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I've cut my bike's steel steerer tube too short. The bike has a fully integrated headset.

I've asked both a neighbour who's an ex Specialized concept (Certini) mechanic now with his own shop (Bristol UK) and has some really nice DH rides and another neighbour who's a coded welder and also has a few very nice DH rides.

The question is "to weld or not to weld" to re-extend the steerer tube to a useful length?

  • How much short is too short? How much is above the headset now? – mikes Oct 21 at 21:30
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    You've got two skilled welders at hand. Why don't you ask one of them? – Daniel R Hicks Oct 21 at 22:07
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    This site is not like most discussion sites. We focus on questions that have clear, relatively objective answers. The question has a lot of extraneous words that make it hard to follow. "I cut my steel steerer tube too short. Is it possible to weld an extension on to the steerer tube and re-cut it?" would be a much clearer question. – Weiwen Ng Oct 21 at 22:12
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    I am finding a few posts on other forums that suggest this may be possible. However, you should ask if it's more economical to buy a new fork, particularly if you can sell the old one. – Weiwen Ng Oct 21 at 22:23
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    "Is it possible" and "is it practical" can have a wide difference between the answers – whatsisname Oct 22 at 5:24
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It appears that it is possible to extend a steel steerer. In this thread on Velocipede Salon, one person posted a video from a framebuilder, and one other person I assume is a framebuilder also responded that it is possible to weld an extension on to the tube. It may also be possible to replace the steerer entirely.

You should consider if simply buying a new fork would be more economical. Alternatively, depending on how far you cut it, it might be possible to achieve a similar riding position with a riser stem.

Your post mentioned two people with "dh" rides, which I assume means downhill mountain bikes. I am not familiar with welding, but I'd expect that welding your steerer might reduce the steerer's strength. Also, I'd expect that an improper weld would have a stress riser that could eventually break. You would want to confirm if a repair is wise with your friend. Trusting the repair to a framebuilder might be a safer option. And I'd also expect that downhill mountain biking will stress all parts a lot more than road cycling will, so it may be better to just get a new fork after all.

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Yes, for steel it's possible and is done sometimes to either repair forks or create extra-long steerers. There are technicalities to it that are best left to a pro framebuilder (which I'm not). From what I understand, in some cases a butt weld may work (I was surprised too but I know of framebuilders who are at least okay with doing extended steerers this way) and I think in the majority of cases doing it with a specially machined internal reinforcing plug down in the thick part of the steerer is preferred. In any case a lot of steps have to be taken to maintain alignment and keep it strong enough (machining the cut ends perfectly square, measuring the IDs of the pieces to join and turning the reinforcing piece to match, etc).

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    Concur - an internal reinforcement sleeve is the correct way to do this. An experienced welder would plug-weld the reinforcement sleeve to one part (ie away from the main weld), perhaps even taking it right through to the underside of the fork crown for access. – Criggie Oct 22 at 10:45
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In addition to the existing great answers.

You also have the option of just replacing the 'uppers' of the fork, this would be a fraction of the cost of a whole new fork.

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