PVD Tapered Head Tube

It’s been a few months since I’ve build a bike frame. I needed to update my geared trail bike with a few new updates in my design but one issue was lagging.

1.125″ straight steerers are effectively dead. It’s all tapered now. The light carbon forked folks like it. The burly slopestylists like it. Everyone is happy. But it’s a real challenge for the casual steel builder. A new head tube design will make the bike heavier and probably look worse. I had been stewing for a few months knowing that I had to solve this issue before I built any more bikes.

Today I pulled the trigger on the design. A 135mm tube made of 4130 cromoly. 1.125″ zero-stack upper and traditional 1.500″ lower. 195 grams. It isn’t the lightest head tube but at least it’s gonna be trick! Half of a day of machining time. If this prototype works well I will spend the money for a run to be cut CNC somewhere. I’ll probably do 2 or 3 sizes since it’s just 1 line of code difference.