Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Sweep
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Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby Sweep » 18 Jun 2019, 10:34pm

Yes I know it's a biketech type question but really only of import to cycle tourists.

And I imagine that there must be a fair few folk touring on 1 inch threaded headset bikes on here. (tho not gatto from past posts :) )

I may in passing have touched on this before but would appreciate focussed input.

Been at the back of my mind for a while.

I did a one week tour a while ago on a threaded headset bike with front panniers.

At the end of it the headset seemed somewhat loose.

Though admittedly this was from a period of my very slow/retarded education in bike mechanics where I paid very little attention to headsets of any sort. I just left them alone.

So after all that waffle, to my question.

Is front pannier loading an issue with threaded as opposed to 1 1/8 threadless headsets. Does it challenge them?

I ask as I have since acquired more such bikes thanks to my liking for old Ridgebacks and may be loading some of them up at the front.
Sweep

ANTONISH
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby ANTONISH » 19 Jun 2019, 9:17am

As I've always had small framed bikes loosening has often been a problem with threaded headsets.

My touring bike has a threaded headset and I found that on a long climb with front panniers at slow speeds the front end was a struggle to control.

This got worse if the headset started to loosen.

Last year I did a multi day tour using my audax bike which has an aheadset ( threadless headset). I don't have the same loosening problem with the aheadset.

I used a large handlebar top box with a click fix extension. It was better but still not good - I eventually put the box on top of my rear carrier.

I've given up on front panniers since (to cut a long story short) one pannier brushed against some street furniture and turned my wheel causing me to come off and hurt my back.

hamster
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby hamster » 19 Jun 2019, 10:07am

I've used the same 1" headset for 25 years on my tourer (26" MTB frame, but with low riders, barbag and drop bars). It's never loosened or been any trouble. The headset is a Tioga Master DL.

elPedro666
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby elPedro666 » 19 Jun 2019, 10:45am

I can't see the lowriders making a significant difference and in my admittedly limited mileage, but quite harsh, offroad touring experience with 1" threaded and a significant front load, it's been no issue.

If it does continue to work loose, swapping your top locknut to one with a grubscrew should fix it.

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LittleGreyCat
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 19 Jun 2019, 11:43am

Looking this up for my Spa Wayfarer.

Headset shows as Tange Terious SRN.

However thee is nothing obvious to say if this is threaded or threadless.

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Sweep
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby Sweep » 19 Jun 2019, 1:18pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:Looking this up for my Spa Wayfarer.

Headset shows as Tange Terious SRN.

However thee is nothing obvious to say if this is threaded or threadless.


If at all recent I would imagine it is threadless 1 1/8 inch.
Sweep

ANTONISH
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby ANTONISH » 20 Jun 2019, 8:27am

elPedro666 wrote:I can't see the lowriders making a significant difference and in my admittedly limited mileage, but quite harsh, offroad touring experience with 1" threaded and a significant front load, it's been no issue.

If it does continue to work loose, swapping your top locknut to one with a grubscrew should fix it.

/quote]

IME the lowriders make a huge difference when climbing - maybe it's me :(
Grubscrew?
Should but doesn't - 20" frame, short head tube. (I drilled and tapped the locknut on a Stronglight headset to take 3 grubscrews - didn't do the thread on the steerer any good as it worked loose)
I love aheadsets.

HobbesOnTour
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby HobbesOnTour » 20 Jun 2019, 9:50am

My tourer, a converted Trek MTB is close to 20 years old and has a 1 1/8 threaded headset. I've replaced the bearings once and done many thousands of km with front panniers, more and more off-road. I've never had an issue with the headset but will admit to it being the one part of my bike that is a cause for concern.

With a threadless headset there are no shortage of options for high quality headsets - that doesn't seem to exist for threaded.

A couple of years ago I invested in an ExtraWheel trailer in order to remove the panniers from the front. The main reason was an increase in off-road touring and a desire to counteract the "heavy" steering with two panniers on the front. A small advantage was the reduction in stress on the headset.

Given that many Dutch bikes here are fitted out with threaded headsets and carry all kinds of gear on the front for years and years I'm not sure there is any inherent design factor that makes them less reliable than a threaded headset. However, there is little doubt in my mind that threadless gives better options for strength and durability.

hamster
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby hamster » 20 Jun 2019, 10:12am

Remember that the part that takes the pounding is the lower race, so you can always make a frankenheadset using the lower race of an aheadset with the upper from a threaded.

Norman H
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby Norman H » 20 Jun 2019, 2:45pm

Contrary to what others have experienced I find weight carried on the rear rack has a much greater effect on the steering than front low loaders.

I normally use both front and rears for a full camping load but on a recent tour I decided to dispense with the front panniers. In addition to two rear panniers, most of the camping load, about 7Kg, was carried in a Carradice saddle bag with the tent and Helinox chair strapped behind that on top of the rack. There was a distinct low speed shimmy each time I pushed off which disappeared almost immediately as the speed rose. The bike was rock steady at speed downhill. I think this was caused by poor weight distribution. With hindsight I would have been better with some of the heavier items carried lower in the panniers and some of the lighter but bulkier stuff on top of the rack. The other significant factor was that the bike in question was fitted with a Tortec rear rack which is not as stiff as my normal Tubus Logo.

I've never experienced front panniers causing the headset bearings to loosen. I may be missing something here but surely weight carried on the front fork blades will not add extra download to the lower race. It may well add to lateral loads though.

Brucey
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby Brucey » 20 Jun 2019, 3:02pm

I don't think you need to worry greatly about the headset; a typical 1-1/8" threaded headset will outlast the rest of the bike provided it is filled with loose balls, well greased, and properly adjusted. As pointed out above if you knacker the lower race, you can fit one from an Ahead headset if you want. FWIW most cartridge bearings used in Ahead headsets have a lower load rating than the loose balls in an older style of headset. The cartridge bearings can articulate slightly though, which may spread the load better if the steerer flexes.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

elPedro666
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby elPedro666 » 20 Jun 2019, 3:30pm

Norman H wrote:Contrary to what others have experienced I find weight carried on the rear rack has a much greater effect on the steering than front low loaders.



I'd agree with that (and the rest of your post) - above I was referring only to the effect of the load on the headset.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

m-gineering
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby m-gineering » 21 Jun 2019, 7:02am

elPedro666 wrote:If it does continue to work loose, swapping your top locknut to one with a grubscrew should fix it.



Headsets work loose when they are uneven loaded, so if they do, either the headset is worn or the frame &fork are not prepared properly. On the road an Aheadset only needing one or two allen keys is ofcourse more convenient
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

HobbesOnTour
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby HobbesOnTour » 21 Jun 2019, 7:15am

Brucey wrote:I don't think you need to worry greatly about the headset; a typical 1-1/8" threaded headset will outlast the rest of the bike provided it is filled with loose balls, well greased, and properly adjusted. As pointed out above if you knacker the lower race, you can fit one from an Ahead headset if you want. FWIW most cartridge bearings used in Ahead headsets have a lower load rating than the loose balls in an older style of headset. The cartridge bearings can articulate slightly though, which may spread the load better if the steerer flexes.

cheers

Thank you!

Des49
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Re: Front low rider loading and threaded headsets?

Postby Des49 » 21 Jun 2019, 9:02am

I have used a 1" threaded headset on my MTB for for well over 25 years. Raced extensively and in more recent years used for touring, the latter with lowriders and over 5kg in each front pannier.

No issues with the headset loosening. This bike also has a short headtube (107mm) which I would think puts more stress on the headset, the bike was built with the option of one day using suspension forks which were just coming in, but I never got any.

Hope I haven't jinxed things though, just fitted newly made up forks with brazed on rack and mudguard bosses. On tour a loose threaded headset would be a real pain, and I plan to be in Brittany in the next couple of weeks.

The original Shimano XT headset was exceptional, sadly no longer avaiable.
The Tange headsets though do seem to be lasting well, I am currently using a sealed model:-

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/headsets/ta ... et-silver/