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  • One option is to have a bike fitting somewhere and use that to determine stem position. Everyone who has a bike fitting seems to rate it as money well spent. Another option would be to get an idea of the highest you would want, cut it and use loads of spacers to play around with different heights. Once you have an idea then hammer the star nut in further and cut again.

    Just one thing - you said you have a placcy fork. I guess you mean carbon so make sure that it doesn't have a carbon steerer. carbon steerer + star nut = dead fork. If it has a carbon steerer you need an expanding wedge thing instead of a star nut. You could use one of those on an alloy steerer and take it out to cut the steerer further (ie instead of hammering the star nut down all the time).

  • You could do what I did which was to sort of put things together and then lean forward and hold the bars roughly where they feel right and sort of guess. Not very accurate. Really not accurate at all. But the forks in question cost me the princely sum of £10 so I wasn't too concerned about chopping them too short ("Oh damn, I've messed them up better go and get some carbon ones instead" etc :)... Worked out OK in the end though!

  • ps. do you have any kind of tool to whack in the star nut? If you use a random selection of household implements like I did it can be pretty easy to send it in crooked, and once it's in you won't get it out.

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  • You can put spacers on top of the stem, too. That way you can move it up/down without needing to cut the steerer.

  • The full-carbon fork I have in the Soma hasn't been cut cleanly so the frickin' headset keeps loosening. What is it with me and dodgy headsets?!?!
    Might see if I can get an orginal red steel fork for it instead. Full carbon forks worry me. I'm sure they should have a weight limit..

  • Lois Einhorn
    Hmmm- thanks for that - and yes i did mean carbon steering tube on the fork...
    i think i do have a star nut- looks a bit like this:

    but with an extra downward pointing star bit on the bottom.

    it came with (inside) the campag chorus threadless headset i just bought - does that sound likely?

    That's a star-fangled nut (best bike part name ever) and it does sound right that it would come with the headset. You shouldn't use them on carbon steerers because the star bits create gouges when you hammer them in (even on my steel steerer). Gouges on carbon are very bad news as they can lead to cracks and failure. Not what you want on a fork steerer!

    You need an expanding bung like this:

    Did you get the forks new? I'm surprised the instructions didn't mention this.

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Posted by Avatar for Mr_Bungle @Mr_Bungle