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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've picked up a Marz fork for my commuter bike (and occasional XC ride) with a short steer tube (it only makes it half-way up inside the stem). Finding a low-stack headset & stem isn't an option because of cost. Having a new steer tube pressed in means not only money, but that I probably won't see my fork again for a looooong time.

So I've hatched an ungainly -yet cheap - solution and I'm wondering if there are any drawbacks that I've not thought of, other than the Frankenstein nature of it. I was thinking of using a stem column adapter (i.e. to convert a 1 1/8 threaded steerer to 1 1/8 threadless) to extend the steerer.

Anyone tried this? Will it be safe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ray_from_SA said:
So, if you go this route, how do you plan on tightening the headset?
Bwaa! Now that would be the drawback I hadn't thought of.

I thinking that I could press the stem on using some kind of clamp (like a woodworking clamp) to compress the headset. Might take some trial and error to get all the slop out of the headset...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
scrublover said:
you got the wrong part there. that will turn a threaded fork steerer setup into a threadless. you need one of these, which are even uglier:

http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&Category=671&Brand=485&type=T

http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&Category=671&Brand=108&type=T

never used them, but seems like they'd do the job just fine. especially if you have an otherwise functional fork you don't want to get rid of.
Yeah, I considered whether or not to use on of those. My concern was that those rely on there being enough exposed steer tube to provide enough clamping area - which I may not have. I'm worried that with enough force, that might slip off or twist off of the steer tube. I thought that by using the threaded-to-threadless converter - with a quill seated in the steer tube - that I would increase my margin of safety.
 

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Gazz said:
Yeah, I considered whether or not to use on of those. My concern was that those rely on there being enough exposed steer tube to provide enough clamping area - which I may not have. I'm worried that with enough force, that might slip off or twist off of the steer tube. I thought that by using the threaded-to-threadless converter - with a quill seated in the steer tube - that I would increase my margin of safety.
maybe pair this up with the shortest stack headset you can?

or bit the bullet and go for a new fork, offsetting the cost with what you may be able to sell the old one for.

lastly, marzocchi will throw in new steerer for you for about $60-80, depending on the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, here's what I think I'll do. I'll try the threaded-to-threadless converter first, because it's pretty damn cheap ($17 cdn). If I can't make that work, I'll look into cutting the head tube a bit and getting a low-stack stem (turns out my Logic headset is already pretty low stack).

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions...
 

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gear puller

I think a gear puller might work. Use the two-arm kind, and put the screw end on the underside of the fork crown, with a small piece of wood over the crown end of the steerer for the screw of the gear puller to push against.

Put in the threaded/threadless converter, and put the stem over it. Then put one arm of the gear puller on each side of the top of the stem. Start tighteng the gear puller, and it should pull the stem down tight, so you can tighten the stem bolts.

Dave
www.davewilson.cc/Bike

Gazz said:
Bwaa! Now that would be the drawback I hadn't thought of.

I thinking that I could press the stem on using some kind of clamp (like a woodworking clamp) to compress the headset. Might take some trial and error to get all the slop out of the headset...
 

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still wont work...

That's a quill to ahead stem adaptor. The OD of the quill is smaller than the ID of a 1 1/8 steerer.

Try the Zoom steerer extender first. It comes in two lengths, 50mm and 75mm. I used
the 50mm on my GF's bike to give her a more upright riding position for commuting.

It uses a pinch bolt low on the extender so you might get full contact and peace of mind.

Edit:
In fact you could even shorten the extender from the bottom by about 5mm to make it fit.

michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mrdy said:
That's a quill to ahead stem adaptor. The OD of the quill is smaller than the ID of a 1 1/8 steerer.

Try the Zoom steerer extender first. It comes in two lengths, 50mm and 75mm. I used
the 50mm on my GF's bike to give her a more upright riding position for commuting.

It uses a pinch bolt low on the extender so you might get full contact and peace of mind.

Edit:
In fact you could even shorten the extender from the bottom by about 5mm to make it fit.

michael
I'll have a look at a steerer extender. As for the quill-to-ahead adapter, how much smaller do you think the OD of the adapter will be from the ID of the steerer? I figured that a 1 1/8 threaded steerer would have a slightly smaller ID than a threadless steerer to account for the thickness of the threads, but do you think it would be enough of a difference that the quill would be seated sloppy or cockeyed?

What sucks is that I could answer these questions quite easily if I had the parts in front of me, but they're hard to find and I'll probably have to order on-line.
 

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Shoot me for being stupid, but....

I thought that you could replace the steerer tube on Marzocchi forks. Is this not the case?

Clyde
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Call_me_Clyde said:
I thought that you could replace the steerer tube on Marzocchi forks. Is this not the case?

Clyde
It's possible, but I would have to send it to Marz via Norco to have a new one pressed in. It would cost me as much as I paid for the fork in the first place, and I wouldn't see it back possibly for weeks. I don't have money to throw at this bike, so I'm after the cheapest solution that will work and be safe.

I could try to sell this one and buy another, but 80 mm forks in this kind of condition are getting hard to find.
 

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logbiter said:
yep, marzocchi will do this one time in the life of a crown/steerer for something like $70 USD, might be a bit more than that these days.
I got a quote of $55 from Marzocchi, last year. $70 to have it done right seems worth it to me (of course it's not my money). By the time the original poster is done fiddiling around with adapters...wasting time getting it all together, only to have a patch job, at best...He will wish he had just had the steerer replaced. It's difficult to sell a fork with a short steerer...if he ever wants to sell it.
 

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the only sensible way is to run the lowest stack height possible, which means maybe you're stuck or maybe you're not.

if your headset is the lowest stack height possible, skip to the stem. if not, check the difference between what you run and what else is lower.

same with the stem.

how much too short is the steer tube?

did you have spacers before?

more info, more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I went ahead and gave Plan A a try. I found a 1 1/8 threaded-to-threadless converter at a bike shop for $11 CDN. I explained to the bike shop guy what I was doing and he stared at me aand blinked like I had walked in and told him that I was the one true Messiah here to perform my first miracle by shitting out pickles and sausages for his lunch.

Then he started giving me the usual bike shop guy dogma of "I know it can't be done because I've never done it." "Your steer tube is too short. You must buy a new fork. BUY A NEW FOOOOORK." Whatever. He reluctantly sold me the bit. I think I shattered his belief system or something because when I left he was on the floor in the fetal position, whimpering that my steer tube was too short.

So, to recap - the problem: find a cheap, simple and effective way to deal with short steer tube.

How I did it:

I started with the stem on tight and adjusted in the usual way using the top cap & star nut. I then removed the top cap and drove the star nut through (stem still bolted tight). I then loosened the stem (being careful not to bump the fork and loosen the headset) and dropped the converter in. Tighten up the converter, re-tighten up the stem, done.

Well, almost. Turns out the converter was actually a bit too big. It fit nicely in the 2002 Z-5 I had taken off the bike, but the 2002 EXR has thicker steel in the steer tube (hence I'm not worried about the converter splitting apart the steerer). 5 minutes of lovin' with a Dremel tool, and it slipped right in.

The Pros:

It works. I now have a solid, trustworthy connection between the steer tube and stem. And that's what this was about in the first place, right?

Cheap and easy like your mom. $11 and 15 minutes work with no special tools. Much cheaper and easier than a new steerer, new fork, grinding head tubes or shelling out for low-stack bits.

The Cons:

Lack of in-the-field adjustability. There's no top-cap and star nut. Also, when I overhaul the headset I'll have to go through the process again, but it's really not too bad.

Weight. I'd guess that this thing weights about 250 grams. Norba racers who happen to have shortish steer tubes won't be lining up for this one.

Looks kinda funky. Without using spacers, it looks like I was too lazy to cut the steerer of my new fork; the top cap is about 1.25" above the stem.. Any longer and it would like Mr. Gerretson's unicycle from South Park. On the other hand, I have lots of height adjustability if I do use spacers.

The bottom line: I'm satisfied and confident that it works. Someday when I find another smokin' deal on an 80 mm fork with a long enough steer tube, I'll swap it out - but for the time being this is a workable setup.

Thanks again to everyone for their feedback.
 
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