Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Steering Stem Head Mods

I'm back to work on the bike finally, and after much deliberation, have decided the cleanest, meanest look for the bike will be clip-ons. The only problem is, if I don't use standard handlebars, the top fork clamp (steering stem head) is left with 2 ugly protrusions right in the middle, right where I'm looking down. Since I'm going for a super-clean, super minimal look with the bike, I'll have to do something about this.

Now, I can either have a piece custom made (too expensive), adapt one from another bike (too much trouble), or get rid of those stock handlebar mounts. I joined a DIY machine shop recently so now I have access to many excellent tools that allow me to make the mods I want.

I started by clamping up the steering stem head in the mill and removing the protrusions:

Next step is to enlarge the remaining hole to make a ledge to set a fill piece in. I'll have to learn how to use the rotating circular table thing to get this done right. Once I have a ledge, I'll mill a circular piece that sits on the ledge, flush to the top or slightly raised. The remaining crack will be fill welded and then milled off to a clean finish. I'll then take it down slightly more by sanding to end up with a smooth surface. Media-blast, then powder coat and you will never know they were there. Voila, no more stock handlebar mounts.

I need to do a little research and find out if fill welding this piece will weaken it. I definitely don't want to weaken this piece as it is under significant strain. If fill welding won't work, I'll have to figure out another way of filling the gap with something that powder coat will stick to...

Alan from the vxlist turned me on to some adjustable clipon handlebars called Convertibars. I've done a lot of research and these seem like the most flexible and cleanest looking set of clipons.
find them at: www.convertibars.com

See photo courtesy of www.convertibars.com:

Sequential update starts here:

Yesterday I milled out the hole in the triple clamp, in preparation for installation of the plug.
I used a 3/4" 4 flute end mill and went down 0.15 inches deep. I'm using 3/4" aluminum round bar stock to make the plug.

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