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OK WHAT IS BETTER? 1" HEADTUBE OR 1 1/8" FOR ROAD BIKES.(13 posts)

OK WHAT IS BETTER? 1" HEADTUBE OR 1 1/8" FOR ROAD BIKES.CORONADO FLYER
Jul 14, 2002 10:25 PM
DEAR ROADIES,

I'VE NOTICED MOST MANUFACTURERS ARE GOING WITH THE 1 1/8" HEADTUBE AND LEAVING THE OLD 1" SIZE OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?

1" OR 1 1/8", LETS HEAR IT!

MIKE
re: OK WHAT IS BETTER? 1" HEADTUBE OR 1 1/8" FOR ROAD BIKES.Juanmoretime
Jul 15, 2002 1:09 AM
I think 1 inch was fine back when steerer tubes were steel and all we had were threaded headsets. 1 and 1/8 became a necessity when the threadless stems came along and steerer tubes went to aluminium and carbonfiber. Once those tubes became much longer and different materials, I feel forks started not tracking as well since the steerer tube is a high stress area and it was now subject to flex. I think bike manufactures had to go to a larger diameter tube to gain back the precision to the steering after building the much lighter forks. My.02.
1" is okLeroy
Jul 15, 2002 4:38 AM
especially if one wants to go lighter. Just about all the 1 1/8 forks are heavier, and more material goes into the headtube of the frame. They're not going to run out of parts.

Dave Loving
well...weiwentg
Jul 15, 2002 4:53 AM
if we're talking alloy steerer tubes, then 1" is lighter. but if we're talking CF steerers, then 1-1/8" is safer for a lot of people, and I think still lighter than 1" alloy.
Colnago's Star forks seem to be plenty strong in 1" (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 15, 2002 8:06 AM
re: OK WHAT IS BETTER? 1" HEADTUBE OR 1 1/8" FOR ROAD BIKES.paulw
Jul 15, 2002 5:53 AM
I've had bikes with a 1" threaded, 1" threadless with cro-mo steerer and 1 1/8" threadless w/ carbon steerer. The 1 1/8" threadless w/carbon feels the stiffest (and best otherwise) of the three but all had different headsets, different stems and different bars (actually, I moved the bars from the 1" threadless to the 1 1/8" for a little while). So, I don't know if it's conclusive but I like the 1 1/8" threadless with carbon.
Here's your answer.Dragon33
Jul 15, 2002 6:12 AM
Why still design road frames for a 1" fork?
With seemingly the rest of the world rushing toward the "new" (hardly) inch and 1/8 spec, one has to ask "why are those retrogrouches at Habanero not getting on board with the new, improved spec?". Simple - it's not really "new and improved". Let's look at the reasoning behind the move to the "MTB spec" inch and 1/8 steer tubes in road bikes.
Claim: By making the steer tube bigger, we can use less material and the fork will still be just as strong.

Not necessarily. Certainly making a tube's diameter bigger makes it stiffer - but you can't necessarily shrink the walls on a fork's steer tube without disastrous results. Also, it's been suggested that an "over-stiff" steer tube concentrates stresses at the ends, rather than distributing along the entire length as well as a 1" steer tube might. And after all, the ends are where steer tubes will break, not in the middle.

For comparison's sake, let's look at the difference in weight between typical 1" and inch and 1/8 models of the same fork, all based on an uncut steer tube.

The Time Millenium Club fork comes with a 330mm aluminum steer tube in inch and 1/8 format at 542g, and with a 300mm steel 1" steer tube that weighs in at 505g. Add 30mm of steer tube to the 1" CrMo steer tube, and the weight increases to 526g - actually lighter than the inch and 1/8 fork, and steel (with its better fatigue characteristics).

The Profile Design forks with their aluminum steer tubes all weigh in within 10 grams (that's a little over 1/3 of an ounce) of each other when comparing 1" and inch and 1/8 (with the lighter forks being the 1").

The Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork with its carbon fiber steer tube weighs a svelte 370g in 1" format, and 445g in inch and 1/8 format. Advantage, 75g to the 1" fork.

On the other end of the scale are the Kinesis forks. The Carbon Wedge model comes with a 300mm aluminum steer tube and weighs 433g, compared to the 564g steel 1" steer tube (a whopping 131g - or 4.6oz difference). This is of course, and apples and oranges comparison, since the steer tube material is different, but it does provide one data point where there seems to be an advantage to fatter steer tubes.

So, based on a 200mm final trimmed steer tube length, the difference in fork weight will be between 50g in favor of 1" to 87g in favor of the inch and 1/8 fork.

Now let's look at the rest of the bike (unless of course, you just want to buy a fork to admire by itself, in which case you can stop reading now). Bigger headsets are heavier. The difference between the 1" and inch and 1/8 format for some common headsets: Cane Creek C-2, 20g; Chris King NoThreadSet, 18g; FSA Orbit XL-II, 26g. How about stems? Again, bigger stems are heavier - though direct comparisons are more difficult since no one seems to make the "same stem" in both sizes. Add in the additional material required to make the head tube larger and it's easy to see that at best you MAY shave a few grams with a inch and 1/8 fork and frame, but chances are you're adding even more weight by choosing the "new improved spec", not losing it.

Then there's the subjective matter of "looks". Everyone's free to determine which looks better on a road bike, but I'll take the cleaner lines of the 1" headset and stem any time I can get it. It's easy to imagine that the smaller head tube is more aerodynamic (read, faster) but since I don't have a wind tunnel to test that theory I'll leave it as an unsupported hunch (for now).

And for my fellow retrogrouches (those of us who still prefer threaded stems because of their ease and range of adjustability without the need to reset the preload of the headset, and since they are easily removed or twisted for shipping) there are still a good number of stems and headsets available to outfit your 1" threaded fork - not so with inch and 1/8.
The simple fact is...Nessism
Jul 15, 2002 8:12 AM
...that 1-1/8" steerer forks are stiffer. Now this may not be an issue if using a steel steerer, but it IS an issue for larger riders using 1" full carbon forks.

And the weight savings of going full carbon is noticable over an alloy or steel steerer fork.
About the only true advantageMel Erickson
Jul 15, 2002 7:54 AM
I can see is with carbon steer tubes. I think a 1 1/8 inch carbon gives you the best of both worlds, strength and light weight.
1 1/8 is better for manufacturers (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 15, 2002 8:05 AM
1 1/8 is better for manufacturers (nm)rufus
Jul 15, 2002 8:37 AM
now that the majority of bike frames are tig welded oversized aluminum, the 1 1/8" head tube gives a larger surface to weld the top and down tubes. in my opinion, this is probably just as important in the decision to use them as is whether they are stiffer or lighter. it just makes it easier to manufacture the frame.
re: OK WHAT IS BETTER? 1" HEADTUBE OR 1 1/8" FOR ROAD BIKES.CORONADO FLYER
Jul 15, 2002 10:02 AM
OK, SO FAR 1" FOR STEEL AND ALUMINUM STEERER TUBES AND 1 1/8" FOR CARBON STEERER TUBES.

I OWN A 1" CARBON STEERER AND A 1 1/8". THE WALL THICKNESS ON ON THE 1 1/8 SEAMS TO BE TWICE AS THICK THAN THE 1". BOTH FORKS HAVE THE SAME 5 YEAR WARRANTY.

BOTH RIDE GREAT. NO PROBLEMS WHAT SO EVER. IT IS HARD TO TELL THE RIDE QUALITY SINCE BOTH OF MY ROAD FRAMES ARE VERY DIFFERENT. STEERING FEELS THE SAME THOUGH, THE 1" MAYBE IS A LITTLE MORE RESPONSIVE.

THE QUESTION REMAINS THE SAME:

1" OR 1 1/8"

MIKE
WELL, I DON'T THINK THERE IS A DEFINITIVE ANSWERMel Erickson
Jul 15, 2002 1:17 PM
BUT I SURE WISH YOU'D TAKE YOUR CAPS LOCK OFF.