When a message from a couple of bike-touring friends recently put the idea for an article about stack height in to my head, I naturally jumped at the chance. Stack height is one of the more interesting topics in the world of cycling and I had been waiting some time for the opportunity to write an in-depth analysis.
The friends in question, Alex and Kat (or AlleyKat), are currently travelling around the world by bicycle - tandem bicycle - and have a wealth of interesting and informative content about their trip as well as some amazing photos documented on their website, www.cyclingabout.com. Unfortunately there is currently no analysis of stack height to be found there.
For those readers not familiar with the terminology, stack height refers to the number of steerer tube spacers mounted between the head tube and the stem on a bicycle.
Although this stem position is considered very pro, the same cannot be said for the glasses!
Nobody actually knows why this is the case, perhaps getting a sore back when you ride is one of the criteria for being a professional cyclist. The ultimate stack height, and one which every road rider should aspire to is the “slammed stem” in which there are no (zero) spacers between the bottom of the stem and the top of the headset bearing cover.
entire website dedicated to it. Although this is not really saying much seeing as how there's also an entire website dedicated to telling you if your computer is on and another one showing people pointing at your mouse cursor.
But if you've slammed the stem and are still feeling like you want to get even more pro, the next step is to remove the headset bearing cover altogether.
AlleyKat bike-touring adventure began in Holland in mid-2012, initially on two touring bikes and included a lot of “cat love”.
If you haven't heard this song, it's definitely worth a listen but keep in mind that it includes a number of profanities (most of them actually). As a further warning, the introductory credits caution that “This clip is uncensored” so before you click play at maximum volume, keep in mind that it may not be suitable for your workplace, particularly if you work at a childcare centre. That said, it might be completely suitable, after all, I have no idea what you do for work, where you work, or if you do even work.
The original version, complete with profanities, can be found here: