- Tapered steerer vs straight & step-down headset?
Ok, so I’m looking at some new forks. My frame has a tapered headtube so the logical thing would be to get a tapered steerer. Problem is, the straight steerer is around £25 cheaper. I need a new headset anyway and that difference would go a long way towards this.
So my question is, is there a good reason not to go with a stepdown headset? I know marketing hype would make you believe that it would be weaker & not as torsionally rigid but am I really likely to notice a difference, and surely there’s the potential for larger bearings in a stepdown headset?
(I do ride quite hard though!)Posted 5 years agomunrobikerMember
It makes naff all difference in practice I reckon- both my newer bikes are running normal steerers in tapered headtubes and I have never thought battering down some tech-fest “jeez, I wish the bottom of my steerer was 3/8″ bigger, that’d really improve this trail”.Posted 5 years agoDaveyBoyWonderMember
Same really. I run a straight 1.125″ steerer in a tapered headtube and can’t think how much stiffer it could actually be.
Depending on what headset you’re getting though it might sway your decision as Hope charge extra (I think) for a straight crown race to fit their ‘fat’ bottom cups. Might end up being a few quid difference between the two in which case it might be better to go for a tapered fork, simply so you can brag to your mates you have a stiffer front end (ooo).Posted 5 years agochakapingSubscriber
I’ve had the same model fork on the same model frame in tapered and non-tapered versions and I’m not sure if I could tell the difference.
As above though, it’d be an extra £8 for a Hope collar to convert a std fork to fit a tapered headset.
I would get the tapered one myself tbh.Posted 5 years agobrakesMember
I have a 1-1/8″ steerer in tapered head tube – headset has 1.5″ bearing at the bottom.Posted 5 years ago
Biggest problem is that it looks a bit wrong if you concentrate on it as the top of the fork crown doesn’t fit nicely under the headtube and looks vulnerable to the elements.
I want a new set of forks and the straight steerer ones are noticeably cheaper so I might go for them again and put up with the compromise.munrobikerMember
I don’t think stiffness was really the goal when going from 1″ to 1 1/8″, it was more strength. Suddenly people were using longer forks with 100mm travel, not 400mm rigids and strength needed to go up. Then 160mm single crowns needed more strength so went 1.5″ but manufacturers found they were able to get enough strength from 1 1/8″.
Then the roadies (who need stiffness) went tapered and the MTB marketing managers latched onto it…Posted 5 years ago
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