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Thread: What's a safe length to cut my steerer?

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    Senior Member Nautonier's Avatar
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    Default What's a safe length to cut my steerer?

    I'm getting some new forks and want to make sure I don't cut the steerer so short that it would make them hard to sell in the future. I like to run my stems with no spacers underneath (using the bar's rise to get the height I need) and can't stand having a massive phallus protruding from above the stem (no, not talking about myself here...), so have always ended up with a steerer length of between 165 and 170mm on large frames. I thought this was a relatively normal setup, but judging by how hard it was to move my last 3 sets of forks, apparently not.

    What is the shortest I can get away with without compromising resale value? I guess you could call this the 'average' steerer length.
    safreek: if I want an arse pounding I will go to the correct toilet block

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    Senior Member Knuckles's Avatar
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    Large Yeti is a good guide. If it fits one of thems, it'll fit anything, so about 276mm.
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    XC Enthusiast JTmofo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nautonier View Post
    I'm getting some new forks and want to make sure I don't cut the steerer so short that it would make them hard to sell in the future. I like to run my stems with no spacers underneath (using the bar's rise to get the height I need) and can't stand having a massive phallus protruding from above the stem (no, not talking about myself here...), so have always ended up with a steerer length of between 165 and 170mm on large frames. I thought this was a relatively normal setup, but judging by how hard it was to move my last 3 sets of forks, apparently not.

    What is the shortest I can get away with without compromising resale value? I guess you could call this the 'average' steerer length.
    180mm +...... BUT

    I had the same discussion with a mate over the weekend. I've just built him a killer Yeti SB5.5c in Medium, and the head tube in TINY. I reckon his tube ended up around 170mm and that was being generous with spacers. He'll likely cut it down as he gets a feel for the bike and where he's comfortable.
    I feel that the best length to cut your steerer is the length it needs to be to function for your needs.

    If I was worried about resale of all the parts I use, I may as well leave the bike in the shed and take up snooker.

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    XC Enthusiast JTmofo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckles View Post
    Large Yeti is a good guide. If it fits one of thems, it'll fit anything, so about 276mm.
    Large SB5.5 Head Tube = 105mm
    Medium SB 5.5 = 90mm
    Large Banshee Rune = 125mm
    Medium Banshee Rune = 115mm


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    Senior Member Nautonier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTmofo View Post
    180mm +...... BUT

    If I was worried about resale of all the parts I use, I may as well leave the bike in the shed and take up snooker.
    That's always been my attitude in the past, mainly because I mostly buy used or on sale parts, but I'm already feeling precious about these forks due to the disgusting amount of coin I had to drop on them. The only other forks I've ever purchased new were my Pikes from Cycling Deal recently, but the price was low and I didn't think twice about cutting them to ~165. Ideally I'd like to see at least 2.5 years use out of them, so at that point resale will be a moot point anyway. And I'll probably scratch them on my first ride... Jeez, this is what it must be like buying a brand new car and driving it off the lot knowing that you've just devalued it by at least 25%...

    Ideally I'd like to cut them to 170.
    safreek: if I want an arse pounding I will go to the correct toilet block

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    Senior Member Nautonier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTmofo View Post
    Large SB5.5 Head Tube = 105mm
    Medium SB 5.5 = 90mm
    Large Banshee Rune = 125mm
    Medium Banshee Rune = 115mm

    +40mm for stem and + ~10mm (?) for headset?
    safreek: if I want an arse pounding I will go to the correct toilet block

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    XC Enthusiast JTmofo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nautonier View Post
    That's always been my attitude in the past, mainly because I mostly buy used or on sale parts, but I'm already feeling precious about these forks due to the disgusting amount of coin I had to drop on them. The only other forks I've ever purchased new were my Pikes from Cycling Deal recently, but the price was low and I didn't think twice about cutting them to ~165. Ideally I'd like to see at least 2.5 years use out of them, so at that point resale will be a moot point anyway. And I'll probably scratch them on my first ride... Jeez, this is what it must be like buying a brand new car and driving it off the lot knowing that you've just devalued it by at least 25%...

    Ideally I'd like to cut them to 170.
    Yep..... buying new expensive things puts the value of money into perspective!!!!
    In all fairness too, if you are keen to keep a fork for that amount of time, and ride once or twice a week, they will owe you nothing at the end of the day.

    Bikes are not an investment, they are an cash black hole addiction..... one that consumes copious amounts of cash and rewards in utter exhilarating enjoyment.

    Buy killer fork... cut steerer to your preferred length.... ride your bike... be happy.

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    XC Enthusiast JTmofo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nautonier View Post
    +40mm for stem and + ~10mm (?) for headset?
    Plus a little for a small 5mm spacer or 2.
    Although, its nice to be able to raise or lower the level of your bars for different type of riding, and its free. All you give up is an extra 10-20mm in steerer tube and a couple of spacers.

  9. #9
    Clinically Inane
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    If the frame involved has what could be considered a small head tube there are some ways around using spacers...
    - External headset cups
    - Higher stack height on your stem
    - FSA (and probably other brands) have some top caps that are effectively a spacer, rising a few mm above the conventional height. These are common on giant bikes in my experience.

    Conversely in the future you may need a lower stack height stem or internal cups.

    I usually cut my steerer at 190mm, then run 10-20mm of spacers, internal cups, and low-medium stack height stems. Crude guesstimation indicates you could probably do 165-170mm of steerer for a tight fit.

  10. #10
    MTB Precision John U's Avatar
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    As you've experienced, the longer you leave the steerer the easier it will be to sell.

    I always leave mine long, maybe too long. It could look better but I just deal with it. Stems with no spacers above look great. The last time I had a set up with no spacers above was a long time ago.

    The other part of the equation is does the extra bit get in the way of other shit on your bars? Is it safe?

    Go as long as you can without upsetting the aesthetics part of your brain too much.
    "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it". - George Bernard Shaw

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