Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
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Originally Posted by coasting
People don't normally cut the steerer until they have tried and feel comfortable with handlebar height, so do they also ride with a ridiculous pole above the stem for a while?
Usually you have at least some idea of how high the bars should be, often based on a previous bike so you don't have to leave the steerer awkwardly long.
I've always used my other bikes as a starting point but left the steerer a couple of inches (say 50 mm) higher than I think I will need. A few rides with the stem at various levels firms up the "correct height" and I again cut the steerer a bit long, say 20 mm. Some more riding refines the position and I make the final cut.
However, I always final-cut my steerers long enough that I need a 10 mm spacer ABOVE the stem to get the correct gap for the headset adjustment. That serves two purposes:
1) it assures the stem clamp is completely supported by the steerer tube so there is less chance of damage to the steerer. This is particularly important with carbon steerers.
2) I still have some room to raise the stem if I want to do so later. I could add 5 or 8 mm more spacers under the stem and still satisfy item 1.