Carbon Steerer-tube's compression plug won't stay in place
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  1. #1
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    Carbon Steerer-tube's compression plug won't stay in place

    I have a new fork (Fondriest Top Carb) that I have a FSA compressor plug for. I insert the plug and tighten up the 5mm allen to set the plug into place. When I tighten the top-cap to tension the headset, the plug migrates up-therefore I can't get the headset under tension. This happens even if the plug is very tight. The steerer tube's wall thickness may be a factor (it is almost 3mm thick, much thicker than any other carbon fork I have seen) or it may be the slick finish, which allows the plug to slip under pressure. I have used the FSA Compressor on another Fondriest fork (Domina MCFull) with good results, but I am having trouble with this one. Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    plug

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    I have a new fork (Fondriest Top Carb) that I have a FSA compressor plug for. I insert the plug and tighten up the 5mm allen to set the plug into place. When I tighten the top-cap to tension the headset, the plug migrates up-therefore I can't get the headset under tension. This happens even if the plug is very tight. The steerer tube's wall thickness may be a factor (it is almost 3mm thick, much thicker than any other carbon fork I have seen) or it may be the slick finish, which allows the plug to slip under pressure. I have used the FSA Compressor on another Fondriest fork (Domina MCFull) with good results, but I am having trouble with this one. Any ideas?
    Try shooting some hair spray down the steerer, and let dry.

  3. #3

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    I had the same problem but with a different plug I put together with some lighter parts To stop the slippage both when securing the plug and tightening the top cap, I scuffed the circumference of the plug with a Dremel sanding drum bit in two directions, alternating between 5mm sections of vertical and horizontal sanding. Actually, I first sanded all the way around then made vertical scuffs in a second pass.

    Is yours finished farther than mine yet? ;) I'm expecting the correct seatpost this week so I can finally finish the build (Ignore the one in there now. It's only for hanging the bike from the ceiling).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Oh yeah, my Carbon LEX is done. I rode it today-it's virgin ride turned into a monsoon at 5 deg C. We headed out on an organized "ice-cream ride" where we do a nice 65 mile loop, then go to the ice-cream shoppe after we finish (included in the $10 fee). Anyways, about 4 miles into the ride, it started to rain, then harder and harder. A cold front had dropped in from the Gulf of Alaska here in Oregon and pounded us with rain and cold wind-we climb to 6,000 feet on this ride, and it was almost snowing-almost an inch of rain fell in 4 hours, very unusual for August. What a miserable ride. Not to mention that my "raingear" consisted of a pair of armwarmers-no gloves even (my stupid mistake).

    Anyways, it came with the Selcof seatpost, so no waiting around for parts. I used your tips regarding BB installation, FD cable routing (nokon liner) and tapping the dropout threads-the bike went together without trouble, except for the compression plug. I thought I had it tight-there was quite a bit of resistance when tightening the top cap, but that turned out to be the compression plug migrating upward. I found out on the long descent; the front end started to get the shimmies-not a nice feeling when your hands are completely numb and you are using all the available force in your hands to just grip the bars.

    The bike rides like a dream. It is smoother over chip-seal than my Fondy Carb Level, yet much stiffer out of the saddle. This bike is incredibly stiff at the BB-definitely not a tourist bike, but a stiff, aggressive race bike. Waves in the road and large cracks/ridges are immediately transferred to the rider (moreso than the Carb Level), but "road buzz" is dampened very well. I don't have a speedometer mounted yet, but I am pedaling 1/2 to 1 gear bigger at the same cadence, probably due to the smoothness and lack of jarring, which keeps the wheels on the road better. Also, the fork has to be the best on the market. The steerer tube is almost 1mm thicker than that on the Domina MC full (Carb Level fork) and as a result, the Top Carb fork is incredibly stiff-my current Top Carb fork/Ritchey WCS stem/Millenium 26.0 bar combo is much stiffer and better handling than the Domina MC Full fork/3T Forgie XLstem/Forgie XL 31.8 bar combo on the Carb Level frame. I actually think that a Forgie XL stem/bar combo would be too stiff for the LEX frame/Top Carb fork, at least for a 150lb rider such as myself. Overall, the bike really is incredible-I would say that it is up there in the "superbikes" category-I doubt there is a better frame available. Certainly betters my Fondy Carb Level, and is head and shoulders above the Colnago CT1 I used to have. I will post pics of my bike soon.

    I took out a bit of rough sandpaper (similiar to the dremel idea, but a quick fix) and the compression plug seemed to hold. So, I think I am okay. If I can't get it to set right, I may try the Profile plug, as it has twice the surface area of the FSA plug. Thanks for the help.

  5. #5

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    ....I was wondering about the fork steerer myself. Only from handling it the blades feel sort of supple but the steerer tube itself gave a mega beefy impression. I'm about 161lb @ 6' 0.5" I hope the 57 frame size will handle as well as yours. It sure sounds good

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