This is what my stem shim looks like: Stem Shim

Why is it angled like that? Does it have a purpose?

I lowered my handlebars and with that angle it looks hideous. The stem sticks out over the spacers now. When it was at the top with no spacers below it looked fine.

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    Sounds like you need to cut your steerer tube (or get it cut) as part of the permanent lowering process. Are you sure the fit is better? There's no going back! – Criggie Sep 29 '16 at 20:47
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    @Criggie I think I'm just going to get a straight shim and normal top cap so that I won't have to cut it. – npsantini Sep 29 '16 at 21:35

I came across this article that somewhat explains why it is angled.

Basically what it does is provide a slight angle without having to use a stem that is adjustable.

What it fails to mention is that you can't place spacer rings above the stem meaning your handlebars must be at the top of steerer tube. Too add to all of that nonsense you have to use a top cap that has a hole that is off center to accommodate the angle.

It seems really stupid to me but if those extra few degrees of angle are what you need to dial in your fit then I suppose having an angled shim would be useful.

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  • Hmm. I replaced my handlebars recently, with the angle just a few degrees off. After to first ride I had a sore elbow, and after the second ride it was full "tennis elbow". After working out what was causing the problem I adjusted the bars a few degrees to correct it. – andy256 Sep 29 '16 at 22:20
  • An angled shim would be lighter than using an adjustable stem, and cheaper than buying a new stem built to a different angle. – Criggie Sep 30 '16 at 0:45
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    @Criggie Right, and in that case it makes sense. My bike came stock with the angled shim which is what was so weird. – npsantini Sep 30 '16 at 0:53

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