- Tapered steerer – does it really make a difference?
I suspect it’s measurable in a laboratory, I can’t really tell when riding though.
What it does do is make using a fatter head tube more aesthetically pleasing. 1 1/8″ forks in big head tubes look a bit odd sometimes.
And you can feel the difference a stiffer head tube/down tube junction makes so I guess if the tapered steerer is a price to pay for a fatter head tube then it’s ok?Posted 4 years agoska-49Member
Yes, they made a big difference with my 29er rebas.
Everything stayed the same apart from the fork (warranty job).
I could 100% tell the difference. I wasn’t even bothered when first installing. Didn’t think it would make a difference, but it did.
Reba, 100mm, 29er, 15QR on a Chumba HX2 frame with hope headset.Posted 4 years agorocketmanMember
Went from QR std steerer Revs to 20mm tapered steerer Revs on the same bike and the difference was quite noticeable. I’m familiar enough with my local loop to be able to watch what the forks are doing on some obstacles and there was a visible difference as well as an improvement in handling.
The axle helped to prevent the fork legs from ‘walking’ and the tapered steerer reduced the amount of backwards-forwards chatter, which made the forks go up-and-down more rather than simply flexing.Posted 4 years agonjee20Subscriber
Purely anecdotal but… a few years back I changed from a 2010 Top Fuel to a 2011 one. Same wheel, same bar/stem, but the old one was a SID with straight steerer, the new one had a Fox 32 with tapered steerer. The 2011 one handled a lot better, just felt more like it went where you pointed it. Could just be that the Fox is a lot stiffer than the SID, or could be tapered steerer. Dunno.Posted 4 years agocpSubscriber
The worst thing is when companies spec tapered forks with open dropouts
why? a 9mm QR works in EXACTLY the same way as a 15mm bolt through – a rod pulls the fork legs together against the hub, and the 15mm axle hub end caps are pretty similar in size to 9mm QR end caps
Edit – so with a decent QR like Shimano, a 9mm QR should be torsionally similar to a 15mm thru axle.Posted 4 years agomessiahMember
I’ve tried a 1-1/8″ and a 1.5″ Revelation fork on Ragley Mmmbop frames – both forks were the Team version with 20mm bolt through.
The 1-1/8″ was very flexy and I sold it on to run a Fox 36 1.5″ fork. I then picked up the 1.5″ Rev as I hoped it would be less of a noodle than the 1-1/8″ version… which it kind of was. The 1.5″ steerer definetly reduced the fore/aft flex of the Rev but I still found myself sawing at the handlebars as the legs of the fork twisted.
Summary – In my experience 1.5″(and hence tapered ) steerers are definetly stiffer in front to back flex than 1-1/8″; but they are not enough in themselves to make much of a difference unless the whole package is suitably stiff.
Depends how you ride and if you can live with flex for reduced weight, or want a carbon steerer which is lighter etc etc, but I can see a benefit to the standard… although I liked the 1.5″ steerer and still have forks with it 🙄Posted 4 years agomrmonkfingerMember
I’m guessing about 30% difference in the fork/steerer joint, purely going on the leverage involved.
Whether that makes a difference to your ride, well, depends on a lot of stuff. Personally, I’m not upgrading any bikes any time soon, but the crown/steerer joint is quite an important one, so the extra stiffness can only be a good thing.Posted 4 years agobrakesMember
exactly. isn’t this more about having a larger headtube to attach top- and down-tubes to? to make that junction stronger and stiffer? predominantly in carbon fibre frames which are generally bigger ‘tubes’? the tapering allows this but also allows people to use their existing stems.Posted 4 years ago
the appreciable difference is not in the fork flex, but in the flex of the frame.SimonRSubscriber
Can’t imagine there’s a lateral stiffness benefit particularly when you consider the stiffness of other bits between your handlebars and the trail – for example, check the lateral flex in a wheel. Front-to-back again not sure – I would have thought fork bushing play would dominate here.
However, a bigger head tube does give a bigger weld area – bit more freedom for the designer and potentially stronger and/or easier to weld?
Also wondered whether there’s a benefit headset bearing lifespan (assuming they’re reasonably well sealed) – more balls or rollers carrying a similar load?Posted 4 years agotonyg2003Subscriber
I can absolutely tell the difference on a road bike. My first tapered steerer bike (now 7yrs old) was a revelation when cornering or holding the bars with 1 hand (no wobbles). Rock solid. For my MTB’s – nope I can’t tell. Suspension set up and tyre pressure are too big variables in my view.Posted 4 years agorickonSubscriber
The 2011 one handled a lot better, just felt more like it went where you pointed it. Could just be that the Fox is a lot stiffer than the SID, or could be tapered steerer. Dunno.
Same experience here, switched from a Rev to a Pike. Fork feels are is it steers a lot better, like it goes where you want it to. A bit like turbo lag vs no turbo lag 🙂
Could be the 35mm stanchions though.Posted 4 years ago
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