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I'm freaking out... LBS just ruined my fork?(22 posts)

I'm freaking out... LBS just ruined my fork?JFR
Nov 26, 2003 5:40 PM
I asked for my steerer to be cut so there are no spacers on top.

So as not to be rude, I waited till I got home to make sure the job was done right.

I removed my WCS top cap and sure enough, I found a solid 1/4 inch gap. WTF!?! He wasn't even CLOSE to flush!

I'm totally freaking out.

Any gap is bad news, right?
Especially for a strong 190 pound rider who plans to get into crit racing, right?

Does the shop owe me a new fork? THIS SUCKS!

Advice please?
I think there is suppose to be a gap! (nm)VW
Nov 26, 2003 5:43 PM
I think there is suppose to be a gap!
I know there is supposed to be a gap!martym
Nov 27, 2003 8:22 AM
Need to have a gap so that preload can be applied! That's how headsets work.
First of allMel Erickson
Nov 26, 2003 5:50 PM
There has to be a gap between the top of the stem/spacer and the top of the steerer tube so the top cap can snug down and put the proper torque on the headset. That's why the star nut is there, so you can snug things down. If the steerer tube and stem were flush you couldn't put the proper torque in. A quarter inch is probably within acceptable tolerences. I might prefer a little less but it shouldn't affect the integity.
Nov 26, 2003 6:50 PM
I guess I knew there had to be some gap, but I thought it was supposed to be virtually flush.

I have a 5mm gap that, to me, seems to leave a lot of stem bolted to air.

It'll get looked at by some friends/mechanics.

Thanks a lot for your reply...

I'm not freaking out so much now :)
Are you a total retard?Zonic Man
Nov 26, 2003 5:53 PM
A little harsh isn't it?Dave Hickey
Nov 26, 2003 5:57 PM
Since he's doesn't have a lot of experience, he takes it to an LBS to work on it. Sounds pretty damn smart to me!
Thanks, and it's okay...JFR
Nov 26, 2003 6:19 PM
We're friends, and he just said the same thing on the phone to me while laughing like friends do... I guess I got worked up over nothing... what a relief...

I much prefer to expose a little ignorance and provide some entertainment than have my fork screwed up.

Happy Thanksgiving
Thanks, and it's okay...gmikes
Nov 27, 2003 12:11 PM
These guys are right in that there needs to be a little clearance between the outer brace ( the stem or spacers above the stem) and the top of the steerer tube. However you absolutely do not want to be clamping air as you say. If you look closely you will see that a lot of the euro pro mechanics cut the forks such that there is a 2 or 3mm bit that rises above the stem so that a 3 or 5mm spacer will stay on top of the stem. This way there is not a lot of fork above the stem, necessitating a pile of spacers, but yet there is enough fork so that ALL of the stem's clamping area is clamping the fork.

I think your worries are warranted.
I set up all of my bikes with a spacer on top ...Live Steam
Nov 27, 2003 7:29 PM
it offers that advantage of allowing the stem to be fully engaged with the steerer. I never had a problem with the "look" either. .5cm spacer plus the top cap exposed above the stem is fine and good, sound mechanics. JMO
Man, that's a shiny floor!Mel Erickson
Nov 28, 2003 7:57 AM
And lots of locks. Nice bike, too.
The distance should be about 3mmhudsonite
Nov 26, 2003 6:15 PM
The fork should about 2->3mm below the stem. Without the space, you will not be able to tension the headset correctly.

A 1/4 inch is 6.35mm, which would be a little too big. If you have precision measuring tools, measure the distance. 3mm is perfect. If it is much more than that, a good mechanic would have to see if it is problem with your stem/steerer.

good luck
Just measured... I got 5mmJFR
Nov 26, 2003 6:34 PM
Thanks for your reply.

It'll get looked at by some experienced friends/mechanics.
The distance should be about 3mmhackmechanic
Nov 26, 2003 8:29 PM
Depending on top cap you may need more than 3mm. Record, for instance, has a pretty pronounced backing on the top cap and 3mm may not be enough. 5mm is about right and if you ever used a Park cutting guide it's designed such that you assemble the fork, spacers, stem, hand tight/adjusted and you mark across the top of the stem on the steerer. When you mount the Park miter block you simply put the face of it flush with the mark and cut through the guide. This will cut the fork 5mm shorter than the stack height of the assembled product. Sounds like the mechanic did it right with the industry standard tool. Standard lightweight stems are about 40mm tall meaning with a 5mm gap you've still got 87.5% contact area. Plenty for most applications.
Take 5mm of contact area from my stem and you havepedalAZ
Nov 27, 2003 11:42 AM
50% contact area remaining, and all of it at the bottom. I left some extra steerer tube and put one more spacer on top to eliminate this issue.
Nov 27, 2003 8:01 PM
While I like the idea of a light stem, it makes me uneasy seeing how they saved some weight by eliminating metal from the clamping area.

If that thing really is 104 grams, I might feel a little uneasy riding it.
The distance should be about 3mmRusty Coggs
Nov 27, 2003 7:21 AM
There is NOTHING wrong with a few extra mm. If it bothers you, add a couple mm under the stem.
Serenity Now! (nm)hrv
Nov 26, 2003 9:45 PM
Hoochie Mama!!!!russw19
Nov 26, 2003 10:02 PM
LOL - Lloyd Brawn appearance on RBR!CritLover
Nov 27, 2003 5:43 AM
Oh my, that is the funniest episode. Made me spit out my coffee. I'll never forget that one! Was that the one where Elaine kept on showing up really sexy and he thought it was for him?
re: I'm freaking out... LBS just ruined my fork?Woof the dog
Nov 26, 2003 10:52 PM
that is why I like to have an extra steerer sticking out (less than a thin spacer worth). That way, I can have my stem clamping fully (which should be even more important to a heavier rider) and a spacer on top of that making it perfect for a cap to fit. It is just one thin spacer on top, what is the big deal?

too late now

woof the dog.
re: I'm freaking out... LBS just ruined my fork?daniell
Nov 27, 2003 4:56 AM
While we are on the topic, a little help would be appreciated.
I am ready to make the final cut on a steel steerer. I am confused about one thing however. I have about one inch of spacers above the stem. When I make the measurement, should I do it with tension on the stem, or loosen the bolts, then measure?