Originally Posted by jhglaw
I very rarely ever see road bikes with spacers above the stem.
You rarely see this, because it is usually only done temporarily, while dialing in your fit, often with a new bike, or an old bike with a new fork.
Let's say you want to test a lower riding position without making any permanent cuts. You pull the stem, remove a spacer or two, replace the stem, and then place the spacers that you just removed on top of the stem. You ride the bike awhile and realize you're too low. Reverse the process and add a spacer back below the stem and try that position for awhile.
When you're sure that the position is right, then
you cut the steerer. This method simply allows you to test different positions without making permanent changes/cuts. Doesn't matter what the steerer is made of.