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Why do people get so hung up on spacers?(8 posts)

Why do people get so hung up on spacers?sparklenuts
Jul 1, 2003 7:30 PM
Just wondering from using this board and checking out the pics section, why some people get so hung up on the amount of spacers used? I size out at a 54cm frame, but most 54 headtubes (especially my 5900) are very short and require alot of spacers. The 56cm is just too big. The comments on the amount of spacers just seem dumb, unless I am missing something. That being said, I do agree that it seems stupid to put a bunch of spacers under a negative rise stem.

Jul 2, 2003 2:45 AM
Roadbiking is full fo snobs cruising around on kit that's about 1000% better than they are. They get around the absurdity of this by sniping at other people's stuff.

Short headtubes is a trend at the moment. For most people who have the bravery to ride with less than a 6" drop from bars to saddle, rather than pretend that they are pro peleton riders, that necessitates spacers, or a high-rise stem. It will change, as will carbon stays, compact frames and so on - it's all about selling bikes, given that any decent frame looked after half well will last for years and years.

Unless you are smart, like the guy with the custom over on the cycle pix board at the moment, who had the headtube made longer.
Jul 3, 2003 10:10 AM
It's an image thing...and the fact the same snobs associate the amount of spacers and/or stem rise to ability of the rider. So they figure if you have no spacers and negative degree stem, with a 2 foot drop from your seat to your bars you must be really fast. Ridiculous when you think about it.
If you're not hung up on spacers, why do you think it's stupid?TNSquared
Jul 2, 2003 4:07 AM
If you're not hung up on spacers, then whatever works for the rider should be the point.

My trek came with 4 cm of spacers, deemed alot by most people. The bike aslo came with a +7 stem, and even by flipping it I couldn't get the bars low enough.

I installed a -17 stem (parallel to the ground) and left the spacers alone, and the bar height is just right.

So I guess I have a bunch of spacers under a negative rise stem.

However, for me this was better the alternatives, which would be to stay with a riser stem and either: 1) cutting the steerer tube - might do this at some point but not until I'm positive on my position or 2) have alot of spacers both under and over a stem.
there are limits...C-40
Jul 2, 2003 6:01 AM
If you have a carbon fiber steering tube, most manufacturers recommend no more than 2-3cm of spacer to maintain rigidty.

A properly sized frame will generally yield a saddle to bar drop of 8-10cm with no spacers and a 80-84 degree stem.

If you need the bars higher, flipping an 84 degree stem will raise the bars about 2cm. Flipping an 80 will raise the bars over 3cm. The flipped stem option should be used, if more than 2-3cm of spacers are needed.

Cutting the steering tube is an easy 5-10 minute job.
Rigtht, we talked about this before, just not ready to cut...TNSquared
Jul 2, 2003 6:14 AM
I have an alu steeret tube, so I'm not worried about rigidity.

With my current set up, which is 4 cm of spacers and a -17 stem, I have about a 9 cm drop from saddle to bars. I'm happy.

Eventually, I would like to consider a different stem so I can cut the steerer and remove the spacers, but I've only been on this bike since Feb. and want to be sure.

Q: Once I am ready, if I want to remove all 4 cm of spacers, what degree rise would equal my current bar height. You may need more info., so just let me know.

there are limits...03Vortex
Jul 2, 2003 9:53 AM
I was set up at my LBS with 3.5cm of spacers which yields me just about 6-7cm (2.5in)of drop from saddle to bars (which seem okay to me but still experimenting quite frankly-its a new bike). Does this sound unusual to you based on above? My stem is an 80 degree (-10). Would like your opinion?
Only on the internet...Fez
Jul 2, 2003 7:16 AM
The internet is a great place for a lot of anonymous people to snipe at and bust balls over things like # of spacers used.

When I go to races or on fast group rides, I notice more people have spacers than not. Heck, even lots of pros ride with them. As long as safety isn't compromised, it's not a problem.

My thoughts:

1) Anything not too extreme is fine. Any combination of 1-2cm of spacers and a -10 to +5 degree rise stem is fine. To argue over 1.5cm of spacers and a -10 degree stem vs. zero spacers and zero degree rise stem is pointless.

2) I don't think running excessively high rise stems just to achieve zero stack is pretty, either. I'd rather have a few spacers and a stem in the range I mentioned above, instead of zero stack with a +17 degree stem.

3) A tall 3cm headtube extension may be functional, but IMHO is not that pretty. I would guess someone who gets one like that is not trying to eliminate spacers entirely, but if he didn't get the extension would be running 4-6cm of spacers, which would be on the high side even for aluminum steerers.