Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Well I have googled a couple different combinations of the above question and can't find an answer so I thought I'd ask everyone here what they thought. I just bought a new fork and was installing it today and started to wonder while putting on the 3/4" of spacers below my stem, 'What purpose do these serve with a dropper post?'

    It seems that except on really long rides on flatter terrain, the dropper negates the need for them as long as the dropper goes low enough. Can anyone point out any errors in my thinking before I cut down my brand new steerer tube another 3/4"?

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    Well I have googled a couple different combinations of the above question and can't find an answer so I thought I'd ask everyone here what they thought. I just bought a new fork and was installing it today and started to wonder while putting on the 3/4" of spacers below my stem, 'What purpose do these serve with a dropper post?'

    It seems that except on really long rides on flatter terrain, the dropper negates the need for them as long as the dropper goes low enough. Can anyone point out any errors in my thinking before I cut down my brand new steerer tube another 3/4"?
    They have nothing to do with each other.

    Use the headset spacers to get your bars to the height you need. Will be the same height in relation to the BB (your feet) regardless of saddle height.

    Use the dropper post to lower the saddle in rough/steep terrain.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    Thanks for the the reply. I understand what you are saying, but I am talking about rider geometry. The "height you need" is now variable right?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theMeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,027
    Umm, no. Your saddle height is determined by fitting you/legs to the frame, i.e. your butt to the pedals, and everything including your stem/reach is built around that. The dropper post allows you to drop down lower than what's optimal for most other riding to get lower for downhill, freeride and the likes. Your seat clamp can do the same thing but not at the push of a button.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    Thanks for the the reply. I understand what you are saying, but I am talking about rider geometry. The "height you need" is now variable right?
    No, I do not think you do understand. Bar height is "varable" during setup. Not adjustable during a ride. Your ideal/preferred bar height will be the same regardless if your saddle is at full pedaling height, or you do not have a saddle at all.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    most bikes these days are designed for a neutral rider position. so get your seat at optimal leg extension hight, adjust your bars so they are more or less the same level. thats a good starting point.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    I do understand what you guys are saying, but everything you guys have said and everything I've ever read or heard in 25y of riding about setting up bar height begins with the first step being setting a correct seat height to best effect weight distribution, fatigue, and handling. The seat height is now variable. So doesn't this mean handle bar height could be lowered a bit? Wouldn't this equate into lower center of gravity on descents and less wheelie on climbs by virtue of the variable seat height?

    Shiggy how is bar height not related to saddle height? I do not understand how that would work? How could you fit handlebar height with out being in the saddle first?

    I guess a better question is how do free-ride/DH bikes fit bar height?

  8. #8
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    i think you are thinking too much.

  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    I do understand what you guys are saying, but everything you guys have said and everything I've ever read or heard in 25y of riding about setting up bar height begins with the first step being setting a correct seat height to best effect weight distribution, fatigue, and handling. The seat height is now variable. So doesn't this mean handle bar height could be lowered a bit? Wouldn't this equate into lower center of gravity on descents and less wheelie on climbs by virtue of the variable seat height?

    Shiggy how is bar height not related to saddle height? I do not understand how that would work? How could you fit handlebar height with out being in the saddle first?

    I guess a better question is how do free-ride/DH bikes fit bar height?
    No, you are not understanding. Saddle height has always been variable (seat QRs, Hite-Rite).

    All fit starts at the BB.

    When I lower my saddle it is mostly to get it out of the way while standing.

    Take your saddle and seatpost off the bike completely.
    Now set your bar height and reach so you are balanced/comfortable. That position will work no matter what your saddle height is.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Now set your bar height and reach so you are balanced/comfortable. That position will work no matter what your saddle height is.
    I love the idea of setting bar height without the seat in place. This makes the most sense, and is what I am now about to do. But aren't most people people limited by seat height...i.e. to have your legs extended to the optimal position your seat will be higher that the above scenario you listed? Or are you standing locked legged on your pedals?

  11. #11
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    I love the idea of setting bar height without the seat in place. This makes the most sense, and is what I am now about to do. But aren't most people people limited by seat height...i.e. to have your legs extended to the optimal position your seat will be higher that the above scenario you listed? Or are you standing locked legged on your pedals?
    *sigh*
    BIG *sigh*

    You really have no understanding.

    Do you actually ride your bike on trails, standing with your legs locked?
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    I do understand exactly what you are saying. But, you had just stated that handle bar height has nothing to do with seat height, merely BB height. I am just asking you to recreate the scenario for me.

    Someone buys a bike, they then take the seat off (as you suggest) and get the handlebars to the height they like by standing on the pedals? Standing with knees bent? Weight shifted a little forward or little back? Elbows bent? How bent? All of these variables will effect where there center of gravity is. Let's say they pick some combination of this they like. They then put the seat on to a correct height and find the seat post height is grossly different than the seat-free position they had initially chose, thereby shifting their weight/position vs the handle bars. Then what would you suggest? I am assuming this is why historically seat height (the first variable) is chosen first (being that effecient peddling is in a somewhat fixed measurable knee position) and then determines the handle bar height (the 2nd variable). This brings me back to my original question, which was since my seat-post now changes why remove a few the spacers to lower the center of gravity further?

  13. #13
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    I do understand exactly what you are saying. But, you had just stated that handle bar height has nothing to do with seat height, merely BB height. I am just asking you to recreate the scenario for me.

    Someone buys a bike, they then take the seat off (as you suggest) and get the handlebars to the height they like by standing on the pedals? Standing with knees bent? Weight shifted a little forward or little back? Elbows bent? How bent? All of these variables will effect where there center of gravity is. Let's say they pick some combination of this they like. They then put the seat on to a correct height and find the seat post height is grossly different than the seat-free position they had initially chose, thereby shifting their weight/position vs the handle bars. Then what would you suggest? I am assuming this is why historically seat height (the first variable) is chosen first (being that effecient peddling is in a somewhat fixed measurable knee position) and then determines the handle bar height (the 2nd variable).
    You still do not really understand. Just set the bar where it works for you.


    This brings me back to my original question, which was since my seat-post now changes why remove a few the spacers to lower the center of gravity further?
    and brings me back to my original answer:
    You do not change the bar height.

    Follow up question:

    Why and how do you want to use the dropper post?
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  14. #14
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,999
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    I do understand exactly what you are saying. But, you had just stated that handle bar height has nothing to do with seat height, merely BB height. I am just asking you to recreate the scenario for me.

    Someone buys a bike, they then take the seat off (as you suggest) and get the handlebars to the height they like by standing on the pedals? Standing with knees bent? Weight shifted a little forward or little back? Elbows bent? How bent? All of these variables will effect where there center of gravity is. Let's say they pick some combination of this they like. They then put the seat on to a correct height and find the seat post height is grossly different than the seat-free position they had initially chose, thereby shifting their weight/position vs the handle bars. Then what would you suggest? I am assuming this is why historically seat height (the first variable) is chosen first (being that effecient peddling is in a somewhat fixed measurable knee position) and then determines the handle bar height (the 2nd variable). This brings me back to my original question, which was since my seat-post now changes why remove a few the spacers to lower the center of gravity further?


    Attack position, cranks parallel to the ground. Put the bars where you like em. Then ride the piss out of it for a while. If you want to lower them because you think you are going to lower the saddle at some point you are going to be disappointed with the setup the other 98% of the time that the saddle is not lowered. In other words set it up to suit the majority of your time in the saddle. You really are over complicating this.

  15. #15
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    perhaps op does not realize cog of a human is above the belly button and not the shoulders?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty $anchez View Post
    Attack position, cranks parallel to the ground. Put the bars where you like em. Then ride the piss out of it for a while. If you want to lower them because you think you are going to lower the saddle at some point you are going to be disappointed with the setup the other 98% of the time that the saddle is not lowered. In other words set it up to suit the majority of your time in the saddle. You really are over complicating this.
    This is why I am asking. I am up and down with the saddle all the time. It seems like that it allows for a better attack position by ditching the spacers all together. I guess I could just flip the spacers over the stem for a few days.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,644
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    This is why I am asking. I am up and down with the saddle all the time. It seems like that it allows for a better attack position by ditching the spacers all together. I guess I could just flip the spacers over the stem for a few days.
    What do you mean by "attack position"? The whole point of a dropper post is to allow you to get your weight further back over the rear wheel during descents as well as to have more clearance for absorbing landings with your legs after a jump. If you lower your bars, you are effectively moving your center of gravity forward. If you are lowering your seat all the time you would probably benefit more from HIGHER bars rather than lower bars.

  18. #18
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    47,279

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    What do you mean by "attack position"? The whole point of a dropper post is to allow you to get your weight further back over the rear wheel during descents as well as to have more clearance for absorbing landings with your legs after a jump. If you lower your bars, you are effectively moving your center of gravity forward. If you are lowering your seat all the time you would probably benefit more from HIGHER bars rather than lower bars.
    Attack position

    http://www.bikeattack.com/ride-faster

    Lowering the saddle in the rough helps achieve it, and you are off the saddle. About more than just getting your weight back.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3,683
    To further complicate your understanding a lower seat position gives you more positioning flexibility in leaning your body during turns.
    So see how your bar width and height feels when you're trying to rail some sweepers or transitioning from side to side through fast switchbacks.
    You aren't on the seat so the height doesn't correspond to the height of the bars at all. You need a bar position that gives you a good balance point and control.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    56
    I guess a good question to ask is why are there rarely any/minimal spacers on single crown DH, dj, and 4x bikes? It can't just be that every single guy/gal is a perfect fit for their bike, right?

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Snfoilhat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    433
    I ride a 4X bike with many headset spacers plus riser bars.
    Greg Minaar, for example, rides a dual crown DH bike with a stack of custom spacers under the direct-mount stem.
    If you have seen gravity bikes universally set up low, it was probably a mistake or because low bars were trendy in recent years.

    While you can sit on your saddle while it is in it's lowered position(s), the main point of a dropper is to give more clearance while _standing_ over the saddle. It's lowered height is totally unimportant in its own right, so long as it's not preventing you from moving around the cockpit.

    Bar height has F-all to do w/ saddle height except for the obvious, that the same body is touching the bike at the saddle and at the bars.

    BMXers set bar height so that they have good posture when snapping out of the gate. I presume 4X and slalom racers do the same.

    Most mountan bikers set saddle height for good foot-knee-hip position and then put the bars wherever works for their personal ergonomics and handling while sitting at that height.

  22. #22
    B.Ike
    Reputation: ElwoodT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    789
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    Well I have googled a couple different combinations of the above question and can't find an answer so I thought I'd ask everyone here what they thought. I just bought a new fork and was installing it today and started to wonder while putting on the 3/4" of spacers below my stem, 'What purpose do these serve with a dropper post?'

    It seems that except on really long rides on flatter terrain, the dropper negates the need for them as long as the dropper goes low enough. Can anyone point out any errors in my thinking before I cut down my brand new steerer tube another 3/4"?
    cutting a steerer tube before riding it lower would be an "error in thinking". put those spacers on top of your stem and see if you like it. Does your new fork offer more travel than your old one? In this scenario, lowering your stem might bring you back to where it was before (in relation to your saddle).

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wishful Tomcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,436
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    Someone buys a bike, they then take the seat off (as you suggest) and get the handlebars to the height they like by standing on the pedals? Standing with knees bent? Weight shifted a little forward or little back? Elbows bent? How bent? All of these variables will effect where there center of gravity is. Let's say they pick some combination of this they like. They then put the seat on to a correct height and find the seat post height is grossly different than the seat-free position they had initially chose, thereby shifting their weight/position vs the handle bars. Then what would you suggest? I am assuming this is why historically seat height (the first variable) is chosen first (being that effecient peddling is in a somewhat fixed measurable knee position) and then determines the handle bar height (the 2nd variable). This brings me back to my original question, which was since my seat-post now changes why remove a few the spacers to lower the center of gravity further?

    Dropper post and steerer tube spacers? Are they needed?-anigif_original-grid-image-24843-1372689691-22.jpg

  24. #24
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    Quote Originally Posted by gdnorm View Post
    I guess a good question to ask is why are there rarely any/minimal spacers on single crown DH, dj, and 4x bikes? It can't just be that every single guy/gal is a perfect fit for their bike, right?
    if your talking pro level factory riders than yes, they likely have a bike built for them that perfectly fits.

  25. #25
    thread crapper
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    774
    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    if your talking pro level factory riders than yes, they likely have a bike built for them that perfectly fits.
    If not, it was probably a "pro" that saw one set up that way and copied it. It's the same reason you see the junior riders using 32" bars. Not because it fits them well or puts them in better control of the bike, but because Sam Hill or some other pro runs his that wide. Never mind that he's a full grown man and they've yet to hit puberty and clear 5' tall.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 27.2 Dropper Post Suggestion Needed
    By Durga in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-25-2012, 06:25 AM
  2. steerer tube extension options for 1.5" steerer
    By bigfoot_mt in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-10-2011, 03:58 PM
  3. spacers under head tube
    By mikemike in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-29-2011, 11:20 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-03-2011, 04:50 AM
  5. 1.5 steerer tube vs. tapered steerer
    By Bikin' Bric in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-17-2011, 08:21 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •