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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is one in a series of twelve posts depcting the build of my Hollowpoint MkIII.

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=130055

After browsing the glowing Hopey reviews on MTBR back in November '04, I posted this thread asking about a Hopey steering damper for my wife's bike, mainly in the interest of helping her out on some climbs.

https://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Extras/product_68285.shtml

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=60138

After installing her Hopey early this summer and observing some real improvements follow-up Hopey thread in how she negotiated terrain, I began playing with it myself and decided to install one on my own bike.

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=105373

I've only taken the new bike out three times, so I'm not ready to post a full review, but my initial impressions are extremely positive. I especially appreciate that I can pay less attention to the front end of the bike while grinding up a steep climb. The bike tracks nicely through ruts at speed, and the Hopey really stabilizes things when plowing through sandy patches on the trail, working against front-end washout. I've yet to work it through any tight, technical terrain or rock gardens.

In any case, the purpose of this post is to review the installation. Hopey's installation instructions left me with some questions the first time around. I called back for technical support a couple of times, and have clarified the installation to where it makes much more sense (to me, at least).

https://www.merchantmanager.com/timhopey/mounting.htm

So on with the installation. First things first, you'll need to remove your star nut completely from your fork's steerer tube. I've outlined that procedure in a separate post.

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1189999

The Hopey kit consists of the damper cartridge, a post and an adapter bracket. Note that the damper cartridge has a 12mm nut at the bottom of the assembly that must be tightened from below (once the damper is inserted into the steerer), hence the need to remove the star nut.

This particular installation is intended to fit my MkIII's Zero Stack head tube, so the adapter is different than what would be included for a conventional threadless headset. Hopey also has adapters for Cannondale Lefty forks, OnePointFive steerers, a version to fit the RS Boxxer, and a "Superlight" version that shaves a few grams.



The first order of business is to remove the upper headset cup, install the adapter, and replace the cup. I've covered Homemade Headset Tools in a separate post.

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1190007

The threaded post hole in the adapter should be centered on the top tube. Don't tighten the pinch bolt yet.





Here's where I break from Hopey's instructions just a bit.

The threads at the top of the damper assembly are not supposed to "nest in" or bottom out on the stem. The reason? When tightening the 12mm nut (which binds the damper to the steerer tube), the damper must be allowed to "pull down" into the steerer. If the stem restricts the damper from moving, the damper may be improperly secured to the steerer or the unit may be damaged.

My workaround? Leave about 5mm of steerer exposed above the stem...



...then place a 10mm spacer over it.

As it turns out, the inner diameter of a stem spacer is slightly larger than the inner diameter of a pinched stem. Where the threaded section of the Hopey would bottom out on the stem, it moves freely inside the spacer.



Next item is to load the headset bearings. Because the star nut has been removed, use a star nut substitute such as Profile Design's Gap Cap (https://www.profile-design.com/2006_product_pages/accesories/acc_karbon_gapcap.html), an FSA's Conix or Compressor (https://www.fullspeedahead.com/fly.aspx?layout=product&taxid=34&pid=250), or Azonic's Headlock to tighten the bearings. The Gap Cap and Compressor are usually available at shops that sell carbon road forks.

Tighten the plug to eliminate any fore/aft slop, but not so tight that the bearings bind when you turn the handlebars.



Once the headset bearings are sufficiently loaded, tighten the stem and Hopey adapter pinch bolts. Remove the star nut substitute from the top of the steerer tube.



You'll need to cut post so it ends 8mm below the top of the stem assembly. Measure twice, cut once -- additional posts can be ordered from Hopey if you screw up.



I use a Dremel with a reinforced cut-off wheel, but a hacksaw works fine, too.



Install the post into the adapter and grease the upper end where it will interface with the damper arm.



Screw the 35mm bolt (indicated) down towards the bottom of the threads. The damper will rest on this bolt once you insert it in the steerer.



Before inserting the damper assembly, identify the centering mark (small dimple: indicated) and ensure it aligned 180° from the damper arm. So yeah, it should be pointed straight forward when you set the damper assembly in the steerer tube.





Now grab your 12mm socket and whatever extension arms you need to reach the 12mm bolt through the bottom of the steerer tube. It's a tight fit, so you may want to remove your front wheel for this step.

Initially, get the 12mm nut hand tight -- just enough so that the damper assembly doesn't rotate or pull out of the steerer.



Unscrew the 35mm nut to the top of the threads. This will give the damper assembly a bit of room to "pull down" into the steerer in the next step.



Grab your torque wrench (you have a torque wrench, right?) and torque that 12mm nut down to 18 to 24 foot-pounds.



Finished? Double check that the little alignment divot is still pointing straight forward. Keep in mind that the damper features a free (undamped) return to the center position, and if your little divot is canted off to one side, you're going to meet resistance when you turn the bars straight.

If the cartridge is off center, you'll need to loosen the 12mm nut and begin again.



If everything is centered, snug the 35mm nut down and hit the trail!



[TH]Index of MkIII Build Posts[/TH]
[TH][/TH][/TR]
[TD]
MAIN: MkIII / Speedhub Build Pics

Iron Horse MkIII Naked Frame (March 2005)

Hollowpoint Speedhub Build Pictures (April 2003)

Cane Creek AD-12 Air Chamber Volume Adjustment

White Brothers 2006 Technology
[/TD]

[TD]White Brothers DT 1.2 Fork Porn

Stripping Anodization

Bottom Bracket Drain Hole Drilling & Installation

Drilling Out Cable Stops (Full Length Cable Run)

Dremel Cut & Prep of Cable & Housing
[/TD][TD]Hopey Steering Damper Installation

Stripping & Polishing an Aluminum Frame

Homemade Headset Removal & Installation Tools

Star Fangled Nut Removal (Drilling out the Star Nut)
[/TD][/TD]
[/TR][/TABLE]
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
You'll need to cut post so it ends 8mm below the top of the stem assembly. Measure twice, cut once -- additional posts can be ordered from Hopey if you screw up
I didn't realize that the post was supposed to be cut to size. This is good news. Do you know if there is a limit of how much it can be cut down? I want to use one on my Sunday with a Boxxer direct mount stem, super short steerer tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
M1_joel said:
Thanks, even though there is a real obvious mistake in the sequence of my photos.

For all you fence-sitters, one really nice feature of the Hopey is its resale value. No kidding, I had to bid on three on eBay before I got the first one for my sweetie's bike, and it ended up saving only $30 below retail. The Hopey is one of those do-hickies that if you don't like it, you can get most of your money back (assuming it's in nearly new condition).

That was my mindset when I bought the first one, but I quickly realized the thing works as advertised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Salami said:
Do you know if there is a limit of how much it can be cut down? I want to use one on my Sunday with a Boxxer direct mount stem, super short steerer tube.
Well, the post is 85mm long, and I assume it can be cut down pretty close to the wrench flats -- as long as the damper arm has something to engage.

But like I mentioned, Hopey lists a Boxxer version on their website. I don't know what's different about it (I can't tell from the picture), but it would seem that they have you covered.
 

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kona-tize me captain
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a couple kids i ride with said at snowshoe when there was a race and they had a hope damper boothe up. it was basically a treadmill with a bike mounted on it that had a really bumpy floor(to simulate rocks) they turned it on and u sat on the bike. they first had the steering setup without the damper then with it. they said it made everything sooo much smoother and controlled
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
artnshel said:
Do you loose stem height on your steerer after installing the hopey?
If you're dealing with a pre-cut steerer on an existing installation and you use my method with the 10mm spacer over the top, then yes, you'll lose approximately 8mm.

If, on the other hand, you eliminate the top spacer and work around the the Hopey threads bottoming out on the stem, then stem height will be where you left it (or approximately 2mm higher if you account for the adapter plate installed under the top headset cup).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
austinb89 said:
it made everything sooo much smoother and controlled
That's the key. Initially I was concerned it would reduce manuverability to the point I couldn't react as quickly as I'd like. After all, this is the same device I'm using to eliminate my wife's nasty habit of jerking her handlebars eight ways to Sunday when she gets a little intimidated, and is has helped her focus and maintain a straight track and power through stuff.

But in use it only damps handlebar movement, but doesn't lock it out or overly restrict it. It even feels very natural at speed when carving smooth singletrack, and lets me react but not over-control. In fact, it's so easy to work with that my wife, who started out with her Hopey in sort of a "mid" setting (a bit less than one turn shy of maximum), now rides hers near the max setting 100% of the time.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
If you're dealing with a pre-cut steerer on an existing installation and you use my method with the 10mm spacer over the top, then yes, you'll lose approximately 8mm.

If, on the other hand, you eliminate the top spacer and work around the the Hopey threads bottoming out on the stem, then stem height will be where you left it (or approximately 2mm higher if you account for the adapter plate installed under the top headset cup).
Thanks for the explanation.
 

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Nate, very nice write up. I get grief from time to time for running one on my non-DH trail bike, but much like your wife I've come to appreciate the benefits it provides for low speed handling, particularly climbing, more than the high speed decents. It offsets the sloppy steering that is often associated with the slacker HA's of today's 5-6" trail bikes.

Here's a thread authored by tscheezy to help those that have forks with steer tubes that narrow or are plugged at the bottom not allowing for the necessary insertion of a 12mm socket from the underside of the crown. Couple of other things...

Speedub.Nate said:
The threads at the top of the damper assembly are not supposed to "nest in" or bottom out on the stem.
I've had problems with my Hopey loosening up within the steertube from time to time. I wonder if the problem isn't related to the fact that I'm not using your method to prevent the "nesting?" I really don't want to lower my stem anymore than it is now, but what choice do I have at this point?

Speedub.Nate said:
I use a Dremel with a reinforced cut-off wheel, but a hacksaw works fine, too.
Another option is the use of a pipe cutting wrench. I like using it because it give me a nice squared end. After cutting it I simply run a file to remove any rough edges.

Again excellent post. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Damn shame all those photos Tscheezy posted along with that thread are missing. Good how-to, in any case. (What's the deal with him posting all the good stuff in the Turner forum though?)

I just got some of the same "not a DH rig" grief from a poster over at HCOR: http://www.hcor.net/postt24057.html . I should just throw the towel in and start riding down hills. Or shut my trap and make it my secret.

If you have to lower your stem 10mm to set the spacer on top, you can always get that height back with a slightly higher rise stem or a taller bar. I know you alrady knew that, but you knew I had to say it when you wrote it. :D

Did you happen to use a torque wrench for the final tightening of your 12mm nut? Any chance it's too loose?
 
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