Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Alternative steerer tube cutting guide

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Alternative steerer tube cutting guide

Old 05-21-17, 02:57 PM
  #1  
15minprior
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Alternative steerer tube cutting guide

The cheapest available option is the sub $20 Nashbar guide and the next one up is the Park Tools guide at around $40.

Instead of hacking up an old stem as recommended by others, use a hose clamp instead.

15minprior is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 03:49 PM
  #2  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,526

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1956 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 959 Times in 666 Posts
That's not exactly a new concept. Using a hose clamp as a cutting guide for steerers has been a common recommendation for decades.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 04:31 PM
  #3  
15minprior
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rgr, I didn't think I had invented this method. I simply couldn't find any information on alternatives, mods please delete if this is redundant.
15minprior is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 05:06 PM
  #4  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,782

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 235 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6839 Post(s)
Liked 725 Times in 459 Posts
To each his own but how did you keep the bike from swaying back and forth or the whole stand from moving as you cut? Or was that not a problem?

Spending $20 on the Nashbar tool was worth it to me.




-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 06:34 PM
  #5  
hermanchauw
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 470

Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Linus Libertine

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
Use a tubing cutter. You get a square cut everytime. No need stand also. Just need to finish the end a little bit.
hermanchauw is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 06:36 PM
  #6  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,526

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1956 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 959 Times in 666 Posts
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Use a tubing cutter. You get a square cut everytime. No need stand also. Just need to finish the end a little bit.
You can't cut a carbon steerer with a tubing cutter.

To each his own but how did you keep the bike from swaying back and forth or the whole stand from moving as you cut? Or was that not a problem?
I used the hose clamp method before I got my Nashbar/Performance cutting guide ($14 on sale when I bought it). I removed the fork from the bike, laid it on my workbench and cut it using a fine tooth hacksaw and working around the edge of the hose clamp rotating the fork as I cut. Worked fine and was no problem getting a clean, neat cut. The guide is an improvement however.

Last edited by HillRider; 05-21-17 at 06:41 PM.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 07:24 PM
  #7  
Kapusta
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,836

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2601 Post(s)
Liked 2,303 Times in 1,302 Posts
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Use a tubing cutter. You get a square cut everytime. No need stand also. Just need to finish the end a little bit.
This is what I've done for ever.

Never had a carbon steer tube, though.
Kapusta is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 07:36 PM
  #8  
nfmisso
Nigel
 
nfmisso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: 1980s and 1990s steel: CyclePro, Nishiki, Schwinn, SR, Trek........

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 384 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Use a tubing cutter. You get a square cut everytime. No need stand also. Just need to finish the end a little bit.
Let alone a cro-mo or 531 steerer tub - they'll just bend the edge of the tubing cutter's wheel(s).
nfmisso is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 08:01 PM
  #9  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,744

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4770 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 761 Times in 475 Posts
I have no idea how the whole tubing cutter idea got started and took hold. For over a century everyone was successfully cutting forks with a hacksaw, and dressing the edge with a file.

I suspect that once forks went threadless, it created the possibility of getting "smart". This is also because external stems don't have an issue with the big burr created when cut edge is rolled inward.

However "smart" folks who don't like primitive tools like hacksaws continue to outsmart themselves, and we already have had a few threads about CF steerers damaged when cut with fancy tools.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 05-21-17 at 08:08 PM.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 08:05 PM
  #10  
Ball Bearing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: South Coast of Western Australia
Posts: 254
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I get perfect cuts using a metal cut off saw.
Ball Bearing is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 08:08 PM
  #11  
xiaoman1 
Senior Member
 
xiaoman1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: City of Angels
Posts: 4,949

Bikes: A few too many

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1276 Post(s)
Liked 1,881 Times in 1,045 Posts
Originally Posted by 15minprior View Post
Rgr, I didn't think I had invented this method. I simply couldn't find any information on alternatives, mods please delete if this is redundant.
Op, No need to ask mods to remove the post...I am sure not everyone knows about the old school way to do this...sometimes we forget that old news needs to be revisited. Keep posting.
Regards, Ben
__________________
"EVERY PERSON IS GUILTY OF ALL THE GOOD THEY DID NOT DO"
Voltaire

Voice recognition may sometimes create odd spelling and grammatical errors



xiaoman1 is offline  
Old 05-21-17, 11:14 PM
  #12  
Phloom
Senior Member
 
Phloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Edmonton Canada
Posts: 317

Bikes: Too many to list here

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/cat...sc&pageSize=96

Why not just simple tubing cutter. I use it on all my metal steering tubes. Actually, I never had a carbon steering tube so I know nothing aboot them, eh.

Last edited by Phloom; 05-21-17 at 11:25 PM.
Phloom is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 01:41 AM
  #13  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1073 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 218 Posts
Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Let alone a cro-mo or 531 steerer tub - they'll just bend the edge of the tubing cutter's wheel(s).
Depends on the quality of the tubing cutter.


Some are only made to cut copper, and will quickly blunt or break on steel. Others have no problem with any bicycle-grade steel.


And yeah, I have one of each...
dabac is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 02:00 AM
  #14  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1073 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 218 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I have no idea how the whole tubing cutter idea got started and took hold.

My scope isn't limited to bicycles. I'd cut any number of tubes before I cut my first steerer tube.
To me it was a tube first and foremost, and a steerer after that. So I used what I generally use to cut tubes.


A slight advantage IMO is that with a tube cutter you can be very lax about clamping the fork, and still get a nicely perpendicular cut. I wouldn't like trying to hacksaw a tube with precision w/o the ability to clamp it well.


Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
.. For over a century everyone was successfully cutting forks with a hacksaw....

I wouldn't buy a pipe cutter specifically for cutting steerer tubes. If a hacksaw is what's available, that's what I'll use. But when I have both, I'll reach for the cutter.


Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
.. dressing the edge with a file. .....external stems don't have an issue with the big burr created when cut edge is rolled inward.

Tube cutters might not let you get away from the file entirely either.
There's usually a bit of a raised ridge outwards too that can interfere with fitting the top headset race and/or the stem.
And the internal burr makes inserting the starnut a little harder.
dabac is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 03:39 AM
  #15  
15minprior
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The hose clamp was $0.98 each, I bought two of them (one for the guide and the other to keep the fork in place).

The bike is equipped with disc brakes and internally routed through the fork, I was lazy to remove it. I had someone lend a hand with securing the bike while I used a normal fine hacksaw to cut away. The cut was straight and clean using the clamp, I just added a bevel to the OD and ID with a diamond file.

It took about 5 minutes and overall cost (if I were to buy the saw, clamps, and diamond files) would be below $15.
15minprior is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 03:53 AM
  #16  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,771
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1454 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 40 Posts
I know it's professional to have a perfect right-angled cut, but really, is it essential on threadless steerers? I mean, so long as the steerer is cut to ensure the top cap still has space under it when tightened, does it have to be perfect? I am thinking not.

Also, if you do use a hacksaw, make sure it is the best quality you can afford. The stiffer the frame, the tighter you can tension the blade, so it stays straight on the cut. Then with CF, as high a number of teeth in the blade as you can find.

Plumber's pipe cutters aren't much use. They are suited to copper pipe which has a thinner wall than a steel or aluminium steerer. They are, however, good for marking around the circumference for a hacksaw cut.
Rowan is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 07:13 AM
  #17  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,681

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I know it's professional to have a perfect right-angled cut, but really, is it essential on threadless steerers? I mean, so long as the steerer is cut to ensure the top cap still has space under it when tightened, does it have to be perfect? I am thinking not.

Also, if you do use a hacksaw, make sure it is the best quality you can afford. The stiffer the frame, the tighter you can tension the blade, so it stays straight on the cut. Then with CF, as high a number of teeth in the blade as you can find.

Plumber's pipe cutters aren't much use. They are suited to copper pipe which has a thinner wall than a steel or aluminium steerer. They are, however, good for marking around the circumference for a hacksaw cut.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 07:41 AM
  #18  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,782

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 235 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6839 Post(s)
Liked 725 Times in 459 Posts
A perfect right angle cut steerer is not essential but that is what I aim for to the extent that it is possible. I hit 50.3 MPH on my road bike this weekend. The correct cutting tool and a $15 guide doesn't seem like much to me.

Probably more important than a perfect right angle is to cut it smoothly so that stress risers don't develop (steel and aluminum) and to ensure that carbon doesn't splinter and start cracking. Smoothing out burrs and rough edges also helps.
TimothyH is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 08:11 AM
  #19  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,201
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 177 Posts
I just drilled a hole in a block of wood, split it and then clamped it on the tube. I think eye-balling would be fine as well if you're reasonably coordinated.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 09:49 AM
  #20  
SquidPuppet
Calamari Marionette Ph.D
 
SquidPuppet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 7,862

Bikes: 3 Chinese Gas Pipe Nerdcycles and 2 Chicago Electroforged Boat Anchors

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2357 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Let alone a cro-mo or 531 steerer tub - they'll just bend the edge of the tubing cutter's wheel(s).
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post

Plumber's pipe cutters aren't much use. They are suited to copper pipe which has a thinner wall than a steel or aluminium steerer. They are, however, good for marking around the circumference for a hacksaw cut.
This will go right through ANY metal steerer. Like butter. Straight. Easy and fast. These will cut chrome plated handlebars as if they were a garden hose. I've done it many times.




Last edited by SquidPuppet; 05-22-17 at 09:53 AM.
SquidPuppet is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 09:54 AM
  #21  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,526

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1956 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 959 Times in 666 Posts
Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
This will go right through ANY metal steerer. Like butter. These will cut chrome plated handlebars as if they were a garden hose.



That's not a tubing cutter, that's a pipe cutter. A much stronger and more capable tool. Also a lot bigger, heavier and more expensive.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 09:55 AM
  #22  
corrado33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You guys are nuts. I cut my steerers freehand with a hacksaw and file it relatively flat. There is absolutely no reason for it to be perfectly flat, provided the high spots don't interfere with the stem cap and headset adjustment. There is NO danger from having an imperfect steerer tube cut on a threadless headset.

Seriously, stop thinking, go freaking ride.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 10:33 AM
  #23  
SquidPuppet
Calamari Marionette Ph.D
 
SquidPuppet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 7,862

Bikes: 3 Chinese Gas Pipe Nerdcycles and 2 Chicago Electroforged Boat Anchors

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2357 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
That's not a tubing cutter, that's a pipe cutter.
Rowan said a plumber's PIPE cutter wouldn't do the job. It will.

A plumber's PIPE cutter isn't for thin walled copper only. Sometimes plumbers have to cut large diameter thick wall cast iron pipe and other materials as well.

Also a lot bigger, heavier
I'm not sure what your point is. Pipe cutters (like pipe) come in different sizes and weights. One capable of cutting 1-1/8" OD pipe doesn't need to be very big.

and more expensive.
Expensive? This one is suitable for steel pipe up to 1-1/8" OD. $5.83 at Amazon and it includes a de-burring tool. A BIG one like above can be had for under $20.00.


Last edited by SquidPuppet; 05-22-17 at 10:41 AM.
SquidPuppet is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 10:55 AM
  #24  
nfmisso
Nigel
 
nfmisso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: 1980s and 1990s steel: CyclePro, Nishiki, Schwinn, SR, Trek........

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 384 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
How about a link to the item details for those of us crazy enough to want one?
nfmisso is offline  
Old 05-22-17, 11:26 AM
  #25  
SquidPuppet
Calamari Marionette Ph.D
 
SquidPuppet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 7,862

Bikes: 3 Chinese Gas Pipe Nerdcycles and 2 Chicago Electroforged Boat Anchors

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2357 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
How about a link to the item details for those of us crazy enough to want one?

This is the best match that I can find for the one that's been in my garage for decades. Shop around though. You can find them ranging from dirt cheap to crazy expensive.






Superior Tool® - 2" Heavy-Duty Steel Pipe Cutter



Compatible Pipe Material: Iron, Steel, Copper, Brass, Galvanized conduit
Superior Tools - Pipe Cutters

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...4444237097.htm
SquidPuppet is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.