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Thread: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

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    Default Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    I just got my Speedvagen back from repaint. The old ChrisKing/Enve headset/stem aligned perfectly on the Enve fork steerer, so I think the headtube is faced properly. The new CaneCreek/Enve stem do not -- the gap in the top race/bearing is a bit wider toward the front when I tighten the top cap to load the bearings.

    The culprit *appears* to be that the top and/or bottom faces of the painted stem aren't truly perpendicular to the steerer axis.

    Is there a wedge-shaped spacer of some sort to fill the uneven gap between the bottom of the stem and the spacer under it? Maybe some polymer?
     

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Was the headtube faced again after paint?

    Stein makes a tool for facing stems but I've never seen one in person (Stem Facing Tool – steintool.com).

    A wedge doesn't sound like a good idea.
     

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    I don't know if the headtube was re-faced, or just masked, or what -- being Vanilla, I think/trust/hope it was done right. I'll try to find a bunch of spacers so I can see if everything behaves with just spacers. If it doesn't, I'll buy all the tools and do it myself. If it does look good with just spacers, I'll look into that tool you mentioned -- thanks!
     

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Wedge-spacer? Oh, no no no.
    Things aren't right there!

    I suppose the repaint wasn't cheap, so ask the people who did the job and installed the headset (if done in the same place) what's happened there. Ain't good!

    Facing a repainted headtube/stem can be risky, it needs some careful job to prepare the edges of the part to be faced, to prevent the paint from cracking and chipping off.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Right you are, the repaint was not cheap, nor the stem. I verified by mounting a Thomson alloy stem that the headtube is right, the steerer is nearly perfectly cut, and the headset is fine. The problem is the bottom face of the stem, and not the paint itself (which is done *very* nicely IMO). Here is a photo of the gap when pressed flat against the Thomson:

    unevenstem.jpeg

    Vanilla are going to figure out what they can do to help (yay, Vanilla!). If it were alloy, I could buy that tool Ryker mentioned to fix it. However, it's carbon. My other parts from Enve are pretty nice, but for $260 before paint, Enve might include one more check in their QA.

    Who knows, maybe I'll end up doing something nuts like getting Steve Potts to make a Ti stem, so I can *really* spend a lot. Heh.
     

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    This is unfortunately something stem manufactures love to ignore. It doesn't pose a problem 99% of the time so I can't say I exactly blame them. I completely understand your desire for a fancy custom painted stem to be square but the reality of it is that it's not going to be a real problem.

    TLDR, go ride your bike.

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by ryker View Post
    Stein makes a tool for facing stems but I've never seen one in person (Stem Facing Tool – steintool.com).

    .
    I not only owned one but helped make them.

    I sold mine to Tim @ Shamrock along with my stem jig.


    You would be surprised how bad a lot of stems are, but I think the gap you are showing is not enough to affect performance.


    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Flip the stem the other way round and see what happens, do it again with the forks turned at 180º.

    I refuse to think that with a manual tool (which will inevitably have a dead-point when you change hand) is more precise than 4-axis CNC.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    I refuse to think that with a manual tool (which will inevitably have a dead-point when you change hand) is more precise than 4-axis CNC.
    The problem is that the Enve stems come out of a mold and aren't post mold machined for square.

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    The problem is that the Enve stems come out of a mold and aren't post mold machined for square.
    This is true. I have an Enve stem that is not even close to square and some of the carbon is chipping away due to uneven headset pre-load pressure. In reality, it seems to have no detrimental impacts on how the headset engages or how the bike rides. However, it messes with my head a bit so a replacement stem is incoming.

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    Default Re: Threadless headset spacers and alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    The problem is that the Enve stems come out of a mold and aren't post mold machined for square.
    Correct, that's why I'd check with a cnc-machined stem that's know to do well, and flip it both ends.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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