Lugged frames with 1 1/8" aheadsets

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Lugged frames with 1 1/8" aheadsets

Postby GrahamG » 26 May 2008, 11:29am

I was thinking of getting myself a Mercian frame made up as I would love something a bit more traditional construction wise, but it would appear that they only make the lugged frames for a threaded headset. Does anyone know if it's possible to 'mix the old and new' by using an aheadset but with lugged construction?


Postby peanut » 26 May 2008, 12:07pm

yes you need a quill to Ahead converter. You can get them on ebay for about £10 most LBS should have them.
They are like a quill stem with the stem cut off ?
They are a bit heavy but if you replace the steel bolt with an alloy one from an old style Cinelli quill stem its not too bad.
Make sure it comes with the extra shims to compensate for differant internal diameters of steel framed bikes.
sorry I should have said that these converters allow you to retain the Mercian's original 1" threaded forks on a frame made for 1" forks and yet use 1.1/8" Ahead stem and OS bars if you wish to
Last edited by peanut on 26 May 2008, 12:43pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby thirdcrank » 26 May 2008, 12:16pm


If the question is 'Can you get a handbuilt bike frame with lugs and threadless headset?' have a look at Ellis Briggs I've used their website because they are near me but this is just to illustrate. I don't really know anything about Mercian except that a lot of people on here rave about them. Depending on wind direction, I could spit out of my back bedroom window and hit several custom frame builders places and I am sure any would make a frame with those features.

Pennine Cycles
Bob Jacksons

Chris Marshall Keighley 01535 691073 (No website and in fact not much of the trimmings of 21st century commerce but a cracking framebuilder.) Info about Chris Marshall (Scroll down past all the stuff about the Winged Wheel)

Fancy lugs tend to be a bit more exclusive :wink:

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Re: Lugged frames with 1 1/8" aheadsets

Postby PH » 26 May 2008, 2:26pm

GrahamG wrote:it would appear that they only make the lugged frames for a threaded headset.

I've seen a few Mercians with lugged frames and threadless forks, they're custom builders, they'll make you what you want, though they may try and talk you out of it first.

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Postby mlteenie » 26 May 2008, 3:08pm

Hi GrahamG.

I considered this very issue.

I am currently awaiting my Mercian frame (my first) and despite really fancying a lugged frame I decided to go for the Pro lugless model with a 1 1/8th headset for what I reckon will be longevity (well, I have a Chris King and threaded headsets are becoming more scarce) and for aesthetic reasons.
I have a friend with a Mercian Audax special with converter to 1 1/8th stem (threadless) and IMO it just does not look good. The chunky stem looks out of place with the lugs. There are several models in their shop set up this way, though.
When I asked Mercian about lugged 1 1/8th headtubes, I was told it can be done but you need to pay for the investment cast lugs to go with the oversized tubing required. I think these lugs are about £20 or more each (their website has the info), and would be about £100 more on a frame.

Obviously it's up to you and there may be ways around the look, but that's my opinion!

Good luck.

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Postby deliquium » 26 May 2008, 4:51pm

Last year I had my 25.4 mm (1") head tube lugged Longstaff touring frame renovated with a longer steerer tube and a 25.4 mm AHead Crane Creek threadless headset fitted - a lot of the standard 28.6 mm stems come with shims to fit the smaller diameter steerer.

Whilst 25.4mm Aheadsets are available, it's not a problem.

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Postby PW » 26 May 2008, 4:53pm

We have several threadless headsets on lugged frames but they're all 1". Headsets available from Stronglight (variation on A9) and Cane Creek. There will be others.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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Postby GrahamG » 27 May 2008, 4:35pm

Thanks for the responses. Perhaps it is more of an aesthetic issue for most people, but I think I'd rather have an aheadset for ease of adjustment.

Thirdcrank - thanks for the Ellis Briggs link. Although I may not go custom yet, I do have a frame to be resprayed/renovated and they offer good value compared to my local outfit.

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Postby andwags » 28 May 2008, 10:22am

There is no reason you wouldn't be able to get an ahead style headset and get a modern, high-quality 1 inch carbon fork on that lugged frame. If they refuse to do it as a complete bike, buy just the frame from them and everything else from your LBS.