Consenus Expander Plug Recommendation

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
FIJIGabe
Posts: 1384
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

I'm upgrading the parts on my Madone, and the next thing I want to get is a new expander plug. I've searched through the threads and can't find a consensus on what people run. I've seen a lot of people running Extralite Ultrastar 2, but some are running the Mcfk Expander Plug. There are also others out there.

Can someone make a recommendation of which they think is the best for the job? Also, are there any issues with durability or damage potential between the lot?

Thanks!
Madone 9 https://goo.gl/7UwZpV
Crockett https://goo.gl/f5PdCN
Madone 5 https://goo.gl/cMdyFo

Madone 4, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

bricky21
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm

by bricky21

Extralite gets the job done with the least amount of weight ime. MCFK is heavier and has more surface area, but I don't think it's needed.

by Weenie


jpanspac
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:21 pm

by jpanspac

You should also consider the Cannondale plug.
My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.

drainyoo
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:56 pm

by drainyoo

I've got the Extralite, seems to work fine and it's light. Make sure to check the size of your tube because it only works with certain sizes.

There is also the Tune GumGum, but I haven't used it.

FIJIGabe
Posts: 1384
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

thanks for the suggestions. I'll be measuring the inner diameter of the tube tonight, and I'll order something. I saw the gum gum, but Fairwheel is sold out. Any suggestions on where else to get them in the US? I saw a comment somewhere about the Extralite possibly damaging the carbon, which is not something I want to do. The MCFK looks most like the stock plug.

As for the Cannondale plug, any idea on weight for it?
Madone 9 https://goo.gl/7UwZpV
Crockett https://goo.gl/f5PdCN
Madone 5 https://goo.gl/cMdyFo

Madone 4, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

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rmerka
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: Austin, TX

by rmerka

twohubs.com sells some tune stuff. They have the gum gum in their online store.

UpFromOne
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA

by UpFromOne

I went to the Extralite on all mine, after the GumGum started slipping. Apparently the "gum" piece tends to take a set over time and lose its pressure against the steerer. But I only speak for my own experience.

juanacity
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:22 am

by juanacity

Top cap + expander plug was 14 grams for the cannondale set for me. I've had a persistent and recalcitrant creaking since I installed mine though. I also put on new bars at the time, so I'm not completely sure what the exact genesis is.

G60
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Hanford/Fresno, CA

by G60

Does your plug/top cap creak right after tightening everything up? Ever since I installed a Zipp stem on my CAAD10, I get creaking from the top cap after riding for a couple hours after tightening everything to spec (I've got a in-lb torque driver). If I loosen the top cap up a little bit where I can turn it by hand, the creaking goes away completely.

I'm going to try running a spacer above the stem to see if things improve (yeah, yeah, I know Cannondale says not to), as the zipp stem looks like it has a very small contact area between it and the top cap, which I think might be contributing to a very minute amount of flex and noise.

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Stolichnaya
Posts: 2615
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:55 pm
Location: Vienna, AUT

by Stolichnaya

I like Extralite stuff, it is beautifull machined, but I had to drill one of those expanders out after the threads siezed. It was a PITA.
Went with the MCFK and Carbon Ti versions. Both holding well. MCFK is very nicely made and a solid design.

I would not use these lightweight plugs to set the headset though. Use your standard compression plug to set, tighten everything up, remove the standard plug, insert the lighteright expander (and lightweight top cap, I assume) and then tighten everything up again, checking the torque on the stem bolts a second time is not a bad idea.

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Juanmoretime
Administrator
Posts: 7052
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

I have the extradite expander on 3 different bikes. They do the job.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

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Kayrehn
Posts: 1004
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:06 pm

by Kayrehn

+1 on the extralite ultra star. Works on my current madone as well as my previous BMC.

Some question the need for an expander plug even, so I don't think the choice requires much thought - just get the lightest!

Wcl4
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:33 am

by Wcl4

My gum gum slips before I can compress the headset stack. Also it doesn't provide good "outward" pressure for the stem to clamp to the steer tube so my stem tends to slip. This is especially true with ultra light weight parts where the nm on the bolts are low.

VTBike
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:14 pm

by VTBike

I've been running the gum-gum for past 3 years, no issues at all. I would definitely purchase again - such a simple and effective design. Not sure why other people had slipping issues - perhaps a chance in manufacturing materials?

Like another poster said, if you really are worried about getting the right level of compression - use a traditional expander to set; then switch to the lightweight.

lannes
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:51 pm

by lannes

G60 wrote:Does your plug/top cap creak right after tightening everything up? Ever since I installed a Zipp stem on my CAAD10, I get creaking from the top cap after riding for a couple hours after tightening everything to spec (I've got a in-lb torque driver). If I loosen the top cap up a little bit where I can turn it by hand, the creaking goes away completely.

I'm going to try running a spacer above the stem to see if things improve (yeah, yeah, I know Cannondale says not to), as the zipp stem looks like it has a very small contact area between it and the top cap, which I think might be contributing to a very minute amount of flex and noise.


Try some carbon paste on the section where the top cap sits on the stem and grease the top cap bolt were it goes into the expander.
the expander may need to be a lit bit tighter in the steerer tube

by Weenie


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