Steerer length?

Hey dudes,

Is it possible to figure out the steerer length without removing a fork from the headset? I’ve got a Shimano 600 headset in my track frame, and I don’t really want to loosen it unless I have to, as I’ve heard they’re really hard to get tight again without a wrench to fit the star-nut.

I’d like to pick up a new fork though, so I don’t have to drill the fork that’s on there.


for threaded steerers it’s dead easy.
have look at the bottom of the headset wher the bottom race sets on the top of the fork leg. hook a tape measure to the bottom of that race.
run the tape to the top of the locking nut for the headset.
thats going to be your appoximate length. it’ll be plus or minus a mm or two, but a single washer will take care of that either way. to know how much thread you need, just measure from the top of the locking nut to the top of the steerer tube on the frame. that should give you all you need.
remember that a steerer on a fork can be longer and you can just space it to fit with a spacer between the top cone and the locking nut.
for ahead just measure from the top cap right at the top down to the bottom of the bottom race, and buy anything that length or longer. you can always either cut or space from there.

Sweet, thanks dude! It’s the original 70s/80s fork so I’m assuming that it’d be threaded?

And by locking nut, do you mean the top nut of the headset?

Thanks heaps for the help.

Yep and yep. If it’s too short then you’re stuffed. If it’s too long, it can be cut down easily.

Excellent, thanks for the help.

Are threaded stems still used these days? Or am I going to have trouble finding one?

One-inch quills should be easy to find, the shops down there in Tas will probably have some.

Depends if you want a vintage item or an item of a particular style. otherwise, ebay is your friend - just do a search for “vintage stem” and you’ll have stacks to choose from, and likely some from within Australia, which should keep the $$$ postage cost down.

Nitto still makes quill stems and are probably some of the best quill stems out there. Go to kookie bikes and have a look at what he’s got. Lot’s of models to choose from at different price points and various sizes. He’ll gladly deliver to where you are.


I think 11am may be a little early in the morning for me. I actually meant threaded forks. Haha, shit.

Thanks guys, I’m actually fine for a quill stem, haha.

You’re a bit late… Two threaded columbus forks just went on ebay for only $40 starting bid, with campy headset bits. Only one sold…

Pay your bike shops a visit. Ask around. I’m sure some shop will have some old ones lying around. Keep an eye on ebay as well. They come along from time to time. Make sure you don’t buy one with too short a steerer tube though. You can buy them new as well. Shifterbikes has some very nice lugged chrome tange ones. I’ve got one of them. Will probably buy another soon for the other bike. They are very nice.

Damnit. What happened to the other one? Any idea on the seller?

I’m planning on hitting the bike shops once I’ve got some measurements. I’m hoping I can pick up a $50 track frame with an OK fork on it, then maybe sell the frame.

How much did the fork from SB set you back?

Thanks guys.

$75. Very cheap considering what it is. Nice lugged fork crown. Chrome finish. Enough clearance to fit a 32c tyre.