McMaster weightweenie tricks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    cmh
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    McMaster weightweenie tricks

    Most folks know McMaster. Just figured I'd share two weight weenie tricks I've done recently from McMaster parts. Just an FYI, might be useful. Oh and I should say that I do NOT work for McMaster, maybe if I did I could lay my hands on one of their damned catalogs. :P

    The first is available for nearly anyone... incredibly lightweight headset spacers for a song.

    A standard 20mm carbon fiber headset spacer looks bling, weighs 9g, and costs anywhere from $3-5 each:


    Clear PVC tubing, 1' length, cut to size, $5.50, and about 2.5g/cm:


    I would have preferred basic black, but couldn't find anything with a 1 1/8" ID in black. Checked several home centers as well. The PVC also fits snug on the steerer tube, but still allows the headset to be tensioned and I haven't had any problems with the adjustment on my headset in the past couple of weeks. No guarantees, obviously, use at your own risk, etc, but seriously lightweight and silly cheap... even if it only saves a couple of grams over cf spacers.


    Next is more for Scott Scale owners, but might be helpful to others. The Scale doesn't have cable guides bonded to the top tube, instead there are M5 screw inserts (same as water bottle bolts) and these don't need to be too much. The bike comes with aluminum bolts and guides, but my wife's bike didn't have them so I needed to do something, and thought even aluminum was more than was needed. So, McMaster again to the rescue with black nylon cable clips and screws:


    After that picture I re-routed the dérailleur cable but unfotunately this picture didn't come out as well:


    You might be able to see that you can either stack the clips, or stagger them to each side of the bolt. With the 3/16" clip, it fits Magura hose and shift cable perfectly. The 3/16" clips do need the bolt hole enlarged, which can be done pretty easily since the nylon is soft. Another nice feature of the clips is they hold the cables off of the frame, so if you're trying to keep the paint intact, this actually helps.


    I'm also working on another McMaster sourced project involving shift cables, Nokon beads, and aluminum tubing to do full runs of shift cables, but that's still in the testing phase.

  2. #2
    cmh
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    The last picture/link in my post didn't work, but it sucked anyway, so I got a better detail picture of the cable clips:

    (click on the image to see the pics bigger)


    and as for the PVC spacers, here's one installed:


    for the record, I *do* realize that a light spacer on an extra long steerer tube makes no damned sense... just keeping it there until we're sure the low stem will work, when I'll cut it and save even more weight by having no spacers!


    Hope this is helpful to someone, apologies if it's old news/been done before... understand there are some *really* small gains here but the investment is really low, too. All of the parts here were had for well under $20. If you have a tall stack of generic aluminum spacers, you could actually save some decent weight.

  3. #3
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    Cool

    Those are all great idea/solutions!

  4. #4
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    If you have a tall stack of generic aluminum spacers, you could actually save some decent weight.
    It wouldn't be a good idea for spacers under the stem, would it? I don't know how compressible the tube is. I've assumed that the bearings appreciate zero movement otherwise things get off axis and the bearings will hammer.

  5. #5
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    It wouldn't be a good idea for spacers under the stem, would it? I don't know how compressible the tube is. I've assumed that the bearings appreciate zero movement otherwise things get off axis and the bearings will hammer.
    That was something I thought of when I ordered. When I got it, I tried to test its rigidity as well as I could, and I can say that despite being thin, this is some pretty hard plastic. Although it's no doubt going to see more deflection in compression than aluminum, it would still be a very small amount. Plus, if you have some preload, it's less likely to come out of whack.

    Another item worth considering is Extralight makes delrin spacers. Now delrin ain't PVC, and I'm too lazy to look up the specific properties of each (especially since they can be different based on what *type* of plastic you're looking at, much like alloys in metals) but I'm gonna think that you won't see a big difference.

    On my wife's bike -- in the picture, the spacers are on the top where they're really not doing as much. On my bike, I have one above and one below... but my steerer tube isn't as pretty and the clear PVC does it no favors, so I didn't use that picture. Still, that's the one I've been testing on for the last couple of weeks, and have seen no problems. Headset adjustments have remained fine.

    Not billing this as the be-all and end-all of upgrades either. I've just started using it and I'm not a bearings specialist so can't say it'll be 100% safe, but I used to be an engineer and can't see any obvious reason why it wouldn't be. One thing I have wondered is why more places *don't* offer plastic spacers, although it could just be as simple as it's way less bling than carbon fiber, and thus hard to charge $5 a spacer.

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