Best Expander Plug for Carbon Steer Tube

Jul 11, 2010
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What's the best type of expander plug to tension a carbon steerer fork? My fork keeps creeping loose. I know that the stem is supposed to hold the final tension, but that's not working for too long. I'm hoping to stave off the looseness longer by keeping the expander plug tensioned as well.

This looks like what I've got: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=31406&category=100

This is style I'm considering replacing it with: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=29439&category=100

Any concerns I should have before making the switch? Bike is an Argon Gallium Pro with an FSA integrated headset.

Also, will carbon assembly paste help keep the tension set?

Thanks!
 
Aug 4, 2009
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FSA expander sits in the tube permanently then the cap tightens on to it so when you change stem it will not have to be removed I put a little drop of locktight on mine and no probs.
make sure there is a small gap 3mm between the top of the steerer tube and the top of the stem so you can lock it home.
havnt touched mine since I locked it in the tube with a 6mm alen key then put the cap on seperate.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
What's the best type of expander plug to tension a carbon steerer fork? My fork keeps creeping loose. I know that the stem is supposed to hold the final tension, but that's not working for too long. I'm hoping to stave off the looseness longer by keeping the expander plug tensioned as well.

This looks like what I've got: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=31406&category=100

This is style I'm considering replacing it with: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=29439&category=100

Any concerns I should have before making the switch? Bike is an Argon Gallium Pro with an FSA integrated headset.

Also, will carbon assembly paste help keep the tension set?

Thanks!
I have the exact same plug, and (had, I hope) the exact same problem. I tried carbon assembly paste on the plug without success - using paste on the stem-steerer interface did help a little but didn't completely fix it. Mostly assembly paste inside the steerer just made it a bear to loosen the expander to re-seat it, but didn't stop it slipping.

Just last weekend I gave up faffing around with it - I cleaned the steerer tube out with soapy water, cleaned the plug, and reassembled substituting araldite (epoxy) for assembly paste. If that doesn't stop it slipping, nothing will :eek:

FWIW, I think the problem is likely to be at least partly due to the inside of the steerer not being even, therefore offering less grip to the expander plug. The FSA you link to probably couldn't be any worse than the Deda, but might not be any better...
 
Mar 12, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
What's the best type of expander plug to tension a carbon steerer fork? My fork keeps creeping loose. I know that the stem is supposed to hold the final tension, but that's not working for too long. I'm hoping to stave off the looseness longer by keeping the expander plug tensioned as well.

This looks like what I've got: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=31406&category=100

This is style I'm considering replacing it with: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=29439&category=100

Any concerns I should have before making the switch? Bike is an Argon Gallium Pro with an FSA integrated headset.

Also, will carbon assembly paste help keep the tension set?

Thanks!
If your stem is working loose then you really need assembly paste between the stem and steerer tube. Make sure your stem bolts are torqued down. The expander plug is not designed to hold the assemble together it is there to allow for pre-tension of the headset. A new plug is not the solution.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
What's the best type of expander plug to tension a carbon steerer fork? My fork keeps creeping loose. I know that the stem is supposed to hold the final tension, but that's not working for too long. I'm hoping to stave off the looseness longer by keeping the expander plug tensioned as well.

This looks like what I've got: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=31406&category=100

This is style I'm considering replacing it with: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=29439&category=100

Any concerns I should have before making the switch? Bike is an Argon Gallium Pro with an FSA integrated headset.

Also, will carbon assembly paste help keep the tension set?
the carbon assembly paste is very helpful and may eliminate the problem all together it did for me in other problem areas i had big problems with slipping seat posts etc... whether it helps with the headset or not i dont know but you should be using it anywhere carbon clamps to carbon in that application its great.
 
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