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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Do you cut the steerer tube on your touring bike?

    I am getting really close to having my custom bike "dialed in." It came with a long steerer tube. It has now about 3" of spacers above the stem which doesn't look too pretty, but it doesn't bother me. Handlebar is now about 2.5" below the saddle. I'm debating whether to cut a couple of inches or leave as is. Some people have pointed out that leaving it uncut can be dangerous in an accident such as going over the handlebars (fact or myth?) Others have said to leave it like that... that as one gets older one might want to raise the handlebar much higher.

    What do you guys/gals do?

    Here's a pic (I'll take a better pic from the side tomorrow.)

    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 08-13-12 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    I am getting really close to having my custom bike "dialed in." It came with a long steerer tube. It has now about 3" of spacers above the stem which doesn't look too pretty, but it doesn't bother me. Handlebar is now about 2.5" below the saddle. I'm debating whether to cut a couple of inches or leave as is. Some people have pointed out that leaving it uncut can be dangerous in an accident such as going over the handlebars (fact or myth?) Others have said to leave it like that... that as one gets older one might want to raise the handlebar much higher.

    What do you guys/gals do?

    Here's a pic (I'll take a better pic from the side tomorrow.)

    I'd cut 2" off. Maybe leave an inch. Kind of looks weird right now, and yeah, seems like a possible safety hazard. If you get older and really want to raise the handlebar, you can buy a new fork.

  3. #3
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    I'm getting ready to cut my first steerer myself.

    I'm just going to add an inch of spacers on top of my setup,for when I get old(erer)......



    Pay no attention to that stem or seat,they are just there to help me figure out things.Pay no attention to the whole thing......It's the ugliest damn thing I'll ever claim I've met.......(I've nicknamed it Plan B)......Looks like somebody cut 2 bikes in half and lost half of each bike......
    Last edited by Booger1; 08-13-12 at 10:54 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I was going to cut mine once I got everything dialed in. That was 2 years ago When I pull the fork to service the head set, I may cut it, but I'll still leave about half of what is showing.


  5. #5
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I rode with an uncut steerer for about a year, and finally got around to dialing it in. Ended up cutting off about 2" so that the saddle and bar ends, where my hands are most of the time, are level. Upright enough for good visibility for commuting, and low enough to get in a decent aerodynamic position. With a riser bar, I can move my hands inboard for a lower position, or bend my elbows more. All day comfort for touring was a must, and that's what I ended up with. If I ever want the bars higher, I can flip the stem or get a stem with a greater rise. I don't want to stare at spacers above the stem all day, so that was not an option.

    Last edited by alan s; 08-13-12 at 11:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    I have a quill stem and I adjust it depending on how I feel. If I had to change spacers and such I doubt I would make the adjustments I do. I would say only you can make that call as to cut or not based around how you feel about the aesthetics. As to the safety concern I can see why people will say it could be an issue but then again going over the bars is not going to turn out good anyway you look at it. My small bar bag faces me and I guess adds a little padding if I were to exit the bike over the bars. If I had that tall stem I might figure out how to mount my bag to it and kill two birds with one stone.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  7. #7
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    I am finishing up a Fargo build and need to cut the steer tube. Mine is about 8mm above the stem so it's not terrible. Having a stem stick up that much just isnt safe. Seems as though its the 1st thing you are going to come into contact with in a frontal collision. As said in an eailer post you can always flip the stem or get a new stem with more rise.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
    I'd cut 2" off. Maybe leave an inch. Kind of looks weird right now, and yeah, seems like a possible safety hazard. If you get older and really want to raise the handlebar, you can buy a new fork.
    This sounds like a sensible idea (leaving 1" above stem.) True, I could just buy a new for fork worst case in a couple of decades.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egear View Post
    I am finishing up a Fargo build and need to cut the steer tube. Mine is about 8mm above the stem so it's not terrible. Having a stem stick up that much just isnt safe. Seems as though its the 1st thing you are going to come into contact with in a frontal collision. As said in an eailer post you can always flip the stem or get a new stem with more rise.
    Yeah, safety first! Stem is currently flipped down and I could flip it up. Also, I will leave only 1" above stem (at least for now) to give me a little bit of leeway if I want to go more upright.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    I'm getting ready to cut my first steerer myself.

    I'm just going to add an inch of spacers on top of my setup,for when I get old(erer)......



    Pay no attention to that stem or seat,they are just there to help me figure out things.Pay no attention to the whole thing......It's the ugliest damn thing I'll ever claim I've met.......(I've nicknamed it Plan B)......Looks like somebody cut 2 bikes in half and lost half of each bike......
    Hehehe! Your steerer tube is sticking out as much as mine. Don't pay attention to your bike?? I think your bike is friggin awesome!! Reminiscent of a Jeep or Land Rover, plus the handmade racks just rock. Really dig it! Definitely want to see more of it when you've got it all set up as you want it to be!
    Handcrafted panniers and bags for the discerning cyclist


  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    you can use a different stem, with less rise,
    and have your stem higher on the steerer tube, bar location the same..

    use the extra space for the handlebar bag mount, lower,
    and closer to the steering axis..



    A 2nd stem, in this case, above the one can hold another tube for accessories.. the GPS cell phone , bike computer,
    battery powered headlight/flashlight/torch.

    add one of Ahrens bottle opener 'wise *******' steerer tube spacers too while you are at it, to open that cool Cervesa, without searching your bags.

    I have my trekking bars a bit higher than the saddle, [at 65]..
    I wish I were at the bike assembly point to not have my fork steerer cut..

    had to do a long search for the only internal stem raiser to functionally
    replace the steerer cut at some point to a formula based on frame size, not rider preference..



    my one off Touring bike also uses the entire steering tube,
    when I had the choice, it had the threading
    extended long .. mid trip welding required removing the headset,
    but since all that thread was available , i had a built in headset press.. to re assemble.

    long quill stem goes down, inside, to reinforce the threaded portion.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-14-12 at 11:27 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Simon Cowbell's Avatar
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    It weighs. Remove with extreme prejudice.

  13. #13
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Another vote for "leave a little space and cut it."

  14. #14
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    Cut it.
    ...

  15. #15
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Your bike is beautiful except for the steering tube --> Cut the tube.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I would leave 1-2 cm at the top just in case you find that you want a higher handlebar some time in the future. You could always change to a riser stem as well, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

  17. #17
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    1. Ride on it for a year.
    2. Since my other bikes are threaded, messing with a new stem/height is a pain. I need my threadless touring bike to be highly changeable.

  18. #18
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    leave about an inch, but cut it before anybody sees you riding around like that

  19. #19
    Randomhead
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    I think it's a good idea. My steerer isn't cut short, and I did a quick stop and now am sporting a nice hematoma in a sensitive place

  20. #20
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    I pretty much agree that it is a good idea to leave a bit. But when you have several inches of steerer above the stem, some of that should be cut.

    I have 20mm of spacer above my stem at this time and in the photo you can see that I have my stem turned so that it is angled down, not up.

    20IMGP3649.jpg

  21. #21
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Since I already said the bike is beautiful, I'll add dial in that rear fender.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    Since I already said the bike is beautiful, I'll add dial in that rear fender.
    LOL... Will do. It's been bugging me too when I see pics of it. Funny how things come through on pics.
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 09-19-12 at 10:10 PM.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    a 17 degree stem high on the steerer will be level when flipped down.

    offers a place to put stuff on the stem, and leave room for stem number 2
    under it for a Handle bar bag, and still have room for a light on the fork crown, etc.

    there are closed cell foam pads to cover the stem backsides..

  24. #24
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Well, I had the LBS cut the steerer tube about a month ago right after my rear plastic fender broke. I replaced both fenders with some stainless steel ones. These also align so much better.

    Finally got around to taking pics yesterday on a hilly training ride. I was really excited to get my camera back from the repair shop - dropped it a couple of weeks ago.



    Closer view of Lake Patzcuaro in the background above. That lake contains several islands. The one pictured is Janitzio.


  25. #25
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    Wow, that really looks terrific : ) I see you're a coffee drinker. Where'd you find a steel bottle that bends like that for a bottle cage?

    One of the best looking bikes, but the red and black kills me : P That's our rival college's colors. I can't say too much owning a red c*r though.

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