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How many CM of spacers do you run?(37 posts)

How many CM of spacers do you run?StevieP
Feb 12, 2003 9:07 AM
I run 5cm on my 'slightly too small' training bike. I needed this many to get the height right.

I have to admit that it doesn't really look too cool but I prefer the comfort over looks. If the stem police came round I would be busted in a shot!

Is anyone else running as many spacers as me?
none. nmSpunout
Feb 12, 2003 9:21 AM
hopefully not...C-40
Feb 12, 2003 9:29 AM
Stem angle should be used instead of a lot of spacers. Flipping an 80 degree stem will raise the bars about 3.5cm.

I use an 84 degree Ritchey with no spacers. Saddle to bar height difference is 9cm.
Feb 12, 2003 11:16 AM
84 deg 13cm WCS and a Ritchey Pro bar, with a 3mm on top.
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?Juanmoretime
Feb 12, 2003 9:31 AM
I'm running 3 cm of spacers with a 80 degree stem. I could go to a 90 degree stem and probably cut that back to 2. I just haven't found a 90 that I like as much as my 80.
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?12x23
Feb 12, 2003 11:20 AM
Have you looked at the new FSA stems? They are available 90* and look similar to the Deda Newton. I think they are supposed to be available sometime February.
that's a lotColnagoFE
Feb 12, 2003 9:45 AM
Are you using a rise stem? I think it's silly that people will use tons of spacers with a conventional stem because they consider a rise stem a poser thing.
Well, it's also a matter ofOldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 9:52 AM
convenience (and maybe laziness). Bike comes off the rack with a stack of spacers, you run it that way for awhile and decide, yeah, I need this much rise to get comfortable, and it's just easier to leave it that way that to cut the steerer, flop the stem, etc.

A threadless setup is going to be uglier than a quill stem no matter what you do. You can put makeup on a goose but it's still a goose.
Well, it's also a matter ofFez
Feb 12, 2003 10:05 AM
You said:

A threadless setup is going to be uglier than a quill stem no matter what you do. You can put makeup on a goose but it's still a goose.


I think it depends on the stem. There aren't that many quill stems available now, but a common one is the huge aluminum one that is thin across one axis and huge from the side with big sloppy welds. On the other hand, a nice sleek quill stem has nice, classic looks.
I come from the era of sleek and classic.OldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 10:14 AM
I agree you can make an ugly quill stem. DOn't think you can make a pretty threadless stem, though. But hell, I'll get over it.
Can you even get a threaded fork these days?nmFez
Feb 12, 2003 10:30 AM
Sure. It takes a little looking.OldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 11:03 AM
I'm kinda oppositeNo_sprint
Feb 12, 2003 12:24 PM
I don't like the look of quill stems.
Quill AestheticsAndy M-S
Feb 12, 2003 12:29 PM
So true!

I recently went to Goccia stems on both of my road bikes (Excel had them on sale, and they're nice, strong stems) to escape the chunkiness of some other quill stems I had...
1 cm. nmNo_sprint
Feb 12, 2003 9:53 AM
I doCHRoadie
Feb 12, 2003 9:53 AM
I've got 2cm standover, so I can't go with a larger frame. I've got 5.5cm drop from saddle to the bars and 5cm of spacers. So if I had 9cm drop like some of the folks here, I'd only have 15mm spacing. However, my focus is on climbing and centuries, and I like to be comfortable on my bike. Screw the looks and go for what fits.
2.5 for nowRJF
Feb 12, 2003 10:28 AM
I currently have 2.5cm on my bike. It's a brand new bike so I went with the maximum I thought I'd need -- cheaper to cut the steerer tube than it is to buy a new fork. I plan on experimenting with various combinations of reducing the spacers and also flipping the stem (currently set at -10). As it's set up now, I have 1 CM less drop than I did on my old bike.

It's curious that in many old shots of a "properly" set up bike, the quill was sticking out 2 or more inches. Running equivalent spacers (or more, accounting for the lower stack of the threadless headset) is considered too much. I don't think that for the most part your average frame geometry has been altered to account for the lower stack heights/etc. Or has it? And should it?

Anyway, I'm more concerned with what works for me than what some guy thousands of miles away on the internet thinks is cool (keeping in mind that you should not run more spacers than is recommended by your headset and/or fork manufacturer).

And while I like the look of no spacers, I note that several custom builders fit their bikes with spacers. My neighbor has two Sevens, and each was custom built and professionally fit to use 2CM of spacers.
Ditto 2.5cmkoala
Feb 12, 2003 10:59 AM
Sill have 7.7 c.m. of drop..the head tube is short.
Is spacer height an aesthetic issue only? (nm)Uprwstsdr
Feb 12, 2003 10:37 AM
Yes, purer aesthetics so long asscorpionking
Feb 12, 2003 11:04 AM
Pure aesthetics so long as your fork manufacturer permits a certain amount of spacers and you do not exceed that limit. There is nothing inherently wrong with running 4 even 5 cm's of spacers on your bike if this is what it takes to get your bars to the proper position. Far too many recreational riders try to imitate TDF rider positions when in reality they lack the flexibility and power necessary to maintain these positions efficiently over time. Their bikes look racy, but in a real race they end up usually losing lots of efficiency and power, esp[ecially in the later stages of group rides and races because they are riding with their bars far too low for their core strength and real true flexibility. The aerodynamic advantage gain they think they have achieved is more than offset by loss of wattage, endurance and smoothness of pedal stroke usually long before the race or group ride concludes. Before threadless stems popped on the scene you would see lots of racers, very good racers with several inches of quill stem exposed above the headtube. Nowadays bikes for many have become more of a fashion statement than a tool to train on, race on and simply enjoy riding. I would venture to say that probably on average 3 out of every 4 amateur riders is riding with a bar position probably a good 1-2 inches below where their optimal height really is.

Forget about the looks from others, if 5 cm's of spacers works and its ok with the forks manufacturer, go with it.
2 CM reducing to 1CM. nmLen J
Feb 12, 2003 10:48 AM
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?12x23
Feb 12, 2003 11:22 AM
3cm on my Oclvs, 2cm on the Vortex and 1.5cm on the Classic.
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?CHRoadie
Feb 12, 2003 12:45 PM
That's another issue I forgot to mention in my previous post. Treks tend to have very long top tubes (I have a 5500), so to get a proper fit you need to get a size too small which leads to more spacers. Geometry plays a big part in it.
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?zooog
Feb 12, 2003 11:42 AM
3.5CM's. This is how I got to my comfort zone. Don't care how it looks as long as it works for me
I run four 5mm spacerscyclopathic
Feb 12, 2003 11:46 AM
2 of them above stem. They only get used at the beginning of season
None. The stem nazi's love my setup! LOL -nmTig
Feb 12, 2003 1:13 PM
Uh...what exactly is wrong with a bunch spacers?Sintesi
Feb 12, 2003 2:36 PM
I don't get it. Turn the stem over but don't run a bunch of spacers? Why? I can see it if you have a carbon steerer but what's wrong otherwise?
weight? possibly stiffness? just guessing (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 12, 2003 2:42 PM
Uh...what exactly is wrong with a bunch spacers?12x23
Feb 12, 2003 3:32 PM
I agree. Think back to 1999 and Lance's oclv with a quill stem sticking ~6cm up above the headset. What's the difference in that and a few cm of spacers as long as the fork mfg's limits are adhered to?
Uh...what exactly is wrong with a bunch spacers?CHRoadie
Feb 12, 2003 4:18 PM
I concur. I just bought a Trek 5500 (grey/silver USPS paint, Ksyriums to dress it up, etc.), and I've got a sizable spacer stack, and I still think my bike is beautiful. It was as big as I could go (58cm, with 2cm standover), weighs 16.6 lbs, and I love it! :-)
re: How many CM of spacers do you run?MVN
Feb 12, 2003 4:56 PM
Right now 3cm, down from 3.5 in September. I may go back up to 3.5, though. Don't care how it looks.
Spacer LoveRJF
Feb 12, 2003 4:58 PM
After enduring the constant wrath of the spacer police, it's nice to see all this spacer love!
"How many CM of spacers do you run?"roadrider
Feb 12, 2003 5:11 PM
2.5cm And my herinated disc loves me for it.
"How many CM of spacers do you run?"daniel_2001
Feb 12, 2003 5:59 PM
I have 3.5 cm. of spacers. I have 2.5 on top of the stem. Haven't gotten around to make the final cut yet. I have a -17 stem flipped to give me the maximun height.

Yep. me too.Sintesi
Feb 12, 2003 6:26 PM
I never measured before. : )
No kidding I hate spacer Police.Ambishawn
Feb 12, 2003 9:34 PM
2cm - Thinking about flipping the stem thoughB2
Feb 12, 2003 6:36 PM
Currently have 2cm spacers and a 110 x 80 degree stem with 9cm saddle to bar drop. Thinking about flipping the stem, but really need a 120cm do it right. If I drop 1cm of spacer, the 110 stem may still be alright though.