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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Seeking Advice on steering tube rse

    My comfortable position on a bike is pretty upright. There are a few reasons for it but it come down to comfort. I have a Reynolds Comp Ouzo II fork that has either an aluminum or aluminum alloy riser (I saw it referred to both ways). The fork is already cut at a height that is too low for me. The professional fitter suggested getting a new fork and leaving 4-5 inches of riser above the steering tube in order to use a normal stem.

    The service manager felt that it would be unsafe to put the stem that high. Instead, they got it as high as they felt comfortable by using a 3/4" spacer and a very steep stem. I think is is 85 degrees. The only marking I could find on the stem is the manufacturer "MJ Cycle". I could not find the same stem on their web site. With that arrangement, the handlebar is still 1.5" too low.

    I have read the threads here about steering tube extenders. I have picked up that they are frowned on by style police but I have not read any concerns about safety.

    Would it be safe to put an SM 1975 steerer extender and then a stem that would give me the same geometry as my touring bike that is comfortably fit?

    Also please let me know if I need to clarify the question. After all, I got into this boat by not knowing enough to ask the right questions. If it would help to give the dimensions of the bike that fits well, what dimensions should I post?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    NeoRetroGrouch
    Reputation: TurboTurtle's Avatar
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    "My comfortable position on a bike is pretty upright. There are a few reasons for it but it come down to comfort. I have a Reynolds Comp Ouzo II fork that has either an aluminum or aluminum alloy riser (I saw it referred to both ways)."

    Same thing. All 'aluminum' is an aluminum alloy. Alloy is also used as a term for aluminum in cycling even though steel and titanium are also alloys.

    "The fork is already cut at a height that is too low for me. The professional fitter suggested getting a new fork and leaving 4-5 inches of riser above the steering tube in order to use a normal stem."

    I would have no problem with the safety of this as long as it is a steel steerer tube.

    "The service manager felt that it would be unsafe to put the stem that high. Instead, they got it as high as they felt comfortable by using a 3/4" spacer and a very steep stem. I think is is 85 degrees. The only marking I could find on the stem is the manufacturer "MJ Cycle". I could not find the same stem on their web site. With that arrangement, the handlebar is still 1.5" too low.

    I have read the threads here about steering tube extenders. I have picked up that they are frowned on by style police but I have not read any concerns about safety."

    They are head tube extenders (not steering tube extendors) and they are better because the place the bearings further up the steerer tube so that there is less leverage on the steerer tube.

    The style police will frown on anything that you do to raise the bars.

    "Would it be safe to put an SM 1975 steerer extender and then a stem that would give me the same geometry as my touring bike that is comfortably fit?"

    Again, I would not use this except with a fork with a steel steeerer tube.

    "Also please let me know if I need to clarify the question. After all, I got into this boat by not knowing enough to ask the right questions. If it would help to give the dimensions of the bike that fits well, what dimensions should I post?"

    It would help to know whether it is a 1" or a 1 1/8" head tube.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  3. #3
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    Head Tube /Steering Tube Extenders

    Thank you for the advice about using the head tube, not the steering tube extender. Also for your perspective on style.

    I am pretty sure that I have a 1" rather than a 1-1/8 " riser and will measure it and post again tonight.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    It looks like the tube that my steep stem is clamped on is 1-1/8". I measured by removing the cover of the stem and using a ruler to get the outside diameter.

  5. #5
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    Measurement of steerer tube

    It looks like the tube that my steep stem is clamped on is 1-1/8". I measured by removing the cover of the stem and using a ruler to get the outside diameter.

    PS - this is a do over. I think I responded at the wrong level of the thread last night.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeRider
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    If the bars are still 1.5" too low, seems like you maybe you could use that new fork with 2.25" of spacers and your current stem. Of course raising the stem also brings the bars closer to you and then you may need a longer stem. Don't worry too much about style, just ride and enjoy it, being in pain or not riding at all is not stylish either. If you do get a new fork I recommend not cutting it until you are sure you have it dialed in. I ride with spacers above and below my stem just in case I ever want to change things around.

  7. #7
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    New stem

    Right now, I am leaning toward doing one of two things:

    1. Using a head tube extender and the existing stem. The problem there is that I am finding the steering a little erratic because the stem has a long vertical rise and a short horizontal dimension.
    2. Getting a fork with a steel steering tube, using a stem that will bring my weight a little forward on the bike, and placing the stem higher on the fork.

    I just tried working with google to find forks with steel steering tubes; that will be very tedious. Can someone suggest a way to simplify that search. I like the Reynolds fork but I could not find the material of the steering tube riser on their site. I need help finding a good fork with a steel steering tube.

    Thank you.

  8. #8
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripvws
    Right now, I am leaning toward doing one of two things:

    1. Using a head tube extender and the existing stem. The problem there is that I am finding the steering a little erratic because the stem has a long vertical rise and a short horizontal dimension.
    2. Getting a fork with a steel steering tube, using a stem that will bring my weight a little forward on the bike, and placing the stem higher on the fork.

    I just tried working with google to find forks with steel steering tubes; that will be very tedious. Can someone suggest a way to simplify that search. I like the Reynolds fork but I could not find the material of the steering tube riser on their site. I need help finding a good fork with a steel steering tube.

    Thank you.
    This one is steel.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5232

    I would still use a head tube extender if possible to get the bearings higher.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  9. #9
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    Who sells head tube extenders?

  10. #10
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by wants185s
    Who sells head tube extenders?
    Specialized and some of the custom Ti builders. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  11. #11
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    Head tube extenders

    Thank you for pointing out that I can use the head tube extender regardless of my two choices. Seeing the picture of the head tube extender on the Performance link that you provided helped. I still cannot quite visualize how the fork, steering tube, head tube, head tube bearings and stem all go together.

    I think I caught a break based on your suggestion. I contacted the professional fitter that I referred to at the beginning of the post. He apparently feels more confident of the safety of the arrangement by raising the bars using the head tube extender than he was with raising the stem on the new fork. I will present the ideas that I have picked up in this thread and see where we end up.

    Thank you, Turbo and andulong, for your help. I laugh every time I see Turbo's signature line, I relate to it well.

  12. #12
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripvws
    I still cannot quite visualize how the fork, steering tube, head tube, head tube bearings and stem all go together.
    I'll take a crack at it. In case it's not clear, a HT extension requires a new fork. The top race of the headset is removed from the head tube, and the extender put in it's place. Then the headset is installed on top of the extender, the fork inserted through, appropriate spacers and stems added, the steerer cut to length, and so on.

    Here's some details that will help with the big picture - just add the extender between the head tube and the top race.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=65
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  13. #13
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    Explanation of head tube extender

    Wow. All that hammering and pressing is scary. I must say, though, that this thing is making me feel stupid. After an hour of studying it, I just tried to write a simplified explanation of how it works and realized that I was describing a steering tube externder, not a head tube extender.

    Let me try an explanation, along with with part that I still do not understand, so someone can show me what I am missing.

    The bearing assembly at the top of the frame head tube is removed. The head tube extender is inserted in its place. Then the bearing assembly is fit into the top of the extender. I suppose more hammering has to go on to get the head tube extender in place. If my explanation is correct, I am concerned with the small amount of metal at the top of the frame head tube that is holding the extender in place. Is this rational or am I still missing how this goes together?

    Thank you for inching my understanding along.

  14. #14
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripvws
    Wow. All that hammering and pressing is scary. I must say, though, that this thing is making me feel stupid. After an hour of studying it, I just tried to write a simplified explanation of how it works and realized that I was describing a steering tube externder, not a head tube extender.

    Let me try an explanation, along with with part that I still do not understand, so someone can show me what I am missing.

    The bearing assembly at the top of the frame head tube is removed. The head tube extender is inserted in its place. Then the bearing assembly is fit into the top of the extender. I suppose more hammering has to go on to get the head tube extender in place. If my explanation is correct, I am concerned with the small amount of metal at the top of the frame head tube that is holding the extender in place. Is this rational or am I still missing how this goes together?

    Thank you for inching my understanding along.
    If you look on the Specialized site you see three kinds (two pictured). I THINK this is what they are offering:

    If you have an integrated headset it means that the race that the bearings run on is part of the head tube. You cannot remove it. In this case you would need the one pictured on the left that has the rounded part that sits in the race plus a smaller diameter piece that would be pressed down inside the race/headtube. This would be the one they are calling Campagnolo Standard.

    If you have a pressed in, zero-stack headset it looks like an integrated headset but is actually a separate pressed in piece. It can be removed (though not necessarily easily) and an extender pressed in its place. The extender would come with a race pressed in or you would have to press in the one you removed. I think this is what the Mindset is.

    If you have a standard headset, the race comes with the headset and is pressed in the top of the headtube. It can be easily tapped out. The extender is pressed into the headtube and the race you took out is pressed into the extender. This would be the non-integrated cup.

    Again, I know little about Specialized so find an expert before you order anything or commit. But even if I'm wrong about the specifics, these are the kinds of headsets that you may be dealing with. Also go to the ParkTool.com website and look though their headset explanations and installation procedures. Pictures help.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the pictures

    The picture of the head tube extenders helped close the gap in my understanding. As for the Park Tool site, it confirmed my conviction to stay away from my bike when I am holding tools. God bless the LBS's of the world. Hammering the bike for goodness' sake.

    I also saw why the LBS has set some limits on how high they will go. I am not sure that I trust the short piece that goes into the head tube to support the stress of the 4-5 inches that I would like to extend my stem. My comfortable position must be closer to the position of a hybrid rider than a road racer.

    Thanks to all of you for helping me understand my LBS. I will go with their advice from here.

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