Anyone running a short steerer expander plug on a Orbea Opal or Orca?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
Lewn777
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I think we can say this:
-Always read the manual and ideally run the manufacturers expander plug you got with your bike.
-If your original expander plug is a boat anchor you could change it for a lighter one of the same or similar length and dimensions without likely huge issue.
-You can run a lighter/shorter expander plug although it's not advisable, but be careful to support the lower stem bolt, as this is where the stress on the header is, supporting the upper bolt too won't hurt either.
-Running header above the stem with a spacer is no guarantee of anything, as a short expander will the not support your bottom stem bolt. What seems being careful could actually be counterproductive.
-Because anyone else/other people ran some uber light and short expander to save some weight and has been anecdotally fine, it doesn't prove anything, headers do fail sometimes with bad consequences.

JerryLook
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

I temp installed the stem and an extra pair of bars. The stem is an Uno that I still need to take the logo off.
I’m really happy with the way the expander went in. It has enough adjustment that I was able to sink it down to start right below the bottom stem bolt. And it has a sleeve that supports the steerer from being crushed.
The 110mm stem looks short with no brifters installed.

Btw the saddle is an extra kid’s bike seat I had laying around. Just for mock up. Lol
Attachments
641277EE-F315-44EC-ADAC-89CC36E9DE48.jpeg
2010 Orbea Opal
DA 7900
6.74kg (14.84 lbs)

User avatar
Lelandjt
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

Lewn777 wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:22 am
From what I've read and seen I wouldn't use a light-weight short expander plug unless the manufacturer officially okays it.

Image
If you look at the enve expander plug, it's this way because it's clearly what the engineers envision to be safe for their steerers.

Image
Obviously Cannondale engineers consider a small light short expander to be enough. Seems unusual, as I suspect most manufacturers would consider this insufficient, and would worry their steerer would get crushed or damaged. Clearly Cannondale have tested this with their steerers.

Image
However I look at the boring heavy long compression plug on my Fuji which looks like this, I'm tempted to switch it out and save weight, but something tells me that's not what the engineers would want, and I'm opening myself up to danger.

So at the moment I'd say don't try to switch it out, especially after what a YouTube expert called ]Raoul Luescher said on this subject.
[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bSnbjHiFXc[/YouTube]

EDIT: 70g does seem very heavy. I'm sure you could get an expander plug about the same length weighing about 40-45g, then run a carbon top cap and an aluminium alloy or titanium bolt. I think that would be safe, so there is probably 30-50g or so you could save from this area without putting yourself at any risk.
I've been riding my Transonic SL with NO EXPANDER for 2 years. I know, how have I not died? My lawyer prohibits me from recommending this to you but it works for me. On my XC MTB I tried the same but the headset loosened on a really long, rough ride. It now uses a J&L Ultralight expander.

User avatar
Kayrehn
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:06 pm

by Kayrehn


Lewn777 wrote:Because anyone else/other people ran some uber light and short expander to save some weight and has been anecdotally fine, it doesn't prove anything, headers do fail sometimes with bad consequences.
Everything can break, even solid-looking shimano cranks. Until you show me a few incidents of just-riding-along stem-crushed steerer tubes, I'll say it's safe enough for most bikes. I just find it funny for you to say that if X% of people here does it and still survives, 'it doesn't prove anything'. Of course it proves something, only that you don't agree with it.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


JerryLook
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

4-5nm sounds good to me. Its what I’m torquing the stem to. Makes sense to have the opposing force also torqued to the same.

I wonder what expanders the pros use. I bet they use beefy expanders. Just like most of then use steel axle skewers. It surprises me what parts the pros use that are super light, and other parts that are heavy.
2010 Orbea Opal
DA 7900
6.74kg (14.84 lbs)

addictR1
Posts: 1340
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

sorry to hijack the thread.. but what woudl be the lightest long version of expander plug? saw on FWB site that KCNC is 35g. is that the lightest by far?
https://fairwheelbikes.com/kcnc-expander-plug/

JerryLook
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

addictR1 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:14 pm
sorry to hijack the thread.. but what woudl be the lightest long version of expander plug? saw on FWB site that KCNC is 35g. is that the lightest by far?
https://fairwheelbikes.com/kcnc-expander-plug/
I didn't see that they listed the length on that one. It is one of the lighter ones for sure, at least out of those that offer crush protection over the whole length of the plug.

I might be interested in that for my build. As long as it is at least as long as my current plug. I’m not a huge fan of the top cap though.
2010 Orbea Opal
DA 7900
6.74kg (14.84 lbs)

User avatar
Kayrehn
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:06 pm

by Kayrehn

FWIW, this came with my Colnago. Image

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


JerryLook
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

Man that thing looks at least 6-7cm long. I bet that offers some good support below the top bearing.
2010 Orbea Opal
DA 7900
6.74kg (14.84 lbs)

User avatar
Lewn777
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Kayrehn wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:42 pm
Lewn777 wrote:Because anyone else/other people ran some uber light and short expander to save some weight and has been anecdotally fine, it doesn't prove anything, headers do fail sometimes with bad consequences.
Everything can break, even solid-looking shimano cranks. Until you show me a few incidents of just-riding-along stem-crushed steerer tubes, I'll say it's safe enough for most bikes. I just find it funny for you to say that if X% of people here does it and still survives, 'it doesn't prove anything'. Of course it proves something, only that you don't agree with it.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
It's your life. You are free to do anything that you like. I would absolutely defend your right to do that too. To tell others what you do is also fine. We are all adults, take your own risks, do what you feel is safe. Yes, you'll probably be fine.

Just that some people like me worry about our bikes maybe unnecessarily, so we like to follow the advice of the engineers that designed it. Maybe we are being overcautious, but we can live with that extra 40 grams.
Last edited by Lewn777 on Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Lewn777
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Lelandjt wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:21 pm
Lewn777 wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:22 am
From what I've read and seen I wouldn't use a light-weight short expander plug unless the manufacturer officially okays it.

Image
If you look at the enve expander plug, it's this way because it's clearly what the engineers envision to be safe for their steerers.

Image
Obviously Cannondale engineers consider a small light short expander to be enough. Seems unusual, as I suspect most manufacturers would consider this insufficient, and would worry their steerer would get crushed or damaged. Clearly Cannondale have tested this with their steerers.

Image
However I look at the boring heavy long compression plug on my Fuji which looks like this, I'm tempted to switch it out and save weight, but something tells me that's not what the engineers would want, and I'm opening myself up to danger.

So at the moment I'd say don't try to switch it out, especially after what a YouTube expert called ]Raoul Luescher said on this subject.
[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bSnbjHiFXc[/YouTube]

EDIT: 70g does seem very heavy. I'm sure you could get an expander plug about the same length weighing about 40-45g, then run a carbon top cap and an aluminium alloy or titanium bolt. I think that would be safe, so there is probably 30-50g or so you could save from this area without putting yourself at any risk.
I've been riding my Transonic SL with NO EXPANDER for 2 years. I know, how have I not died? My lawyer prohibits me from recommending this to you but it works for me. On my XC MTB I tried the same but the headset loosened on a really long, rough ride. It now uses a J&L Ultralight expander.
The ENGINEERS in carbon fiber that design our bikes say RTFM, run an expander and at least support the bottom bolt of your stem. I'll follow their advice, you can do anything you want. :thumbup:

User avatar
Lelandjt
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

JerryLook wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:57 pm
I wonder what expanders the pros use. I bet they use beefy expanders. Just like most of then use steel axle skewers. It surprises me what parts the pros use that are super light, and other parts that are heavy.
I'd use a full length expander and steel skewers (and Ultegra cassette, and maybe padded saddle, etc) if my bike had to be 6.8kg.

JerryLook
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

I understand using a padded saddle (comfort is good) if they are trying to get up to the minimum weight, but why steel skewers? And if they do run full size expanders, why? There are so many parts on a bike that one could choose to make it heavier. There has to be a reason behind it.
2010 Orbea Opal
DA 7900
6.74kg (14.84 lbs)

addictR1
Posts: 1340
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

JerryLook wrote:
addictR1 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:14 pm
sorry to hijack the thread.. but what woudl be the lightest long version of expander plug? saw on FWB site that KCNC is 35g. is that the lightest by far?
https://fairwheelbikes.com/kcnc-expander-plug/
I didn't see that they listed the length on that one. It is one of the lighter ones for sure, at least out of those that offer crush protection over the whole length of the plug.

I might be interested in that for my build. As long as it is at least as long as my current plug. I’m not a huge fan of the top cap though.
Yup I emailed FWB but haven’t got a response yet.

I also asked if possible to use this with absolute black top cap.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
Lelandjt
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

JerryLook wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:09 pm
I understand using a padded saddle (comfort is good) if they are trying to get up to the minimum weight, but why steel skewers? And if they do run full size expanders, why? There are so many parts on a bike that one could choose to make it heavier. There has to be a reason behind it.
Look at it differently: If the bike is right at the weight limit with Ultegra cassette, steel skewers, and full size expander why use a cassette that wears quicker, Ti skewers that might allow the wheels to flex more, and a skimpy expander (or none) that may not support the steerer as well when there's no weight loss to enjoy from these parts cuz you'd have to add the weight elsewhere to get back to minimum weight.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post