Saturday, February 25, 2012

It Begins...

While I wait, sweaty palmed for the video feed of Omloop Het Niewsblad to begin I thought I'd torture and edify you all with a few shots of my latest fix...

In a previous post I related my hatred of the headset that my Giant is shackled with. Another niggling issue has been with the expansion plug in the carbon steerer that, despite my best efforts with all sorts of unguents and such, will not stay seated well enough to preload the headset bearings when servicing is necessary.

Acchh, the race has started. The Season Proper Begins... a replay of last year's nail biter between Langeveld and Flecha. I'd give my left nut for the ability to speak Flemish right now. I'd give the right one for a 2011 Rabobank Gilet in XXS. I'd give the rest of my junk to be in blustery Ghent for the race. They just asked Flecha where he was going to attack... He should've said, "right here!" and kicked the journo in the raspberry patch...

Annnyways, the problem isn't so much with the expansion plug as it is with the ID of the steerer tube. The OD is perfectly round, but the ID is rather oval. This isn't optimal for the expander to do its job.
The 3T fork on my Cervelo uses a glue in sleeve in conjunction with a star nut to provide a preload anchor point. It's simple, light and effective. So I copied that using a leftover chunk of aluminium steerer material cut from The Ritchey fork on my travel bike.
The mustachioed angels at The Greasiest Machine Shop In The World turned it down to the required OD to allow for a bit of Epoxy in the steerer...

I pushed in the star nut prior to installation as I didn't fancy the idea of pounding the piss out of my carbon fork.
The insert has been roughed up a bit with 240 paper and cleaned with lacquer thinner then alcohol. Ditto the fork ID.

I used a DevCon 2 ton epoxy to bond in the insert.

A bit of tape to locate the insert...

...then invert the fork (away from the kids and pets) until the epoxy begins to cure.

That's it!
The fork can be reinstalled in a few hours (depending on the epoxy used), but don't tension the top cap for 24 hrs.
Back to the race, see you soon.

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