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STEM/SPACER HELP!(3 posts)

STEM/SPACER HELP!NeWbiE
Dec 3, 2001 6:23 PM
Hi all, i have this question concerning how many spacers i have. It makes my stem to high. I have 4 spacers in there, i took two out and put it one top of the stem. I rode, and i could not steer at all, it wouldn't move!, and i see people with only 2 or 1 spacers, none above the stem either. I was wonderin how do i take two spacers out, and only have 2 spacers on the bike? Thanks For the Help
re: STEM/SPACER HELP!mja
Dec 4, 2001 5:28 AM
I have 4 spacers (20-10-5-5mm) and stem is just right! Are you saying the fit is wrong, or that your aesthetic sensibilities are offended by the number of spacers.

Were you able to judge the effects on reach and drop of lower stem placement during your "ride without steering."

Basic bicycle repair manual might also be of help. Seems you have effectively over-tightened your headset.
Maybe some help here...DavidS
Dec 5, 2001 9:31 PM
Were you really unable to turn the bars? If so, then you probably tightened the stem/headset too tight. What you want to do is loosen the horizontal stem bolts, and loosen the stem using the bolt on top. Then slowly tighten the stem bolt until it is just binding a little, then back it off just a touch. The stem/headset is correctly tightened when there is no slop or play, but no binding either. Then tighten the stem to the steer tube. The stem bolt that runs down into the steer tube is used for setting the headset compresion, and the stem-to-steer tube bolts actually hold the assembly together.

As to the question about stack height and spacers: The best thing to do, I have found, is to try different stack heights by moving spacers from below the stem to above it until you achieve the best postion for your riding...both a comfortable and aerodynamic position. Leave the stem this way (spacers above/below) for a while to be sure it is perfect. When you are 100% sure, you can cut the steer tube itself just below the top of the stem and eliminate the spacers above the stem altogether. Be very, very sure the postion is right, because once you cut it off you can't put it back on. If you need help cutting it, go to you LBS and have them do it.

Hope this helps!

-Dave S