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Tapered Steerer Tubes - Is there a (Good) Reason for Them?

shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
edited November 2010 in MTB workshop & tech
What are the pro's of tapered steerer tubes that have appeared on a lot of longer-travel forks recently ?

To me they seem to be an odd half-way point between 1.125" & 1.5"

Are they significantly stronger than standard 1.125" ?
Are they lighter to any degree that's worth mentioning ?

Why would I (or when should I) opt for a tapered steerer over a standard 1.125" or 1.5" ? (other than because a tapered steerer would mean I didn't need to fork out for a new stem...)

Is it all about creating a stronger overall fork/frame junction by enabling the use of a fatter/tapered head tube? (in which case, why not go for 1.5" steerer?)

Baffled of Stockport


  • They're almost as stiff as a 1.5" steerer, and the increased size makes the frame almost as stiff. But they're a fair bit lighter as you can use smaller stems etc.
  • Neily03Neily03 Posts: 295
    A tapered steerer tube can be made with a thinner wall thickness and are usually lighter than a 1 1/8, although not as light as a straight 1.5".
  • ashleymp777ashleymp777 Posts: 1,212
    Having just purchased a bike with such headtube I can confirm that it is indeed very, very stiff and light. I've never riden a bike like it! So sure footed it''s unreal.
  • konadawgkonadawg Posts: 447
    The concept is strength where you need it (lower bearing) stiffness in the steerer because it is conical and also enables use of standard stems so more likely to be adopted by joe public.

    From an engineering standpoint it is the best option.

    Probably tapered steerers will kill off 1.5" completely and eventually 1 1/8 will only be found on lower end bikes.
    Giant Reign X1
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 3,966
    stronger (bigger) lower bearing for big impacts, almost as tiff as 1.5 but lighter overall, when you include the stem and reduction in weight on the frame. Stronger ans stiffer than 1 /18 though and it gives a big headtube/downtube junction.

    They also alow people with standard 1 1/8 zerostack headtubes to run a stiffer fork, as with the right headset you can have a tapered fork.
    I like bikes and stuff
  • konadawgkonadawg Posts: 447
    joshtp wrote:
    They also alow people with standard 1 1/8 zerostack headtubes to run a stiffer fork, as with the right headset you can have a tapered fork.

    Learn something new every day 8)
    Giant Reign X1
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    The main reason is to beef up the joint between the head tube and down tube so that the frame can pass the latest safety standards and the manufacturer is thus exempt from any liability claims, while still being able to use all those old 1 1/8" stems & steerers they have in Taiwan.

    The marketing dept have to put a spin on this dull necessity, hence the terms 'stronger', 'lighter' and 'stiffer'.
  • cavegiantcavegiant Posts: 1,546
    They are a godilocks sell, like the 15mm axle.

    Not as good as 1.5", but better than 1/8.

    You see it as a compromise, therefore buy it. Easy sales pitch.

    much much better than 11/8 if you are a big guy, or ride hard (or like me and want both).
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?
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