Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

Can I get away with a shorter steer tube?

1421 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  guggas
So, I have a Kona Muni-Mula hardtail from year 2000, it has a Marz Bomber Z4, 80mm fork thats been on it the whole time. The fork has started to seep oil out of a seam in the lowers and I don't know of anyway to fix it so... I'm looking for a replacement fork, probably a 100mm Reba. Most of the good deals that I can find are on used forks, of course the steer tubes have already been cut on the used forks. So I need to find one with a long enough steer tube to work on my bike. Most of the used forks I'm seeing have about a 7.5 - 7.75 inch steer tube. If I'm measuring correctly it appears that I need a 8.5 inch steer tube to work on my bike, which of course rules out 98% of the used forks I find. It appears that ther are 0.5 inches of spacers between my head tube and my stem, which theoretically could be removed I guess? That would help, but that would change my geometry and I don't know if I would like that or not. Could I possible buy a stem that needs less steer tube to grab onto? It looks like my current stem needs about 1-7/8 inches to bolt onto. Thanks for any ideas you can give me.


See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
I'd call Marzocchi. There are o-rings on the 2 piece lowers.
Stem can go all the way to the headset. Just get a higher rise stem to compensate.
Fix the fork you have.

Remove the lowers from the fork, and then remove the brake bosses from the lowers. This will then allow you to tap the top of each lower and the arch off. It's this seam you're leaking oil from. Inspect and clean everything, then spread a little oil resistant gasket forming compound (think local car parts store) over the mating surfaces, and reassemble the fork. You shouldn't have any more leaks after that.
bad mechanic said:
Fix the fork you have.

... then spread a little oil resistant gasket forming compound (think local car parts store) over the mating surfaces, and reassemble the fork. You shouldn't have any more leaks after that.
I think I like this idea and I will try it.

However I would still like to know, If I do end up replacing the fork, can I get a stem that uses up less steer tube? or do they all need about 2 inches of steer tube to clamp onto? If I take out the half inch of spacers I can get away with an 8- inch steer tube. If I can get a stem that uses a half inch less steer tube then I can get away with a fork that has only a 7.5 inch steer tube, thats what it seems that most used forks have. Is this possible?

Ohh and no Marzocchi doesnt have any parts for this fork anymore...I had my LBS try to get them. They wound up disassembling and cleaning it and he thought that if he put heavier oil in it, that it might not leak. Well it leaks worse now.
Don't try the 7.5" steerer tube even if you do take the 1/2" of spacers from under the stem. There needs to be a minimum amount of materiall within the stem to ensure that the stem bolts can hold the clamping force that you apply to them. The 8" steerer tube should be okay from what I can see in the pictures. No shorter though!

Ideally there should be a gap between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer of 4mm to 6mm.... that is to say the steerer should have its uppermost section 1/4" below the top of the stem when everything is assembled correctly.....

Good luck!
The stem with the lowest insertion limit I'm seen is the Syntace Superforce at only 28mm:
Thanks for the help guys.
I don't know why anyone cuts their steerer tubes to less than 8".
You can always leave a little stock on top.
The fork is worthless and can't be resold if the tube is too short.
I had not called Marzochhi because I had been told by two LBshops that Marz would definatley not have o'rings or seals for an 11 year old fork. However I called them today and they actually do have the parts. So I will be ordering some o'rings, instead of buying a new fork. Now maybe I'll buy some disc wheels instead with all the money I'm saving. muahahah!
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.