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Question about spacers and steerer tubes

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Question about spacers and steerer tubes

Old 12-06-08, 01:12 PM
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ridethecliche
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Question about spacers and steerer tubes

What's the max distance that should be present between the top of the stem and *start of* the steerer tube?

Thanks.

Last edited by ridethecliche; 12-06-08 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Made question clearer
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Old 12-06-08, 01:13 PM
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It can be infinite if you have have the steer tube to support it. But me personally, I wouldn't go above an inch or so.
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Old 12-06-08, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pwnt
It can be infinite if you have have the steer tube to support it. But me personally, I wouldn't go above an inch or so.
Right, I know it depends on the length of the steerer tube. Currently, there's about 1cm of space between the top of my stem and the start of the steerer tube.

I want to put up to 1cm of spacers more underneath the stem, which will increase this distance to just about 2 cm between the top of the stem and the start of the steerer tube.

I'm asking what the recommended max for this distance is.

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-08, 01:27 PM
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As long as you have about 3-5mm available to tighten everything down with the stem cap you can go as high as you want. You just need to be able to tension everything down.
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Old 12-06-08, 01:36 PM
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The only two factors in determining stem position are your comfort level (back flexibility), and what pwnt said.
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Old 12-06-08, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Pwnt
As long as you have about 3-5mm available to tighten everything down with the stem cap you can go as high as you want. You just need to be able to tension everything down.
Haha, yeah, I just called a shop and confirmed this before reading what you wrote.

Guess what, the way my bike came from the store, it had almost 1 cm...

I just took a spacer out. Thanks!
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Old 12-06-08, 01:41 PM
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Thats what we're here for.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
What's the max distance that should be present between the top of the stem and *start of* the steerer tube?

Thanks.
It depends to a degree on what the steerer tube is made out of.

With a metal steerer you just need to be sure that the top stem clamp bolt is clamping against the steerer, not just air.

With a carbon steerer you don't want to clamp too close to the top of the steerer. Some carbon fork manufacturers even tell you to install a spacer ABOVE the stem.

2 cm between the top of the stem and top of the steerer would be crazy. I wouldn't do it regardless of what the fork is made out of.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
With a carbon steerer you don't want to clamp too close to the top of the steerer. Some carbon fork manufacturers even tell you to install a spacer ABOVE the stem.
Reynolds says to cut the steerer 2-3mm BELOW the top of the stem so you have room to pre-load the headset.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:26 PM
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Yeah. I removed spacer out from underneath the stem.

The steerer tube is Al, and not particularly lightweight.

I love the aesthetics of a flipped stem, and I was going to add about .5-1cm of spacers under the flipped stem to bring it to where I like it, but it looks like I'm going to have to flip it back up now. Oh well
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Old 12-06-08, 02:28 PM
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Retro and Dubbayoo are basically saying the same thing. One is saying to add a spacer to give you that 2-3mm while the other is saying to cut the steerer tube. I heard that a small spacer on top helps to get the plug right about where the stem clamps, helping to keep it from cracking the steerer, but I'm not sure exactly how big of a deal this is, and a good plug can be adjusted anyway.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:56 PM
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The issue here is that I had too many spacers (set up from shop) and the stem was clamping down on 'air' instead of on the steerer. It wasn't as dramatic as that, but there was more space than there should have been. The problem has since been remedied.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:20 PM
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Some of you guys should refrain from giving advice. The top of the steerer is normally never set more than 2-3mm below the top of the stem. 5mm is pushing it, particularly with any stem having two bolts clamping the steerer. If the steerer is 10mm below the top of the stem, the top bolt has nothing to clamp against.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 12-07-08 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:44 AM
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It seems to me that everyone was saying basically the same thing, but going at it from a different angle. Everybody agrees that you should have about 2-3mm of space from the steerer to the top of the stem, and RTC adjusted his spacers to adhere to that rule. Problem solved.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
It depends to a degree on what the steerer tube is made out of.

With a metal steerer you just need to be sure that the top stem clamp bolt is clamping against the steerer, not just air.

With a carbon steerer you don't want to clamp too close to the top of the steerer. Some carbon fork manufacturers even tell you to install a spacer ABOVE the stem.

2 cm between the top of the stem and top of the steerer would be crazy. I wouldn't do it regardless of what the fork is made out of.
Park Tool's Big Blue Book also says this, and the reason is to prevent the stem clamp from cracking around the top of the CF steerer tube. By putting the stem further down the steerer, this problem is virtually eliminated.
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