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 Post subject: Re: Spacers
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:34 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm
Posts: 648
Depends on the headset. If its an external headset then possibly. If its a press fit internal headset like most new bikes these days, then no. I am always confused by the difference in manufacturer recommendations in regards to steerer above the stem. Cannondale specifically states NO steerer above the stem. Trek states there must be at least 5mm. Weird.

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 Post subject: Re: Spacers
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:38 pm
Posts: 293
Even fully integrated headsets can vary in height since the top cap is a separate part.

There's no consistency about manufacturer recommendations regarding steerer stacks but I think it's best not to overthink it - manufacturers tend to be very conservative to cover themselves. For example, they recommend not using many spacers on top of the stem since this moves the expander plug up and out of the clamping area, making it easier for the ham-fisted to crush the steerer. If you're obeying typical clamp values of 5nM anyway though that is highly unlikely to happen.

One recommendation that still puzzles me is Scott saying you should always have a 5mm spacer under the stem, which appears to serve no purpose. My old Addict has been fine for years without one though.

If you want real peace of mind the Cervelo approach using a glued-in sleeve protects the steerer effectively. It does reduce the scope for changing stack heights down the line though.

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 Post subject: Re: Spacers
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:06 pm
Posts: 49
I presume you are trying to avoid having the ugly looking spacers above the stem for now? If so this can be avoided by using a stem with a different angle. For example, if your current stem is a +-6 and slammed onto the headset then you could keep the extra steerer length for now and use a stem with a +-10 or +-17 angle. A few spacers would sit below these stems (don't stack more than recommended), you wouldn't have excess spacers above these stems and the drop to the bars would be the same.

To see the difference angles make buy a school protractor and ruler. Draw one line horizontal at the bottom the page. Next, towards the left fraw a line at 73 degrees (about the average head tube abgle). This is your headtube. From a fixed point on the head tube draw lines at -6, -10, -12 and -17 however long your actual stem is. This will give you a 1:1 scale of the differences in drop each stem makes.

The cost of the stem (get one from Ebay cheap) will be nothing compared to the cost of cutting too short.


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 Post subject: Re: Spacers
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:24 pm
Posts: 9
Location: North London
This is good for comparing: http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php


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 Post subject: Re: Spacers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:06 pm
Posts: 49
jimboweenie wrote:
This is good for comparing: http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


That's really handy. Just shows that if you run an 11cm stem the difference between a -6 and -17 stem in the height of the bars is 21mm, with just a 2mm difference in reach.

Choose your stem angle carefully.


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