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Quick cutting question.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Quick cutting question.

Old 01-19-09, 07:23 PM
  #1  
wcoastbikr
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Quick cutting question.

So I know there are tons of how to cut the steerer tube threads. But I haven't found any with the question I have. So I've been riding with a 10cm spacer, and two 10cm on top of the stem for almost two months and so far I really like it. I like having that extra bit of drop more and haven't had any problems with back pains. I did have lower back pains going with zero spacers though.

So I've decided the time has come to cut. So I've been looking at the steerer and I have this tool that's meant to cut pipes. It looks like a C-clamp but it has sharp wheels around it and one side has a little knob so you can clamp it down. Basically you clamp it around the pipe spin it, clamp a little more, spin it around, and continue till it cuts all the way through. It also will give it a very straight cut.

This is similar to the one I have:
http://www.toolbarn.com/product/ridgid/31632/

So my question is, has anyone done it this way?
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Old 01-19-09, 07:28 PM
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That's a standard pipe cutter (used by plumbers) available at any hardware store. Should work, unless you screw it up. You might want to practice on a piece of scrap pipe.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dysFTP View Post
That's a standard pipe cutter (used by plumbers) available at any hardware store. Should work, unless you screw it up. You might want to practice on a piece of scrap pipe.
We have one similar to that which I've used to cut plenty of pipe when we were doing some plumbing work.

So it should work on the steerer?
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Old 01-19-09, 07:31 PM
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Will work on any circular metal pipe. But why cut your tube? Just leave the spacers on top.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:33 PM
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I considered this but n the end I went with a hack saw and a file because I was cutting carbon. This tool is designed to cut metal so it is worth a shot. This guy thinks it's OK:

http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...e/steerer.html
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Old 01-19-09, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dysFTP View Post
Will work on any circular pipe. But why cut your tube? Just leave the spacers on top.
Looks funny having 20mm of spacers on top of your stem imho...and I don't plan on adding more spacers. I'm 20, not 50.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wcoastbikr View Post
Looks funny having 20mm of spacers on top of your stem imho...and I don't plan on adding more spacers. I'm 20, not 50.

As long as you aren't planning to sell the bike go for it. Just remember the adage; "measure twice, cut once".
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Old 01-19-09, 07:37 PM
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Wow you have 4 inches of spacers below the stem and another 4 inches above the stem? Maybe you meant 10 mm not 10 cm.

Last edited by merlin55; 01-19-09 at 07:38 PM. Reason: error
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Old 01-19-09, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post
Wow you have 4 inches of spacers below the stem and another 4 inches above the stem? Maybe you meant 10 mm not 10 cm.
Ya that's what I mean...haha. Long ride today.

Originally Posted by dysFTP View Post
As long as you aren't planning to sell the bike go for it. Just remember the adage; "measure twice, cut once".
Don't plan on selling it. I's my first "real" road bike. I'd have a hard time letting go of it. As for measuring...I've done my fair share of work in a machine shop. Too bad I don't have access to it anymore.

Last edited by wcoastbikr; 01-19-09 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:41 PM
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Yeah, I'm sure he meant mm

I just use a hacksaw. There is a Park tool to use as a guide. One trick that I heard that I've used is to wrap it with tape where you cut it. Not sure if it matters or not, but it doesn't hurt anything.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:42 PM
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I have really nice tubing cutters used for refrigeration purposes. The cutting wheels are really sharp and they're great for aluminum. But I don't use them on carbon. The crushing force they can exert will damage your carbon steerer or seat post.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
I have really nice tubing cutters used for refrigeration purposes. The cutting wheels are really sharp and they're great for aluminum. But I don't use them on carbon. The crushing force they can exert will damage your carbon steerer or seat post.
Thanks, it's a carbon fork/aluminum steerer.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:59 PM
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Alloy steerer? I used a pipe cutter on both of mine and it worked fine.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:00 PM
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have a file handy as you will have to finish up the outer edges so the stem slides down. You will also need a star nut tool to keep the starnut far enough down the steerer tube.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jonestr View Post
have a file handy as you will have to finish up the outer edges so the stem slides down. You will also need a star nut tool to keep the starnut far enough down the steerer tube.
Another entrepreneurial opportunity for Dave Z.: the DZ StarNutz Tool.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jonestr View Post
have a file handy as you will have to finish up the outer edges so the stem slides down. You will also need a star nut tool to keep the starnut far enough down the steerer tube.
Is the starnut tool really necessary? I've heard that using a drift or punch works.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:36 PM
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I have a fairly nice pipe cutter like that, and I would still be very hesitant to use it to cut a steerer. If you're not paying attention you'll make a revolution and find that you'll make a rotation and realize that you're not where you started, making a spiral instead of a circle. I would feel more comfortable with a saw and a clamp-on jig.

It can certainly be done, I'm just fearful of an ADD moment screwing up a fork.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
I have a fairly nice pipe cutter like that, and I would still be very hesitant to use it to cut a steerer. If you're not paying attention you'll make a revolution and find that you'll make a rotation and realize that you're not where you started, making a spiral instead of a circle. I would feel more comfortable with a saw and a clamp-on jig.
I think that's what a wrap of tape helps prevent.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:01 PM
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Get a metal hose clamp and use that as a cutting guide if you go the hacksaw route. Take the top spacers off. Mark the top of your current stem placement with a sharpie. Remove stem, install hose clamp a few mm below sharpie mark and cut with a hacksaw.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:08 PM
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I read somewhere that you can use a pipe cutter basically as a marking tool/scribe... so I tried it.
Using very light pressure make a few revolution around the tube, making sure that the line is strait. then mark the scribed line with a pencil. Then use a hack saw to cut the tube. I prefer to rotate the tube as I cut, as it yields a very smooth cut. The scribed line gives just enough of a notch to make it easy for the saw blade not to slide on the smooth carbon tube.

This method worked very well for me on my carbon steer tube. The point of the tubing cutter is to mark your line around the tube, not to make the cut in any way.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Get a metal hose clamp and use that as a cutting guide if you go the hacksaw route.
Didn't think of using one of those...I have a ton of old ones from replacing them on my car. Thanks.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Get a metal hose clamp and use that as a cutting guide if you go the hacksaw route. Take the top spacers off. Mark the top of your current stem placement with a sharpie. Remove stem, install hose clamp a few mm below sharpie mark and cut with a hacksaw.
^^^ This

Brain-dead simple, straight cut, very easy and cheap. Better than a pipe cutter for this job.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:46 PM
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I'm all for DIY, but I let other people do my work for me whenever possible. My LBS cut the steerer tube for free and on-the-spot.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
I'm all for DIY, but I let other people do my work for me whenever possible. My LBS cut the steerer tube for free and on-the-spot.
I'm the kind of person that likes to do repairs/jobs myself. That way I know it's done right.

But just to bump the question. Is the starnut tool really necessary? I've heard using a punch or drift will work.
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Old 01-20-09, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wcoastbikr View Post
Looks funny having 20mm of spacers on top of your stem imho...and I don't plan on adding more spacers. I'm 20, not 50.
with carbon tubes, you run the risk of crushing the end of the tube when you tighten down the top bolt on the stem. by having extra tube and a spacer on top, you lessen the risk of crushing.
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