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Giant TCR2 stem: Can it be shortened?(9 posts)

Giant TCR2 stem: Can it be shortened?fbg111
Sep 23, 2002 2:34 PM
I want to experiment with more aggressive (lower) positioning on my TCR2. I already have the longest seatpost, and want to try shortening the stem. Is this something that can be done in a garage (I'm a decent mechanic, but new to bike mechanics), or should I take it to an lbs? If it can be done in the garage, what is a good instructional reference on how to modify the integrated headset? Do Zinn and Barnett's manuals have chapters about this? Thanks.
oops...fbg111
Sep 23, 2002 2:47 PM
Didn't mean "shortening" the stem, I meant to say "lowering" the stem. I think I can remove the spacers on the headset under the stem, but not sure. I'm gonna take the stem off and check out what's underneath.
re: Giant TCR2 stem: Can it be shortened?aliensporebomb
Sep 23, 2002 2:50 PM
The TCR stem is reversible you know. If the bike shop
had installed it pointing upwards it can be flipped
around for a more vertical position. Mine was too low so
I had them flip it up. You probably need the reverse
procedure...
re: Giant TCR2 stem: Can it be shortened?fbg111
Sep 23, 2002 3:03 PM
Yeah, I bought it reversed, already in the low configuration. I've just been tooling around with it, and I see that there are four carbon fiber spacers underneath the stem. I just removed the stem to see if I could remove three of those spacers to lower the stem height, but apparently that can't be done without sawing off an equal height from the aluminum internal head tube that the stem attaches too. So instead, I put the stem on the bottom and three of the spacers on the top, just so I can test ride this configuration a bit. But it looks like I'll have to either get a shorter internal head tube, or have it sawed off at the lbs. That's not something I'm comfortable doing myself.
Spacer swapsKerry
Sep 23, 2002 4:21 PM
For the near term, just move the four spacers (that were underneath) to the top. No cutting, sawing, or other irreversible damage done. You can move those spacers in any configuration you like, as long as you keep the same total height of stem clamp plus spacers. Not sure what you are talking about when you say you'll "have to either get a shorter internal head tube, or have it sawed off at the lbs". By "internal head tube" do you mean the steerer tube of the fork? You can't "change" this - it's part of the fork. It can be cut down, but there really is no reason to do this since you can put your stem at the lowest position and just have spacers on top. This keeps your options open for either changing your position or saving the next owner from having to buy a new fork. Shortening the steerer tube does make things a tiny bit stiffer, but you probably couldn't tell without instrumented testing.
Spacer swapsfbg111
Sep 23, 2002 5:27 PM
Thanks Kerry, yes I meant the steerer tube. I'm still learning the names of various parts. And that's what I ended up doing with the spacers - moved them to the top and the stem to bottom. It looks like a jerry though. Also, the top of the steerer tube looks rough, as though it's been sawed before. That's why I thought it could be shortened by sawing off 3/4" - 1". I'll ride it like this for a few weeks and to make sure I like the lower position, but I would really like to get rid of that part sticking out on top if possible. I just don't like the way it looks.
Sawing the steering tubeGregJ
Sep 23, 2002 9:03 PM
Sawing the steering tube is standard procedure when setting up a bike. Your shop will have a special guide that they can clamp on the tube, their hacksaw will cut through it no time. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes, especially if you are there to hold the stem and bars for them. I would ride around awhile and make sure this lower position works for you. Stretching the steering tube once it has been cut too short is considerably more complex. There is nothing wrong with stacking the spacers on top as Kerry pointed out.
Sawing the steering tubefbg111
Sep 24, 2002 2:48 AM
Thanx for the info. I'll definitely ride it around with the spacers on top for a few weeks before I decide on cutting it. I didn't even realize you could stretch aluminum, much less an aluminum cylinder. Didn't know it was malleable enough.
Stretched steerer - he was joking!!! (nm)Kerry
Sep 24, 2002 4:15 PM