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To cut or not to cut

Old 05-12-15, 05:38 PM
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To cut or not to cut

I'm reasonably happy with the fit of my swept-bar Vaya build but the heavily angled long stem (120mm 25 deg) leaves about three inches of steerer just begging to be cut off. It looks ugly.

All things being equal, am I better to cut the steerer (maybe leaving half an inch or so for flexibility) or invest in a new 0 degree stem that will take the handlebar out to where it is now without the need for above-the-stem spacers?

Other than appearance (I think cutting it and keeping the angled stem would look better) are there any considerations?
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Old 05-12-15, 05:46 PM
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Does your steerer have a maximum spacer limit that you know of? If not, then it is mostly an aesthetic choice. Personally I'd use the stem to achieve my position rather than a large stack of spacers.
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Old 05-12-15, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by frankenmike View Post
Does your steerer have a maximum spacer limit that you know of? If not, then it is mostly an aesthetic choice. Personally I'd use the stem to achieve my position rather than a large stack of spacers.
I don't know if there's a spacer limit but assume it's all usable and thank you for a point-of-view that I like!
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Old 05-12-15, 06:13 PM
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If I'm imagining this right, you have a high stack, then a low angle stem to push the bar back down.

So, discounting the evolution that got you there, why would you want to take the long way between two points? If you take the straight and narrow path you'll save weight and improve rigidity at the same time, with no technical drawback that I can think of. (of course, you'll be shelling out some dough).
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Old 05-13-15, 04:50 AM
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My take is that he has the stem angled up, and a stack of spacers above the stem. He's wondering if he should chop the excess steerer or switch to a zero degree stem at the top of the spacer stack. Am I right, OP? Pic?
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Old 05-13-15, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by frankenmike View Post
My take is that he has the stem angled up, and a stack of spacers above the stem. He's wondering if he should chop the excess steerer or switch to a zero degree stem at the top of the spacer stack. Am I right, OP? Pic?
That's correct. Sorry if I was unclear, FB, Here's a belated pic. I'm embarrassed at the ugliness!
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Old 05-13-15, 07:31 AM
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The Vaya is designed to have an extremely upright sitting position, hence the high stem and 25 deg stem. My guess is that if you replaced the stem with a 110mm 7 degree stem that was angled down, your handlebar would end up in about the same place. Wait, there's an online tool for this, right?

I'm assuming 60mm of spacers.



Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net
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Old 05-13-15, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
The Vaya is designed to have an extremely upright sitting position, hence the high stem and 25 deg stem. My guess is that if you replaced the stem with a 110mm 7 degree stem that was angled down, your handlebar would end up in about the same place.
The Vaya is designed for drop bars and a normal, bent-over riding position. This is my configuration. A 0 degree stem would end up in about the same place as it is now if all the spacers were below the stem.

Thanks for the link... I'll have a look.
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Old 05-13-15, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
The Vaya is designed for drop bars and a normal, bent-over riding position. This is my configuration.
Sorry, I should have qualified. The Vaya has an extremely upright riding position *compared to most road bikes*. For example, comparing the 57cm version to my 57cm Ritchey Road Logic frame, which is not exactly the most "racy" geometry, the Vaya has 40mm more stack height.

A 0 degree stem would end up in about the same place as it is now if all the spacers were below the stem.
Well I had to guess how big your spacers were, that online tool will tell you the right answer.
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Old 05-13-15, 08:08 AM
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i take function over looks put the spacers under and get a shorter stem , to bring the bars back ..

dont cut , it won't grow back ..
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Old 05-13-15, 08:38 AM
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I think I'd split the difference. Put a couple of spacers under the stem and use a 10° or 17° stem. Then a small spacer above and cut the remainder of the steerer. This will provide future flexibility and keep the spacer stack and stem angle reasonable for a somewhat traditional look.
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Old 05-13-15, 11:07 AM
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OK, I misunderstood originally because the question was too simple.

You have a bar in the right place, you have a stem, nicely placed low on the steerer. In short the bike is textbook perfect. Unless you expect to make a change or need higher bars some time in the future, I can't see why you even asked.

No need to spend dough on anything, just cut the steerer.
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Old 05-13-15, 12:26 PM
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Cut it!

Use one 5mm spacer below and one 5mm above the stem so that you have some stack height flexibility if you ever need to replace the headset.

No reason to be riding around with that "Pole" sticking up into your face.
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Old 05-13-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
OK, I misunderstood originally because the question was too simple.

You have a bar in the right place, you have a stem, nicely placed low on the steerer. In short the bike is textbook perfect. Unless you expect to make a change or need higher bars some time in the future, I can't see why you even asked.

No need to spend dough on anything, just cut the steerer.
I think the options have been cleanly layed out in the above posts, however I do have a question about this post. Why is the bar placed "correctly" when it is "low on the steerer." This is the first I've heard of this. Is there a reason to place the bars low on the steerer tube, other than aesthetics? (Obviously if you place it too far up you'll probably start to have weird control issues.)
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Old 05-13-15, 01:32 PM
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It is a bit on the ugly side as it now sits.
I would go to a different stem, spacers below and above and cut the steerer....would give you room to move the stem later if needed, and make it not quite so ugly.
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Old 05-13-15, 02:40 PM
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It appears all the spacers are different heights so try experimenting with different variations of spacing with the stem flipped over.

You might find a combination that works without having to buy or cut anything...
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Old 05-13-15, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I can't see why you even asked. No need to spend dough on anything, just cut the steerer.
I needed some reassurance as it's a one-way street and I've never done it before, that's why... I still need to get a cutting guide but am sure I will need it again someday. Or not.

Thanks all for your input.
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Old 05-13-15, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Cut it!
No reason to be riding around with that "Pole" sticking up into your face.
Probably what I'll do. An amusing comment when juxtaposed with your avatar.
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Old 05-13-15, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
I needed some reassurance as it's a one-way street and I've never done it before, that's why... I still need to get a cutting guide but am sure I will need it again someday. Or not.

Thanks all for your input.
Cutting guide is easy and cheap or free. If you have a spacer to sacrifice, place it on the fork as the minimum cut, and cut. If you drift outward, no big deal, square it up with a file. Or use two spacers with the top cap holding them home with a roughly 3mm gap. Cut straight down the gap (this only works if you're cutting off enough that the expander plug is totally on the waste side).

Or buy one or two hose clamps, space them 3mm apart and cut down the gap.
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Old 05-13-15, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Cutting guide is easy and cheap or free. If you have a spacer to sacrifice, place it on the fork as the minimum cut, and cut. If you drift outward, no big deal, square it up with a file. Or use two spacers with the top cap holding them home with a roughly 3mm gap. Cut straight down the gap (this only works if you're cutting off enough that the expander plug is totally on the waste side).

Or buy one or two hose clamps, space them 3mm apart and cut down the gap.
I was planning first to drive the star nut (expander plug?) down by a distance equal to the length I'm cutting off and then use a couple of hose clamps as guides. Why would the star nut ever end up on the waste side?
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Old 05-14-15, 01:16 AM
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If the stem would be one with a small rise (small angle), then maybe I'll cut the steerer shorter (but even then, I'll leave at least 2cm for future adjustments, thicker stems, etc.).

With a stem as angled as that (with high rise), I would not cut the steerer just above the stem, like you are tempted to do.
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Old 05-28-15, 05:09 PM
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The deed is done and the pipe clamp / spacer worked fine with just a bit of filing. Thanks for the advice. It looks much better.

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Old 05-28-15, 05:23 PM
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you can center up the star nut by overtorquing the cap bolt.
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Old 05-28-15, 07:15 PM
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looks good.
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Old 05-29-15, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sickz View Post
you can center up the star nut by overtorquing the cap bolt.
I used a hammer and punch to do the final centering of the star nut. Also, pipe clamps have a bump at the site of the tightening mechanism so it was necessary to file the sacrificial spacer to make it completely flush with the pipe clamp.

It hadn't previously occurred to me but since nothing ever touches the surface of the steerer tube, pride is the only thing demanding a precise cut. My fretting was unnecessary.

Last edited by asmac; 05-29-15 at 06:50 AM.
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