Machined my own headset spacer (lots of pics), updates!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
deliciousc4ke
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:34 pm

by deliciousc4ke

I've got a bit free time over the summer and since I have access to a machine shop I figured I'd make something quick and fun for my bike. Hope this is the right forum.

My steerer tube is still uncut (commitment is a big and scary word), so I have a 20mm cone spacer and two 5mm spacers sitting on top of my stem. They're not load bearing and spacers are pretty easy to make, so I figured I'd make my own single-piece 30mm spacer out of some spare 6061 aluminum I have. Here are a few pics of the process.

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Made a design in Solidworks based on some headset spacers I saw on Fairwheel.

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Doing some basic FEA. The spacer should be able to sustain a normal load of 50lbf. I was concerned that it might snap while being held in the vice on the mill. I ended up making the pillars wider during fabrication anyway.

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Rough passes.

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Getting there.

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Freshly parted off! Not shown: deburring, Scotch-Brite, polishing wheel.

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First pass on the first cutoff - I was pretty nervous! Can't clamp it too hard that it crushes the spacer but I also didn't want the spacer flying off as soon as the end mill came into contact. Solution: sharp carbide end mill, lots of oil, and a slow power feed. Advanced a depth of 1/32" per pass. If anyone's interested I can talk about how I got the cutouts to be perpendicular to each other.

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Fresh off the mill. Gotta do some finishing work.

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Cleaned up and did some light filing.

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Another angle.

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Old setup. Note cone spacer. :(

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That's simply too many grams.

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That's more like it.

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If nothing else, it looks lightweight :noidea: I'd like to make it black somehow, but I haven't really thought about it too much. Maybe I'll just run it naked for a while so people can ask me about it :D

Time spent:
Design: 30-60min
Fabrication: ~3 hrs

A bit about the bike: http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/2013-scott-foil-17104
It's kind of a fatty at 7.71kg.

Hope you guys enjoyed the pics!
Last edited by deliciousc4ke on Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

by drainyoo

Nice job! That's a big ass spacer, though. Do up a nice flat one like the Ritchey one you have on the bike, and they'd probably sell like hot cakes.

by Weenie


NiFTY
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

Nice work. But you need to cut off that stem erection anyways. Second the make some small spacers. Do you have access to anodizing?
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mattyNor
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:18 pm

by mattyNor

Are you in Toronto and/or shop at Cyclemotive? Your old setup looks exactly like a bike I worked on this week.......

mattyNor
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:18 pm

by mattyNor

mattyNor wrote:Are you in Toronto and/or shop at Cyclemotive? Your old setup looks exactly like a bike I worked on this week.......

Edit: should have checked your pedal room first........

deliciousc4ke
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:34 pm

by deliciousc4ke

Thanks guys. I thought about anodizing it, but I'll have to ask around and see.

kramnnim
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:18 pm

by kramnnim

Very nice! Wish I has access to machine shop tools...and the knowledge to use them.

eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Contact:

by eric

@kramnnim check your local community college. Budget cuts have killed a lot of shop classes at CCs but some may be left.

@deliciousc4ke nice work! I like how you ran FEA on it.
I used to have a small home made part on each bike but a couple recent bikes have not gotten theirs yet.

deliciousc4ke
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:34 pm

by deliciousc4ke

Update: Just bought a Ti countersunk bolt from eBay. Gonna make my own top cap next week sometime!

em3
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: NYC

by em3

But why bother if u r simply going to put the spacer ABOVE ur stem??? U could save the same amount of weight by simply cutting the excess steertube.
em3
______________

mitchgixer6
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:22 pm

by mitchgixer6

Well done on the design and fabrication side of things. But why not just cut the steerer? You'd save the weight of the spacer AND e weight of the cut steerer.

deliciousc4ke
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:34 pm

by deliciousc4ke

I totally agree that cutting the steerer is the better solution in terms of both weight and aesthetics, but for some reason I can't bring myself to commit to cutting it. I don't really mind the unicorn-tube. This spacer, as well as my upcoming top cap, is just a fun project for my bike that won't kill me if I don't make something robust enough :)

I'll probably cut it eventually, and when I do I'll make a one-piece spacer/bearing cover combo to replace the Ritchey one I have now.

mattyNor
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:18 pm

by mattyNor

Why not try making a one piece top cap/spacer unit, other then the large amount of machining it will require.......

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kman
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:51 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

by kman

I admire the design and work, top marks. Having that much steerer sticking up though just seems borderline dangerous if you crashed or something.
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drainyoo
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:56 pm

by drainyoo

deliciousc4ke wrote:I totally agree that cutting the steerer is the better solution in terms of both weight and aesthetics, but for some reason I can't bring myself to commit to cutting it. I don't really mind the unicorn-tube. This spacer, as well as my upcoming top cap, is just a fun project for my bike that won't kill me if I don't make something robust enough :)

I'll probably cut it eventually, and when I do I'll make a one-piece spacer/bearing cover combo to replace the Ritchey one I have now.


Not sure I understand why you don't want to cut it. If that stem height works, then just cut the sucker. Having the steerer stick out above the stem like that is just dangerous. If you crash, that thing can cause some serious damage.

Your design is nice, though. Why not make some shorter ones for under the stem. Do them in 5mm intervals and you'll have a nice set.

by Weenie


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