By not servicing the headset for a long time (>10K km), I ended up with the so-called ring of death on the steerer tube. If you have never heard of it, watch this

It's caused by a loose headset scratching the tube. There are some horror stories on the Web about this, but in my case it doesn't look too deep, and I was wondering if anything can be done about it. Frame and fork have a matching paint job, so if safe, I would like to keep this fork, which is a Columbus Futura Caliper. The bike is a Cinelli Superstar with caliper brakes from 2018.

Do you think I need to replace this fork, or is it still rescuable?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The video is from an internet personality who a) behaves extremely problematically, b) has no engineering training, and c) has a thing about carbon fiber.

Raoul Luescher is a much more credible source than the above, and he actually may have coined the phrase ring of death. It is indeed caused by a loose headset. He has asserted that he can repair this cost-effectively. He said (Escape Collective Discord) that he'd done several hundred to date. I would find a carbon repairer near you and ask. Luescher didn't indicate that this was a technically difficult job, and this problem is not uncommon, so the repair techniques should have propagated. Hence, if one shop can't do it, then I bet another one could.

The example above looks like it should be fixed immediately. Luescher might say, in his usual understated way, that this is "less than ideal." The example below from Luescher's Instagram is worse:

enter image description here

Here, it looks like several layers of carbon have been abraded through. I don't know if this can be fixed. It's possible there's already an internal delamination.

The link provided by mattnz actually doesn't address this question, although I'll update it when able.

  • The video is from an internet personality who a) behaves extremely problematically, b) has no engineering training, and c) has a thing about carbon fiber. Yes he comes across to me as somewhat of a bombastic twit, and I haven't watched any of his other videos, and I only watched the linked one once shortly after this question was posted - almost a week ago now? But I don't recall him being wrong in this one video. Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 16:37
  • @AndrewHenle I would suggest we all continue not to watch his videos. I'd watch Luescher instead (but he doesn't seem to have made a vid on this topic)
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 17:09
  • Ouch. :-D Well, my sample size is admittedly small.... Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 17:13
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    @AndrewHenle If you Google his handle, you will be able to see others' assessments of him. There's a few Reddit threads and one on Slowtwitch. I realize I made an assertion without evidence above, but if you want to search for him, I am pretty sure you will see why I did this.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 17:16
  • I brought the fork to a carbon repair shop and they said "the damage is perfectly repairable, we have seen and fixed worse." Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 22:27

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