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Cutting steerer tube, need advice(6 posts)

Cutting steerer tube, need adviceNova
Sep 14, 2001 9:56 AM
Once my stem and bars get here from Excel (ordered last Monday and not likely to see them for a while for obvious reasons), I'll be cutting the steerer tube on my new 1" threadless fork.

I'm not a complete novice to wrenching on bikes, but this is my first attempt at cutting a tube and it is my first threadless headset. (Cups are already installed on the headtube)

Any advice? I'm prepared to clamp the fork in my Park workstand and use a hacksaw for cutting. What I'm concerned about is getting a clean, straight cut, and leaving enough of the tube so that I can play with the stack height until I get it dialed in, which is when I'll cut it a little more.
What is the steerer material? If it's carbon, on the advice ofbill
Sep 14, 2001 11:07 AM
some people that do it all the time, I did it on the bike with a hacksaw. I built up a couple of spacers and the stem to where I thought the height should be, and I added another .75 cm for some flexibility if I eventually wanted to go higher. I taped the steerer with electrical tape to control fraying, and, using the top spacer as a guide, cut it across with a plain ol' hacksaw. Then I added back another 2.5 mm of spacer, so that the top of the steerer would be beneath the cap once I finally placed the headset cap on top of the spacers. Went pretty smoothly. All happened a lot faster than I thought.
Remember that, if it's a carbon steerer, you generally cannot use the star thingie that comes with the headset (I forget what it's called -- the top cap screws into it). You have to use a different kind of a plunger that generally comes with the fork.
My steerer is steel. Thanks for your help (nm)nova
Sep 14, 2001 11:38 AM
re: Cutting steerer tube, need adviceTig
Sep 14, 2001 5:27 PM
Instead of a hacksaw, consider a pipe cutter. The kind that has a wheel cutter and you spin it around the tube a few times, tighten it a little, spin, so on... It will make a smoother, even cut. I have used them on aluminum and steel aircraft tubes without a problem.
excellent suggestion -nova
Sep 15, 2001 4:43 AM
I'll head to the hardware store this weekend for a pipe cutter. Thanks!
excellent suggestion -DAvid feldman
Sep 15, 2001 3:10 PM
Another low-tech cutting guide is a pair of hose clamps tightened a sawblade's thickness apart around the steerer.
I use this for cutting carbon steerers. I have a cutting guide but the carbide-grit blade recommended for carbon is too thick to pass through it; two hose clamps can be placed any distance apart that need to be, and result in a nice straight cut. For me, using a pipe cutter on steel always results in worse and bigger burrs than a hacksaw.