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  1. #1
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    Are Marks (indent) on carbon fork from spacers normal?

    Doing some fall maintenance and noticed some marks on my fork steerer. It's about 5 years old on a caad 10.

    The larger mark goes all the way around and is enough to stop my nail when I run it down the steerer.

    Is that normal? Why does it happen and should I be concerned?

    Thanks

    Edit: the main mark seems to be right were the bottom of my stem is. However I don't think I've over tightened. I have a torque wrench. Also a few faint lines below that mark. They must be from the spacers as I've never had my stem lower
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are Marks (indent) on carbon fork from spacers normal?-20181021_222653.jpg  
    Last edited by sheepherder; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    not in my experience.
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  3. #3
    BikerFox Wannabe
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    Carbon fiber is increadibly strong stuff. Those marks would not concern me. But I would keep an eye on them I suppose.
    Did you ride with your headset loose for an extended period of time? Movement/banging around for thousands of miles could have caused that perhaps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zero85ZEN View Post
    Carbon fiber is increadibly strong stuff. Those marks would not concern me. But I would keep an eye on them I suppose.
    Did you ride with your headset loose for an extended period of time? Movement/banging around for thousands of miles could have caused that perhaps.
    those marks are on the aluminum steerer.
    and carbon fiber is stiff (and even fragile), it's not strong

    but you're right about not being too overly concerned about the OP's fork, they're just little scores. However, if the OP doesn't feel confident about it, then it's best he replace the fork. It's pretty hard to ask him to "keep an eye" on this situation unless we realistically expect him to remove the fork to examine it before every ride or even every other ride or even once a week.

  5. #5
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    That's a carbon steerer tube too, right? It's possible that the headset bearing preload wasn't properly adjusted before you tightened your stem bolts...I could see that allowing enough play in the steerer to cause the stem or spacers to score it. But I'm really reaching there.

  6. #6
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    That is a carbon fork with an aluminum steer tube, come on.
    CF is stronger than aluminum, period! But you can't bend it, it will shatter.

    Put that thing back in the bike & ride.
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  7. #7
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    It's a carbon steerer full carbon fork.

    I had someone look at it and said it's fine. I'll just keep an eye on it.

    I've usually tightened to the upper limits. I probably should just tighten to what's needed. Should thr spacers below the stem be easily turned after everything is on correctly?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    It's a carbon steerer full carbon fork.

    I had someone look at it and said it's fine. I'll just keep an eye on it.

    I've usually tightened to the upper limits. I probably should just tighten to what's needed. Should thr spacers below the stem be easily turned after everything is on correctly?
    No, spacers should be tight. I get the sense you need help on assembling this. try a google search.
    BTW, you can look up the specs on your bike - year / model to see what the manufacture says about the fork. That sure looks like alu-min-ee-um to me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    It's a carbon steerer full carbon fork.

    I had someone look at it and said it's fine. I'll just keep an eye on it.

    I've usually tightened to the upper limits. I probably should just tighten to what's needed. Should thr spacers below the stem be easily turned after everything is on correctly?
    Umm, no. Sounds like you may have a spacer height issue? You really need to let someone qualified check over your bike it sounds like.

  10. #10
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    No it's full carbon. I was just making sure about the spacers as under lower torque they do move without force.with close to max torque no movement

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    No it's full carbon. I was just making sure about the spacers as under lower torque they do move without force.with close to max torque no movement
    Huh? The torque on your stem has no bearing on whether the spacers are tight.

    The spacers are tightened by the preload bolt, which is NOT torqued.
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  12. #12
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    So if I tighten the preload bolt to where the play is gone the spacers move a bit with some force. If I tighten a little extra after any play is gone the spacers don't move

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    So if I tighten the preload bolt to where the play is gone the spacers move a bit with some force. If I tighten a little extra after any play is gone the spacers don't move
    Tighten to where there is NO play in the spacers, not even with force.

    Lock down the pre-load solid and snug, then a touch more, and lastly set the stem bolts to the stated torque Nm.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by askmass View Post
    Tighten to where there is NO play in the spacers, not even with force.

    Lock down the pre-load solid and snug, then a touch more, and lastly set the stem bolts to the stated torque Nm.
    Thanks, this is what I have been doing. I just making sure its not incorrect. I have seen videos online that where they don't really lock down the pre load. Just to a point there is no play when holding the front break down and rocking the bike. I can get to that point but the spacers have a lot of movement. I do tighten more to get no movement on the spacers

  15. #15
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    You're telling me that silver shaft in the picture is carbon fiber? Unbelievable!
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  16. #16
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    I wouldn't mess around with a carbon or Aluminum steerer with a score mark around it.

    That's how things Snap apart!

    You had "someone look at it and they said it's fine"? Oh yeah, that's comforting.
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    those marks are on the aluminum steerer.
    and carbon fiber is stiff (and even fragile), it's not strong

    but you're right about not being too overly concerned about the OP's fork, they're just little scores. However, if the OP doesn't feel confident about it, then it's best he replace the fork. It's pretty hard to ask him to "keep an eye" on this situation unless we realistically expect him to remove the fork to examine it before every ride or even every other ride or even once a week.
    My goodness. The things that are written on the web.

    - Carbon fiber is not fragile and very strong.

    - At least you got the part right about being an aluminum steerer.

    - OP, those are score marks largely due to burrs on your stem. Many mechanics that are particular deburr a given stem prior to assembly. More critical with carbon fiber which has lower abrasion resistance compared to Al.

    - you do NOT have to replace the fork. It is fine. Take some #600 emery cloth and polish out the score marks fractionally and if you like, deburr your stem where you see the intersection between stem and steerer caused the marks.

    No big deal. Ride the wheels off it and not another worry.

    You can ride your CAAD10 another 10 years without issue.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are Marks (indent) on carbon fork from spacers normal?-tem.jpg  
    Last edited by 11spd; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:30 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    Thanks, this is what I have been doing. I just making sure its not incorrect. I have seen videos online that where they don't really lock down the pre load. Just to a point there is no play when holding the front break down and rocking the bike. I can get to that point but the spacers have a lot of movement. I do tighten more to get no movement on the spacers
    The right procedure to set preload on integrated headsets is to tighten to the point where the bar does not turn on its own when the front end is lifted and tilted to one side. Then you back off preload slightly until it does turn. The method of checking by feeling for looseness when holding front brake and rocking usually results in too low a preload.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    It's a carbon steerer full carbon fork.
    Nah, I don't think so - looks like Aluminum to me - never seen a silver carbon steering tube.

    There's a components and wrenching forum which is where this would fit better - just an FYI
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodboyr View Post
    The right procedure to set preload on integrated headsets is to tighten to the point where the bar does not turn on its own when the front end is lifted and tilted to one side. Then you back off preload slightly until it does turn. The method of checking by feeling for looseness when holding front brake and rocking usually results in too low a preload.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    Not to take exception to what you write goodboyr because I believe you do this for a living and basically know what you are talking about....there is some variation in the industry how its done or acceptable practice. For example I have been building bikes with threadless headsets since they were invented and have never torqued the tensioning bolt to the point with the wheel off the ground and tilted that the handlebar won't turn as a pre-step. To me, this is too much compression on the bearings even though you suggest backing off on this level of headset tension.

    But back to the OP, the witness/score line you show 'can' but not necessarily be due to too loose a headset prior to the stem clamp bolts being tightened. A slightly loose headset can promote scoring of the steerer due to movement on the road over bumps. But typically score marks are a function of a stress riser aka stress concentration due to burrs on a stem/spacers and/or a slightly less than firm headset which promotes a slight tangential imprinting of the steerer due to high stress concentration relative to the rest of the clamping surface area.
    Btw, this is common and you likely see it everyday and FWIW it is no big deal at all unless score marks are deep in particular in carbon fiber.

    A last point about headset tightness. What's the beef if there is no 'chuckle'?..chuckle being the term for chucking/pitch of the steerer within the headset aka unwanted movement/rattle.

    The beef pertains to the bearings themselves. There is a phenomena in engineering due to higher frequency concentrated loading of bearings called 'brinelling' of bearings. Brinelling which is the namesake for Brinell hardness is due to spot loading of bearings due to pounding...what can occur with motion and vertical velocity of bearings against their seats. This ruins bearings of course and why preload is critically important to preclude this displacement. What is desired is Goldiocks...not too tight and not too loose. No vertical displacement but not too much compression which can also prematurely wear headset bearings.

    https://www.rexnord.com/blog/article...-is-brinelling
    Last edited by 11spd; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:13 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Nah, I don't think so - looks like Aluminum to me - never seen a silver carbon steering tube.

    There's a components and wrenching forum which is where this would fit better - just an FYI
    Last point, not really because I don't go there but yes, the collective has some value if you can sift through the copious disinformation.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Nah, I don't think so - looks like Aluminum to me - never seen a silver carbon steering tube.

    There's a components and wrenching forum which is where this would fit better - just an FYI
    It's just the picture. That's a carbon steerer I Think the lightening and flash made it look like that. It's carbon

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    Not to take exception to what you write goodboyr because I believe you do this for a living and basically know what you are talking about....there is some variation in the industry how its done or acceptable practice. For example I have been building bikes with threadless headsets since they were invented and have never torqued the tensioning bolt to the point with the wheel off the ground and tilted that the handlebar won't turn as a pre-step. To me, this is too much compression on the bearings even though you suggest backing off on this level of headset tension.

    But back to the OP, the witness/score line you show 'can' but not necessarily be due to too loose a headset prior to the stem clamp bolts being tightened. A slightly loose headset can promote scoring of the steerer due to movement on the road over bumps. But typically score marks are a function of a stress riser aka stress concentration due to burrs on a stem/spacers and/or a slightly less than firm headset which promotes a slight tangential imprinting of the steerer due to high stress concentration relative to the rest of the clamping surface area.
    Btw, this is common and you likely see it everyday and FWIW it is no big deal at all unless score marks are deep in particular in carbon fiber.

    A last point about headset tightness. What's the beef if there is no 'chuckle'?..chuckle being the term for chucking/pitch of the steerer within the headset aka unwanted movement/rattle.

    The beef pertains to the bearings themselves. There is a phenomena in engineering due to higher frequency concentrated loading of bearings called 'brinelling' of bearings. Brinelling which is the namesake for Brinell hardness is due to spot loading of bearings due to pounding...what can occur with motion and vertical velocity of bearings against their seats. This ruins bearings of course and why preload is critically important to preclude this displacement. What is desired is Goldiocks...not too tight and not too loose. No vertical displacement but not too much compression which can also prematurely wear headset bearings.

    https://www.rexnord.com/blog/article...-is-brinelling
    Thanks for all the info

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
    It's just the picture. That's a carbon steerer I Think the lightening and flash made it look like that. It's carbon
    You are still ok. The 'modeling' of the steerer which shows the non homogeneous nature of carbon should have been the given away it is carbon...but the flash sure made it look like Al.

    For reassurance, you are still good because the score marks aren't deep.

    If you want to be anal do the following. Use #600 wet paper and lightly sand/polish the score marks out. Before doing so, loosen stem clamp bolts and hand fit the stem onto the steerer and determine where the interface of the stem or spacers are creating the score line. It is typically, right at the base of the stem clamp. This is because the base of the stem clamp is where the stem 'toggles' under load. If this edge isn't buffered or has a slight chamfer or radius, this load concentration can make this circumferential 'dent' in the carbon. That is what it is..due to excessive compression of the stem clamp bottom edge placing high force per unit area along the base of the stem clamp. Score lines can be created by other burrs within the stem clamp as well both in front and in rear.

    Don't sweat it. You can make it a bit better. Make sure your preload is nice and firm and you torque the stem clamp bolts to spec which is typically 5 N-m or so.

  25. #25
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    Please post a picture of the end of the steer tube, not the side.
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