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Advice on cutting carbon steerer tube...(7 posts)

Advice on cutting carbon steerer tube...kamss
Oct 6, 2002 3:36 PM
well...i'm building my first road bike. i bought a look hsc3 fork with a 1" carbon steerer. i've built a few mountain bikes and have cut numerous al and steel steerers, but never a steerer made of carbon. i asked my lbs if they have the tools to cut a carbon steerer and the wrench wasn't sure how to do so. so, i'm here posting this message. how are carbon steerers cut? i think i may head over to helen's cycles in the end, i really don't wanna fudge up the fork and have the steerer start to splinter. can you just take a hack saw with the correct type of blade and start hacking away at it?
cheers and thanks in advance for any help.
Hacksaw, but!Kerry
Oct 6, 2002 4:35 PM
Yes you cut them with a hacksaw, and as you said "with the correct type of blade." The important thing is to use a quite fine tooth blade or even a diamond blade (for cutting ceramics) because you don't want to leave any rough edge. Such an edge would have fibers hanging out and could then become the basis for fracture points, etc. Using the old carpenter's adage, measure several times, then cut. Make sure you really know how everything is going together before you cut. It wouldn't hurt to cut it long, try putting things together (with extra spacers) and THEN cut to the right length. Our man Doug Sloan can tell you about cutting the steerer tube too short - one $400 fork in the dempster.
Hacksaw, but!teoteoteo
Oct 6, 2002 5:08 PM
Have cut a few and always use nice new fine blades as mentioned above another trick is to use water to serve as lubrication. It doesn't take much. Just wet blade and some on steerer where you are cutting. When your done a very fine
emory cloth or very fine sandpaper can clear any burs.

The saw will go through carbon quicker than alum or steel so go easy on the pressure...like my Gramps used to say "let the saw do the work".

Also pay attention to special instructions. Some stem clamps are not kosher as they will "score" carbon causing major issues. Keep in mind some many wrenches suggest using a 2.5 mm spacer between "top cap" and top of stem. This allows proper compression against stem and keeps top cap from compressing directly onto carbon steerer. This will avoid potential splintering/splitting/mishaping of "top" of steerer.

AVOID GREASE ON STEERER AT ALL COSTS. GREASE IS BLAMED FOR REDUCING FORK LIFE DO TO CAUSING DELAMINATION. When installing just be sure to get grease where it needs to be (bearings) but off of steerer. Realistically it's nest to impossible to keep all the grease of steerer but you get the point.
Try here. It's the best web page I've seen on the subject.Ken of Fresno
Oct 6, 2002 7:31 PM
This article from slow twitch.com is the best I've seen. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the page that says "click here" for extra info.

Best of luck,
Ken
Thanks fellas, excellent info! NMkamss
Oct 6, 2002 8:55 PM
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re: Advice on cutting carbon steerer tube...Akirasho
Oct 6, 2002 10:11 PM
... I've used a composite pull saw found at Lowes Home Improvement to cut several CF steerers... while it looks teethy, it gives a very smooth cut with no tearout.

We abide.

Remain In Light.

Be the bike.
I cut my carbon steerer using Parks' guide and a 28 tooth keyPaul
Oct 7, 2002 10:20 AM
hole saw. Took me about 5 minutes taking it slow, and with little pressure. It was a real smooth cut with no burrs.