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Cutting carbon fibre.(3 posts)

Cutting carbon fibre.Anders
Dec 22, 2001 1:16 PM
Before i cut my carbon fibre steerer is there any thing I should know? Can I use a normal metal saw? Should I use a special starwasher for the steerer and is it nessesery to be extra careful when tightening the stem.....? Thanks in advance!
re: Cutting carbon fibre.Akirasho
Dec 22, 2001 2:20 PM
Follow the makers recommendations...

Most makers suggest a special composite blade (I've used one designed to cut PVC and Acrylic pipes) to cut the steerer, with particular attention to dressing the cut afterwards.

Most makers also supply a compression plug as opposed to a star fangled (controversy here) which applies even pressure to the interal walls of the steerer. A star fangled would bite into the fibers of the steerer and by most accounts, lead to a premature failure (note: I believe that Alpha Q uses a metal insert... and Cannondale used to use a star fangled on it's CF steerers with alledgedly no problems).

You should also follow the makers suggestion on torques... Most makers will respond to email, or you could check at your LBS.

Also... measure, measure, measure... and then measure again. Few things bite as much as cutting an expensive CF steerer too short!

We abide.

Remain In Light.
No Instructions????C-40
Dec 22, 2001 3:33 PM
Didn't you get a special expanding plug and thorough instructions with the fork? If not, you were short-changed, unless the fork is used. Every manufacturer has some type of plug or insert that reinforces the steering tube in the stem clamping area. Never use a star nut on a bare carbon fiber steering tube.

An abrasive blade or new fine tooth hacksaw blade(24-32tpi) will both work fine to cut the tube. If you really want to be meticulous, the cut can be sanded smooth with 180 grit sandpaper and the top edge chamfered slightly.

The stem should also be tightened according to the manufacturers instructions. It doesn't take much torque to hold a typical threadless stem (with two M5 bolts) in place. I never bother to torque the bolts, but I use a small hex wrench or a 4-5-6 Y style and tighten moderately.