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I like the cut of your tube(22 posts)

I like the cut of your tubesteve-z
Aug 29, 2002 6:30 AM
Experienced home wrench advice needed:
I got a new stem (threadless) yesterday, and I'm going to need to cut down the my steering tube as 5 (!) spacers still yields a 1/4 inch of tube over the stem, plus I want a little more saddle to bar drop.

I'm considering doing this myself. I've got the Zinn book, and the process seems pretty simple:

1) measure (I know, I know, then measure again)
2) mark
3) cut
4) file

as for the tools:
Hack saw, files, vice.

Am I missing something? Any pitfalls to be avoided? Should I just let my LBS handle this?

BTW, this is a Cannondale (I think it's made by Look) carbon fork w/allow steerer.

You've got it covered. Just read #1 over and overDave Hickey
Aug 29, 2002 6:39 AM
I've cut a couple of alloy steerer forks with no problem at all. Other than cutting too short, the biggest pitfall to avoid, is not cutting straight. Make sure the hacksaw blade is strong and tight. I used a miter box as a guide.
I've done this twice now. Once, virtually freehand, which wasbill
Aug 29, 2002 6:44 AM
messy. The other, I used a hose clamp as a guide.
In both cases, I did it on the bike, without taking the headset apart (to avoid the problem that Doug Sloan would be happy to tell you about -- cutting a $50,000 fork too small).
I measured where I wanted the stem to fit, I drew a line on the steerer in pencil (hard to see, but possible), lined up the hose clamp and tightened it down, and cut. I also used a carbide blade for my hacksaw, which may not be necessary but it does cut more cleanly. Then I used a light sandpaper to really smooth out the end.
I know you're not really supposed to breath that stuff, but I can't say I took any precautions.
Oh, alloy? never mind.bill
Aug 29, 2002 6:45 AM
Wait a sec.........Doug............Explain this $50,000 fork..NMtronracer
Aug 29, 2002 7:11 AM
alloy? No worries.jw25
Aug 29, 2002 6:42 AM
metal steerers are easy to cut, especially now that most are threadless.
Always measure twice, or maybe once more, to be sure. I use a small screwdriver to scribe a line where I want to cut, as ink can be scraped off when removing the stem.
I usually use a plumbing pipe cutter, as it's fast and straight, but it does leave a small lip around the top of the tube, which needs to be sanded down. Still a 5 minute job altogether, though.
With what you've got, I'd use the hacksaw, with a couple of spare spacers taped to the steerer as blade guides. A little oil makes for a smoother cut, and be sure to wipe off the shavings.
I'd also say to leave a spacer above the stem, in case you want to adjust things later. Plus, that way the stem clamp is filled with steerer, which is supposed to be stronger. A moot point, I know, but I do it for the MTB, and it carries over.
Have fun
No - its that simpleEager Beagle
Aug 29, 2002 6:44 AM
Just remember when you come to measure that you can always cut a bit more off, but it's rather hard to add length back on.

One bit of advice - use a decent hacksaw and blade (good tension and teeth) or it will tend to "wonder" as you cut. Also good idea to draw right round (or use tape on the fork side) where you want to cut - makes it easier to make a nice clean square job of it. Lastly, use lots of lighter pressure on the blade, rather than trying to force it through the metal, as this again will give you a straighter cut.
Along these lines, can I re-use the star nut?OffTheBack
Aug 29, 2002 8:10 AM
I'm about to do this myself, and I'm wondering if I can get the tool and just pound the star nut deeper, or if I need to replace the nut. Thanks for your help.
Yes you can.Eager Beagle
Aug 29, 2002 8:41 AM
I just put the bolt in the top, place a bit of wood on the top, and tap it further down - gently though, it's hard to get it up if you go to far (which is difficult if you use the bolt that you are going to use with it to tap it down - it all makes sense!)
Use a pipe cutter!sharkey
Aug 29, 2002 10:28 AM
My advice is not to use the hacksaw . . . it's hard to get the cut exactly perpendicular, and you usually end up with massive burrs that are hard to file out.

Use a pipe cutter. you can buy one at your local hardware store. Just make sure that it's large enough to cut a 1.125" pipe (uhhh . . .tube). It's a bargain too, at around $10. You can spend more on a pipe cutter, but I've cut 4 steerer tubes with my cheapo one, and it works like a charm. Nice straight cuts, no sharp burrs!!
DO NOT use a pipe cutter...TJeanloz
Aug 29, 2002 11:09 AM
Using a pipe cutter is explicitly NOT recommended on fork steerer tubes. The cutter puts uneven pressure on the steerer as it cuts which can cause stress risers that will lead to failure. A pipe cutter, because of the way it works, will damage the steerer tube. You MIGHT be able to get away with it if the steerer is super-thik chromoly steel.
forget measuringDougSloan
Aug 29, 2002 11:47 AM
Don't measure. Assemble the headset, fork, spacers, and stem, without the top cap. Then, mark around the steerer on top of the stem. Then, disassemble and cut 1/8 inch below the mark.

Measuring the stem for cutting only leads to problems. Marking is infallible.

Doug is right.Eager Beagle
Aug 30, 2002 6:55 AM
If you really can't manage to measure a given length from a straight tube without 'ucking it up, then you should probably be asking about daycare, and not using powertools/blades/pencils/tape. Otherwise you are just leading to problems. It's a devilishly difficult scenario all-round, and we were only toying with disaster suggesting that you should dare to be so bold as to attempt to measure anything.

Christ on a moped, catering for imbiciles or what - the man managed to type a bloody message, I'm sure he can delpoy a ruler without making a complete @rse of it.....
of course you are correctDougSloan
Aug 30, 2002 7:02 AM
Despite the dripping sarcasm, your message contains some merit. Only those with perfect records of assembly should attempt further installations. Nonetheless, I imagine the most intelligent and/or experienced among us has transposed a few digits in our lives. Marking avoids the issue entirely. The cost/benefit of this K.I.S.S. method should be obvious, even to one so adept in the use of measuring devices.

Hmmm, so then,Eager Beagle
Aug 30, 2002 7:14 AM
unless you have a prefect record of assembly, you shouldn't attempt a further assembly. So then, logically, ab initio, no one will ever attempt anything....

All that aside, "marking" and "measuring" are not mutulally exclusive concepts.

Be bold. Get a bit of string, "measure" to where you want to cut, "mark" the string, put the string on the tube, and then, well, if you don't get it by now, ask your parole officer for some planned assistance...

Ignore me, boring day in the law office.

Doug, your view? What's Bush gonna do re Sadam? I want to know as I have a reserve commitment (feel free to switch to "non cycling")and I have a small wager on the issue...
you got that, huh?DougSloan
Aug 30, 2002 7:24 AM
Infallible logic.

Again, my suggestion, KISS.

My view? I have no freaking idea. I'm just concerned when I can get my next ride in.

I was really struggling, butEager Beagle
Aug 30, 2002 7:28 AM
I think I just managed to get through the irony to the logic..

Fair enough - good to see someone taking simplicity to a new level.

Do you write stuff for Bush too?
Kosher way to trim your top tube. . .js5280
Aug 29, 2002 1:18 PM
The owner starts the ceremony holding the bike. Then, giving his/her consent, passes the bike to a couple who has been given the honor of Kvatterin. The couple (sometimes the godparents) will bring the bike into the room where the guests are waiting and everyone present welcomes the bike with "Baruch Haba" Blessed is he that rides. The bike is then handed to the person honored with placing the bike on the "Workstand of Elijah". This is the same Elijah of Passover fame. He has been designated as the "Angel of the Bris" and he comes to every Bris Mila. The bike is placed on the workstand to receive a blessing from Elijah. The custom is not to " invite" anyone to the Bris, rather peopled should be informed that there will be a Bris on a particular date (implying that they are invited). The reason is that since Elijah will be at the Bris, if a person would be invited to the Bris and not come, it would be an insult to Elija! The bike is then given to the owner who gives the bike to the Sandek. The sandek is the biggest honor and is usually given to the grandfather or other important guest. The Sandek gently holds the stays of the bike where the father and Mohel recite the appropriate blessings, and the Bris is done. Immediately after the Bris the bike is given some wine, swaddled and handed to the Sandek Me'umad (the standing Sandek). The Sandek Me'umad is honored with holding the bike while he receives his Hebrew name. After the naming everyone says a hearty Mazel-Tov, and the bike is given to his owner to go out for a quick ride. All the guests are then invited to a festive meal to celebrate this wonderful occasion.
D'oh! Make that "steerer" tube in the subject line. (nm)js5280
Aug 29, 2002 1:20 PM
THIS my mother would understandsn69
Aug 29, 2002 7:49 PM
and she might actually approve of bicycling if I could convince her that this is how things happen. ...Of course, she'd still crap on me for not being a doctor.

Such is life. Ride on....
I'd ride with it long for a while first.Spoke Wrench
Aug 29, 2002 2:51 PM
I'd gradually move stack spacers from below to above the stem until I was sure that I'd found the sweet spot for handlebar height, THEN I'd cut the steer tube. One of the greatest benefits of doing your own wrenching is that you have the opportunity to experiment with things like this for a bit before you have to commit yourself to a particular bike set up.
re: I'd ride with it long for a while first.steve-z
Aug 29, 2002 4:40 PM
This is what I've decided to do. I'll cut the tube (if needed) this winter. Thanks everyone for the help.