth is somewhere between those extremes with the smallest and least aggressive riders seeing the least benefit and the biggest/craziest the most.

    If the entire industry goes to taper, that is fine with me - it's IMO not difficult to deal with and there are plenty of parts appropriate for whatever frame material you're working in to allow you to do it. I'd say off the top of my head that 75% of the mountain bikes I build now are for tapered (I also tend to build a lot for crazy aggro people and hence often recommend taper), so the writing is probably on the wall on that one.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  22. #22
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    Does anyone still use or want to use 1" forks? It seems to me that the future is tapered and the sooner it becomes the full standard the better. In particular I can't be 100% sure but I strongly believe that headset bearings will last longer with the larger format. Less stress per ball and a larger phyiscal bearing. To me tapered and oversized headsets seems like a great idea. I am almost supprized that someone like Cannondale did not to this sort of thing in the 90s (oh wait, they did...)

    Last year, I had my Chris King headset wear out on me and also one cheap headset wear out. It is true that I road a lot in the rain, slop, bad roads, etc. I also went through two shimano bottom brackets. Hopefully the larger bearings in the tapered and oversided BB shells plus the move to 142x12 will move the sport forward.
    I don't think anyone here will argue against larger, less stressed balls.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Yeah, it's hard not to hear echoes of the old 1"-is-fine-for-everything argument from 20 years ago here. Forks are WAY longer and people are doing much crazier stuff with their bikes now...

    At worst, the tapered setups add a few grams of head tube and make life a tiny bit trickier for small custom builders while providing no actual benefit. At best they actually improve the rider experience significantly. My experience is that the truth is somewhere between those extremes with the smallest and least aggressive riders seeing the least benefit and the biggest/craziest the most.

    If the entire industry goes to taper, that is fine with me - it's IMO not difficult to deal with and there are plenty of parts appropriate for whatever frame material you're working in to allow you to do it. I'd say off the top of my head that 75% of the mountain bikes I build now are for tapered (I also tend to build a lot for crazy aggro people and hence often recommend taper), so the writing is probably on the wall on that one.

    -Walt
    Anyone building for 1" steerers should also be producing their own forks. But yeah, as far as tapered steerers go, for builders making MTB's for suspension forks the writing is not already on the wall, it's carved in stone. Mark's product will fill the void until one of the tube mfrs gets their **** together and produces a forged product. Same with tapered head tubes.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  24. #24
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    suspension forks definitely have gone this way. If many companies still building 1 1/8" above the very low end I would be surprised. They are in the catalogs, no doubt. I have seen some crazy low prices on 1 1/8" forks on ebay -- half off on a new fork isn't rare from what I can tell.

    I did mention the price, but agree with Don about the prices at Paragon. The question for me is should I build with this.

  25. #25
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    Seems to be another "innovation" that is driven by marketing than by any functional improvement or performance.
    Speaking of which, on a different subject, sorry I do not mean to highjack:

    BUT what is the point/advantage of 31.8 stems and handlebars?

    25.4 was more than rigid enough, sometimes too rigid, IMHO...

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