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  1. #1
    Senior Member ZiP0082's Avatar
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    threadless setups: headsets, forks, steerers

    My fork's steerer is too long, and I'm going to have my LBS cut it down a little.

    Is there a "best practice" when it comes to steerer length / spacers on a threadless setup? Aesthetically, it would seem that there shouldn't be a need for any spacers, and if there needed to be a rise for a better fit (from saddle to bars) that the rise could occur via the stem and/or handlebar selection.

    Am I incorrect in this assumption?

    One potential flaw with cutting the steerer down super short could be that it wouldn't allow for any variation in height of the headset and stem, right? Or are both of these measurements standardized/universal?

    I'm currently running risers, and I have put the stem down lower on the steerer, and everything still feels fine, fit-wise.

    Thanks!

    image pulled from cycling news, for reference:

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    I like using spacers because you can fine tune the fit easier than if you were to use various stems. Cheaper too. I also leave 1/4" to 1/2" of spacer (with corresponding steerer tube inside) on top of the stem in case I sell the bike. It lets the user further fine tune the bike to their needs.

    Chris

  3. #3
    YOU ARE NOW TUNED IN No_Minkah's Avatar
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    It's a question fit and riding style. As for fit, some people's proportions dictate that when they ride a stock frame size, their arms are of such a length that they need to have the bars further up, or back, so as not to be stretched out too for forward. Like me, for example- my legs are longer than my arms for a man of my height, so I need to add some spacers to bring the bars up to my T-rex arms.

    For riding style, some people like to be more upright versus a more aggressive, racing position. So they also would want more spacers.

  4. #4
    out of shape
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    if you're leaving more than 4cm of steerer exposed, it's better to use a few large spacers (or just one) rather than a whole stack of tiny ones— they don't shift around as much. some manufacturers recommend putting a spacer above the stem to even out the force from the top cap. never use more than 4cm of spacers on a carbon steer tube unless the mfr. says it's OK.

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chase. View Post
    if you're leaving more than 4cm of steerer exposed, it's better to use a few large spacers (or just one) rather than a whole stack of tiny onesó they don't shift around as much.
    Ehhh. Wrong. If your spacers are shifting around, then you're not doing it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by
    some manufacturers recommend putting a spacer above the stem to even out the force from the top cap.
    Oh, that two in the wrong column.

    Quote Originally Posted by
    never use more than 4cm of spacers on a carbon steer tube unless the mfr. says it's OK.
    Possible redemption, the quoted value is typically 25mm for a 1" steerer, 30-40mm for a 1 1/8" (they remember it as stack height = steerer diameter)
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiP0082 View Post
    I'm currently running risers, and I have put the stem down lower on the steerer, and everything still feels fine, fit-wise.
    Don't cut for risers. They won't be cool in a year or so any you'll be left with a shorter steerer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZiP0082's Avatar
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    thanks for the advice, everyone. sounds like the best bet is to not trim to the absolute minimum, but leave a little space, just in case.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZiP0082's Avatar
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    update: i ended up picking up a pipe cutter for $5.49, two different sheets of metal sandpaper, and a dowel-rod for $1.39 (to take out, then put back in the star nut), and trimmed it down, losing exactly an inch of spacers

    photo:


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