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Has my Bike Shop cut the steerer tube too low?

4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
edited August 2011 in Workshop
Guys, Id really appreciate some informed advice:

I snapped my last fork at the crown. The LBS has kindly replaced it with a new one for free, but Im thinking they have cut the steerer tube too short, as the stem ends up a little proud of the steerer tube, resulting that the bottom stem pinch bolt is done up, and the top pinch bolt done up more as Id guess the stem only clamps on the tube for 2/3 or perhaps 3/4 of its height.

Its got a bung and hence the top cap does add some support as well to the stem, but is this dangerous?

Given I snapped the last fork (my fault, as Id there a little bit of play in the headset bearing which rubbed a groove into the carbon steerer tube) I dont want to risk it, but this really is a high quality bike shop here in Mallorca, I know these guys pretty well and they assure me it will be fine...
Fitter....healthier....more productive.....

Posts

  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    The steerer tube must be cut a little below the stem (or stem+spacer stack), or the headset cannot be adjusted. Depending on the top cap design, it should be no more than a few mm though.

    Edited to add nicklouise's useful pic:

    fork11.jpg
  • fludeyfludey Posts: 384
    +1 for the above he's not wrong about a 2mm gap :D
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  • 4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
    Id guess that on mine its cut more like 10-15mm...certainly below the top bolt of the stem...so is there a fix or do I have to get a new fork?
    Fitter....healthier....more productive.....
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    depends on if there are any spacers below the stem you can remove.

    but if the top of the steerer is below the top pinch bolt it can be dangerous as the stem can rise up off the steerer.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Have you got spacers under the stem or did you specify what spacers you needed with the shop? If you took it in with no spacers and have added some, then you can't really expect the shop to know. However, if you have no spacers and the distance between the top of the steerer and the top of the stem is more than 3-4mm then sounds like the shop $crewed-up.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • 4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
    No spacers before or after, wish it was just a case of that....
    Fitter....healthier....more productive.....
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    If no spacers, and with a 10 to 15mm gap, I'd say they've cut it too short. Surely everyone knows you measure twice and cut once, and even then, nothing wrong with cutting less than you think you need and use spacers. There's no going back from cutting a tube too short. :cry:

    I'd go as far as to say (but would be more sure with a picture), that this could be a safety issue for you.
  • bill57bill57 Posts: 454
    Have you considered that, rather than cutting it too short, they used one that they happened to have lying around?
    If it's below the top bolt it's not safe at all, how will you feel on a 40mph descent?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    These days I cut on the safe side, 2mm higher than the stem, and then use a ~5mm spacer on the top.
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  • 4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
    bill57 wrote:
    Have you considered that, rather than cutting it too short, they used one that they happened to have lying around?
    If it's below the top bolt it's not safe at all, how will you feel on a 40mph descent?

    Thats exactly what happened, they got a Kuota fork off the distributors display/trial model which is why they gave it to me for free...but Ill go back and get it changed..
    Fitter....healthier....more productive.....
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    These days I cut on the safe side, 2mm higher than the stem, and then use a ~5mm spacer on the top.

    +1

    Sounds like they messed up !?.

    I would take it apart and have a good look and measure yourself to be honest or take it back and ask them to remove the stem and explain themselves ?
  • rubbernekkerrubbernekker Posts: 112
    They may have been trying to save you money, but at the expense of your health.

    Go back and offer to pay for a new fork, that way you get whats right and safe.
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    Come to think of it, they wouldnt be getting my business again after to be honest.

    That's down right dangerous and for them to assure you otherwise either suggests the mechanic in question is incompetent or they tried to have you over.

    Sorry but I'd be upset about this if it were me.
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Aye it's potentially dangerous having the top stem bolt clamping above the steerer, they should have at least warned you about it when offering it for free. If they used it to replace a fork still under warranty then I'd definitely complain and demand it's replaced with a fork fit for purpose
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    you could get a stem with a lower stack height, which would effectively increase the troublesome gap.

    However, that shouldn't be your job really, given the bike shop caused the problem.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • Before everyone goes consumer rights crazy- read his post!

    The bike shop replaced the forks- Free!

    The original forks broke not because it seems of a warranty issue- but because of a loose headset- a service issue.

    The bike shops response may seem misguided but if someone gives you a t-shirt and it doesn't fit- you aren't entitled to demand they buy you one that does fit.

    Nevertheless, a lower stack stem may work, but be mindful of single bolt designs which are again bad for carbon steerers.

    If they have been responsible for the recent servicing of the headset, or the bike is very new and you bought it from them, then you MAY have recourse to complain.

    My advice- from both sides of the counter, is to go back- thank them for trying to sort you out, but explain you think there should be more overlap and order a fork from them.

    When it arrives- fit it yourself, they may have had good intentions but they are insane if they thought that was good customer service.
  • 4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
    Thanks for all the posts...this was indeed the bike shop trying out of best interests to fix it for me for cheap. The loose headset was my problem, not theirs as i had play in it and I never got it fixed. Its not a waranty as the bikes 3 years old and done 25,000 kms.

    In fact Im not going to change the fork as the Kuota Forks are 350 Euros, dont want to fit aless good third party one on it, and its a good excuse for me to change the frame. Frame (LESS FORK!) will be appearing for sale soon! Im going to get me another "Canyon" as the last bike I had from them just rocked, and they have thir AL model special offer for 400 Euros.

    What I find strange is this is really a top notch bike shop, owned by an ex-pro, and one of the mechanics worked for Caisse DÉspagne as a mechanic, and Ive got good relationships with them as I often take groups of foreign cyclists from my hotels to their shop to spend a lot of dosh.
    Fitter....healthier....more productive.....
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Before everyone goes consumer rights crazy- read his post!

    if someone gives you a t-shirt and it doesn't fit- you aren't entitled to demand they buy you one that does fit.

    That's a censored analogy, a poorly fitting t-shirt won't land you in hospital. The issue is not they tried to help him out for free but that they didn't tell him the steerer is too short and might be a safety issue. There's two bolts on the stem steerer clamp for a reason (and not for looks).
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    Before everyone goes consumer rights crazy- read his post!

    The bike shop replaced the forks- Free!

    The original forks broke not because it seems of a warranty issue- but because of a loose headset- a service issue.

    The bike shops response may seem misguided but if someone gives you a t-shirt and it doesn't fit- you aren't entitled to demand they buy you one that does fit.

    Nevertheless, a lower stack stem may work, but be mindful of single bolt designs which are again bad for carbon steerers.

    If they have been responsible for the recent servicing of the headset, or the bike is very new and you bought it from them, then you MAY have recourse to complain.

    My advice- from both sides of the counter, is to go back- thank them for trying to sort you out, but explain you think there should be more overlap and order a fork from them.

    When it arrives- fit it yourself, they may have had good intentions but they are insane if they thought that was good customer service.

    Definitely dont agree with that - not being funny but you understand the possible magnitude of their stupidity !?.

    We are talking about about installation procedures for one of the most safety critical areas on the bike further highlighted by the fact he has a carbon steerer.

    Spesh, Trek, Ritchey, Parlee you name it have documents describing pretty much what people have been mentioning above so why has the mechanic in this shop decided upon himself that this is going to be acceptable when every manufacturer will tell you otherwise. There are slight variations on the theme but this mechanic clearly sounds to me like he miss-understands the principles. You cant have that much unclamped steerer thats absolutely ridiculous.

    The fact the forks were free is neither here nor there IMO they worked on his bike and the end result is not fit for purpose - they are most definitely responsible and you have every right to complain if you wish to do so.
  • jonnym5jonnym5 Posts: 76
    Even though they worked on it for free they still have a duty of care and shouldn't put you in danger.

    That's why I always try and keep things official and book the bike in or charge a minimum amount. As soon as we touch the bike they can then say we did X,Y or Z so it becomes their word against ours. Also means you can work on it properly rather than rushing a job.

    No way you could get a lower stack height headset and stem or is it a semi/integrated headset?
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    Getting a new frame to fit a fork may not work either. Depending on headtube length and stem clamp size, you may have the same problem.

    Get the fork sorted.
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  • The fact the forks were free is neither here nor there IMO they worked on his bike and the end result is not fit for purpose - they are most definitely responsible and you have every right to complain if you wish to do so.

    He can complain all he likes, which he isn't going to btw cos he isn't stupid, be he isn't entitled to a new set of forks, and he can't get his money back- so why should he complain? Do you enjoy it or something?

    As a bike mechanic and rider I certainly do appreciate the magnitude of the stupidity, thats why I suggested telling them- in even terms- I just see no point in spouting bad feeling and energy to achieve nothing.
    That's a censored analogy, a poorly fitting t-shirt won't land you in hospital. The issue is not they tried to help him out for free but that they didn't tell him the steerer is too short and might be a safety issue. There's two bolts on the stem steerer clamp for a reason (and not for looks).

    It's not a censored analogy, fitting the wrong fork doesn't make them liable to buy him a new one- you are mixing up the issues, He might be able to sue IF he had been hurt, but he hasn't so he has a right to be angry- which he isn't btw, but it won't get him anywhere- I'm glad the 4kicks has his head screwed on- Good luck with your new bike mate
  • Keith1983Keith1983 Posts: 575
    What about a "steerer extender". I'd suggest you google it and get one bought. It's not even gonna cost £20 and it will sort the problem out. Just don't ask your LBS to fit it! :wink:
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Keith1983 wrote:
    What about a "steerer extender". I'd suggest you google it and get one bought. It's not even gonna cost £20 and it will sort the problem out. Just don't ask your LBS to fit it! :wink:

    They weigh a LOT though. I'd get a new fork.
    More problems but still living....
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    The fact the forks were free is neither here nor there IMO they worked on his bike and the end result is not fit for purpose - they are most definitely responsible and you have every right to complain if you wish to do so.

    He can complain all he likes, which he isn't going to btw cos he isn't stupid, be he isn't entitled to a new set of forks, and he can't get his money back- so why should he complain? Do you enjoy it or something?

    As a bike mechanic and rider I certainly do appreciate the magnitude of the stupidity, thats why I suggested telling them- in even terms- I just see no point in spouting bad feeling and energy to achieve nothing.
    That's a censored analogy, a poorly fitting t-shirt won't land you in hospital. The issue is not they tried to help him out for free but that they didn't tell him the steerer is too short and might be a safety issue. There's two bolts on the stem steerer clamp for a reason (and not for looks).

    It's not a censored analogy, fitting the wrong fork doesn't make them liable to buy him a new one- you are mixing up the issues, He might be able to sue IF he had been hurt, but he hasn't so he has a right to be angry- which he isn't btw, but it won't get him anywhere- I'm glad the 4kicks has his head screwed on- Good luck with your new bike mate

    Take your point but who has said go back and demand they give you a new set of forks for free !??.

    do a good job no one will complain, I am not saying go in there and start "spouting bad feeling and energy to achieve nothing" why are you assuming this, do you get this allot in your shop ?. There are ways of complaining with out doing all of what you assume, Im not saying he should but would be well justified if he choose to do so.

    Your right about it not serving a purpose in this instance, however we are all in total agreement here that the screw up made by the mechanic is pretty dangerous potentially. The guy assured him it was safe which it is not, surely there needs to be a conversation about what he effectively went home with ready to ride ?.

    jonnym5 sums it up above nicely !.
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