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I received my Nashbar touring frame today. Woot! The paint is really beautiful and it seems like a really nice frame, esp. given that it only cost me $162 after a 10% off coupon.

This is my first bike build and I am approaching this whole project as a learning experience. I am buying components here and there as I find the right parts at the right prices. At some point in the near future I am going to have to install a headset. My research shows that to do this I have to buy some pretty expensive special tools and if I'm not really careful I can screw it up. My LBS told me that if I buy a headset through them they'll install it for $10. Seems like a good deal; I think I will go that route.

I know that part of the task of installing the headset is cutting the steerer tube. The problem is I'm not exactly sure where it should be cut. I have a stem, handlebars, seat, and seatpost, but I don't have wheels yet. Without wheels I think I will have a hard time figuring out handlebar fit.

Should I wait until after I have wheels to have the steerer cut, or is it pointless to buy wheels before the headset is installed? Or do I just worry too much?
 

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Don't cut the steerer for a while or maybe never depending on how much steerer tube is sticking out. Ride it around for many miles trying different combinations of spacers above and below the stem until you find a comfortable position. Then ride some more. At the beginning, the more you ride the more likely your position will change as your riding muscles develop and your flexibility increases.
 

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i waited 4 months
after 1 month i had my position pretty much figured out
after 2 months i was sure i had the stem where i wanted it in relation to the spacers
then i waited another 2 months just to be sure
and then i cut it down. if i need to bring things back up again.....well, my fork is oem, so i guess ill just hafta get something fancy....:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting, it did not occur to me that I could ride around with it uncut. Anything special I need to know about installing the star nut (steel steerer tube) and top cap with an uncut tube? Thanks!
 

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Measure First!

undies said:
I received my Nashbar touring frame today. Woot! The paint is really beautiful and it seems like a really nice frame, esp. given that it only cost me $162 after a 10% off coupon.

This is my first bike build and I am approaching this whole project as a learning experience. I am buying components here and there as I find the right parts at the right prices. At some point in the near future I am going to have to install a headset. My research shows that to do this I have to buy some pretty expensive special tools and if I'm not really careful I can screw it up. My LBS told me that if I buy a headset through them they'll install it for $10. Seems like a good deal; I think I will go that route.

I know that part of the task of installing the headset is cutting the steerer tube. The problem is I'm not exactly sure where it should be cut. I have a stem, handlebars, seat, and seatpost, but I don't have wheels yet. Without wheels I think I will have a hard time figuring out handlebar fit.

Should I wait until after I have wheels to have the steerer cut, or is it pointless to buy wheels before the headset is installed? Or do I just worry too much?

Figure out how many spacers you will need to set things up with the steerer tube as-is. See the attached picture showing just how far you can go on a touring-style bike. I agree with the other posters who have suggested that you build it with all the spacers required to make the steerer tube work. Then, down the road, you can cut it down if you want.

Yours,

Forbes "I cut it twice, and it's STILL TOO SHORT" B-Black
 

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You should get one of these...when you cut....

Get a REAL pipe cutter, and they aren't expensive at all. You can use it down the road for cutting down Mtn bike bars, seat posts and of course your stear tube....very easy to use, and does a perfect job....laterz
 

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The first time, cut the stearer extra long and put a truckload of spacers under the stem. If you think that you want things lower, you can move some of the spacers from under the stem to on top of the stem. Keep on doing this until you get things perfect. When you get close, you can cut the stearer 1" above the stem. Play with this for a month until you are triple sure. You can always leave a 1/2" of stearer above you stem, in case you decide you really need a 1/2" more higher bars.
 

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not with carbon

Don't use a pipe cutter on carbon

jason_haza said:
Get a REAL pipe cutter, and they aren't expensive at all. You can use it down the road for cutting down Mtn bike bars, seat posts and of course your stear tube....very easy to use, and does a perfect job....laterz
 
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