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Old 05-20-09, 09:09 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Stem sits 4mm above the fork tube.

I'm playing around with my handlebar height. A sore back has me trying to raise the handlebars. The bike was built with a 10mm spacer both below and above the stem. This is an older picture with the original installation.



I removed the stem and removed the spacer that was above the stem and put it together with the lower spacer.

The top of the stem is about 3 or 4mm higher than the top of the tube. To make it fit below the top-of-the-tube, I really should use a 5mm spacer.

Can I ride the bike with the stem a few mm above the tube?
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-20-09 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:14 AM   #2
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The stem doesn't need to be below the top of the tube. A few mm above is very normal. If you want to raise the bars more, you could flip the stem (it looks like it might give you a few degrees of rise) or get a stem with a greater angle.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks & will do on the stem.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:44 AM   #4
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Also another thing depending on your body and whether you like riding on the hoods a lot or not: your shifter position looks to be a bit on the down side and for me, since I prefer to ride on the hoods, would yield to a bit of an extension on my backside. I would either move the shifters up a notch or rotate the bars upwards a few degrees.

Something like the shifters here would be what I am talking about.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z415 View Post
Also another thing depending on your body and whether you like riding on the hoods a lot or not: your shifter position looks to be a bit on the down side and for me, since I prefer to ride on the hoods, would yield to a bit of an extension on my backside. I would either move the shifters up a notch or rotate the bars upwards a few degrees.

Something like the shifters here would be what I am talking about.

Thanks. I rotated the bar to bring the hoods up. much better
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Old 05-20-09, 09:53 AM   #6
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I have a gap of about 6-7mm.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:54 AM   #7
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^2 Be careful with that on your first ride post-rotation. I did that for a friend after he complained about fit and his fingers ended up slipping off the bottom of the brake levers since they were higher than he was used to.
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Old 05-20-09, 10:20 AM   #8
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If the stem is not higher than the fork steerer tube, you wont be able to get the proper preload/tension on the headset. Your fork would be very wobbly then. So you HAVE to have the space there.
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Old 05-20-09, 10:21 AM   #9
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Agree with the advice in this thread.

BUT if your steerer tube is carbon, I don't like having the stem above the steerer at all.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by THEVERGE View Post
If the stem is not higher than the fork steerer tube, you wont be able to get the proper preload/tension on the headset. Your fork would be very wobbly then. So you HAVE to have the space there.
Did I change the preload by removing & reinstalling the stem? I rode the bike 42 miles after the proceedure, It rode as great as always, even on bumpy decents.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-20-09 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 05-20-09, 05:00 PM   #11
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Did I change the preload by removing & reinstalling the stem?
Yes. The stem needs to have enough compression on it to avoid any slack or wobble between the fork crown and the lower headset . Hold the front brake and rock the bike fore and aft to confirm no looseness. The headset/stem compression must be set with the top cap bolt before tightening the stem pinch bolts. After the pinch bolts are set the top cap does nothing but keep the dirt out. If the steer tube is carbon fiber do not exceed 5 nm on the pinch bolts.
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Old 05-20-09, 05:10 PM   #12
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You might also get some bar height if you flip your stem; it's hard to tell from the pix, but I think it's not a flat 90 degrees. Pop the cap in the front, pull the bars out, flip the stem and reinstall. Read up on
adjusting a threadless headset before you finish it off.
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Old 05-20-09, 06:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
Yes. The stem needs to have enough compression on it to avoid any slack or wobble between the fork crown and the lower headset . Hold the front brake and rock the bike fore and aft to confirm no looseness. The headset/stem compression must be set with the top cap bolt before tightening the stem pinch bolts. After the pinch bolts are set the top cap does nothing but keep the dirt out. If the steer tube is carbon fiber do not exceed 5 nm on the pinch bolts.

Ditto the comment that if the stem is removed, the bearings must be pre-loaded again with the top cap. If OP is unfamiliar with this, it's easy, just check out the Park Tools website for instructions or look at this: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...38#post2172338

As for the torque of the stem bolts ("pinch bolts"), follow the fork manufacturer's instructions. My fork (Reynolds, carbon steer tube) states to use the stem manufacturer's torque specification (which happens to be either 6 or 5 Nm depending on which one). Some fork manufacturers might give a different torque spec than the one given for the actual stem's bolts, but it's very uncommon.
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Old 05-20-09, 06:39 PM   #14
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Well... the good news is that I followed the correct precedure of tightening the cap before tightening the stem bolts. Thanks for the heads-up on this, I could of had a bad day.

I spoke to my LBS and they offered to check the rider fit and installation (for free).

Michael
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