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Advantage to threadless headset?(11 posts)

Advantage to threadless headset?cydswipe
Feb 20, 2003 7:08 AM
I have a 1" threaded headset on my bike. I'm looking through catalogs and online at forks. They are almost all threadless. So, I look at headsets. A lot of the threadless are a little heavier than threaded. So what is the advantage to a threadless?
re: Advantage to threadless headset?MR_GRUMPY
Feb 20, 2003 7:12 AM
Sub 1 pound forks with carbon stearers and 1+ pound forks with aluminum stearers.
Feb 20, 2003 7:19 AM
The only advantage really is weight, if you are a weight weenie. You only get that if you have a light fork, though. You can't thread a carbon steerer fork, and not aluminum, either, as far as I know.

Going to a light all carbon fork with a light stem could knock off about a pound or so versus a steel fork.

a full pound? maybe not and you won't lose only weight.colker
Feb 20, 2003 9:20 AM
maybe i'm worng but a quality steel fork weighs around 550/580grs. a quality quill stem weighs 270 grams.
a ouzo pro weighs around 400 gr and a lighweigh ahead stem weighs 150/ 170gr.
maybe 1/2 pound would be the average weight savings.
you do lose a very nice thing with the new way of building bikes which is build the frame for your carbon fork options.
some one like sachs manipulates trail, rake and length of a fork to achieve more or less comfort. more or less stability. his bikes have a personality. like rivendells. old italian bikes did the same.
now we have bikes that ride the same upfront.
i'd rather carry the extra 1/2 pound.
bikes are going the same way as cars. look at sixties sport cars: so much more persoanlity, flair, difference. now they all look degraded bmw's.
some numbersDougSloan
Feb 20, 2003 10:03 AM
Here are some numbers from the Damon Rinard site.

Carbon forks are about 300 grams lighter than steel, and threadless stems around 100 grams lighter than quills. 454 grams to a pound...

weight? it's stiffercyclopathic
Feb 21, 2003 6:16 AM
1lbs weight save is overly optimistic in reality you save ~ 1/2lbs. 1/2lbs is usually not such a big deal for older bike unless it has sentimental value attached to it. However, threadless setup is noticably stiffer, esp climbing out of saddle.
Manufacturers driving the transition...biknben
Feb 20, 2003 7:25 AM
The threaded to threadless movement was driven by manufacturers, not consumers. The threadless fork is much cheaper to make and creates less stock for suppliers to deal with. The manuf. doesn't have to thread the forks and just makes one size steerer tube for all forks. Supplier in turn, doesn't have to stock multiple size steerers to accomodate different frame sizes.

The advantages on the bike are minimal and argueable. One advantage is it allowed the use of carbon for the steerer which reduces weight.
One reason why bikes are so inexpensive and goodContinental
Feb 20, 2003 8:57 AM
It's been a lot of little innovations like threadless headsets that reduce cost and improve quality so that you can buy a bike today for $1500 that is better than the bike Greg Lemond rode in winning the TdF. Threadless are less expensive to manufacture and assemble and they never come loose. They are, however, so ugly that my dream bike will have a threaded headset and quill stem.
easier to adjustRJF
Feb 20, 2003 8:31 AM
Threadless headsets are simple to adjust with a hex wrench. Threaded require two big wenches. Because those wrenches kinda weigh me down on climbs, I prefer the threadless.
Yeah, but I adjust a headset maybe once in 20 years...cory
Feb 20, 2003 8:56 AM
Once the things are installed, how often do you have to fool with them? I've been riding since 1970, and I think I've made one on-the-road adjustment, and that was because I'd forgotten to cinch down the top nut when I rebuilt it.
Feb 20, 2003 1:24 PM
Yes, a threadless fork CAN weigh less (especially with a CF steerer), but there are other reasons for the conversion to threadless:

Threads cost money to make: no threads on the steerer costs less.

Threads compromise strength: sometimes steerers crack along threads-not often, but it does happen.

Bikes are often assembled by idiots: One less threaded piece means one less thread for the seasonal shop employee to screw up. Or the DIY idiot to screw up....