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BMX How to - Switching to a Tapered Headtube

August 30, 2020 3 min read

We get asked a lot around here. How do I switch from an Expert to a Pro Frame. What parts do I need to use to install the tapered head tube. People seem to think that the Tapered head tube on the Supercross ENVY BLK2 and the Supercross ENVY RS7 Pro size and larger frames are some kind of "Black Magic"

They don't understand how the bearings work, how it makes it stiffer, what forks you need to use, what headsets, spacers, can you use an older fork if you are switching from an older non tapered pro frame, so we are here to give you some info to help you along.

First, you need to know which headtube you have. All of our Supercross BMX ENVY BLK Pro and Larger Frames , ( BLK, BLK v1.1 and ENVY BLK 2 ) , the ENVY v5 and the ENVY RS7 Pro and Larger and the Supercross BMX Shine v2, v3 and the new v4 all use a Tapered 1 1/8" to 1.5" Integrated Head tube. This headtube is easily recognizable by it's "Bell" looking shape where it is smaller at the top for the 1 1/8" bearing and larger at the bottom for the 1.5" bearing.

The parts you need are your new Frame and Fork:

A Speedline Tapered Headset - ( Or Equivalent ( FSA, Cane Creek etc... )
Speedline 1 1/8" Spacers - ( any 1 1/8" spacer will work )

And then your 1 1/8" Stem and Bars

Now, we are recommending the Speedline Tapered Headset because it comes with both the 1 1/8" and the 1.5" Bottom plate so you can run either the 1 1/8" straight steer tube fork that you may of had for your older style of Pro frame, or you can run the newer Tapered Steer Tube Fork.  Some  headsets like the FSA or Cane Creek may require that you purchase the adapter plate separately if you want to run a straight 1 1/8" fork on a tapered head tube frame.

To start, you will install your bottom race on your new fork. The large 1.5" race if you have the 1.5" fork, the 1 1/8" adapter race if you have the 1 1/8" Fork.

Then install the Bottom 1.5" bearing into your frame. Make sure you apply a light amount of grease on the bearing to make sure that the bearing fits into the frame easily and prevents creaking in the future. Don't use too much grease. A little bit goes a long way.

Next slide the fork steer tube up the head tube of your frame. Once you have the fork slid up the head tube install your top bearing. Again, like the bottom bearing, apply a light coat of grease, and slide it down the steer tube and into the frame.

Now slide on the top expander split race into the top bearing. Slide down the top Alloy dust cover with its thin washer between the expander and the dust cover.

At this point, you are ready to size up how many spacers you need to go under your stem , or over your stem to adjust your height.

Our personal recommendation is to run your stem as low as you can and to get as tall of a bar as you can to get the proper bar height. But we know that isn't always possible.  But slide your stem down the steer tube, ( make sure if you have a carbon steer tube that you use carbon paste ) or spacers at this point. Get your stem and bar assembly where you would like it.  Tighten down the top bolt to snug the entire assembly together. Don't go too tight, just get the play out and make sure your headset spins free. Then straighten your bars and tighten up your stems side bolts.

It's pretty easy, you are done!

We even have a video below to show you how to do the install. Give it a click below!