Tapered vs 1 1/8 straight steer tube & AC stack
All of this talk about axle to crown height and handling with different forks brought up another question. After doing some searching of the entire MTBR site I did not really find anything on tapered vs 1 1/8 steer tube strength/ stiffness.
I was set on getting a tapered steer tube fork but am beginning to question that decision. Is the benefit of the tapered steer tube over 1 1/8 that noticeable? With the 1 1/8 steer tube, the bottom stack height could be lowered by going to an internal race. The stack height of Chris King 1.5 ext is 14.8mm and Cane Creek 1.5 ext is 11.7mm. The lower stack height of the Cane Creek internal 1.5/1.125 steer cup is 3.2mm. So for Cane Creek we are looking at a 8.5mm lower axle to crown height.
Is the 8.5mm lower A-C height worth the amount of stiffness you gain from tapered on a long travel 170-180 fork? I have not had the chance to ride a bike with a tapered steer tube so I have no idea what the difference in stiffness is. I am not really interested in the angleset, but that may be a factor for some in the 1 1/8 straight camp.
What say you Knolly crew?
Last edited by bubba13; 11-09-2010 at 01:53 PM.
Portland Off Road Navagators
I recall reading an article on this sometime ago, I think it may have been in Dirt. I will try and lay my hands on it. I remember they carried out some bending/deflection tests. The 1.5 and tapered were similar but much stiffer than the 1 1/8".
Net differences are minimal in A2C, pick which one you prefer. I also heard taper was stronger.
In hindsight, I probably would have gone with tapered but I was setup for 1 1/8 for one fork and thinking about zerostack. I tried the zerostack, but in the end, I prefered the slacker setup. I needed the same setup after that so that I can easily switch between forks.
biking is fun
I prefer a 1 1/8th for adjustability. Zero stack is a nice touch if you want to get the front end lower. Also you may not want an angleset now but you may later.
Another thing to think about is resale (if you ever have to). taper forks are harder to sell in general. They will become more and more popular but it may take a few years for their resale to match standard 1 1/8th.
I recall you saying your not going too big off jumps or drops so i really doubt you will notice the difference in stiffness. I sure don't
Commit or eat sh!t
My bro had a Totem w/ 1 1/8" steerer tube, I had 1 1/2" Totem, on identical bikes, and we couldn't feel the difference. I don't go as big as Dom or climbingbubba or some of the others here, so I guess you are more of an extreme guy, it might make more difference.
I like 1 1/8" like Erik above so you can tinker with geometry. Or go with dual crown and lower it to 180mm.