Carbon steerer tube + hope hed doctor

mik82 Posts: 38
edited September 2009 in Workshop
I recently built up a racelight tk2 frame. I used a second hand carbon racelight fork which didn't come with a headset tensioner. I thought I wouldn't have a problem as I had a pro-lite headset which came with a "carbon" tensioner. However this was way too narrow to expand within the steerer tube. My local bike shop supplied the expanding wedge from a hope hed doctor - two circular wedges which compress together, expanding a ring of aluminium. This is a similar mechanism to the device supplied with the pro-lite headset. This was too wide in diameter so I had to file down a larger gap in the aluminium ring. This allowed me to compress the wedge small enough to be gently tapped down into the steerer with a rubber mallet. I then tightened the wedge and attached and tensioned the top cap.

At the time I was quite happy but now I'm a little concerned that my modified hed doctor wedge isn't really suitable and that I'll go over a hard bump and my steerer tube will crack. Does anyone have any advice? Should I order something like the M-part carbon expander?



  • No worries. The tensioner doesn't support any weight or pressure once your stem is tightened up on the steerer. The tensioner is just used to preload the bearings before clamping the stem. When clamped it's job is done.