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creaky stem(3 posts)

creaky stemp chop
Mar 11, 2002 9:41 AM
Here's the rub: When my 1" threaded headset/stem is under strain, like when first standing or going over bumps with my weight on the bars, the head tube-area issues a distinctive "khenk" sound. It became more frequent after I replaced the stem (too long) with an old stem from a previous bike; the original had a smooth-faced aluminum wedge, my old one has three ponted ridges running up the face of the wedge. Poor contact between these ridges and the steerer inside comes to mind, though the problem did exist with the original wedge. Everything greased and tightened, re-checked, etc. No headset play.
Setup: ~'97 Litespeed Ultimate, recently bought used, Kestrel carbon fork, King headset, original stem was Deda (unknown model, open face), now the stem is an older SR from 80's touring bike (temporary fix for fit, should be going to a 90 degree soon for some rise).

Any thoughts? Thanks.
ps Can a quill be over-tightened?
re: creaky stemPaul
Mar 11, 2002 10:18 AM
I had the same thing with my Kestrel fork with a quill stem. What helped a little (never did get entriely rid of the problem), was to lower the shaft a little deeper into the fork. You might try this for the fun of it. I know you've greased it, but I immersed mine into the can of grease, and the creaking would subside for awhile, but always came back.

I would tighten the hell out of it, never thought about over-tightening. I mean, the allen wrench would bend.

By you swapping stems, and problem varying, maybe you're playing with two worn out stems? could try wrapping some electrical tape around the stem wedge to increase the dia. so that it makes a tighter fit as an experiment. Both wedges could be worned.

good luck
re: creaky stemDrD
Mar 11, 2002 11:43 AM
I was using a deda murex threaded stem for a while, and it creaked and ticked like crazy - if I tore it apart, greased everything (bolt threads, expansion wedge where it contacts the stem and the steerer, outside surface of the stem, clamp bolt threads), then roughed up the bar surface and the inside of the stem clamping surface with sand paper, then greased that too, I would quiet things down for 100 miles or so, then it would be back... really annoying! I recently switched stems to a syncros hinged stem, and the creaking/clicking is gone. (this is in a 99 Ultimate, Kestrel fork, King headset)