Jury-rigged Reducer Headset Safe?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    some guy
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    Jury-rigged Reducer Headset Safe?

    I had my LBS install a new fork (Sektor) on my Giant hardtail and the common problem of 1.5 headtube and 1 1/8 steering tube occurred. I live in China and LBS didn't have a reducer headset, but (being China) had an idea of how to jury-rig a reducer-type headset.

    Using the installed 1.5 headset, first a 1 1/8 spacer was put on top of the fork, followed by a 1.5 spacer. Initial tests seem to suggest this fix works... but I'm not terribly convinced on the system's strength. I am probably going to just ride this setup and order a reducer heatset (inexpensive recommendations welcome as I will only be riding this frame another six months or so).

    Is anybody running a similar setup? Can somebody explain how this setup differs from a reducer headset or spacer (besides the obvious "two jury-rigged pieces instead of one correct part")? Pictures are below so folks can can provide thoughts and comments.






  2. #2
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    Hmm. I think you should never go to that bike shop again except to get your money back.

  3. #3
    meow meow
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    looks sketchy for sure.

  4. #4
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    I say, if it works it works. Its not like the fork is going to fall off or anything. Worst case is that the head tube may deform.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hudnut
    I say, if it works it works. Its not like the fork is going to fall off or anything. Worst case is that the head tube may deform.
    Seriously dude?

    Worst case is the fork falls off. Depending on what the riding is doing and how the jury rig job actually works, it could cause a steerer tube failure.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Seriously dude?

    Worst case is the fork falls off. Depending on what the riding is doing and how the jury rig job actually works, it could cause a steerer tube failure.
    If the bearing races remain in contact with the bearings, I don't see any additional stress on the steerer tube. Would I ride it off road?... no.. But if he is trying to ride his bike around town I don't see it being the end of the world.

  7. #7
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LavaPunk
    I had my LBS install a new fork (Sektor) on my Giant hardtail and the common problem of 1.5 headtube and 1 1/8 steering tube occurred. I live in China and LBS didn't have a reducer headset, but (being China) had an idea of how to jury-rig a reducer-type headset.

    Using the installed 1.5 headset, first a 1 1/8 spacer was put on top of the fork, followed by a 1.5 spacer. Initial tests seem to suggest this fix works... but I'm not terribly convinced on the system's strength. I am probably going to just ride this setup and order a reducer heatset (inexpensive recommendations welcome as I will only be riding this frame another six months or so).

    Is anybody running a similar setup? Can somebody explain how this setup differs from a reducer headset or spacer (besides the obvious "two jury-rigged pieces instead of one correct part")? Pictures are below so folks can can provide thoughts and comments.


    In this shot, it looks like there's a crown race on the fork, then two spacers? It's terribly uneven, which will cause serious problems.

    Definitely not safe.
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  8. #8
    meow meow
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    looks sketchy for sure.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hudnut
    If the bearing races remain in contact with the bearings, I don't see any additional stress on the steerer tube. Would I ride it off road?... no.. But if he is trying to ride his bike around town I don't see it being the end of the world.
    The question isn't how it's riding on the bearings, but how it's riding on the fork.

    Also, who said he's just riding the bike around town? He just installed a new Sektor on a frame with a tapered head tube, with spattered dirt on the downtube. Something tells me it's going to see offroad.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    In this shot, it looks like there's a crown race on the fork, then two spacers? It's terribly uneven, which will cause serious problems.

    Definitely not safe.

    This was the first thing I noticed, It looks very uneven. I also agree with what bad mechanic said with the worst case scenario being head tube failure... and if the OP rides fairly hard... its a real possibility.

    OP, Order the correct head set and put it on yourself or order it and take it to a different shop. Get your money back from the shop that put that thing on if you can.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the replies, you all basically echoed my feelings.

    I may have slightly misrepresented the situation. I agreed to have the shop jury rig the fork so that I could ride home (through a construction site--hence the dirt) and start searching for a new headset. The shop owner specifically told me not to do anything that required the fork, so it wasn't as though I was tricked. We both knew it was a temporary bandaid. I just wanted second opinions to see if anybody thought the steerer tube would be damaged. Mechs here (I asked three head mechs at diff shops) generally felt reasonable XC riding on the jury rigged fork would damage the headset or headtube, but not fork. Of course, reasonable riding wasn't exactly what I had on my mind when I bought a Sektor.

    Regardless, I spent the day trying to solve the problem. It turns out that--at least in Asia--the bottom-half of this year's Giant frames with tapered headtubes are NOT standard. 1.5" headsets do NOT fit. The bottom of the headtube is about 1.55 or 1.6. Very frustrating.

    I got the Giant store to make a lot of calls and somebody up high in China said they will have a fix by the end of Feb. I assume the fix will be similar to the C-dale spacer fix, but it is currently unclear. My old fork is safely installed and I am either going to A) wait and hope or B) buy a new frame.

  12. #12
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    If you send exact measurements to Chris King, they can make a custom cup to hit your headtube,

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    If you send exact measurements to Chris King, they can make a custom cup to hit your headtube,
    Hah, thanks, but that is out of the price range. The frame is the next thing to upgrade (blue pig/456/etc) and I have a 1 1/8 cane creek headset jenson gave me with the sektor.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    If you send exact measurements to Chris King, they can make a custom cup to hit your headtube,

    Why does Chris King hate head tubes?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider
    Why does Chris King hate head tubes?
    Because 1.5" head tubes kills kittens.

    Fork crown spacer is obviously uneven. The fork may never fall off or break, but the bearings will be toast after a while.

  16. #16
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    Seriously guys, how can this damage the headtube or fork?
    Worst case is it'll chew up the races actually in contact and askew.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  17. #17
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    Because we don't know what might be in contact with the steerer, and we don't know what might be moving on what.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Because we don't know what might be in contact with the steerer, and we don't know what might be moving on what.
    It's clearly got a crown race on the fork and whatever has been used as a spacer is sitting on that. So any movement is going to be on the removable crown race.
    As long as it's not touching and grinding when the handlebars are turned, you're okay.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  19. #19
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    I'd only be comfortable making that call after I see it taken apart, as you can't really make the assumption nothing is rubbing the steerer from what can be seen in the pictures.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    I'd only be comfortable making that call after I see it taken apart, as you can't really make the assumption nothing is rubbing the steerer from what can be seen in the pictures.
    If you've felt a headset with parts rubbing, it's rather obvious. If the owner had that, they wouldn't bother asking questions on the net, they'd know it was wrong.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    It's clearly got a crown race on the fork and whatever has been used as a spacer is sitting on that. So any movement is going to be on the removable crown race.
    As long as it's not touching and grinding when the handlebars are turned, you're okay.
    Agree and, as far as I could tell, nothing was rubbing when I rode. I ended up deciding to play it safe and remove the fork. I'd be furious with myself if I somehow managed to damage a brand new fork. Kind of unfortunate since I will be riding at a DH area tomorrow. Oh well. Slow and safe it is...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    If you've felt a headset with parts rubbing, it's rather obvious. If the owner had that, they wouldn't bother asking questions on the net, they'd know it was wrong.
    The parts don't need to rub, though. If it's a little loose, you could have a sharp edge hitting the steerer as the fork is levered forward and back in the headtube. It will still feel smooth when you turn it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    The parts don't need to rub, though. If it's a little loose, you could have a sharp edge hitting the steerer as the fork is levered forward and back in the headtube. It will still feel smooth when you turn it.
    In which case the user would feel not only looseness, but a clunk too. Again they wouldn't need to ask questions online, it'd be rather obvious all was not well.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  24. #24
    singletrack mind
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    hey

    where are you in china, by the way? the jury rigging reminds me of my time in chengdu. over the years i saw some seriously dodgy things done to bikes there, but did a lot of fun riding. good trails, and a good place for buying parts too.
    Alas, that the longest hill
    Must end in a vale

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadna
    where are you in china, by the way? the jury rigging reminds me of my time in chengdu. over the years i saw some seriously dodgy things done to bikes there, but did a lot of fun riding. good trails, and a good place for buying parts too.
    I'm in Hangzhou. I got lucky and rented an apartment right next to all the riding in town. Just got in with a group of shop mechanics and their downhill buddies as well. Waiting for my new Blue Pig to arrive in the next week.

    When were you in the du, and what were you up to?

  26. #26
    singletrack mind
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    i lived in chengdu from around 04 until 09, or thereabouts. it was great


    coincidentally i just finished building an mmmbop this evening. seems like it's going to be a fun bike. built like a tank...
    Alas, that the longest hill
    Must end in a vale

    Henry Charles Beeching 1859-1919

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