Hello plus a question

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Hello plus a question

Postby beeb1506 » Sat May 31, 2008 11:52 am

Hi, I've been reading these boards for a few weeks now and have learnt a lot so I guess a retrospecive 'thanks' is in order.

I'm getting back to cycling having focused more on running in the last few years, I bought a bike second hand a number of years ago and although it got used for training and the occasional triathlon it's been collecting dust now for a number of years, so the first task is a strip down and clean. The thing is I'm far more familiar with 80's bike engineering than todays so I'm on a learning curve so to speak. For reference the bike is a Lemond Zurich circa 99, mainly white plus a bit of red. It's a 853 frame (always loved Reynolds) with Ultegra group and Rolf Vector Comp wheels and my trusty old Brooks Pro saddle bought way back in the 80's I think.

So far I've changed the tyres to some Conti GP4000s and removed the chain, cassette, rear derrailleur and front cogs for cleaning. Other parts will be cleaned on the bike. All interesting stuff (probably more for me than you!) but my question actually relates to the stem / forks. It's currently got a Richey quill type stem (120mm I think) which I want to reduce in length as it's a bit of a stretch for me - all other dimensions on the bike are fine.

As I understand it there are two options for me, either try and find another quill stem that is a bit shorter which is proving quite difficult right now or change the forks to the threadless system. My questions is, when I'm looking at replacement forks (either new or 2nd hand) there are 2 different sizes, 1" or 1 and an eigth ", how do I know which one I need? I've read a bit on the pros and cons of the 2 systems, there doesn't seem to be any huge advantage of the new system other than parts availability, am I off the mark here?

I'm still not sure which way I'll go but I do want to reduce the stretch, it's really the only thing that's putting me off riding more distance. I'm hoping to do more w'end rides, especially out of Sydney - I'm located around St Leonards so the riding around here is not great.

Anyway, sorry for the long and rambling post - I thought a bit of background might help. Looking forward to getting back on 2 wheels and thanks in advance for any help. I might even be able to answer some questions - but only if they relate to 80's road bikes!
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by BNA » Sat May 31, 2008 12:09 pm

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Postby nzdans » Sat May 31, 2008 12:09 pm

Howdy and welcome!

Firstly to check what size you currently have; remove the quill stem from the fork steerer tube. The stem should have the diameter written on the side somewhere that would have been hidden when fitted. If it is 22.2 it's 1" and 25.4 for 1 1/8.

As you probably realise you'll not only be up for forks and stem but headset and some spaces as well if/when you switch to threadless. You may as well go for it as you will be able to get your position spot on, maybe score some comfier/lighter carbon forks and may even notice the increase in stiffness. Unfortunately to do the fit properly you will most likely need a bike shop to fit the headset cups and crown race as they have the tools for getting these bearing seats mounted squarely.
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Postby thomas_cho » Sat May 31, 2008 12:27 pm

The cheapest option is to find a short reach quill stem. I have seen some Nittos go as short as 65mm. Do a search on ebay, or get them from http://3ringcycles.com/

Given that you are using a threaded system, I am guessing your frame takes a 1 inch steerer tube. 1 inch forks are not very common now, except for the really high end ones. The last time I enquired at a shop, the quote was $300-400. You will also have to purchase a 1 inch threadless headset. However these forks are carbon everything, and you will likely experience some weight savings over your current fork.

There are some no-name 1 inch forks on ebay, that go for $170 delivered.

My opinion is stay with your threaded headset if there is nothing wrong with it. Try and measure yourself up, and get the right quill stem for yourself. The costs do not seem to justify the benefits.
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Postby leguman » Sat May 31, 2008 2:17 pm

Hi Beeb,
another option is to use a quill to ahead adaptor. I've got an old steel framed roadie with threaded 1" forks and have used an adaptor made by ITM. It means you can keep your old forks but use the "modern" stems and bars. Using the newer setup will mean you can experiment more with stem length/angle to find the best riding position for you. Much better than trying to find a whole bunch of different length quill stems and cheaper than replacing forks/headset etc.


good luck
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Postby beeb1506 » Sat May 31, 2008 2:48 pm

Thanks for all the really quick replies. The forks that came with the bike are carbon although I've no idea what make or if they're really any good. I have seen the adaptors but when I took a look at one in a shop it seemed quite heavy - maybe a kilo or more which I thought was excessive so I ruled them out - maybe I didn't see the good ones?

I took a look at the stem, it's a 130mm (I thought it was 120 so it's good I checked) and although it doesn't say it on it I measured the diameter as 22mm; which I guess is a 22.2mm or 1" tube. It also doesn't raise more than a centimetre or two, not one I would pick for sure. It says Richey graphite on the side.

I think I only want to take a centimeter or two off the stem length, someone mentioned that even small amounts can make a big difference so I don't want to go too short. Thanks for the link, do they ship to Australia? Are Nittos good, there other brands I should look at?

Thanks again for the quick response.
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Postby LuckyPierre » Sat May 31, 2008 8:36 pm

Let us know where you are - quite a few of us have a box of odds and ends and I know that there are several 1" threaded stems of varying lengths in mine. I've got a couple of 'no-name' 90 mm ones that you could try, before you lash out and start wholesale changes.
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Postby il padrone » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:08 pm

beeb1506 wrote:I took a look at the stem, it's a 130mm (I thought it was 120 so it's good I checked) and although it doesn't say it on it I measured the diameter as 22mm; which I guess is a 22.2mm or 1" tube. It also doesn't raise more than a centimetre or two, not one I would pick for sure. It says Richey graphite on the side.

I think I only want to take a centimeter or two off the stem length, someone mentioned that even small amounts can make a big difference so I don't want to go too short.


What city/suburb are you in? I have an unused 120mm 3ttt stem, a lovely piece of kit, that I bought on ebay. I thought it would be OK and got a rush of passion before I'd measured mine, which was 100mm and too long. I'm in Melbourne, eastern suburbs.

Agree that a small change can make all the difference. I got another 3ttt quill stem, 90mm ie. 10mm shorter, and it is just the right length.
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Postby Jean » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:21 pm

beeb1506 wrote:Are Nittos good, there other brands I should look at?


I've never had one but have been looking at their ahead (threadlesss) stems recently because they're just about the only ones you can get in a silver finish these days. The company has a very good record with track bikes and they have a bit of fixie cult following these days as a result. I doubt you'd go wrong with a Nitto - tough as nails by all accounts, and a hell of a lot stiffer.
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Postby beeb1506 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:28 pm

Ok, so the decision kind of got made for me. I've bought a set of Ritchey threadless carbon forks with a 1" diameter off ebay, unused with 2 stems thrown in, all for less than 1 stem would of cost me new. If it's what is claimed and one of the stems is a good fit then I'll be very happy.

At least this takes me into the modern era for these things so stems should be a lot easier to source if I still need to change it. Thanks for the suggestions and the offer of alternatives, I may yet take you up on it if this solution doesn't work out, of course I'm happy to trade or pay whatever seems reasonable for these things.

For future reference I'm in Sydney, St Leonards which is lower N shore - not the most cycle friendly area from my experiences so far.

Now onto my next issue which I'll post in a new thread as its unrelated to this one.
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Postby thomas_cho » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:24 pm

What headset are you going to go with?
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Postby beeb1506 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:52 am

thomas_cho wrote:What headset are you going to go with?


From the pics it looks like the headset is attached, ebay item number 260244848028. I'll need to get a quote from the LBS to fit it all.
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