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Headset Head-Scratcher

Old 12-30-21, 01:07 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Did you look in the bottom of the fork? I wonder if that has a wedge and bolt on the bottom?
Threaded for a fender. That plug ainít going nowhere.

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Old 12-30-21, 01:13 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Nice looking bike, sad how the value of a custom tandem plummets.
Agreed. My wife commented that it just goes to show that most people arenít very interesting. The seller knew what he had, I just donít think he had the time to deal with it. He bought it from the builder, who I think might have built it for himself. Either way, it ended up in the right hands, so the stars are back in alignment.

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Old 12-30-21, 01:19 PM
  #28  
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Here is a pdf scan of the Trilock instructions
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
trilock3.pdf (372.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 12-30-21, 03:25 PM
  #29  
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The idea (threaded steerer/headset, with threadless-style stem on a brazed-in stub) is very old, having been used by French Constructeurs going back at least to the 1930s I think. Some of Tom Ritchey's earliest road bikes used it, ditto Charlie Cunningham's mind-bending MTBs. I used it on my first two custom MTBs, in 1981 and '84. Jan Heine still prefers it for his own bikes I believe — don't some of his modern Herse bikes have it, like the one that he used to break the record ("fastest known time") on the Oregon Outback route?

It made more sense back when all headsets were threaded. Never what I'd call practical, but it was lighter than any quill-stem setup, so I liked it in my weight-weenie days. Why you would still use it today rather than a standard threadless setup, I don't know. Quill stem with threaded headset still has some advantages, such as easier height-adjustability and shorter fork length for Rinko, but the brazed stub seems to be taking away options for no good reason. Does Jan H explain somewhere (blog maybe?) why he still likes it?

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Last edited by bulgie; 12-30-21 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 12-30-21, 04:13 PM
  #30  
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Thanks bulgie for the historical context! I knew somebody would illuminate me before long. Now that you mention it, Iíve always noticed those stems on Ritchey bikes and wondered about them. Well, I guess that puts this machine in good company, even if itís a little odd.
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Old 12-30-21, 05:10 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Unfortunately it totally lacks versatility unless you replace the fork.

BTW any info on the builder?
Well, it is a unicrown fork. (I think we need a :barf: smiley.) Not much lost if you replace it.

"Cutter" suggests Bloomington, Indiana?
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Old 12-30-21, 05:27 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Well, it is a unicrown fork. (I think we need a :barf: smiley.) Not much lost if you replace it.

"Cutter" suggests Bloomington, Indiana?
Well, a bunch of beautiful matching paint would be lost! Not sure if the upper rack mount is in a universal spot, but that rack also has threaded mounts for fenders, so the whole thing is pretty cool.



Donít know much about John Cutter, other than his residence in San Luis Obispo, California. Hereís an article about him:

Cycloculture: John Cutter and the Art of the Utility Bicycle
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Old 12-30-21, 05:46 PM
  #33  
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That is a very cool find.

Tandems are a great way to buy the art of a custom framebuilder without spending a fortune! Ask me how I know! (I have a Jack Taylor, a Colin Laing, and a Herse, and they didn't cost so much. My Herse has the same thing going on with the stem as yours does, so I've machined a custom stem to get the fit right).

Looks like your tandem is meant to have fenders. Do you plan to put some on? Is that odd backward-facing hoop of the lowrider rack also equipped with a threaded insert as you found under the fork crown?
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Old 12-30-21, 06:51 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
That is a very cool find.

Tandems are a great way to buy the art of a custom framebuilder without spending a fortune! Ask me how I know! (I have a Jack Taylor, a Colin Laing, and a Herse, and they didn't cost so much. My Herse has the same thing going on with the stem as yours does, so I've machined a custom stem to get the fit right).

Looks like your tandem is meant to have fenders. Do you plan to put some on? Is that odd backward-facing hoop of the lowrider rack also equipped with a threaded insert as you found under the fork crown?
Yeah, this is the nicest bike Iíve ever owned, and Iím still sort of gobsmacked.

Yep, threaded insert on lowrider hoop, fork crown, chain and seatstay bridges, and even the rear rack. Fenders will definitely be replaced!



Point taken about replacing the fork if you had to; at least itís 1 1/8Ē so it would be easily sourced.
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Old 12-30-21, 09:33 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Yeah, this is the nicest bike Iíve ever owned, and Iím still sort of gobsmacked.
It is really nice! And quirky. True signs of greatness.

Yep, threaded insert on lowrider hoop, fork crown, chain and seatstay bridges, and even the rear rack. Fenders will definitely be replaced!
Good to hear. Some Velo Orange or something like that will look really good on it. It should be an easy install with all those mounting points!

Point taken about replacing the fork if you had to; at least itís 1 1/8Ē so it would be easily sourced.
I would not suggest replacing the fork! Surely you can make it work with some sort of replacement 1" threadless stem. I think they make adjustable ones if you aren't sure about the position and want to fiddle around with it. And if you can find a good position, then you can get someone to braze up a stem, and then you can paint it the right color. Some of the old-school auto parts stores can still make you a spray can of matched paint.
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Old 12-30-21, 10:44 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
It is really nice! And quirky. True signs of greatness.


Good to hear. Some Velo Orange or something like that will look really good on it. It should be an easy install with all those mounting points!


I would not suggest replacing the fork! Surely you can make it work with some sort of replacement 1" threadless stem. I think they make adjustable ones if you aren't sure about the position and want to fiddle around with it. And if you can find a good position, then you can get someone to braze up a stem, and then you can paint it the right color. Some of the old-school auto parts stores can still make you a spray can of matched paint.
Oops, that was a different member with an S at the beginning of his handle that suggested that the lowly unicrown fork could be replaced. I get the commenters confused sometimes. The fork stays. The stem stays. Iím pretty sure thereís a handlebar that will make it work.
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Old 12-31-21, 05:49 PM
  #37  
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That fork is gorgeous! The whole thing is gorgeous! I wouldnít change a thing on it.
Blasphemers, those who suggest changing the forkÖ. You donít want to be listening to that kind of nonsense!
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Old 12-31-21, 07:38 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
That fork is gorgeous! The whole thing is gorgeous! I wouldnít change a thing on it.
Blasphemers, those who suggest changing the forkÖ. You donít want to be listening to that kind of nonsense!
Right? I feel like Cutter should get extra credit for brazing-up his own fork crown. Actually, what do I know about it? Very little, but I know what I like!
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Old 12-31-21, 09:05 PM
  #39  
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I gotta question aero bladed spokes on a tandem, however. Seems an odd choice on a tandem...
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Old 12-31-21, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
I gotta question aero bladed spokes on a tandem, however. Seems an odd choice on a tandem...
Yeah, dunno about that. Me and the wife really gonna cut the wind. I noticed the little keyholes before I noticed the spokes.

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Old 01-01-22, 03:14 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Yeah, dunno about that. Me and the wife really gonna cut the wind. I noticed the little keyholes before I noticed the spokes.
The value of bladed spokes goes up the faster you go. Tandem teams vary in how fast they go of course, but tandems in general are faster on the flats and downhills, compared to singles with the same level of athleticism. You can argue the merits of bladed spokes, but it seems to me they belong on a tandem more than on most single bikes.

My circa-1990 tandem has blades F&R, but the rear spokes are "ACE3", which means in addition to being bladed, they are also thicker gauge at the hub end. The nipple end is 2.0 mm so they take normal nipples, but the J-hook butt is 2.3 mm. (15% thicker than 2.0 ó significant? You decide.) Rare spokes, but worth seeking out for a tandem, I think. Keep in mind that not only do the hub holes need to be slotted, but also drilled out for the thicker butt. My tandem uses 36 spokes F&R, which was considered a small number for a tandem, back then when I made this bike. So I wanted all the help I could get, for spoke durability.

After breaking several Dura-Ace cassette bodies (the freewheeling guts), we later rebuilt the rear wheel with an XTR hub, which has proven to be stronger. I re-used the ACE3 spokes, so I had to repeat the process of dilling out and slotting the spoke holes in the hub. Not many people would want to pay me to do that, but doing it myself for my own bike makes it fall into the hobby or passtime category, where I don't count the cost of the time spent.

Someone probably still makes normal round (not bladed) butted spokes that are 2 mm at the nipple, 2.3 mm at the hub, but I forget who ó someone here will know. I've been out of the bike biz for 25 years, so I haven't needed to keep current on that kind of knowledge. With round 2.3 mm, you'd still need to drill the spoke holes, but you don't have to also slot them. The slotting is the difficult part.

Mark B
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Old 01-01-22, 06:18 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
The value of bladed spokes goes up the faster you go. Tandem teams vary in how fast they go of course, but tandems in general are faster on the flats and downhills, compared to singles with the same level of athleticism. You can argue the merits of bladed spokes, but it seems to me they belong on a tandem more than on most single bikes.

My circa-1990 tandem has blades F&R, but the rear spokes are "ACE3", which means in addition to being bladed, they are also thicker gauge at the hub end. The nipple end is 2.0 mm so they take normal nipples, but the J-hook butt is 2.3 mm. (15% thicker than 2.0 ó significant? You decide.) Rare spokes, but worth seeking out for a tandem, I think. Keep in mind that not only do the hub holes need to be slotted, but also drilled out for the thicker butt. My tandem uses 36 spokes F&R, which was considered a small number for a tandem, back then when I made this bike. So I wanted all the help I could get, for spoke durability.

After breaking several Dura-Ace cassette bodies (the freewheeling guts), we later rebuilt the rear wheel with an XTR hub, which has proven to be stronger. I re-used the ACE3 spokes, so I had to repeat the process of dilling out and slotting the spoke holes in the hub. Not many people would want to pay me to do that, but doing it myself for my own bike makes it fall into the hobby or passtime category, where I don't count the cost of the time spent.

Someone probably still makes normal round (not bladed) butted spokes that are 2 mm at the nipple, 2.3 mm at the hub, but I forget who ó someone here will know. I've been out of the bike biz for 25 years, so I haven't needed to keep current on that kind of knowledge. With round 2.3 mm, you'd still need to drill the spoke holes, but you don't have to also slot them. The slotting is the difficult part.

Mark B
More useful info. Thanks!

I just used a set of Sapim spokes that are 2.3 at the bend and 2.0 at the threads to rebuild this Twinn wheel around the Atom drum hub. They were called Reduction, or E-Strong, I donít remember, but they were nice to use. Found them on Wheelbuilder.com. I only used them because the holes in the hub were so freakin huge.

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Old 01-01-22, 08:23 PM
  #43  
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Wow! Everything there is custom to that bike. The rack, stem, frame, fork, matching painted Silca pump. That stem setup I have only seen on high end handmade mountain bikes from mid 80's. Ibis, Ritchey, Mountain goat etc... Cutter is a snarky kind of name. My guess is that it was built on the side at somewhere like Inglis, or Ibis... for a friend or employee maybe. Could have been an actual company name. You know, could you show the rear canti brake hanger better? That looks suspiciously like how Ibis did the famous "handjob" hanger.
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Old 01-01-22, 10:12 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by AngryFrankie View Post
Wow! Everything there is custom to that bike. The rack, stem, frame, fork, matching painted Silca pump. That stem setup I have only seen on high end handmade mountain bikes from mid 80's. Ibis, Ritchey, Mountain goat etc... Cutter is a snarky kind of name. My guess is that it was built on the side at somewhere like Inglis, or Ibis... for a friend or employee maybe. Could have been an actual company name. You know, could you show the rear canti brake hanger better? That looks suspiciously like how Ibis did the famous "handjob" hanger.
The builderís name is John Cutter. Hereís the link again to an article about him:

https://cycloculture.blogspot.com/20...icycle_26.html

From what I understand, heís from San Luis Obispo, Ca, so five hours south of the shops you mention. The canti hanger does resemble the hand job, but I think a lot of builders did it that way; maybe a California thing? Hereís a similar version on my Soulcraft cross bike (Petaluma, Ca, 2001ish) followed by the Cutter version, which is a bit more artsy!

Soulcraft:


Cutter:
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Old 01-02-22, 07:29 PM
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