Mail bag № 4 CyclingTips Tech: How long is it too long?


Welcome to CyclingTips mail bag a column where you send us your technical questions, and our team of nerds gives you the answers. Do you have a question about the standards of wheels and tires? Want to know how to diagnose this amazing switching problem? I wonder where this damn ticking sound comes from ?! Send us your questions to will be presented in a future CT Mailbag column.

In Mailbag this week, we reflect on why water collects in mountain bike frames, on the need (or not) for pedal washers, and try to find out how much is riding a motorcycle.

Hi CT!

Here’s a question that really worries me: why do MTB frames fill with water while wet riding or are compressed by a hose? In other words, where is he going and is there anything that can be done to stop it? Aside from gaining weight until it slowly leaks out, creating a mess when you turn the bike over to check or change pads, etc., water gets into the drip and increases the likelihood of it sticking. I’ve had this happen on Trek Fuel and Santa Cruz Blur, so it doesn’t depend on the frame.

“Chris Gray.”

Hi Chris,

This is a great question.

I felt the same on almost every mountain bike I’ve had lately (all of which were with full suspension). As for where the water gets, it’s simple: almost everywhere.

Modern mountain bikes – in particular, fully suspended – are clogged with various holes and access points for cables, hoses, hinges and so on. Basically, holes everywhere. However, unlike most road frames (or even many hardtails), that’s not enough drained holes at low points on the frame from which water can easily drain.

Why don’t all brands of bikes have drain holes in smart places? Unfortunately, I have no idea. Seems not so stupid, but hey, I know.


Hi CT!

Favero recommends washers for their pedals if the gap between the pods and the connecting rods is no more than 1 mm. However, if you need support, they insist that it is needed (even if the resolution is within their specifications). So do you need washers?

“Rice Eshpol.”

Hi Figure,

Pedal washers are an interesting topic, especially since the major brands of components seem to differ in their usefulness. SRAM still includes them along with each connecting rod and recommends them no matter what, for example, while neither Shimano nor Campagnolo seem to be too concerned about whether you use them or not.

The effectiveness of pedal washers in general is somewhat controversial: supporters say they can potentially prevent damage to the connecting rod (and increase its fatigue life), while others say they are redundant.

The Favero has a more specific reason for the pedal washers, given the company’s large internal electronics on the pedals of the power meter. Some connecting rods have recesses where the pedals are attached, which can create gap problems with this electronics. Favero is pretty clear in his written instructions on when – and if not – to use pedal washers, but obviously there was some confusion.

I reached out to Faver, and here’s what they had to say:

“Necks are only needed if it is specifically required by the connecting rod manufacturer or if the connecting rod has a recessed seat,” said Erica Martinatsa in Favero’s marketing department. “In general, a gap of at least 1 mm should be provided between the sensor and the connecting rod.

“Sometimes when customers can’t figure out whether the resolution is enough and we can’t figure it out through photos (sometimes photos sent to us by customers are blurry or very dark), our support department just suggests using one washing machine. especially careful. “


Hello friends

I have a Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 2020 purchased just before the infamous 2020 lock. Although I became my best motorcycle, I never came to terms with the integration of the cabin. After playing for a while with the height of the stem, I found that the optimal position – leaving 1 cm of spacers under the stem.

Since reintegration means cutting off the steering of the forks and cutting the hydraulic hoses, and given that my aging body may end up asking for a more comfortable position, I decided to keep everything on the side and with the original length, also installing a beautiful Ritchey 1 1/4 ″ stem. All in all, the front of the bike looks thinner and I leave the option to change the handlebar height if I need to.

All this means is that I have a fork section 3+ cm long above the stem. Also, the expander does not match the point where the stem attaches to the fork; it is closer to the top of the rudder than the stem. I asked at a local store if this installation was dangerous or if I should go cut the bloody thing. They assured me that if I don’t procrastinate, it’s completely safe. However, I still hesitate.

So my question is: what are the general tips for carbon steering forks? Is it safe to keep a large part above the stem, or is it better to cut at least part, given that in the future I will need extra height, but not all?

“Suso del Rio.”

Hi Suso,

I hate to contradict the advice of your store, but I think to leave everything as it is – it’s just asking for problems. While I don’t think there’s anything dangerous in leaving a good chunk of excess steering tube (other than the risk of puncturing yourself in an accident!), There is an absolute risk that the rod clamp will damage the steering tube if the connector doesn’t sit where it needs to.

Carbon fiber works great when stretched, but it’s not as stiff when compressed. Steering plugs prevent the steering tube from crushing when the clamping bolts are tightened, even when applying the correct torque (and perhaps they add bending strength to the steering tube as a whole). However, the fork cannot do its job if it is not in the right place, and most are not designed for use with a large amount of steering tube sticking out over the rod.

A longer plug can give you some freedom and I was chosen Gap Cap Expander Long from Pro. It comes in a diameter of 1 1/4 ″ and at a height of 50 mm, it is almost twice as high as many conventional plugs, so it will reach into the steering tube much further than a standard plug. Despite this, the stack height of 44mm of your Ritchey barrel still means you can’t leave too much extra rudder tube before the bottom of the compression plug becomes too high to be effective. Personally, I try never to leave more than 10mm of excess over the stem, but depending on where exactly the bottom of this cork ends, you may be able to get away with 15mm – but certainly not 30.


Mail bag № 4 CyclingTips Tech: How long is it too long?

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