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Star Nut vs. Expansion Plug(12 posts)

Star Nut vs. Expansion PlugFez
Mar 13, 2003 9:07 AM
I already know star nuts are not recommended for carbon steerers. But why isn't the expansion plug used for all threadless setups?

How much more can it weigh? Its a small price to pay for a higher quality precision part that does not gouge the steer tube. The star nut is harder to install, and it is much harder to remove once it is pressed in. The expansion plug just requires a hex wrench.

Fez, not concerned about a few extra grams.
because it's cheap...C-40
Mar 13, 2003 9:18 AM
Star nuts are dirt cheap to manufacture. There are some aftermarket top caps available that have an expanding plug similar to those for CF steering tubes.

A plug for a CF steering tube would be too small in diameter for an aluminum or steel steering tube.
re: Star Nut vs. Expansion Plugcyclopathic
Mar 13, 2003 11:04 AM
beside weight starnut makes easier to adjust load. The diff in weight is ~ 1/2oz.
How so?Fez
Mar 13, 2003 11:12 AM
I have no problems adjusting preload with an exp plug.

The last starnut I had put a fair bit of gouges down the steer tube of an Ouzo Comp (alloy steerer). I now ride the carbon steered version, but regardless, I think every bike with an alloy steerer should come with an exp plug and not a starnut.
re: How so?cyclopathic
Mar 13, 2003 11:43 AM
if you put starnut it's stuck there where plug can slip up while you tightening. Second you have more adjustment screw to play with; comes handy if races were not pressed in completely.

My biggest anecdotal situation with plug was when I had to adjust headset on long ride (cups finally settled 150mi into ride on bad pavement). Turned out I ran out of thread on screw and FSA conex plug stuck so I couldn't push it down with basic survival tool. Now imagine riding downhills dead tired and dealing with shimmy.
re: How so?Fez
Mar 13, 2003 3:03 PM
Thanks for reminding me to check mine.

I replaced my fork and headset last month so i just checked it for grins.
Weight not important?!!!Matno
Mar 13, 2003 3:30 PM
Are you kidding? Heck, I cut off half my star nut because it was too heavy. You only need one ring of flanges anyway... ;^) (Okay, so maybe it's only like that because I broke it trying to pound that sucker in without the proper tools. I've since learned how to do it right, but my original 1/2 star nut job has been holding tight on my mountain bike for over 2 years now!)

On a more serious note, the plugs are nice and convenient, but aside from the initial installation, I can't imagine why you would ever need (or want) to take it out anyway. Also, I've had a couple of them in the past on my bikes and they were quite heavy. Not just a few grams, but a noticeable heft in my hand! While most people aren't serious weight weenies, a lot of us will lose weight where we can if it's cheap and doesn't affect function. The starnut is a good example.
Good pointFez
Mar 13, 2003 3:36 PM
The mandatory expansion plug probably negates half of the weight savings of the full carbon steerer (vs. alum steerer with starnut).

But I hated how the stupid starnut left huge gouges down the inside of the alloy steerer.
weight savingcyclopathic
Mar 13, 2003 6:11 PM
FSA claims 23g for starnut assembly vs 38g on conex, 1/2oz saving. Carbon steer saves more like 1.5-2oz. Of cause real weight winnie would remove headset bolt and cup after stem installation, so plug would weight less as there no starnut left in steer. ;^)
weight savingMatno
Mar 14, 2003 6:38 AM
That must be the newer Conix. The one I had was easily twice that weight (for a 1" steerer no less!) Felt like it weighed almost as much as the stem! Of course, I had forgotten about the idea that you can just remove the thing! That WOULD be the ultimate in weight-weenieness! You wouldn't even need a top cap (nothing to attach it to anyway). I wonder if anybody makes a cork or something that would plug the hole? I suppose electrician's tape would work too (just to keep out water and dirt), but it wouldn't look good.

One other consideration that I hadn't thought of until I got my first carbon fork recently is that if something goes wrong with a star nut, you can't just hammer it out the bottom! You would have to either 1) go through hell to cut the dang thing out or 2) push it down and put another one in on top of it. (yuck!) Not that that's really much of a concern 99% of the time...
Embarassing star-nut incident.czardonic
Mar 13, 2003 5:31 PM
I finally decided to cut a couple excess cm off of a steerer on a cheap cromo MTB fork.

The Plan: Knock the star-nut down the necessary distance, then cut off the excess steerer.

The Execution: Ran into a problems on the first cut, so I decided to start over a couple mm down. No problem. . .I left myself some extra steerer in case I swapped to a stem with a larger stack height. Ran into problems again about halfway through the cut. No problem. . .heavy steel and a cheap hacksaw -- to be expected.

The result: Hacked right through the star-nut, just below the top flange.

Like I always say: Measure once, cut twice.
re: Star Nut vs. Expansion Plug - good reasonCORONADO FLYER
Mar 14, 2003 9:30 PM
expansion plugs are more expensive to make. star nuts are very inexpensive.

some companies offer a free cap with fork.

leader bike usa gave me mine for free with my carbon fork.