Forks, Stems and Headsets

Trying to get my head around this!

Just purchased a new frame of the bay. Im trying to source some forks off the net but im having some trouble with sizings…

I have had a look at Sheldon Brown and still cant seem to get my head around it…

I want to use a quil stem, so I know I need a treaded headset/forks. Im pretty sure I need a 1" Threaded headset which is no dramas. My main issue is the forks/stem.

How do I determine steerer length? If I have a 1inch headset do I require a 1 inch fork?

The next issue is, does the stem need to be a certain length? Or is it a case of the longer the stem and higher the handle bars??

Any advice will be greatly appreciated… lamens terms will also help!!

Thanks in advance!


Steerer length is the length of the straight section of tube on the top of the fork. If you buy a new fork, they will be oversized so you don’t need to worry about the length as you’ll cut it yourself. However if you buy a secondhand fork you’ll need to determine whether the steerer is long enough for the frame you are putting it in.

steerer length=headtube length+ headset upper stack height+ lower stack height-2 mm

If you have a 1 inch fork, you’ll need a 1 inch headset

Stem length is determined by your seating postion/frame size/personal preference

Remember you can use an ahead adapter and run a modern ahead stem rather than quill.

And of course if you are buying a new fork, you could always just get a threadless fork which makes life easier.

Too easy, thanks mate!

you do need to make sure you’re frame has a 1" head tube. If its 1 1/8th then your headset and anything else 1" wont work. Will also mean you cant run a quill stem.