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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a question for you engineers out there. I have this Time Avant fork which has an internal spine and will not accept a start nut or plug. It normally uses a "expander-spacer", if you will, to tighten the headset after the stem is installed.

So I lost this expander spacer. WIthout it, I can't really put pressure on the headset so there is always a little play in it. I am trying to figure out if there is any way to fix the problem with regular tools.

Any thoughts?
 

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elviento said:
Here is a question for you engineers out there. I have this Time Avant fork which has an internal spine and will not accept a start nut or plug. It normally uses a "expander-spacer", if you will, to tighten the headset after the stem is installed.

So I lost this expander spacer. WIthout it, I can't really put pressure on the headset so there is always a little play in it. I am trying to figure out if there is any way to fix the problem with regular tools.

Any thoughts?

Dare I ask how you lost it?

Your VXR doesn't have a Quick-set headset? If it does you don't need that part to press down on the stem. In fact if you do have a Quick-set headset you shouldn't be eliminating the headset play this way. If you have that headset then your bike should have come with a plug that caps the steering tube at the top of the stem and two little 10mm or so long metal pins that are for adjusting that HS. Take a look at this: http://www.time-sport.com/pdf/not/quickset.pdf

If you don't have a Quick-set headset then you've got to have that part you lost. Are there no Time dealers in your area? Oh the potential for a bad joke here... Anyway if there is an LBS that sells a lot of them like Velo Pasadena does here then they might have one they can sell you. Otherwise, you're going to have to call Time USA and see if you can pay them to overnight it to you.
 

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glue-in a nut...

If you've got a dremel tool and an old 1" star nut, it's not too tough to epoxy it into the end of the steerer. Of course it's pretty much permanent and future changes to fork length are not possible. First you'll have to use a dremel router bit or a roto-zip to remove enough of the internal spline to get the nut down to a minimum depth. Below are the complete instructions, which includes extra steps that can be used to extend a steering tube that has been cut a little too short.

Material needed:

1. one package (two tubes) JB weld
2. 1" star nut
3. 6mm bolt long enough to thread deep into the star nut and extend above the top of the extended steerer
4. foam rubber, 1" ID
5. plastic drinking straw or vinyl tubing with ID 6mm or larger
6. 1" copper tube solder coupler with no stop in the middle

A 1” star nut will slip into a 1-1/8” steerer, if the sharp corners are filed down. Do this as uniformly as possible and be sure to reduce the diameter just enough to allow the star nut to slip into the steerer. If the star nut has guide tabs that hang down below the bottom, these should be cut off with a dremel abrasive cutoff tool. Degrease the star nut with acetone or lacquer thinner.

Degrease the inside and top of the steerer with acetone or lacquer thinner.

Sand the inner surface and top of the steerer with 80-120 grit sandpaper to promote adhesion of the epoxy.

Cut a length of plastic tubing long enough to cover most of the threads on the 6mm bolt. Leave enough threads exposed to thread all the way to the bottom the star nut. Apply a small amount of grease to the bottom of the bolt, after it’s screwed into the star nut to prevent adhesion with the epoxy. Leave NO exposed threads at the top of the start nut.

Something light in weight must be used to plug the steerer and prevent the epoxy from running into it. I used a piece of 1” foam rubber. The copper coupling worked pretty well as a cutting tool to cut a cylindrical plug from the foam.

Insert the foam rubber plug just enough to position the top of the star nut a few millimeters below the top of the steerer.

Remove any burrs from the ID of the copper tube coupling and be sure that it will slide over the steerer. Lightly grease or apply automotive paste wax to the inside of the coupling, leaving almost no visible grease, to prevent bonding of the epoxy to the coupling. Slid the coupling over the steerer to the desired length of extension. A piece of masking tape around the bottom of the coupling might be a good idea to keep the coupling from sliding down. Also be sure that the steerer is approximately plumb, or the epoxy won’t be level along the top.

Combine the two tubes of JB Weld in a small container and mix thoroughly. Apply some epoxy to the inside of the steerer, and apply a large amount to the star nut, to fill the area between the two stars. Insert the star nut into the steering tube, making sure that the top of the nut is a few millimeters below the top of the steerer. Carefully place the remainder of the epoxy into the steering tube, filling it to the top of the coupling. It may be difficult to get all of the air out of the epoxy, so watch for air bubbles in the first 30 minutes or so after placing the epoxy. A toothpick will help to work out air bubbles.

Don’t disturb the copper tube coupling for at least 6 hours, or until the next day. Then the coupling can be removed and the top cap bolt unscrewed from the star nut. I used needle nose pliers to grab the plastic tube and remove it. You should then have a solid epoxy extension on top of the original steerer, with a permanently glued-in-place star nut.

There is some chance that your top cap might hit the solid epoxy, depending on the design of the underside of the cap. A little hand relieving with a small dremel tool sanding drum and/or large drill bit might be required to provide clearance.
 

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Easton Bear trap?

Sounds very similiar to what comes with Easton's SL/SLX forks. Might me worth a shot.
 

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bikeboy389 said:
A similar product is the Problem Solvers adjustable headset spacer:

http://www.triathlete.com/store/product.php?id=31392

If you're not looking to buy more parts:

Sheldon Brown has a technique that he uses to get excess height without excess spacers that is adaptable to your situation (see the section titled "Threadless without spacers".) He mentions that it's not for carbon steerers, but that's because of the extension he's working with.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html

You can sometimes do the same trick, ommiting the second clamp. I've tried it a few times, only had limited success.

I've adjusted headsets by getting the stem clamp snug but not tight, and tapping on the stem with a rubber mallet. It's an interesting dance between tightness of the clamp and firmness of the tapping, but it does work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The knowledge and willingness to help here on RBR never ceases to amaze me. I think the Ringo Star piece should fix the problem. Rocco, it gave you a little scare there, didn't it? The VXRS is fine. This is a second Time fork I am putting on a different bike. Thanks, guys.
 
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