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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-18-05, 08:24 AM   #1
crackabee
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steerer tube length...

A roadie pulled up next to me, made the usual remarks about a fixed gear (that mix of condescention and exotification), and then said, "You shouldn't have your stem that low on the steerer like that." Then he stopped at a stoplight and I didn't see him anymore.

I think he's refering to the 3cm of spacers i have above my stem that i've been meaning to get cut down (when i rustle up a few bucks for service).

Why would that be a problem? Am I missing something about the concept of a threadless headset with my setup?
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Old 10-18-05, 08:52 AM   #2
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i don't see any reason, other than comfort, against having your stem low on the steerer. if anything, structurally, there is more torque the higher you have the stem.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:05 AM   #3
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you can lower the bars without cutting the steerer if you want to. just swap the spacers around so some of them are above the stem. It may LOOK funky, but if the bar height feels better, who cares it will make you more comfortable until you can get to the service, and it could also save you from making an irreversible mistake if it turns out you don't actually like the bars that low. Another way to adjust bar height would be to flip the stem if it's pointing up flipping it would effectively drop the bar height. It just depends upon how steep of an angle it's at. If it's a steep angle that might be a drastic change.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:11 AM   #4
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You can cut the steerer down with a hacksaw. I wouldn't pay the price of a hacksaw to have it down at a shop. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:49 AM   #5
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I've never done it, but wouldn't a pipe cutter do a nicer cleaner job?
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Old 10-18-05, 10:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackabee
Am I missing something about the concept of a threadless headset with my setup?
Pah 3cm, I think he was winding you up. About the only problem I've ever had with spacers on top of my stem is that it makes laying out big superman skids tricky as that stack of spacers can interfer with your swingers (for the women on this forum I doubt its comfortable too).

I would however suggest using your LBS to cut it down. Many will cut down threadless forks for pretty cheap using guides and readjust your headset. In and out in less than 10 mins, including some yakking time about this roadie guy.

You can do it yourself, but remember to measure first and ensure that where you cut is the right spot for the spacers you have. Otherwise, you'll be walking to the bike shop like me to get some new spacers cause you cut your fork too low. Parktool.com has a good guide to cutting forks and adjusting threadless headsets.
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Old 10-18-05, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackabee
I think he's refering to the 3cm of spacers i have above my stem that i've been meaning to get cut down (when i rustle up a few bucks for service).

Why would that be a problem? Am I missing something about the concept of a threadless headset with my setup?
A non-issue really. The only problem might come in a crash where you would impale yourself on the steerer tube sticking out from your stem.

I am always swapping, raising and lowering stems and handlebars, so there are times I have about 2-3 cms showing on top. No big deal.

If you look at photos from track, many trackies who ride with threadless, also have some steerer tube showing on top of stem because of the constant changes in positions, etc.
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Old 10-18-05, 10:50 AM   #8
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never gave me problem but i want to get rid of it for looks.
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Old 10-18-05, 10:50 AM   #9
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Not to steal your thread, but does anyone have experience with getting a carbon steerer cut? Do they have to water-jet it to avoid fraying the fibres, or just a fine blade hack and a sealing compond? I'd hate to toast a crispy fork just to get rid of a few cm of spacers...
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Old 10-18-05, 11:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InVeloVeritas
Not to steal your thread, but does anyone have experience with getting a carbon steerer cut? Do they have to water-jet it to avoid fraying the fibres, or just a fine blade hack and a sealing compond? I'd hate to toast a crispy fork just to get rid of a few cm of spacers...

For a carbon steerer, I would definetely take it to a bike shop. With a hacksaw (I have read) you can compromise the layers by creating a crack at the seams by cutting against the fibers...or something like that. Anyways, the fear is that over time that small crack can turn into a bigger crack and snap...
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Old 10-18-05, 12:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, I certainly wouldn't want to be doing it myself, but I'm not even sure if I'd trust an LBS to cut it. It's pretty easy to cause delamination when you start cross-cutting a CF layup. I guess it depends on the construction technique used by the manufacturer, and how much experience the shop has. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of shops refuse to touch that stuff. Guess I'll just ask around...
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Old 10-18-05, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface
I've never done it, but wouldn't a pipe cutter do a nicer cleaner job?
Yes, absolutely! Just don't use it on a carbon steerer.
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Old 10-18-05, 01:09 PM   #13
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When cutting carbon steerers, wet the blade of the hacksaw so you dont get so much dust flying around. Then file down the burrs. If you are really paranoid about delam. dab some superglue on the exposed ends. Trick I learned with cf parts on R/C cars
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Old 10-18-05, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincewind8
Yes, absolutely! Just don't use it on a carbon steerer.
No! It depends! Pipe cutters will only work nicely on aluminum stear tubes. For steel ones use a hacksaw and guide. Remember to cut it about 2mm lower the were your stem's upper edge will be, so you will be able to tighten it to desired preload.
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