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Thomson x4 stem - spacers above stem

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Thomson x4 stem - spacers above stem

Old 05-09-12, 09:37 PM
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diff
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Thomson x4 stem - spacers above stem

Asking here since this is a pretty popular stem, and lots of experience here.

Want to get this stem, but honestly having to run a spacer on top is a huge turn off. I think it looks odd. But really liking this stem.

So what I wanted to ask is

1) How many people have just ran the cap right on top of the stem?

2) What about running a 3mm spacer? That would be pretty minimalistic, but that means I would need 1mm extending from the stem. Is 1mm enough for a spacer to grab? And would this work? The stem would be in full contact with the steerer, just don't know if 1mm is enough to slide a spacer on and have it be secure as 1mm is barely anything.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-09-12, 09:54 PM
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ben4345
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It's perfectly fine to run a spacer above the stem. I see it here all the time.
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Old 05-09-12, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by diff View Post
Is 1mm enough for a spacer to grab? And would this work?
Yes.

You're over-thinking things (or maybe under-thinking). The spacers above the stem just let the top cap properly set the pre-load. Once the pre-load is set and the stem's pinch bolts are tightened, above-stem spacers and the top cap serve no more purpose and could even be removed.

Above-stem spacers allow the stem to fully wrap around the steerer. I like to run a small spacer above the stem, even if it's just a millimeter, which means that it may be barely touching any of the steerer.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:54 AM
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diff
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Thanks, I am over thinking it. Its just a combination of not wanting to loose more steerer, and I think it looks a bit ugly with spacers on top. I would imagine 99.9999999% of the population wouldn't notice or care if you had spacers above your stem. I mean there are people that have been riding the same bike 8 miles a day for 2 years and don't know what size it is. I am just OCD

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:58 AM
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Took me a long time to get over the "spacers above stem look weird" mindset... but it happened. It also took me a long time to get over anything but 7-shaped silver quill stems on road bikes.
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Old 05-10-12, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by diff View Post
........I think it looks a bit ugly with spacers on top.
Just look at it for what it is. It shows that the stem is completely clamped around the steerer tube all the way to the top of the stem. A 5mm spacer on top, as Thomson recommends, is visual evidence that it's a rock solid interface between stem and steerer.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:10 PM
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For carbon steerer tubes I ALWAYS cut the steerer to require a spacer (even if only a little one) above the stem as I want to be certain the stem is fully supported by the steerer. For Cr-Mo or aluminum steerers I don't think it's that necessary.

One advantage of a spacer above the stem is it gives you a bit of liberty to change the bar height if you decide to later.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:25 PM
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once you loosen the bolts holding the stem to the steerer tube
its just another spacer under the top headset pre load..

I agree better to have a spacer above the stem, than to have the steerer tube
cut too short, and regretting it, later..
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