Fogey doesn't get threadless headsets

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jeff, Feb 23, 2003.

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  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?

    With a threaded headset, I can set the stem way low. Or way high. And everywhere between.

    To my eyes, threadless = limited adjustability.

    Open to enlightenment, Jeff
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    > millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?

    I think the main advantages of threadless come from lower manufacturing costs, not more features.
    However, one advantage to users is that switching out stems is very easy. Try looking for a stem
    with an upward rise angle.

    Ken
     
  3. [email protected] wrote:

    > "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    >> With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    >> millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?
    >
    > I think the main advantages of threadless come from lower manufacturing costs, not more features.
    > However, one advantage to users is that switching out stems is very easy. Try looking for a stem
    > with an upward rise angle.

    I imagine they're also less likely to creak, since the stem attaches to the top rather than the
    middle of the steerer. Anyway, I get creaking sounds when I stand and apply lots of force to the
    handlebars, and I have a threaded headset. Maybe I just need to take things apart and grease them.

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.
     
  4. Michael Dart

    Michael Dart Guest

    "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    > millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why
    is
    > threadless dominant?
    >
    > With a threaded headset, I can set the stem way low. Or way high. And everywhere between.
    >
    > To my eyes, threadless = limited adjustability.
    >
    > Open to enlightenment, Jeff
    >

    It's a curse us mountain bikers put on you roadies. ;^)

    Mike
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Jeff wrote:
    > With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    > millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?

    The question has been fully discussed before. See Google Groups.

    > With a threaded headset, I can set the stem way low. Or way high. And everywhere between.
    >
    > To my eyes, threadless = limited adjustability.

    Threaded is limited as well. Most quill stems aren't very tall, so can't be set all that high.
    Threadless stem height can be alterered, too (lowered or raised, depending on steerer length and
    spacer positioning). It's just more hassle to do (and I agree that this is a major disadvantage),
    and you're limited to steps of 2mm (unless 1mm spacers exist?) - but 2mm usually does the job ok.

    One bit of stupidness that doesn't help, I think, is that many new bikes are supplied with steerers
    cut too short, so the stem can indeed not be raised.

    But stems with threadless forks can be set high if long fork steerers, steerer extensions or riser
    stems are used.

    Personally, I find it easier to adjust threadless headsets (and it's handy that only allen keys are
    required), like the simplicity, stiffness, lower weight of ahead stems, but have reservations
    because of the height adjustabilty complications.

    ~PB
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Thank, Pete. Great resource! I use Google daily, but never noticed the Groups tab.
    http://groups.google.com/

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Jeff wrote:
    > > With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    > > millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?
    >
    > The question has been fully discussed before. See Google Groups.
     
  7. jeff-<< With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But
    obviously millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?

    Like threadless on MTB bikes, a way for the bike industry to save money(make only one steerer
    length), while painting this 'innovation' as a performance advantage.

    \Most carbon steerers have a max number of spacers that you can put under the stem, Aluminum and
    steel generally do not. When we build a bike we either put the max in or at least lots until the fit
    is done and always keep some on top of the stem, just in case.

    If your hbars are too low, look into a stem with ride, to help your position.

    Unfortunately, lots of bikes outta boxes have the steerer cut so changing the fit is diffucult w/o
    changing the stem. Some bike shops will do this, some will not.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  8. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Personally, I find it easier to adjust threadless headsets (and it's handy that only allen keys are
    >required)

    >like the simplicity, stiffness, lower weight of ahead stems, but have reservations because of the
    >height adjustabilty complications.

    I dislike the fact that to adjust the handle bar height you have to adjust the headset. Sure they
    are easier to adjust but with a quill stem you don't need to adjust it. Out on a ride, want to raise
    the handle bars a bit to experiment, with a quill stem it is a 30 second deal.

    I have also seen much longer quill stems available than threadless. I bought a quill stem with
    about 10 inches of rise, stainless steel shaft with an aluminum clamp etc. Not too heavy and
    amazingly stiff.

    I think the fellow was correct who said threadless stems were a curse put on roadies by the MTBers.

    jon isaacs
     
  9. Corey Green

    Corey Green Guest

    "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > With a threadless steerer, I find the handlebars are way too low for my comfort. But obviously
    > millions of people like it. What am I missing? Why is threadless dominant?
    >
    > With a threaded headset, I can set the stem way low. Or way high. And everywhere between.
    >
    > To my eyes, threadless = limited adjustability.
    >
    > Open to enlightenment, Jeff

    FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every time
    you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is easier
    when swapping the stem is simplified.
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    > change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every
    > time you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is
    > easier when swapping the stem is simplified.

    Some quill stems have removable face plates now.

    ~PB
     
  11. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    > > change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every
    > > time you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is
    > > easier when swapping the stem is simplified.
    >
    > Some quill stems have removable face plates now.
    >
    I have several quill stems that have the removable faceplates, but still like the threadless
    setup better.

    Sealed bearing threaded headsets (Shimano, American Classic, et al) make the choice harder, but you
    still have a greater variety of threadless stems to choose from to perfect your position. Course
    this comes about from having reduced adjustablity, so it is a double-edged sword.

    Mike
    > ~PB
     
  12. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (Corey Green) wrote

    > FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    > change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every
    > time you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is
    > easier when swapping the stem is simplified.

    When it comes to _really_ tinkering, I find that threadless headsets are just the ticket when
    you're making your own fork, or mounting something besides a fork in a headset. You are not
    constrained to a specific wall thickness, and you don't have to cut threads on the steerer to get
    the thing put together.

    You can even mount multiple head tubes on the same steerer-- one of the proven ways to build a
    tallbike. (What's a tallbike? One of these:
    http://www.angelfire.com/mn/resistzine/bli/Tallbike.html )

    Threadless stems themselves are amazingly versatile tinkering supplies, as exemplified by the Culty
    trike: http://www.culty.de/CULTY_1.JPG

    Chalo Colina
     
  13. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote:

    > I dislike the fact that to adjust the handle bar height you have to adjust the headset. Sure they
    > are easier to adjust but with a quill stem you don't need to adjust it. Out on a ride, want to
    > raise the handle bars a bit to experiment, with a quill stem it is a 30 second deal.

    If you just can't decide what height you want your bars, or you know you want to move them mid-ride,
    you can still avail yourself of the superior strength and stiffness of a threadless headset.

    You'll need the appropriate size clamp collar, since you won't be using a threadless stem:
    http://www.ruland.com/cl.html

    And you'll need a long bolt with a couple of washers and a nut, or else a purpose-made device like
    this: http://www.jrbicycles.com/answer%20stem%20lockbolt.htm

    Use the bolt to pretension the headset, then lock down the adjustment with the clamp collar (in
    place of the threadless stem). Remove the bolt. Then you can use any goofy old quill stem you like!
    Plus, no more busting the steerer in half by expanding the quill wedge in the threaded portion of
    the steer tube-- because there isn't one!

    You'll still want to observe the "max height" limit on your quill stem, since it's by nature much
    weaker than a threadless stem. And you'll have to use a fork with a steel steer tube, because
    materials like carbon fiber or aluminum are too thick-walled when made strong enough for this
    application. But who likes fancy materials like that, anyway?

    By using this retrofit method, you can observe the time-honored (and to hear quill stem advocates
    tell it, important) practice of changing your handlebar height 3 or 4 times per ride or even more,
    even while using a threadless headset.

    Chalo Colina
     
  14. On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:00:21 -0500, Corey Green wrote:

    > FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    > change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every
    > time you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is
    > easier when swapping the stem is simplified.

    What? Every time you change anything you have to buy another part. You can change the height with
    threaded in just a few seconds.

    Also, lots of quill stems these days have 2-bolt attachments, so you don't have to re-tape to
    replace the stem. But this is not a common thing. Raising/lowering the height is.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Become MicroSoft-free forever. Ask me how. _`\(,_ | (_)/ (_) |
     
  15. lisated

    lisated Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Bluto) wrote:

    > Threadless stems themselves are amazingly versatile tinkering supplies, as exemplified by the
    > Culty trike: http://www.culty.de/CULTY_1.JPG

    Although it takes nothing away from Bluto's point about threadless stems being a tinkerer's delight,
    that contraption should not be mistaken as a trike that would satisfy anyone interested in high
    performance and safety. Rear steer and a high centroid combined with anything more spirited than
    walking speed will crack those kids' heads like coconuts.

    --
    Ted Bennett Portland OR
     
  16. Corey Green

    Corey Green Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]>> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:00:21 -0500, Corey Green wrote:
    >
    > > FWIW - I love threadless because of the ability to tinker constantly with them. It is so easy to
    > > change the extension, angle, height (within reason), etc without have to retape the bars every
    > > time you want to change something. Always looking for the position that is that much better is
    > > easier when swapping the stem is simplified.
    >
    > What? Every time you change anything you have to buy another part. You can change the height with
    > threaded in just a few seconds.
    >
    > Also, lots of quill stems these days have 2-bolt attachments, so you don't have to re-tape to
    > replace the stem. But this is not a common thing. Raising/lowering the height is.

    Maybe changing extension isn't common for you, but common for many others in the world. I purposely
    keep two different lengths to use throughout the year for different purposes.

    What do you need to buy to change a threadless? Maybe a spacer of a different width, but what else?
     
  17. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Bluto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Corey Green) wrote

    > You can even mount multiple head tubes on the same steerer-- one of the proven ways to build a
    > tallbike. (What's a tallbike? One of these:
    > http://www.angelfire.com/mn/resistzine/bli/Tallbike.html )

    C'mon Chalo, aren't we tall enough?

    > Threadless stems themselves are amazingly versatile tinkering supplies, as exemplified by the
    > Culty trike: http://www.culty.de/CULTY_1.JPG

    Poor man's lugs!
     
  18. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    Chalo Colina wrote in message

    > If you just can't decide what height you want your bars, or you know you want to move them
    > mid-ride, you can still avail yourself of the superior strength and stiffness of a threadless
    > headset.
    >
    > You'll need the appropriate size clamp collar, since you won't be using a threadless stem:
    > http://www.ruland.com/cl.html
    >
    > And you'll need a long bolt with a couple of washers and a nut, or else a purpose-made device like
    > this: http://www.jrbicycles.com/answer%20stem%20lockbolt.htm
    >
    > Use the bolt to pretension the headset, then lock down the adjustment with the clamp collar (in
    > place of the threadless stem). Remove the bolt. Then you can use any goofy old quill stem you
    > like! Plus, no more busting the steerer in half by expanding the quill wedge in the threaded
    > portion of the steer tube-- because there isn't one!
    >
    > You'll still want to observe the "max height" limit on your quill stem, since it's by nature much
    > weaker than a threadless stem. And you'll have to use a fork with a steel steer tube, because
    > materials like carbon fiber or aluminum are too thick-walled when made strong enough for this
    > application. But who likes fancy materials like that, anyway?
    >
    > By using this retrofit method, you can observe the time-honored (and to hear quill stem advocates
    > tell it, important) practice of changing your handlebar height 3 or 4 times per ride or even more,
    > even while using a threadless headset.

    Do you need to use a quill stem? Couldn't you get adjustibility just by using the clamp collar to
    hold the headset adjustment and then slide a threadless stem up and down the steerer tube? This
    wouldn't work if it were necessary for some reason to have spacers underneath the stem. Is it?
     
  19. Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > It is only the fact that the handlebar height is less critical than the seat height that lets this
    > compromise exit.

    How much fine tuning do people tend to do with handlebar height? I haven't fiddled with the height
    at all since I bought my road bike, since I find it comfortable as is with the bar top about level
    with the saddle, but I'm curious how much you think I'd have to move it to notice a big difference

    (yeah, I know I should probably just try this myself to see, but so far I've been to lazy even with
    my threaded headset, and as I said I find it comfortable how it is).

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
    - Mark Twain
     
  20. Jon Isaacs wrote:
    >

    > 1. Make something easy to adjust and it will be adjusted properly, make it diffcult to adjust and
    > it will only be crudely adjusted.

    True, but you can't really call threadless "difficult to adjust."

    > 2. Each adjustment should be independent of other adjustments.

    Yes, nice.

    > In my view the fact that the headset needs to be adjusted each time the handlebar height is
    > changed makes about as much sense and requiring the BB to be adjusted each time the seat height is
    > adjusted.

    I does seem conceptually unfavorable. Practically speaking, it isn't too big of a deal.

    > It is only the fact that the handlebar height is less critical than the seat height that lets this
    > compromise exit.

    True, it isn't very critical, which is right next to saying it isn't really a compromise.

    > I dislike the fact that to adjust the handle bar height you have to adjust the headset. Sure they
    > are easier to adjust but with a quill stem you don't need to adjust it.

    Conceptually, yes. Practically, not too big of a deal.

    > Out on a ride, want to raise the handle bars a bit to experiment, with a quill stem it is a 30
    > second deal.

    Sure, but I never seem to need to adjust height while on a ride. I test my setups on the trainer.
    If out-on-a-ride adjustment is really important to you, then the marginal edge would go to
    threaded. It is not important to me. I would think that someone with your experience would know how
    high you want the bars.

    This is kind of like the "friction option" of bar-end shifters in case one falls down and the crash
    impact bends the r-der and/or hanger, and the result is bolloxed indexing. I've always had the
    friction option. In tens of thousands of miles, I've never needed this option. It is a good idea
    that I suspect isn't at all important in practice. Most crashes that mess the r-der or hanger will
    probably result in bike ride termination, and not because of the hanger or r-der damage.

    > I have also seen much longer quill stems available than threadless. I bought a quill stem with
    > about 10 inches of rise, stainless steel shaft with an aluminum clamp etc. Not too heavy and
    > amazingly stiff.

    This sounds like a need created by a bigger problem of improperly sized frames. "Availability" is
    perhaps important, but it alone doesn't separate the two systems (technically) for the purposes of
    most riders. I wouldn't buy a frame that required odd-ball stems in the first place. "Odd-ball" has
    its own availability problems when simply standing alone. With regard to "availability," removable
    clamps seem to be more ubiquitous on threadless stems than threaded. This is for no apparent
    technical reason, anymore than a threadless couldn't be built with a lot of rise. Personally, I
    really like the idea of removable clamps because I feel reach is about as important as height.

    I have a threadless bike and some threaded bikes. The threadless bike works just fine. If someone
    thinks they need a lot of flexibility and adjustability, then perhaps threaded has the edge. I
    haven't needed that level of adjustment. I think threaded is aesthetically more pleasing.
     
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