absolute black top cap for bicycle steerer tubes

AbsoluteBlack’s latest is a simple item -a steerer tube top cap- but is no less gorgeous than their machined single chainrings. SlamThatStem would be proud, what with the reverse depression making things look even lower. It’s machined from 7075 alloy and comes in at just 4g. The only caveat is that it won’t work with the spring-equipped expansion star nuts commonly used on carbon steerers. Or, at least it won’t work with the spring in place. That’s your call. Check the backside and pricing after the break.

About the rings: When their single cyclocross chainring first debuted, they recommended against using it with KMC chains. The issue was the oversized rollers used on that brand’s chains, which could cause clogging in muddy conditions. In a nice twist of fate, KMC contacted Marcin at AbsoluteBlack and worked on a solution. Samples with smaller rollers just arrived at AB’s HQ for testing, and if all goes well, should make their way onto all applicable KMC chains within a couple months. Likely that’ll improve their performance across the board, but also make current AB chainring owners happy, too. More on that as they run through testing.

absolute black top cap for bicycle steerer tubes

Retail for the top cap is $20 US (€16.50 or £14.00). Available now, black only.



  1. Do you really need a top cap? Can’t you remove it once you’ve pre-loaded the headset? Does it provide any function after installation? If you care about the weight of a top cap couldn’t you get a removable star nut and once you’ve pre-loaded the headset just take it off both the cap and the star nut?

  2. @mateo – If your steerer tube sticks up far enough past your stem that you feel like you’d be impaled without a top cap, you’re doing something very, very wrong.

  3. @Jay, some Cannondale Lefty forks are set up without top caps. but they use a double crown like a DH fork. Running a standard fork without the cap is one of those things you could do but should not do just like those “slam that stem” guys that run without headset top covers to get their stems lower. The optimum set up is still a top cap, spacers on both sides of the stem to equalize forces and the factory top cover on the headset.

  4. If your grips go all the way to the end of the bars, why do you need plugs? I gave up trying to recycle my bar end plugs, and only use them now if I use bar ends. As for the top cap, I’m not sure I’m confident enough in the stem holding everything in place, but then again I’ve never really tried.

  5. Can you imagine having a knife at both ends of a handlebar? well, having a cilinder with no cap, is a few thousand times worse than a knife. a knife cuts you deep, and it closes after. a sharp cilinder cuts you a cilinder, then the meat in the middle does not work anymore…

    some people in the 90’s in my area almost died because of not having tube caps… so go figure why it’s mandatory in any race…

  6. S & M pitchforks come with something very similar as standard. You can run a fork without it but it looks clean with a black stem. Looking at your tyre through a long hole in your stem is somewhat off putting.

    Think there is even some company that make one for persons stash their smoke in.

  7. The biggest knock against it is that it doesn’t work with most expander plugs in carbon forks. Given the near universality of carbon steerers on road bikes that’s a real disqualifier.

    Note to jay: Starnuts are not removable except destructively. You drill them out or pound them below their useful level and add another one above it. And I agree, an open steerer top is a potential hazard.

  8. Greg: Shimano cranks with pinch bolts do have an end cap. And an indentation+pin retention system. And riding forces aren’t working against it as directly as they do on a steer tube.

  9. I have not used an expander plug with springs for over 5 years, it’s not particularly common anymore. All the plugs ENVE ships would work like a charm with this cap. I think it’s handsome, in a SR-71 kind of way.

  10. So lame, you will have to run a million spacers on top of the stem to keep the top cap from bottoming out on a compression plug. Every top cap on the market sucks but Purely Custom superlite alloy. Its cheap as dirt and it wont bottom out.

What do you think?