Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    JWK
    JWK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    87
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Surly Disc Trucker - How long should I leave steering tube?

    Well, we got our Disc Truckers. I had them give them to us with the steering tube uncut since they insisted on cutting it to the length they thought it should be with no extra. This is from them taking a measurement from a different bike we were measured on to determine frame size. The steering tubes were going to be cut before we had seen them or sat on them for the first time. So I said no.

    Of course this is going to take a lot more time on my end to get the bikes in riding condition. I've got a star nut installer and cutting guide ordered. Then there is the matter of spacers.

    Surly Truckers come with four 10mm spacers. On my bike this leaves the bars a little over an inch lower than the top of the seat. My bb to seat distance is pretty well dialed in, but I will have to do some careful fitting on my wife (who is very new to riding) before I determine hers.

    So I have two questions.

    1. As a starting point, where would you position the handlebars in relation to the seat?
    2. After that has been determined, how much steering tube would you leave above the stem for the initial cut?

    Right now with the tube uncut, there is about 70mm of tube left above the stem with the 40mm of spacers underneath. I don't have any other spacers and the star nut is not installed, so as long as I have to wait for everything I might as well make a cut as soon as everything arrives to make the steering tube a reasonable length.

    I would like to have plenty of room for adjustment for our first riding season while not having an unreasonable amount of steering tube above the stem. Stems might also get changed in the near future. The stems that come stock have 40mm of space on the tube. I don't know if this changes with different stems or if this is a standard size. I haven't touched a bike since quill stems.

    Thanks for any info and advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
    My Bikes
    '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB
    Posts
    1,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. Start with a handlebar level to the saddle. Make sure saddle height is completely tuned in which could take several long rides to determine (no knee pain, etc.)

    2. If the protrusion of the steerer tube above the stem is 2 inches or less, I would leave it as is until she's had a time to dial in the height of the handlebar/saddle. It took me 6 months before I had my really long steerer tube cut, but by then I was very comfortable with the fitting. I still left about an inch of space above the stem, just in case. In the worst case, one can play around with stems of different angles and lengths.

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    1. Start with a handlebar level to the saddle. Make sure saddle height is completely tuned in which could take several long rides to determine (no knee pain, etc.)

    2. If the protrusion of the steerer tube above the stem is 2 inches or less, I would leave it as is until she's had a time to dial in the height of the handlebar/saddle. It took me 6 months before I had my really long steerer tube cut, but by then I was very comfortable with the fitting. I still left about an inch of space above the stem, just in case. In the worst case, one can play around with stems of different angles and lengths.

    I am currently waiting to cut mine until I find out exactly where I want the bars as well.

    For now, I don't think it looks too bad... Here are a couple photos of mine:

    http://i.imgur.com/OSC4hqV.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/LMIoMOr.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/USLrA1Q.jpg

  4. #4
    djb
    djb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    3,594
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    depending on the stems that come with the bike, as mentioned, you can make further adjustments (upwards) with a stem with more of an upward angle (perhaps show a photo from the side of what is on them now)

    in general, the suggestion of level with saddle is a pretty good one, if the seat to handlebar distance is good, this should work well.

    As in all things in life such as carpentry or whatever, leaving a bit more is better than cutting too much off, so going higher certainly has no disadvantages as it can be cut down further later. I imagine it would just be prudent to figure out the spacer realestate before hand (what spacer thicknesses can be piled on top of each other)

    especially if your wife is new to riding, you certainly dont want it too low, it could put her off riding (and as mentioned, be very sure the "reach" of seat to bars is right for her height, torso length, etc) so higher is certainly better than lower.

  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,656
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tourists typically position bars higher than roadies because they spend much more time in the saddle, day after day, with little "need for speed", and they are not under so much peer pressure to conform to others' ideas of what is right. IOW, comfort takes top priority. LBS mechanics frequently set bars way too low and cut steerer too short because they only know how to build road bikes.

    Obviously the problem is if you cut the steerer too short it limits your bar height. It is possible to go with a very steep (35d) stem afterwards to maximize height, but it's better to not cut the steerer tube too short in the first place. Starting with a horizontal or inverted stem will allow you to retain maximum steerer tube length until you determine final configuration. It is not unusual for bicyclists to experiment with two or more stems when setting up a new bike, particularly in the case of one lacking recent bicycling experience. Many people building a bike use their last bike as a starting template, which can be good or bad.

    I would start with the bar 2-5 cm above saddle height. It's OK to leave 5 cm or more of steerer tube above stem until you determine best fit, it does look odd but who cares. Be sure to put spacers and a cap on the tube above stem, as the sharp edge of steering tube could injure you otherwise.

    You don't need a special tool to install a star nut. You can actually use anything to bang it into a steel steerer tube, even a long bolt that fits the star nut threads with a couple nuts jammed together 1 cm from end (homemade star nut tool) will suffice. Pipe cutters make an excellent steering tube cutter too, but it is necessary to file some afterwards because the cutter wheel will expand the diameter slightly as it cuts through the wall.

    The "stack height" of stems varies from one type stem to next, there is no standard, but most all are 37-45mm, or ~40mm.
    Last edited by seeker333; 04-19-13 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #6
    djb
    djb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    3,594
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    good point about "who cares" how it looks. The big issue here is that you want your wife to enjoy riding, if that means having the bars at x cms above seat height, then so be it. If she is comfortable, she will have fun, if she is having fun, she will ride more. if she rides more, she will become gradually a stronger biker, its a win win for everyone.(whether you two are 20 or 60 yrs old)

  7. #7
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    866
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you could always do what I did... ask the shop to leave the steerer tube uncut and they do it the heck anyway, then claim that it "came like that" and that they were "surprised that it wasn't longer" when I asked about it . . . I now have a 70mm high rise, and they better thank their lucky stars that it's the right height.

  8. #8
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    St. Louis Metro East area
    My Bikes
    1992 Specialized Crossroads (red)
    Posts
    1,278
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After you find the perfect fit, as long as the stem doesn't hit you in the chin, you could just leave it uncut, and use the extra length as attachment points for extra stuff that you'd like at a higher elevation than your bars!

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,952
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Built bikes steerers, were probably cut to a size formula, in Asia as the bike was partially built for export boxing...

    not long enough ?, order the replacement same fork, it will be shipped un cut.

  10. #10
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,656
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
    After you find the perfect fit, as long as the stem doesn't hit you in the chin, you could just leave it uncut, and use the extra length as attachment points for extra stuff that you'd like at a higher elevation than your bars!
    I've never seen anyone attach anything to an extended steerer, probably because it doesn't work well for most bicyclists.

    Once you are confident of your bicycle fit, it makes sense to cut the steerer tube and get it out of the way. An extended steerer tube interferes with position when you're riding low in the drops, and especially in an aero position (with or without aero bars). It puts your teeth in great jeopardy too - one bad bump and you're on the way to the dentist. There are other less-interfering means to attach gizmos to a bike.

    I emphasized generous tube length / handlebar height in #5 because the OP earlier mentioned a long absence from bicycling and no touring experience. It's much better to err on the side of caution than to find oneself begrudgingly spending another $110 for a new fork - which is expensive considering the entire frameset can be had for $399 (or less) shipped.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
    My Bikes
    '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB
    Posts
    1,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another thing which might seem obvious to you but not to to your wife (who is a beginner) is to get her feel really comfortable riding on the hoods (main position) before you cut the steerer tube. This might take several weeks. For some, it feels quite uncomfortable (unnatural) at first, but remind her about the advantages of getting used to that position. All adjustments over time to handlebar/saddle should be done as to achieve comfort riding "on the hoods." Help her correct her form as far as hand/arm posture. Riding on the drops should feel a little uncomfortable, but it's normal as tourers tend to use this aggressive position only for short periods: on downhills, windy conditions, or simply to change hand position for a little while. For starters, here are is a good article written by Velouria of Lovely Bicycle that she might find interesting.

  12. #12
    JWK
    JWK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    87
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for the very helpful replies. I'm now really glad I opted for accepting the bike with the tube uncut. I've got a bag with ten 20mm spacers coming which should do fine for getting both bikes on the road, and now I have a specific plan on where to start with setup. By next weekend we should be biking. We're both really excited and appreciate the advice and info. Can't wait!

  13. #13
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,656
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JWK View Post
    I've got a bag with ten 20mm spacers coming...
    You'll need every one of them.

    Enjoy your new bike. I know I like mine.

  14. #14
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    799
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I never cut my steering tube, you don't need a star nut, and you don't need spacers. You need a pinch collar to hold the steering tube in place then you are free to move the stem up and down as you please. See Sheldon's example here:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    267
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As long as you have that much steerer tube exposed, I'd flip the stem as I think it will look a bit better. You have the room to flip it and raise it if needed to keep the bars at the same height as they are now. The nice thing about this is down the line long after you have cut the tube, you can always flip the stem to the way you have it now and gain a bit height if needed. That's my .02. Great looking bike you got there.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,463
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    2. If the protrusion of the steerer tube above the stem is 2 inches or less, I would leave it as is until she's had a time to dial in the height of the handlebar/saddle. It took me 6 months before I had my really long steerer tube cut, but by then I was very comfortable with the fitting. I still left about an inch of space above the stem, just in case. In the worst case, one can play around with stems of different angles and lengths.
    +1


    I built up this frame about 3 years ago thinking that I'd cut the steerer tube when I get it dialed in. I will get around to it someday. The excess has never bothered me while in the drops.


  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pearland, Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
    Posts
    5,395
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    JWK, All good info above to help a new rider. Once your wife is comfortable with the handle bars at a particular level and reach, then you can consider trimming. Even then you may want to wait just a little longer. A long steerer can also allow the option of a second stem to mount a light or some other item onto.

    Brad

  18. #18
    djb
    djb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    3,594
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    +1
    I will get around to it someday.
    thankyou Doug, that made me feel better (errr, a bad habit of mine, putting stuff off...)

    Chris, thanks for that article link. Shall show that to my wife.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    My Bikes
    1985 Trek 720, 2010 CAAD9-6, mid-90s Trek 750 hybrid (winter bike)
    Posts
    285
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My wife kept the steering tube uncut on her 42 cm LHT, and we're glad we prevented the LBS from cutting it. As you can see, her bars are above her saddle, and that works well for her (see 2nd post in this earlier thread for a picture): http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ving-on-Friday!

    We still haven't cut the tube and I doubt we will. I doesn't interfere with anything for her.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    2004 LHT, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 1961 Ideor, 1972 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age.
    Posts
    1,116
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a 17 degree stem on one of my touring bikes and a 10 degree stem on the other. I have them angled down, not up. The photo shows the bike with the 17 degree stem.

    20IMGP3524.jpg

    If I wanted to have the bars higher, I could have the stem angled upwards instead of down. I used to have a 10m spacer above the stem, now have 20mm above the stem. I find that after losing about 30 or 35 pounds that I like my bars about 10mm lower than before.

    If you are uncertain about how much to cut and if you start with the stem angled down, that gives you some additional contingency in case you later decided you wanted the bars higher. In that case, switch the stem around.

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,779
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I got my touring bike I told the shop not to cut the steerer. this is one thing that i don't like about threadless steerers and headsets, adjustability of stem height.

    But I wanted to add a second stem and cut off handlebar on my steerer for my ortlieb handlebar bag and have the space on my handlebars for other accessories.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame, Extrawheel Trailer
    Posts
    330
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    When I got my touring bike I told the shop not to cut the steerer. this is one thing that i don't like about threadless steerers and headsets, adjustability of stem height.

    But I wanted to add a second stem and cut off handlebar on my steerer for my ortlieb handlebar bag and have the space on my handlebars for other accessories.
    Hi Cyclist2000,
    any chance of a pic please.
    I'm looking at a Jeff Jones H-Loop handle bar for my Surly Ogre project
    http://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar.html
    and a comment in another forum made me realise that the handlebar wasnt Ortlieb Ultimate 5 friendly.
    I thought a second longer stem underneath with an angle might be a workable fix.
    Thanks if its convenient - no worries if its not.
    Cheers

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,779
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    Hi Cyclist2000,
    any chance of a pic please.
    I'm looking at a Jeff Jones H-Loop handle bar for my Surly Ogre project
    http://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar.html
    and a comment in another forum made me realise that the handlebar wasnt Ortlieb Ultimate 5 friendly.
    I thought a second longer stem underneath with an angle might be a workable fix.
    Thanks if its convenient - no worries if its not.
    Cheers
    I haven't added the second stem yet, I can't get myself to cutup a good pair of handlebars. but the I wanted to do this because the older 105 brifters have the cable coming out the side of the levers. This obstructs opening the ortlieb. I may go with the new 105 levers since both cables are routed along the handlebars.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  24. #24
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chapin, SC
    My Bikes
    surly LHT, surly CC, trek 5000, paris sport fixie (my 1970 bike...repurposed
    Posts
    1,304
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I can't get myself to cutup a good pair of handlebars.
    You might want to look at the Thorn Accessory Bar


  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    312
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I've never seen anyone attach anything to an extended steerer, probably because it doesn't work well for most bicyclists.

    Once you are confident of your bicycle fit, it makes sense to cut the steerer tube and get it out of the way. An extended steerer tube interferes with position when you're riding low in the drops, and especially in an aero position (with or without aero bars). It puts your teeth in great jeopardy too - one bad bump and you're on the way to the dentist. There are other less-interfering means to attach gizmos to a bike.
    I left mine uncut. I have two things attached to my uncut steerer tube, a computer and a bell. It works well, and it isn't even close to a place where it will put me in any danger. I'm not even close to it when I'm in the drops. My bars are basically level with the seat. Sometimes I move them up a bit, and sometimes I put them down more. I have no intention of cutting the steerer after riding the bike for two years.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •