Lowering a handlebar beyond what the headset "allows" - advice?
Ok, here's the background: I've got a 2004 Specialized Allez Sport with some upgraded stuff on it - great affordable road bike to start with. As for fitting, I have relatively long arms for my size and had to look for a longer top tube. However with the longer top comes a slightly higher head tube positioning (.. compact geom, as you prob know ..), meaning to try and get the proper handlebar/stem height, I've gotta take away all spacers from under the stem, and put the stem in lowest angle setting.
The situation now, is that even with the stem in the lowest possible place, the height difference between the top of my saddle (which is set properly, I'm sure) and the top of my handlebar is only 3 inches, whereas I'd like it around 4 inches. I've gotten a 10mm longer stem, but still I need it lower.
I'm considering a few options:
1. The Allez has an integrated headset, and the cone is about 1" tall. Can I just saw off a chunk of it so that only the bottom 1/8"-1/4" is left? If so, then couldn't I also saw off more of the steerer, hammer the star nut lower, and have a lower stem/handlebar? I don't know if you can do something like that to the headset cone. I guess you can say that the goal here is to get the stem pretty much directly above the headset top cup (well, being integrated, the top of the headtube). Looking for comments here ...
2. Keep the headset as is, but look for a (flipflop) stem with a steeper angle so the handlebar is lower. Maybe something from MTB. Anyone can recommend stems with pretty stem angles?
3. Get a yet longer stem? I dunno, but I think going more than 10mm longer may begin to affect steering response. Comments?
4. Get a handlebar with lower drops - does anyone know of a bar that has about 1"+ lower drops than normal?
Just looking for advice and creative solutions ... thanks for any feedback at all, much appreciated.