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Why don't stock bike makers include spacer information?

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Why don't stock bike makers include spacer information?

Old 04-29-23, 06:19 PM
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Why don't stock bike makers include spacer information?

Why don't stock bike makers include the number of spacers they ship their bikes with? The Stack is great, as is the head tube length, but the length of spacers (and preferable number of and depth of each) could easily help you determine your drop from your needed seat height. When looking at bike makers pictures online, I find their promo shots are not consistent with the number of spacers they show and, of course, no measurement is given. unless I'm completely missing it? Or is there a standard (like most stems in a M/L or 56cm bike are 100mm)?
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Old 04-29-23, 10:26 PM
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Because the industry standard is 40, which is also the max.

However, some aero bikes are more limited, like 30mm. But those are less common.


And then there's the idea that you should be talking to whomever you're buying something as complex as a modern bicycle.
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Old 04-30-23, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Because the industry standard is 40, which is also the max.

However, some aero bikes are more limited, like 30mm. But those are less common.


And then there's the idea that you should be talking to whomever you're buying something as complex as a modern bicycle.
A better answer than the one I was thinking of. I always end up cutting my steerers anyway.
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Old 04-30-23, 03:09 PM
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Take Litespeed for example. No mention of the # of spacers on the bike. Pictures of bikes with 1, 2, and 3 spacers. I did call them, and they said 3, but that they setup the bikes in the pics to look good with the riders. OK. Or, you could just publish the number of have consistent product pictures. Why can't they do that?

My Aluminum Domane has 3 that they came with at 10mm each, so not so industry standard . I just looked at a CF Domane that has 4, but one is above the stem, as is required I guess by the CF steerer tube? Any rate - they could just put it in the bike specs. Why would that be so hard? (Just like they could also publish bike weight in their geometry tables, but don't. It isn't because they don't know what the weight it. Their product teams likely designed to a target weight. It could be because of inconsistently source materials or something).

Last edited by WT21; 04-30-23 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 04-30-23, 03:34 PM
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There are a couple hundred or more other little specs that others might be interested in 1 or 2 of. So it's not just a simple thing of how hard can it be. Every spec they include would have to be something that gets updated every time there might be a minor change.
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Old 04-30-23, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
There are a couple hundred or more other little specs that others might be interested in 1 or 2 of. So it's not just a simple thing of how hard can it be. Every spec they include would have to be something that gets updated every time there might be a minor change.
However, spacers directly impact reach and drop flexibility. AFAIK, adding more steerer isn't that easy (certainly not as easy as dropping down under some spacers), so if there are only 10mm worth of spacers, you'd have a harder time lifting up the handlebars if you need it. For instance, this TCR seems to only have one spacer (guessing 10mm)? Head tube is helpful, but not the complete story. MM of steerer tube available above the head tub would be very informative in comparing bikes you might like, without having to visit them in person or call every vendor.
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Old 04-30-23, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21
However, spacers directly impact reach and drop flexibility. AFAIK, adding more steerer isn't that easy (certainly not as easy as dropping down under some spacers), so if there are only 10mm worth of spacers, you'd have a harder time lifting up the handlebars if you need it. For instance, this TCR seems to only have one spacer (guessing 10mm)? Head tube is helpful, but not the complete story. MM of steerer tube available above the head tub would be very informative in comparing bikes you might like, without having to visit them in person or call every vendor.
If you're worried about not getting enough handlebar height, you probably won't be happy riding a TCR anyway. Look at a Defy, or a Specialized Roubaix. Mike Sinyard wrote the book on strong riders who can't reach their handlebars comfortably.
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Old 04-30-23, 09:36 PM
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Its cause the number of spacers would be a completely nonsensical number, what size spacers, how tall is the top cap, and how tall is the stem would all effect the answer. When installing a new 1 1/8" fork the rule was no more than 1.5"/38mm of steerer tube between the top of the headset and the stem assuming a flat headset cap and the height of the stem wasn't a concern. The result is that there's no one answer, some stems can be quite tall while others thin depending on quality and material and companies might install different stems based on availability and just stick a taller or shorter spacer above to compensate for the precut steerer tube. Further, the angle of the stem and its length will skew the results further, and remember the stem can change. Read any companies site and they'll state that parts can be changed for something equivalent(in value) at any time in production without notice. Toss in shops changing stems for test rides and you have a real useless number. Assume about 35mm of spacers and another 35mm for the top of the handlebar height and your about where your final stack is.
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Old 05-01-23, 08:54 AM
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Well wishing that they gave you that number isn't going to change anything soon. So get on with your search for a bike and just understand that for a new bike, 30 to 40 milimeters of spacers might be part of the equation. You'll likely be safe just assuming 30 mm of spacers.

However for a used bike, all bets are off. A previous owner may have removed some or all or the spacers and cut the steerer tube shorter so that it is flush with the top of the stem or left the 2 mm or so spacer on top that some carbon steerer tubes and others might require. So then you won't be able to add those spacers back.

If you see the bike in person then you'll know how many spacers it has.
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Old 05-03-23, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21
However, spacers directly impact reach and drop flexibility. AFAIK, adding more steerer isn't that easy (certainly not as easy as dropping down under some spacers), so if there are only 10mm worth of spacers, you'd have a harder time lifting up the handlebars if you need it. For instance, this TCR seems to only have one spacer (guessing 10mm)? Head tube is helpful, but not the complete story. MM of steerer tube available above the head tub would be very informative in comparing bikes you might like, without having to visit them in person or call every vendor.
So assume 30mm when you are comparing geos. If you need 40mm of spacers to fit a bike, it is probably not the bike for you. You don't want to be at the limits if you can stand it.

You're talking about expensive bikes. I get what you're saying, but I'm having trouble imagining a situation where you have so many possible bikes you're going to buy, are on the edge of not fitting any of them, and can't get an easy answer about any of them.


And to be honest, the reason they probably don't publish the max steerer height is that it partially isn't up to them. They aren't the ones doing the assembly - bike shops do that. And some shops may choose to pre-cut to max height, and some less. If Trek advertises 40mm and the shop cut it to 30mm, people are going to want to return bikes that weren't "in spec".
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Old 05-04-23, 12:58 PM
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Manufacturers should show the product with the spacers and list the amount

https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bi...nfarbe=BK%2FBU
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/domane-al-disc/
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bikes-defy-advanced

so people know what they are buying. As someone like myself, who is learning about sizing and told by everyone to "get the right fit bike" - we read about endurance and racing, read about head tube height, and then look at pictures - a Domane looks very similar to an Emonda. And then to leave out that the handlebars could have 30mm of play on there. It makes no sense. If the pic had the spacers when I compare them, I could see the easier reach of the Domane. Or have a new measure that is the default from the BB to the handlebars (or the wheel axel to the handlebars). Finding each bike in my size to test ride has turned out to be complicated. Nowhere have I found an emonda and Domane in the same store in the same model, both in my size, or a TCR and Defy, and even then, I'm not sure 3 laps around the bike store will tell me much anyway. So, I'm measuring my current fit and trying to go by the numbers, but I couldn't figure out for the life of my what the actual reach and drop would be, on an actual bike (not just frame).

I am in sales, and our specs sheets have our specs, and it's not like spacers are anything to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite, if the point of an endurance frame is that's its more upright/comfortable. The companies above are shipping whole bikes, not just frames. They can list it. They know what they designed. (in Canyon's defense, they do list the spacers in their geo download. The others don't).

...Unless it's the case that the manufacturers literally ship no spacers, and it's completely up to the bike shop on what they want to add??

Last edited by WT21; 05-04-23 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 05-04-23, 02:49 PM
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Okay, good luck with your cause. I'd much prefer they just offer every model of bike in a wide variety of colors and paint schemes. That'd be more important to me.
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Old 05-04-23, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21
Manufacturers should show the product with the spacers and list the amount

https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bi...nfarbe=BK%2FBU
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/domane-al-disc/
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bikes-defy-advanced

so people know what they are buying. As someone like myself, who is learning about sizing and told by everyone to "get the right fit bike" - we read about endurance and racing, read about head tube height, and then look at pictures - a Domane looks very similar to an Emonda. And then to leave out that the handlebars could have 30mm of play on there. It makes no sense. If the pic had the spacers when I compare them, I could see the easier reach of the Domane. Or have a new measure that is the default from the BB to the handlebars (or the wheel axel to the handlebars). Finding each bike in my size to test ride has turned out to be complicated. Nowhere have I found an emonda and Domane in the same store in the same model, both in my size, or a TCR and Defy, and even then, I'm not sure 3 laps around the bike store will tell me much anyway. So, I'm measuring my current fit and trying to go by the numbers, but I couldn't figure out for the life of my what the actual reach and drop would be, on an actual bike (not just frame).

I am in sales, and our specs sheets have our specs, and it's not like spacers are anything to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite, if the point of an endurance frame is that's its more upright/comfortable. The companies above are shipping whole bikes, not just frames. They can list it. They know what they designed. (in Canyon's defense, they do list the spacers in their geo download. The others don't).

...Unless it's the case that the manufacturers literally ship no spacers, and it's completely up to the bike shop on what they want to add??
It's not really a spec. And you don't add spacers, you cut the steerer and have to remove spacers.

Bike fitting is based on the idea that steerer stack is pretty close (30-40), and that the go/no-go comes from the frame. I feel like you are making the process more complicated than it needs to be. People familiar with bike sizing would be able to look at the geo of your current bike and the stem height and length and tell you in a few moments if a particular model size will work or not.
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