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Threaded Headset Swap

Old 01-18-21, 03:16 PM
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Jordanmilo
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Threaded Headset Swap

I'm stripping a vintage Pinarello frame and swapping the components to a vintage Paco Columbus TSX frame, but I have to replace the Campagnolo headset because the bearing races are pitted.

The Paco has a stack height of 50mm; that is, the steering tube is 160mm, and the head tube is 110mm. And there is only 1 inch of thread on the steering tube.

So 50mm is the absolute tallest headset I can use, correct? I've been thinking about Velo-Orange's sealed bearing headset, which is 41mm (I guess I'm not allowed to post a link, since I'm a newbie, but it's on Velo-Orange's website). Can I assume because the threading on the steering tube is so short that I'll need some spacers as well?
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Old 01-18-21, 03:27 PM
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With only 1' of threading on the steering tube I would better assume you'll need a shorter stack headset like tange passage or levin.

A few more posts and you posts pictures.
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Old 01-18-21, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by malcala622 View Post
With only 1' of threading on the steering tube I would better assume you'll need a shorter stack headset like tange passage or levin.
Thanks for your reply, but I'm confused as to why the small amount of thread would require a shorter stack headset.
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Old 01-18-21, 04:04 PM
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The thread top race on the 41mm headset may take the whole threaded portion of the steer tube. Same thing happened to my Basso where I tried installing a Campagnolo SR headset and it took all the threading.

I ended up needing a shorter stack headset.
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Old 01-18-21, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
The Paco has a stack height of 50mm; that is, the steering tube is 160mm, and the head tube is 110mm. And there is only 1 inch of thread on the steering tube.

So 50mm is the absolute tallest headset I can use, correct? I've been thinking about Velo-Orange's sealed bearing headset, which is 41mm (I guess I'm not allowed to post a link, since I'm a newbie, but it's on Velo-Orange's website). Can I assume because the threading on the steering tube is so short that I'll need some spacers as well?
That the steer tube is 50mm longer than the head tube is likely to be a problem, especially if there is only an inch (~25mm) of thread. I suspect that you'll run out of thread well before the threaded cup comes close to being in adjustment. At a minimum, you'll probably need to extend the threads further down the steer tube. And then either trim the steer tube (I'm not aware of any threaded headsets with 50mm stack; 44mm is about as tall as I've encountered) or use spacers between the threaded cup and the locknut.

I'm thinking that this probably isn't the original fork for that frame. Is it?
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Old 01-18-21, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I'm thinking that this probably isn't the original fork for that frame. Is it?
I don't have any way to know for sure. The crown is stamped with the maker's mark, and it's not as if the world is awash in Paco frames! But, yes, the difference in the lengths of the head and steerer tubes is rather odd (the Pinarello has 38mm difference).
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Old 01-18-21, 04:55 PM
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I guess maybe I’ll have to thread the steerer further. How do I get that done?
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Old 01-18-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
I guess maybe I’ll have to thread the steerer further. How do I get that done?
You need a thread-cutting die for the proper thread spec. Most forks will be English thread (1" x 24tpi) but there are exceptions. Italian thread is close enough to English that you can use the same die. French thread (25mm x 1mm) requires its own die. And there are odd-ball Raleign 1" x 26tpi and oversize 1-1/8 x 26tpi and 1-1/4" x 26tpi forks as well. These tools tend to be too expensive for one-off projects, and work best in experienced hands. Check your local bike shops to get the work done.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:01 AM
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Unfortunately, the advice from the Facebook group is not accurate.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by natterberry View Post
Unfortunately, the advice from the Facebook group is not accurate.
I’m not following. Can you elaborate, please.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:23 AM
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It would be an echo of what has been posted here. You'll need to take up Velomine's offer.

Facebook post examples:
"A standard threaded headset will fit fine."

"Spacers will work. They just fit where the flat washer is between the top nut and the adjusting nut."

Top nut and adjusting nut space isn't the issue, it's the space where the bearings sit.

Edit: You can post pictures now.
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Old 01-19-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by natterberry View Post
It would be an echo of what has been posted here. You'll need to take up Velomine's offer.
Thanks. I will visit them. I don’t like the idea of a headset all padded out with spacers, aesthetically.
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Old 01-19-21, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
Thanks. I will visit them. I don’t like the idea of a headset all padded out with spacers, aesthetically.
I agree. I have a headset press if you want to do that portion yourself.
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Old 01-19-21, 11:57 AM
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Just practicing.
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Old 01-19-21, 12:49 PM
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Looks like a problem: you'll probably need more threading on the steerer to use any common headset and so will allow the threaded top cup to engage. The top nut is least of your problems and if you hate spacers you could cut off excess (threaded) steerer but you don't have "excess", IMO. Getting threading added USED to be a relatively "routine" job for a well-fitted and experienced shop, but nowadays not so! Depends on your location and luck. Always BEST if you can find somebody with a lathe and experienced in cutting threads that way, generally better threads than with a die. Even HARDER to find that! Good luck to you, I have been down this road several times and feel the pain!
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Old 01-19-21, 04:04 PM
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I'm going to talk to a local shop tomorrow to see what they say. In the interest of improving the knowledge base, I'll keep everyone posted.
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Old 01-19-21, 09:36 PM
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why couldn't a threadless headset be used? then lock it down with a spacer or two, a threaded ring, and the top locknut? i don't know. maybe it wouldn't work or "look right" ...though i imagine it'd look fine depending on the headset. conversely, use a threaded headset, dremel the threads on the top threaded race and then proceed with spacer/s, ring, and locknut. in that case, it'd still look like a threaded headset ..ie. not out of place

it's just a thought if getting more threads cut proves to be too much difficulty
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Old 01-20-21, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
why couldn't a threadless headset be used?
Not a bad idea. Usually you can't use a threadless stem on a threaded steerer as the thread effectively weakens the steerer where the stem is clamped, but seeing as there's not much thread here you just might get away with it.

Of course, extending the threads would the preferred solution.
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Old 01-20-21, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
why couldn't a threadless headset be used? then lock it down with a spacer or two, a threaded ring, and the top locknut? i don't know. maybe it wouldn't work or "look right" ...though i imagine it'd look fine depending on the headset. conversely, use a threaded headset, dremel the threads on the top threaded race and then proceed with spacer/s, ring, and locknut. in that case, it'd still look like a threaded headset ..ie. not out of place

it's just a thought if getting more threads cut proves to be too much difficulty
If the OP is concerned about the aesthetics of a couple of spacers in a new headset, then he's probably going to be really off about using a threadless headset. Besides that, a 1" threadless headset is a rare breed these days. I have one on my Bilenky, and its a Chris King. Expensive, and I wish it was a 1" threaded instead. It would make life a whole lot easier.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
I'm stripping a vintage Pinarello frame and swapping the components to a vintage Paco Columbus TSX frame, but I have to replace the Campagnolo headset because the bearing races are pitted.

The Paco has a stack height of 50mm; that is, the steering tube is 160mm, and the head tube is 110mm. And there is only 1 inch of thread on the steering tube.

So 50mm is the absolute tallest headset I can use, correct? I've been thinking about Velo-Orange's sealed bearing headset, which is 41mm (I guess I'm not allowed to post a link, since I'm a newbie, but it's on Velo-Orange's website). Can I assume because the threading on the steering tube is so short that I'll need some spacers as well?
One safe approach is to match the dimensions of the Campagnolo you removed. The overall stack should be matched and because of the short threaded section, the stack heights of the two lower bearing sets should be matched.

Another safe approach is to obtain another Campy headset with the same dimensions as yours, or to find replacements for the worn parts.

If its a vintage steel Campagnolo Record (the Super Record had alloy pressed cups), the Tange Prestige and its parts from those days was a common replacement. Even back then the new price of the Campy Record parts was kind of prohibitive.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
I'm going to talk to a local shop tomorrow to see what they say. In the interest of improving the knowledge base, I'll keep everyone posted.
I'd be surprised if most LBS' are savvy on threaded headsets and especially vintage Campy!
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Old 01-20-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I'd be surprised if most LBS' are savvy on threaded headsets and especially vintage Campy!
It’s Velomine fortunately.

Otherwise, I couldn’t find a Park CRC in town.
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Old 01-20-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I'd be surprised if most LBS' are savvy on threaded headsets and especially vintage Campy!
The good folks at Velo Mine seemed quite comfortable with the subject. Velo-Orange sealed bearing headset is on order. They say a short spacer will be all she needs.
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Old 01-20-21, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
If the OP is concerned about the aesthetics of a couple of spacers in a new headset, then he's probably going to be really off about using a threadless headset. Besides that, a 1" threadless headset is a rare breed these days. I have one on my Bilenky, and its a Chris King. Expensive, and I wish it was a 1" threaded instead. It would make life a whole lot easier.
hence why i'd also suggest making a threaded into threadless possibility. i did this to an old campy headset because i had a fork i wanted to use where the unthreaded steerer section was longer than the head tube. worked great as a threadless headset and looked like a threaded

1" threadless headsets are not uncommon. not sure where you get that idea. i picked up a ritchey for $25 or so on ebay not long ago. saw plenty of others, too. as well, the ritchey sets are on amazon, but they suck more than anyone else in the world
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Old 01-20-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jordanmilo View Post
The good folks at Velo Mine seemed quite comfortable with the subject. Velo-Orange sealed bearing headset is on order. They say a short spacer will be all she needs.
I'm interested to see how they plan on fixing this issue with a spacer and no further threading.
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