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Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?(11 posts)

Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?PdxMark
Jan 12, 2003 2:23 PM
I dropped by a friend's house today to pick him up for a ride. He is in the middle of setting up a small-sized compact frame for his wife to ride. I was surprised to see 5 inches of spacers on the threadless non-carbon steerer tube. Is that safe? He said one guy at one bike shop said "I think is should probably be OK." Thanks for your thoughts.
re: Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?gray8110
Jan 12, 2003 2:54 PM
5 Inches?? Are you serious?? 5 Inches?? As in the width of all the exclamation points below?? On both of my bikes, one is a 56 one is a 58 the UNCUT steerer didn't protrude 5 inches without the sstem on there? I can't imagine how you can have 5 inches of spacers between headset & stem?? I don't know how unsafe that is, but I wouldn't let my wife ride it.


5 spacers - looked 1 inch each, maybe 2 cm each...PdxMark
Jan 12, 2003 3:02 PM
The bike is a very small Specialized Allez compact frame, so the head tube is very small. I didn't measure it, but one reflection it seems that the spacers might take up more space than the head tube.
5 spacers - looked 1 inch each, maybe 2 cm each...gray8110
Jan 12, 2003 4:11 PM
The less headtube you have, it becomes more important that the stem be as close to the headset as possible. If you are talking a ratio of 1-1 as far as tube lenth inside & outside of the frame.. best case scenario the steerer will be so flexy that steering won't be precise or even don't even think of high speed cornering or pulling up on the climbs. His wife may not have enough weight or strength to cause steerer breakage, and her riding style may not be intense but the fork & headset life will be shortened. It sounds extremely unsafe to me though. Most people would say that much more than one inch of spacers are unsafe.
re: Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?daniel_2001
Jan 12, 2003 4:23 PM
One thing I do not understand. If stems with long quills are used, why would it be unsafe to use many inches of spacers and long steerer tubes, especially if the steerer is steel?

Fork specificKerry
Jan 12, 2003 5:10 PM
As mentioned by others, this seems a recipe for damage to the head set and a flexy arrangement, obviously depending on how much force the rider is going to apply to the handle bars. However, whether it will be safe or not depends on the specific fork steerer tube. A strong, stiff, steel tube will be a minimal risk. A tube that has been designed for lightness, whether steel or Al (or even the rare Ti) raises concerns.
re: Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?MR_GRUMPY
Jan 12, 2003 8:03 PM
Did he read the instructions for the fork? Even aluminum steerers have a limit on spacers. On the other hand, maybe your friend is trying to get rid of his wife.
depends on steerer tube materialtarwheel
Jan 13, 2003 6:42 AM
It makes no difference how many spacers you use if your bike has a steel steerer tube. The spacer limitations generally apply to forks with carbon or allow (aluminum) steerer tubes. Does the bike have a riser stem? That's the best way to get ride of some spacers.
Thanks for the thoughts so far... I'll pass them on nmPdxMark
Jan 13, 2003 8:02 AM
Thanks for the thoughts so far... I'll pass them on nmRob Sal
Jan 13, 2003 12:54 PM
Sounds to me like your friend bought the wrong size frame!!
re: Is 5 inches of spacers on a steerer tube safe?jw25
Jan 14, 2003 12:39 PM
Well, I'd be hard-pressed to ride that, but considering the rider and frame, it should be okay. Not desirable, certainly, but safe to ride.
I'd recommend using a -17 degree stem flopped over, as that should raise the bars a few inches, depending on length, and negate the need for all those spacers. I still prefer to leave one 5 or 10mm spacer above the stem, for adjustability and security (that way, the entire stem clamp is on steerer, with no empty space at the top).