Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Spacer, Stem, Spacer, Stem...... ¬_¬

drkawaszelongdrkawaszelong Posts: 260
edited May 2011 in Workshop
Hey all,

I was wondering, as ridiculous as it sounds... is it ok to have the stem above ALL spacers? Is it still safe? i haven't seen any pictures of bikes like this. At the moment i've got a 3mm spacer at the top, with the stem below that, and a few more spacers below that.
I'm asking cus i've had back trouble recently (although i haven't ridden in a while), and i wanted a more upright position.

TIA :)

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    as long as the stack height is correct and you can preload the bearings and the clamping bolts are below the top of the steerer you can do what you want.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • JohnnyAllezJohnnyAllez Posts: 785
    If you need to raise the stem a lot have you thought about flipping it over and then adjust the spacers to suit?
    Jens says "Shut up legs !! "

    Specialized S-Works SaxoBank SL4 Tarmac Di2
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I think that for a carbon steerer it's better to have a spacer above the stem as well.
    More problems but still living....
  • fludeyfludey Posts: 384
    I flipped the stem on mine gives quite a bit of height to the bars :D
    Felt AR4
    Planet X Pro Carbon 105
    MTB Kona Kikapu Deluxe with a few upgrades!!
  • drkawaszelongdrkawaszelong Posts: 260
    If you need to raise the stem a lot have you thought about flipping it over and then adjust the spacers to suit?

    stem's already flipped, (6 degrees)

    and it is a carbon steerer, so..does that effect it?!

    thanks all for the suggestions so far.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    For the carbon steerer you should keep the 3mm above the stem. To get higher you will need to change the stem. This Specialized adjustable one is very good. The 12deg one will go to 16deg which should lift the bars about 1". The 24 goes much higher. The only down side is that the steerer clamp is a bit deeper so you may need to have slightly less spacer under the stem.
    http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41848&menuItemId=10828&eid=5135
  • drkawaszelongdrkawaszelong Posts: 260
    John.T wrote:
    For the carbon steerer you should keep the 3mm above the stem. To get higher you will need to change the stem. This Specialized adjustable one is very good. The 12deg one will go to 16deg which should lift the bars about 1". The 24 goes much higher. The only down side is that the steerer clamp is a bit deeper so you may need to have slightly less spacer under the stem.
    http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41848&menuItemId=10828&eid=5135

    oh awesome, i'll look into that, but i don't wanna be spending much as i hope to get better soon :D still, money can buy you health..or something to that extent.
  • JohnnyAllezJohnnyAllez Posts: 785
    Sounds like you need a hybrid :wink:
    Jens says "Shut up legs !! "

    Specialized S-Works SaxoBank SL4 Tarmac Di2
  • drkawaszelongdrkawaszelong Posts: 260
    Sounds like you need a hybrid :wink:

    ermm...no, thanks.
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    no ones telling why its advisable to have a spacer above the stem for a carbon steerer.

    Its best you understand why and then you can make your mind up.

    reasons are to allow proper for pre-load adjustment of the headset and also to help limit the top cap clamping down to hard on the top of the steerer although this imo isnt a reason in its self being as the top cap doesnt need much torque to pre-load the headset bearings.

    I like to have the stem clamp fully to the steerer so where they say cut the steerer 3mm lower than the top of the stem to allow pre-load imo can create a pinch load on the top so I just cut it flush and have a spacer on top job done.

    the crucial and safety conscious answer is different manufactures have stated maximums for the amount of spacers you can have under the stem for a carbon steerer.

    Its worth finding out for your set up what that recommendation is, if they even do state a max. Most LBS ive spoken to about this and people say 30mm max, Im no expert but I wouldnt have a bigger stack height than 30mm on a carbon steerer. Id be looking at a angled stem or something if you need more.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    reasons are to allow proper for pre-load adjustment of the headset and also to help limit the top cap clamping down to hard on the top of the steerer although this imo isnt a reason in its self being as the top cap doesnt need much torque to pre-load the headset bearings.
    Not the reason at all for carbon steerers. The reason for fitting a spacer above the stem is to make sure that the clamping forces from the stem clamp are not too near the end of the steerer. This is to prevent possible damage to the steerer top. Nothing to do with top cap clearance. Better to have the steerer going right through the stem and the cap clearance being provided by the spacer.
  • stigofthedumpstigofthedump Posts: 331
    The reason to have at least a small (5mm) spacer above the stem is so that the stem is clamped to the stearer with the maximum possible area of contact. If you are having to put the stem this high you should consider replacing your stem or getting a larger frame.
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    John.T wrote:
    reasons are to allow proper for pre-load adjustment of the headset and also to help limit the top cap clamping down to hard on the top of the steerer although this imo isnt a reason in its self being as the top cap doesnt need much torque to pre-load the headset bearings.
    Not the reason at all for carbon steerers. The reason for fitting a spacer above the stem is to make sure that the clamping forces from the stem clamp are not too near the end of the steerer. This is to prevent possible damage to the steerer top. Nothing to do with top cap clearance. Better to have the steerer going right through the stem and the cap clearance being provided by the spacer.

    Hang on thats what I said if you read on, maybe I didnt explain as well as I could of.

    Top cap clearance was in reference to the fact if the steerer is flush to top of stem you WILL need a spacer above to allow pre-load adjustment to be made with out the top cap bottoming out on the top of the steerer.

    I mentioned thats how mine is

    The fact than spesh and Trek all make reference to cutting the steerer 3mm below to avoid having a spacer above !, Im not suggesting this be done but merely the understanding behind the logic which recent posts have tried to explain.

    I agree with what you said but thats what I meant in my post above perhaps it doesnt read well.
  • drkawaszelongdrkawaszelong Posts: 260
    buder wrote:
    John.T wrote:
    reasons are to allow proper for pre-load adjustment of the headset and also to help limit the top cap clamping down to hard on the top of the steerer although this imo isnt a reason in its self being as the top cap doesnt need much torque to pre-load the headset bearings.
    Not the reason at all for carbon steerers. The reason for fitting a spacer above the stem is to make sure that the clamping forces from the stem clamp are not too near the end of the steerer. This is to prevent possible damage to the steerer top. Nothing to do with top cap clearance. Better to have the steerer going right through the stem and the cap clearance being provided by the spacer.

    Hang on thats what I said if you read on, maybe I didnt explain as well as I could have.

    Top cap clearance was in reference to the fact if the steerer is flush to top of stem you WILL need a spacer above to allow pre-load adjustment to be made with out the top cap bottoming out on the top of the steerer.

    I mentioned thats how mine is

    The fact than spesh and Trek all make reference to cutting the steerer 3mm below to avoid having a spacer above !, Im not suggesting this be done but merely the understanding behind the logic which recent posts have tried to explain.

    I agree with what you said but thats what I meant in my post above perhaps it doesnt read well.

    NICE, this pretty much answers what i was asking originally (although i'm not sure i made it very clear). Thanks, best to leave it as it is and get a more angled stem for the time being :)
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Buder. It was just the bit that I quoted about the reason that was wrong. You were fine with the rest. For a carbon steerer it is best to leave at least 1mm of steerer above the stem so you can line the spacer up easily. You do really need a 5mm one for this.
    Trek do now fit a spacer above the stem with carbon steerers.
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    John.T wrote:
    Buder. It was just the bit that I quoted about the reason that was wrong. You were fine with the rest. For a carbon steerer it is best to leave at least 1mm of steerer above the stem so you can line the spacer up easily. You do really need a 5mm one for this.
    Trek do now fit a spacer above the stem with carbon steerers.

    Thanks for that John, I would argue its not a case of being wrong.

    I omitted the steerer being flush to stem part from that line as it sort of goes without saying when I mentioned you will need a spacer above to apply pre-load. If the steerer was below the top of the stem by 3mm you probably wouldn't need a spacer ontop so its not a case of being wrong, thats the point people understand the principles and make their own mind up regarding set-up.

    Its about time manufactures got to grips with their advice and setup information and stop writing their service bulletins like a legal disclaimer.

    I totally agree with your recommendations though John I would advise anyone to follow that advise, Trek and Spesh service bulletins still mention quite clearly to cut the steerer 3mm below top of the stem, so you dont need a spacer ontop to allow for pre-load I wouldn't do mine this way for the reasons mentioned above though..
Sign In or Register to comment.