Something to Do (Part 8)

Posted by Dutchman Thursday, October 29, 2009

Headset, Fork, Stems and Handlebars

My front cable hanger finally arrived, so I'm ready to install the fork. First, I greased the bearing surfaces and placed the lower bearing on the fork crown. The fork was then placed up through the headtube. The top bearing is next, followed by a bushing, thin washer, and top cover. The top cover has an o-ring inside to keep moisture out of the headset.

The angle of the cable hanger interfered with the top cover, so I had to place a 5mm spacer below it. Above the cable hanger, is the first stem. It is a Ritchey Pro of 110mm placed with its 6 degree angle downwards. Following this, is another spacer and finally the Ritchey Pro 100mm with upward angle of 30 degrees. I know the use of two stems seams weird. I'm testing an idea I discovered on the Crazy Guy on a Bike touring website.

Most tourers like to have a handlebar bag for their maps and items they wish to have handy while riding. In addition there is the need to mount such things as computers, GPS units, LED lights, and interrupter brakes on the handlebars. This is a problem as all these items can interfere with brake and shifter cables as well as require space on the bars that are at a premium. One solution is to add the second stem, with a short piece of PVC pipe or sawed down handlebar that can add attachment space below and away from the handlebar.


I purchased a used Specialized handlebar from eBay, sawed the ends off with a hacksaw, and painted the exposed ends. I left the ends a little long, so as to allow for attachment space. Once I complete and test this setup, I may shorten the bar if necessary. I intend to attach a Topeak Tourguide bag. The drop handlebars on the upper stem will have Cane Creek Cross levers installed.

Once the full "stack" was in place, I marked the steerer tube in preparation for cutting it down to the necessary 3mm below stack height. This allows the top cap and bolt to have the proper clearance needed to preload the headset bearings. Of course, that means disassembling everything so that the tube can be cut with a hacksaw. I purchased a Nasbar Star Nut installer, which allowed for quick and easy placment of the nut, at exactly the proper depth. Everything was re-assembled and the bearings were loaded. I mounted the two handle bars so that I could make sure the stems were straight. Then the stems and the cable hanger were tightened with a torque wrench, working from top to bottom. Below are photos of the installation. Like I said, kind of weird, but we'll see how it works. I can always go back to the standard configuration by removing the lower stem and cutting down the steerer tube.

Nasbar Star Nut Tool


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I'm a middle aged divorced father living with my two sons. We like to canoe, bicycle, fish, camp, play baseball, and spend money when we want and where we want, without permission from anybody. HA!


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