Head Tube Rings?

I feel like this discussion has been hashed out in the MTBR archives, but I’m failing to find it right now. I’m looking to build with a EC34/44 head tube and picked the Columbus Spirit tapered one to experiment with since the PMW ones are a touch pricier and fixed length. It’s right on the edge of what I’d personally think of needing a reinforcement ring (1.1mm wall thickness), but I was curious what other builders thought.


I agree. I’ve built a couple of frames with the 46mm version ( CYRG18600 and XCRX18250) and always used rings as I felt 1.1mm after reaming will be too thin for my liking.


Rings here too, for the 1mm finished wall headtubes.

All the best
Dan Chambers

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I’m going with a shameless re-post here for me.

You can find my method on my website

Hope this helps!


When adding head tube rings to a frame that’s going to be fillet brazed, do you overlap the fillet onto the head tube ring, or do you leave enough clearance so the head tube ring is completely outside/above/below the corresponding fillet?

-Jim G

I remember a Paul Brodie video addressing this. I think he overlapped them but had a trick to make the joint look good.

I’ll try to find it today

Now that you mention it – that does ring a bell! But I just dug back through Paul’s videos and couldn’t find it. :frowning:

-Jim G

I would definitely use a ring. When the wall thickness is that small, the head tube can act as a punch on an aluminum headset cup. Especially when running cheap chinesium eBay headsets like I did on my kids bikes.
In those cases, I did the rings for extra surface area.

I looked and cannot find it. I think it was on his gravel bike build because it’s HT has a machined step.

Generally speaking (for road/gravel/XC) what’s the minimum HT thickness you’d want to have, to avoid using rings? And if you had a butted/relieved tube, how long would you want the butts to be?

Road, gravel, and XC are such a wide spectrum. For road and gravel, 1.1 seems to be the standard with no issue. For mountain bikes, people seem to have issues with ovalized headtubes without reinforcement.

Are you talking about top and downtubes? Or headtubes? For top and downtubes 40mm is the minimum butt length required by Columbus, so that is a good baseline. I have not seen a butted headtube.

Keep in mind you are removing .05-.1mm of material when you ream the headtube.

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I almost always use rings on any kind of bike OR I use Paragon’s which have extra meat for the headset interface. Rings look better and make the frame stronger with minimal extra weight and work.

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