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Headset Head-Scratcher

Old 12-30-21, 11:00 AM
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JacobLee
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Headset Head-Scratcher

I picked up this tandem yesterday from a CL seller who offered it very cheaply in an as-is, come-and-get-it, Iím-moving-and-donít-feel-like-lugging-it-around-anymore sort-of-situation. I had done some research based on the listing photos, so I knew it was something special, but I was so distracted by cool frame details as I loaded it in the car, that I had to force myself to pay attention on the icy road home!



Hereís one that Iíve never seen. Iíve done some sleuthing, and Iím pretty sure I know whatís going on here, but I havenít cracked it open yet. I thought Iíd throw it out there and see if anybody can predict what Iíll find.

Any guesses?







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Old 12-30-21, 11:06 AM
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Reference American Classic, they made a number of different components. Reasonably well engineered, obscure.
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Old 12-30-21, 11:08 AM
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1” threadless? I have an A-C headset in the bin for that configuration, waiting for the right project. Different shape than the OP’s, less bulbous!
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Old 12-30-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Reference American Classic, they made a number of different components. Reasonably well engineered, obscure.
Itís an American Classic Trilock, but thatís part of the head-scratcher.
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Old 12-30-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Reference American Classic, they made a number of different components. Reasonably well engineered, obscure.
The top nut should not ever loosen at least!
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Old 12-30-21, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The top nut should not ever loosen at least!
Top nut and threadless stem?
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Old 12-30-21, 11:12 AM
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I am very jealous! That is an amazing looking bike. The only reasonably priced tandems I see near me are Schwinn twin$$ and the occasional Columbia.

Nice headset but I am not a big threadless fan, perhaps simply from lack of experience.
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Old 12-30-21, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I am very jealous! That is an amazing looking bike. The only reasonably priced tandems I see near me are Schwinn twin$$ and the occasional Columbia.

Nice headset but I am not a big threadless fan, perhaps simply from lack of experience.
This was cheaper than most Twinns listed!

Itís not a threadless headset (head-scratcher).
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Old 12-30-21, 11:18 AM
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Or is it threadless? Crap, maybe not as big a mystery as I thought!
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Old 12-30-21, 11:37 AM
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Threaded with fancy quill adapter setup?
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Old 12-30-21, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Threaded with fancy quill adapter setup?
Yes, it is threaded.

You could be correct!
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Old 12-30-21, 11:46 AM
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I have three AC Tri-lock headsets. All threaded. I love them. Sealed bearings. BikePro.com / Buyer's Guide / American Classic Headsets - Bicycle Parts at discount prices / the Buyer's Guide / Bicycle Parts at their finest! / Professional Bicycle Source / Bike Pro

Edit: The crown "race" is very delicate. Be gentle if you want to remove it.

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Old 12-30-21, 11:47 AM
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Show us pics when you take it apart. I am interested in how it works.
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Old 12-30-21, 11:51 AM
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Sort of worst case scenario!

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Old 12-30-21, 12:16 PM
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What the heck is happening there??
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Old 12-30-21, 12:18 PM
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kinda looks like a plug was epoxied in
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Old 12-30-21, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
kinda looks like a plug was epoxied in
Itís brazed in.
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Old 12-30-21, 12:24 PM
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Who can guess the measurements of these components?

And then, who can surmise why it was done this way?
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Old 12-30-21, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Itís brazed in.
Thatís a brazen statement.

strange if intriguing set up. Perhaps the builder thought this was the best bullet proof longest life thing going. Unfortunately it totally lacks versatility unless you replace the fork.

BTW any info on the builder?
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Old 12-30-21, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Who can guess the measurements of these components?

And then, who can surmise why it was done this way?
1-1/8 headset with 1" plug?
I guess it looks cleaner than a big threadless adapter....
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Old 12-30-21, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
1-1/8 headset with 1" plug?
I guess it looks cleaner than a big threadless adapter....
You are correct, Sir!
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Old 12-30-21, 12:52 PM
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Did you look in the bottom of the fork? I wonder if that has a wedge and bolt on the bottom?
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Old 12-30-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Thatís a brazen statement.

strange if intriguing set up. Perhaps the builder thought this was the best bullet proof longest life thing going. Unfortunately it totally lacks versatility unless you replace the fork.

BTW any info on the builder?
Yes, no adjustment necessary (possible). I guess that's the mark of a true custom; get the fit right the first time. This thing is clearly a work of art: fillet-brazed, matching stems, racks with fender supports, color-matched Silca. Maybe this was in the threaded/threadless transition period when everyone had even stronger opinions about them? Built by John Cutter in San Luis Obispo, California. I was born there, and I love blue bikes, so I couldn't resist. My wife fits great in the stoker position, and I'm going to figure out whatever type of handlebar will work with that stem for me. Hey, for $300 I can make it work.
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Old 12-30-21, 01:02 PM
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in case this helps.. a quick shot of the info in my copy of the Bike Pro catalog (possibly the most informative bike catalog ever printed!)




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Old 12-30-21, 01:03 PM
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Nice looking bike, sad how the value of a custom tandem plummets.
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