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Would you rather... spacers and stems

Old 05-22-20, 12:22 PM
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RockiesDad
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Would you rather... spacers and stems

Assuming the math works out to be equal, almost, would you rather use 20mm of spacers with a -6deg stem or flip the stem and slam it to the head tube (no or 5mm spacer) with +6deg stem? I think the stem in the negative direction would make the stem look almost level but raised off the head tube. Whereas the positive direction would give you the slammed look but would give a rising stem look. So, which way? BTW which way is the "correct" way to install a stem. Negative or positive direction?
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Old 05-22-20, 12:31 PM
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Purely personal aesthetics.
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Old 05-22-20, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RockiesDad View Post
Assuming the math works out to be equal, almost, would you rather use 20mm of spacers with a -6deg stem or flip the stem and slam it to the head tube (no or 5mm spacer) with +6deg stem? I think the stem in the negative direction would make the stem look almost level but raised off the head tube. Whereas the positive direction would give you the slammed look but would give a rising stem look. So, which way? BTW which way is the "correct" way to install a stem. Negative or positive direction?
I have 20mm of spacers and an 11cm -6 stem angled down (so the combination of the -6 and the 73 HT angle results in a mild stem angle of +11). I could probably achieve similar bar height by ditching the spacers and flipping the stem, but it would look goofy IMO. There's no "correct" way to install a treadless stem - indeed, many have the decals printed in both orientations - it comes down to personal preference and how best to finally position the bars. I'd rather a few spacers than a sharply up-angled stem.

Last edited by Litespud; 05-22-20 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 05-22-20, 02:35 PM
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A benefit to going with the -deg stem and leaving spacers underneath is that it leaves more steerer tube intact for future adjustment, assuming you cut the tube so you're not running a stack of spacers above. You would cut the steerer, right? If you care about aesthetics, that would be more important than the stem angle.

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Old 05-22-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
A benefit to going with the -deg stem and leaving spacers underneath is that it leaves more steerer tube intact for future adjustment, assuming you cut the tube so you're not running a stack of spacers above. You would cut the steerer, right? If you care about aesthetics, that would be more important than the stem angle.

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My thoughts run very much along these same lines. Another thought: A steer tube cut to the minimum so that the stem can be run without spacers yet with the stem flipped to its upward angle is probably going to look strange, just my input. I actually was in a situation where I wanted to raise my bars a bit and reduce reach. I flipped my stem and cut a spacer's worth off my steer tube. It helped a bit, but the final solution was the same frame in a size 1 cm smaller with a top tube about 1 cm shorter. I reused the same fork, but the new head tube meant that I needed to add a spacer. I flipped the stem back down, and voila, perfect fit. This bike went from one that I liked to ride to a bike that I love to ride. Appearance be darned, I want a good fit along with a bit of fudge room. I would never cut a steer tube to its minimum

Last edited by alcjphil; 05-22-20 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 05-22-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Appearance be darned, I want a good fit along with a bit of fudge room. I would never cut a steer tube to its minimum
Iím OK with cutting a steerer right down because it looks much better, but I wonít do it impulsively. My last fork, I cut it to leave ~20mm above the stem, then spent most of a year experimenting with the stem height, 5mm up or down for maybe a month at a time. Once I had settled on a height, I left it for a few months before I cut it down. Itís where I want it, and it looks good. Iím not going to have an ugly stump sticking up out of my stem just to convenience some hypothetical future owner. If, down the road, I need a couple of centimeters extra height, I have a spare fork with a little extra steerer length in the parts box
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Old 05-22-20, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
A benefit to going with the -deg stem and leaving spacers underneath is that it leaves more steerer tube intact for future adjustment, assuming you cut the tube so you're not running a stack of spacers above. You would cut the steerer, right? If you care about aesthetics, that would be more important than the stem angle.

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This makes very good sense. Once you cut it you can't go back. But I will cut the excess above the stem once I find the perfect height but will even leave a bit up there just in case...

Thanks...
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Old 05-22-20, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Purely personal aesthetics.
Yep! Currently, Iím running this setup. Works for me. Riding a half century tomorrow...
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Old 05-30-20, 07:29 AM
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I was wondering if you could tell me the components of your cross check. I am in the process of having LBS build one from frame I purchased online. I would like to do it at a reasonable cost. I love your handlebars and bell!

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Old 05-30-20, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Purely personal aesthetics.
Absolutely, and it depends on the type, style, size, and fit of the bike.
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Old 05-30-20, 07:41 AM
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I really like gorillimo's bike set-up, but I would put fenders on mine. The price of the wheels and tires they I have been quoted seems high. Bontrager Paradigm 700c TLR $380.00 for set of wheels and $130.00 for Bontrager GR! 700x40 tires. Thanks for any input.
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