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  1. #1
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    New El Guapo w/66 RC3 Evo Ti sizing issue

    Hi everyone -

    So I'm actually not sure where I should have posted this thread (under "frame building" or "forks/suspension" or "general discussion"), but I figured since I'm building the EG I'd throw it under the Titus forum and if a mod would like to move it then that's fine with me.

    I've been working on my v3 EG (size L) for about 2 months now, and have gotten to my steerer tube cut task. Only problem is, this seems to be a multi-part measurement and assessment job. I have a 2013 Marzocchi 66 RC3 Evo Ti (180mm) with a CK NoThread Set. Pretty much everything I can find online tells me to "use my old stem and fork as a starting point for where to cut my new steerer tube." Only thing is, I don't have another bike any longer, so no point of reference available . It seems like in order to cut my steer tube in the right place, I need to know the height of my stem, the amount of spacers, the length of my stem, and the rise/angle of my handlebars relative to my own personal height and stretch. This seems like a crazy amount of calculations, but is that the right frame of mind on this? I obviously can't sit on the bike to "test" these measurements out because the fork isn't cut, and, thus, not stable to sit on.

    Anyone maybe have a pointer or two on this step? I'm tempted to just go to the LBS so I can get completely fitted correctly, and just buy my stem from them to give them some business.

    TIA for any ideas or advice at all!! It is very much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    i dunno about calculation that can give a accurate to how u feels on the bike.

    but this is what i do... i start with a 50mm stem and play with 25mm spacer top and bottom of the stem. from there, i do test rides and tweak around until i feel right. once that i feel comfortable after a few rides... if the steerer tube is still too long... i cut it again.

    its all about feelings. some people might like taller and some like shorter bar. this also depend on ur handlerbar rise. you have to experiment with it a little. different bike and different geometry feel slight different... so there u go ..my 2 cent how i build my EG

  3. #3
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    Are you saying you don't have a stem, spacers , or bars?

    If you have a stem you can assemble everything before cutting the steer tube. Just slide the stem over the steer tube and apply a little down pressure to it as you tighten the stem clamp bolts.

    Cut the steer tube after you have determined what stem and amount of spacers suit your preference.

    I hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    Are you saying you don't have a stem, spacers , or bars?

    If you have a stem you can assemble everything before cutting the steer tube. Just slide the stem over the steer tube and apply a little down pressure to it as you tighten the stem clamp bolts.

    Cut the steer tube after you have determined what stem and amount of spacers suit your preference.

    I hope that helps.
    I have not yet purchased a stem, mainly because I know they come in a bunch of different lengths, height, and angles, and I really want this bike to be a perfect fit for a very long time. I wanted to get the right one with all the right specs before I made a purchase.

    I already have a set of spacers (1x20/15/10/5mm) and handlebars (700mm, 30mm rise). The trouble I'm having is that without being able to ride the bike (i.e. which would require me to cut the steerer tube), how do I go about simultaneously finding how long I should keep the steerer tube, how many spacers (if any) I should run, and how long of a stem I should get? Once I cut that steerer tube, that's it - I can't reverse that decision. Maybe the question I'm really asking is: are all stem heights the same, just their lengths fluctuate? If so, then I can just buy any stem for now to get the height right for the tube cut, and then just swap/return stems at the store based on the length that works for me.

    For example, what broadica is suggesting above is to use a 25mm spacer top and bottom with a 50mm stem (step A), and then I can toy around with things based on preferences (step B). But that would still require me to cut the steerer tube at a certain length before I can do step A, no?

    In response to "Cut the steer tube after you have determined what stem and amount of spacers suit your preference," what would you suggest to do to pick out the right stem if I don't have a prior bike reference?

    Great questions guys, I really appreciate the pointers big time.

  5. #5
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    It seems that if you are set on getting it perfect the first time out a fit at the bike shop would be in order, but the shop could always tell you your new bars aren't right for you. A 180mm fork coupled with a 30mm rise on the bars sounds pretty tall.

    Personally I've never not had to play around with swapping components to find what I like best.

    You can cut the sterer tube an inch or two taller than required and bolt everything up. You don't need to drive the star fangled nut down into the steer tube to assemble everything. I once rode a bike for five years without ever installing the star nut, as long as you can apply enough down force to the stem and clamp it to the steer tube you can get the right preload on the headset bearings and ride.

    I think stems do vary in height a little, so it does have to be taken into consideration.

    I would just look for a deal on a 75mm stem and leave enough steer tube to play with spacers top and bottom. 75mm is a good middle of the road starting point to try and you can log some ride time to figure out what would feel better to you, or it may be perfect as is.

  6. #6
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    Just play it safe your first time leave it long.. don't cut it shorter than 8.5 or 9". You're gonna swap stuff around..maybe even lower A-C

    Ride diff stems and spacing until you find a comfortable position, then do the final measure and cut. I like to leave mm or two above stem

    *I only seen one other L v3 photo on here, yours a white?
    Last edited by Deerhill; 12-23-2012 at 11:31 PM.

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    what deerhill said... find a brand of stem that you like and that comes in different lengths that you'd like to try if you plan on trying o exchange it for a different length later on. Start with one in the middle of the lengths that you think could be good for you.

    You already have 50mm of spacers. Get another 2 5mm spacers to have on hand just in case. Mount the fork and put AT LEAST 30mm of spacers under the stem, maybe 20mm on top, more if you're worried, and mark the steer tube there. Have it cut and reinstall as per above. you can bring the allen wrench with you around the neighborhood or trail and adjust the stem height as you ride. Once you get it where you want it, have the steer tube re-cut to the propper length.

    FWIW, I leave a few extra spacers on top for a few months, usually about 20mm until I get all the bugs out of my fitting adjustments. Nothing is worse than cutting a steer tube too short - especially if you end up wanting to sell the fork later on. If I were you, I would make sure that you do this if you will be running a 180mm fork. If you determine that it would ride better with a 160mm fork a longer steer tube will make selling that fork easier.


    Happy building!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Just play it safe your first time leave it long.. don't cut it shorter than 8.5 or 9". You're gonna swap stuff around..maybe even lower A-C

    Ride diff stems and spacing until you find a comfortable position, then do the final measure and cut. I like to leave mm or two above stem

    *I only seen one other L v3 photo on here, yours a white?
    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    what deerhill said... find a brand of stem that you like and that comes in different lengths that you'd like to try if you plan on trying o exchange it for a different length later on. Start with one in the middle of the lengths that you think could be good for you.

    You already have 50mm of spacers. Get another 2 5mm spacers to have on hand just in case. Mount the fork and put AT LEAST 30mm of spacers under the stem, maybe 20mm on top, more if you're worried, and mark the steer tube there. Have it cut and reinstall as per above. you can bring the allen wrench with you around the neighborhood or trail and adjust the stem height as you ride. Once you get it where you want it, have the steer tube re-cut to the propper length.

    FWIW, I leave a few extra spacers on top for a few months, usually about 20mm until I get all the bugs out of my fitting adjustments. Nothing is worse than cutting a steer tube too short - especially if you end up wanting to sell the fork later on. If I were you, I would make sure that you do this if you will be running a 180mm fork. If you determine that it would ride better with a 160mm fork a longer steer tube will make selling that fork easier.


    Happy building!!!
    Alright, well it's sounding like I can really just go out and buy any length stem for now, just so that I have it and the spacers on the steerer tube ("ST") to be able to measure and cut it (since the vast majority of stems take up the same height on the ST). I can always swap the stem out to a longer/shorter one based on my preference after I make the ST cut since the stem height wouldn't change much, if any at all. Does that sound about right?

  9. #9
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    Yeah, stack everything together tight, score the tube then subtract 4-5mm, cut and finish.. install the starnut w/ fork off the bike (clamped in stand or supported from under the crown w/ a tube).. the cut need to be square, so does the crown race and star nut

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Yeah, stack everything together tight, score the tube then subtract 4-5mm, cut and finish.. install the starnut w/ fork off the bike (clamped in stand or supported from under the crown w/ a tube).. the cut need to be square, so does the crown race and star nut
    Yep, crown race is installed already, and I bought a pipe cutter from home depot which will make a straight cut. The star nut I'm guessing will be a little more tricky to get parallel to the top, might have to eyeball it for the most part.

    I didn't know until I started this project how many specialty tools would be needed to build a bike/install components. It's been a lot of fun, and you guys have been tremendously supportive. I thank you very much for your patience as I learn. I'll be posting pics up soon on the "Titus Pron" thread once it's all dialed in.

    I also have a brand new 2013 Marzocchi 55 RC3 Evo Ti for sale if anyone's interested (since I went with the 66 RC3 on my build).

  11. #11
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    A pipe cutter will tend to roll a bulge around tube, you may need to file down the steer tube at the edge of the cut.

  12. #12
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    Got it cut!! Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm sitting with 35mm under the stem and 15 on top for right now. Can't wait to run brake/gear lines and test this bad boy out. Will be so nice to compare to my 2010 SC Carbon Blur XC.

    You are right though, I may need to go with a straight bar instead of my riser bar. We'll see.

  13. #13
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    So I wanted to just ask another question about my build here without starting another thread.

    I have my XTR rear derailleur installed along with the HGX 10-speed chain (running a 3x10), but I'm having a hell of a time with the adjustments. My problem is that when I try to set the top end and low end of the guide pulley using those small adjustment screws, I can't make the actual guide pulley go out far enough either way to get to the largest/smallest sprocket. It stops about 1/10th of an inch from as far as I need it to go on both sides of the cassette. Any quick suggestions? I leave the country on the 14th for a month, and this task has set me back quite a bit. Was hoping to finish up before I left, but looking like it's not gonna happen. TIA!!

  14. #14
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    Are you sure your rear derailleur is a 10 speed? Sounds like it is a 9spd?

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    Did you set the limit screws whith the cable/chain already installed? If so, unscrew the cable, remove chain and set your limit screws by moving the derailleur by hand. The spacing between the small cog and large cog should be about the same on 9 and 10 speeds if I'm not mistaken. After setting the limits you will be able to begin determining what the problem is, derailleur or shifter.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Are you sure your rear derailleur is a 10 speed? Sounds like it is a 9spd?
    Good question. I double-checked my box and order form: Shimano XTR M985 10 Speed Shadow +Rear Mech SGS - Long Cage. I even double checked my front derailleur and shift levers: also both 10 speed.

    Oh hell, I just realized I bought the Shimano XT 10 speed cassette 11-36, and the Shimano XTR HG94 HGX 10-speed chain.....think these XT versions are incompatible with the XTR lineup? Thought I could save some dough by getting the $65 cassette vs. the $200+ one, and I though the chains would be identical too.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Did you set the limit screws whith the cable/chain already installed? If so, unscrew the cable, remove chain and set your limit screws by moving the derailleur by hand. The spacing between the small cog and large cog should be about the same on 9 and 10 speeds if I'm not mistaken. After setting the limits you will be able to begin determining what the problem is, derailleur or shifter.
    I can't remember exactly when I did the limit screws; I'm pretty sure I tried to set them with the chain off and the cable not connected. I think I was having the same issue there too - both ends missing it by 1/10th of an inch or so. Those adjusting screws only move the derailleur so far each way and then you keep turning but the guide pulley doesn't move any further.

  19. #19
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    Check the limit screws again with the chain off and the cable loosened. Back out the limit screws all the way until they no longer allow the derailleur to move to the outsides, hi and low. Use your hand and see if it moves as far in/out as you need it. If it doesn't, issue is with the derailleur. If the DR moves in line with small/big cogs after doing the above, reconnect the cable & instal chain. Once you do this, if the DR doesnt shift into big/small cog the issue is with your shifter. Hope this helps.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisingrassia View Post
    Oh hell, I just realized I bought the Shimano XT 10 speed cassette 11-36, and the Shimano XTR HG94 HGX 10-speed chain.....think these XT versions are incompatible with the XTR lineup? Thought I could save some dough by getting the $65 cassette vs. the $200+ one, and I though the chains would be identical too.
    don't worry, the only diff is weight (and bling maybe)...both (XT & XTR) perform the same

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Check the limit screws again with the chain off and the cable loosened. Back out the limit screws all the way until they no longer allow the derailleur to move to the outsides, hi and low. Use your hand and see if it moves as far in/out as you need it. If it doesn't, issue is with the derailleur. If the DR moves in line with small/big cogs after doing the above, reconnect the cable & instal chain. Once you do this, if the DR doesnt shift into big/small cog the issue is with your shifter. Hope this helps.
    Will give it a shot. Let me ask you this: if I find that the problem is actually with the shifters (which are the XTR Dyna-Sys 10-speeds that attach direct to the brake lever), could it just be a matter of having to tighten/loosen the cable to the DR? I know these sound like novice questions, but I'm learning as I go to build a bike from the ground up. My two local bike shops have seem nothing but irritated when I talk to them and ask questions, so I appreciate the guidance. Will try your recommendations tomorrow tho!

    Quote Originally Posted by noufa777 View Post
    don't worry, the only diff is weight (and bling maybe)...both (XT & XTR) perform the same
    Thank goodness, that's what I thought when I originally bought them. Do I really need 4 titanium sprockets for an extra $160?? =P

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