Headset expander plugs

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by burglarboycie

Evening all
I am currently massing all the parts for a new build and would like some opinions on headset expansion plugs. I understand the attraction towards the uber lightweight ones (am looking at a j+l one from Taiwan on eBay @ under 7g) but how reliable and safe are these minimalist designs in the real world? I guess it's all in the positioning, getting it set between the stem bolts to spread clamping forces etc. I will obviously be torquing the stem clamp bolts to the recommend torques but can still see the benefits behind the more substantial plugs (like the Deda or Aerozine)
I'm sure this has been covered before so sorry if I'm sounding like a stuck record.

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by em3

Extralite Ultrastar

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by KB

Extralite Ultrastar as well.

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by Bogan

MAMIL? Never. O.F.I.L. yeh! (Old F**ker in Lycra)

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by bura

Extralite Ultrastar .
Kuota Kom Evo
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=111825&p=955235#p955235" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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by stevec1975

The J&L copy of the Ultrastar 2, at a quarter of the price.. eBay is your friend here.

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by aronjancso

+1 on the J&L

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by glepore

I thought the J&L sucked. Only plug I've ever used that wouldn't hold, and ultimately it stripped in the center. Bought an omni racer, 3x the depth of the J&L or Extralite, and still only 16g. The 30g weight quoted is with the carbon cap and black anno ti bolt it comes with, all for 14.95. Great bargain, even if I didn't need the cap and bolt.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

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by burglarboycie

That omni racer expander looks like a good deal!! Has anyone else had any experience with it? Seems very cheap considering it comes with carbon top cap and alloy bolt!

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by Marin

My J&L also slips slighty when I preload the headset to the torque I'd like to use. I'm using less torque now and now it stays down.

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by Juanmoretime

I have a couple of Ultrastars in use and no issue. Have not tried the others. Don't like to fix what is not broken.

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by 1415chris

You would need a couple of horses to pull the Ultrastar out. Works perfectly, best expander ever used.

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by spookyload

Once it is installed, does it really matter in the real world? Assuming you don't over torque the steerer tube, you could take it out all together if you chose. How much lighter can you get than that? You are clamping down on a round tube. The load should distribute itself evenly. I highly doubt CE safety standards cold be met if the steerer integrity couldn't be met by the steerer alone. If it was dependent on the expansion plug for safety, there would all sorts of warning labels required stating this. So once you set it and get the stem bolts tight, it should be fine with any lightweight plug.

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by burglarboycie

It looks like the Ultrastar is the way to go then from all the praise it gets here!!

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Location: New Zealand

by dereksmalls

There is a new v3 coming out soon as well that looks good. I myself use the Tune GumGum mainly because, 1 it is light, and 2 once your stem and headset setup is clamped down, the expander doesn't really do all that much to hold things in place. I've not had any issue withthe GumGum coming loose either, even on the shit rough roads we have here in NZ

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