How To Cut A Road Bike Steerer Tube

How To Cut A Road Bike Steerer Tube


Make your road bike look PRO by cutting the steerer tube. This video has the advice you need whether you have a carbon or aluminium steerer.

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If you look at a pro cyclist’s bike, you’ll see that they always have cut steerer tubes. Let’s face it; no-one wants to have a large protrusion above their stem. Only cut your steerer tube if you have settled on your position on the bike!

To fix this, you’ll need to cut the steerer tube. It’s a daunting job, but provided you have the right tools; a hacksaw and a cutting guide, you’ll be able to get that pro look.

GCN’s pro tip is to leave enough for a 5mm spacer on top of your stem.

Watch more on GCN…
How To Service Your Road Bike Headset 📹
How To Set Your Reach 📹

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100 Comments on "How To Cut A Road Bike Steerer Tube"


  1. If you have a compression sleeve at 4:05 due to how it expands and with there being a rather large support at either end, you are probably going to strip your threads in a head stem before crushing a steerer tube. Even if you go for the flush look.

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  2. you should have mentioned that you are not allowed to put any pressure on the saw, especially when working with carbon forks, as it might result in a carbon string ripping out, which will render your fork useless

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  3. Thank you so much for talking about the star nut.

    Dan didn't mention it in the last video GCN did on cutting a steerer tube.

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  4. I remember the good old days when you could adjust the handlebars & stem up & down as many times as you wanted just by using a Alan key.

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  5. but don't ever file downward on a carbon steerer like that, as the individual carbon threads can be pulled down and unbraid. only go upwards.

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  6. another tip: add a thin layer of superglue on the top of the steeringtube after you cut it. it will prevent any possible delaminating of the carbon shaft.

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  7. If my bike was originally set up with the stem flush to the top but with spacers below it, then I guess it's safe to assume I can have it flush to the top without the spacers below it?

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  8. If you don't want to mess with a starfangled nut, you can still use a compression plug in aluminum steerers.

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  9. Why would you cut it? What if you did something to your back or neck, and having it slammed makes it nearly impossible to ride comfortably? I'm lucky enough to have 2 bikes, some aren't. So, if I can't stretch out enough to ride comfortably, I have another bike to ride.

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  10. If you are cutting carbon then you definitely want to be wearing a mask and probably set up a vacuum cleaner up to suck away the dust as you cut. You do not want that going into your lungs

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  11. I've Never cut carbon fiber on a bike, but I have for model aircraft. When ever I do though, I rub a thin layer of carbon fiber epoxy resin, or Cyanoacrylate to help protect the cut or filed areas. Sounds like it would make since to do that here too. Any thoughts?

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  12. Can't manufacturers/retailers cut it for the customer if they wish? I personally would not dare to take such a step and would instead prefer someone qualified for the job to do it instead cause ruining my bike would be an absolute heart attack. 😧😲

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  13. I will be ordering the parts for my new bike soon. I have decided on the scott addict frameset, Enve 4.5 ses wheels with chris king hubs and red bar tape. i was hoping to get your opinion on groupset though, si. I like the look of the Rotor Uno hydraulic system but dont know whether i should just play safe and go for Di2.
    i know you did a couple of reviews a few months ago on the rotor uno, si, and wonder if they are as great as you made them seem. cheers.

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  14. Please please align the FSA branding on the headset. Either in line or square to the stem, just not skew whiff how you've left it now. ta.

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  15. Just putting it out there that with aluminum steerer tubes, theres a metal tube cutter that are available in local homedepot or tool shops, that does the job perfectly fine without needing a saw… I've done it with the tool and it does a fine job!

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  16. +GlobalCyclingNetwork the "thing" on the blade used for cutting carbon is called tungsten carbide. There are more expensive options coated with diamond carbide as well.

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  17. for cutting alloy steerer tubes, a tubing cutter works superbly… it makes a clean, square cut every time without needing to clamp it down or anything like that. Tubing cutters can be found in the plumbing section of any home improvement store

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  18. When filling carbon fiber I think you file in the same direction as the strands, not against them.

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  19. Compression plugs in a carbon steer tube must be aligned directly under the location where the stem will be clamped so that when the stem is torqued down there is that added support and you won't crack the carbon steer tube. The plug serves a dual purpose and is not just used to preload the stack.

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  20. Note, when you file you should only file in the direction away from the tube so you don't start demamination…

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  21. Anyone can tell me if their local bike shop does not do this for you free? I guess this video is for those you have an internet bike LOL

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  22. Never cut mines, makes selling the bike much easyer, and i always have to sell old bikes if want another one :c

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  23. Question: Could you/should you use a compression sleeve instead of a star nut in an alloy steerer? I feel like the added grip afforded by a compression sleeve would be a bonus, regardless of the material used in the steerer.

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  24. Do i get a prize for noticing the deliberate mistake of the hacksaw blade being in the wrong way round ! 🙂

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  25. You're not putting an 'edge' on the steerer tube with a file after cutting it Si, you're putting either a chamfer or a bevel on it.

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  26. Instead of the special tool to hammer down the star nut, you can also use a socket that is the same size as the inner diameter of the steerer tube. Much better "bodge" than hammering the bolt.

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  27. #torqueback. You should team up with the slow mo guys to do tech videos. Slow mo if a derailleur working would be cool. You could show difference between good shifting techniques versus shifting under load.

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  28. I adjust my stem by undoing the allen bolt at the top, moving it up or down, and tightening the allen bolt. Quill stems rock. What is this "carbon" that you speak of? Sounds crude and ungainly…. (but I do agree that no one wants to see an unsightly protrusion…like Dan).

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  29. Rather than spend the money on a guide, I just tape two spacers either side of the cutting line and that gives you a perfectly straight guide to cut against.

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  30. If you've got one, secure a jubilee clip on the fork steerer tube just below your cut line, if you've got two jubilee clips put one either side of the cut line, you could even use a couple of zip ties above and below the cut line if you cut carefully.

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  31. Pro tip: Carbon specific saw blades are quite expensive. You can buy a tile cutting blade for less than half the cost which is essentially the same thing as a carbon blade.

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  32. What would the difference between a race bike that isn't slammed and an endurance bike that is be? How similar would a slammed endurance bike be to a race bike?

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  33. I am a schoolboy racer, I have been lowering my stem every month or so until I have slammed it. I have one spacer to go. The. I have the decision, to cut my steer tube. Which, whilst I'm still growing (hopefully) I am not sure if this is a good idea or not? Any ideas, GCN or experienced riders welcome. 😃
    Thanks in advanced

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  34. A while ago I saw a laser pointer to turn your handlebars straight. can you please give me a clue where I can find one?

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  35. Why not use a pipe cutter? I’ve used one on all my bikes since i was a kid using my dad’s tools. Depending on the material being cut, it’s faster and cleaner than using a hacksaw

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  36. Hi guys! My problem is exactly the opposite, I would need to add some cm to the stem of my road bike. Do you know that BBB BHP-22 extender is safe enough? Thank you for your help!

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  37. Hey gcn, I just found out that this 'special' blade for carbon is actually an ordinary blade for cutting ceramic materials. Both are made of wolfram steel and the cutting edge is layered with diamond particles. So if it says it's for carbon specifically, you just pay evem 5x more just for the name.

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  38. Or you could use ur stem and imply put a thin spacer above it. Spacers are cheap, even if they get scratched just flip the scratched side down and you can still use it

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  39. Isn't cutting down your steerer tube also important for safety?
    I can imagine these spacers on top really hurting in case of a crash :/

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  40. This is why I have never seen the attraction of the Ahead stem system. A quil stem is so simple to adjust to any height required, and can be done at the roadside if necessary – even a girlie-girl like me can do it!

    There is no cutting in a workshop, no need for special no-good-for-anything-else tools, no toxic dust and no bother. And a quil stem is neater and more elegant.

    Will someone please tell me if I am wrong…

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  41. Is the added space on top necessary with an aluminum steer tube as well or just a carbon steer tube?

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  42. I really hate that "british way" to breath trough their mouth making that anoying noise !!!!!!!!! On the other hand thanks for the tutorial LOL

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  43. The vocal fry on this guy is driving me nuts. He needs to stop straining against his own vocal cords. If he wants to talk quietly, just exhale slower!

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  44. Instead of using a file to finish the edge, use a sanding sponge. Press the end of the steertube into the surface of the sanding sponge, and twist. It will perfectly clean the cut edge with no fuss.

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  45. hi i have 2 pinarrelo F10 and my size about 5'6.5 tall.how i can measuring my arms and my back so i can know for sure closed headset length so i can cut it to make it's close fit what ever i can…….can u help me thanks??

    Reply

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