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Stem/handlebar When to replace? Fatigue?? ...again...(1 post)

Stem/handlebar When to replace? Fatigue?? ...again...PaulCL
Jun 27, 2002 6:09 AM
A thread on the General board got me to thinking about my stem and handlebar. Failure on either of these would be catastrophic - ER, orthopod, dentist, orthodontist,maybe funeral director.

My quill stem shows no outward sign of problems. My handlebar seems fine also. But...my stem is at least five years old. The handlebar was put into service Nov of 1999. No wrecks, but about 3000 miles per year.

I know aluminum has a finite lifetime due to fatigue, but is this really something to worry about??? Is there any outward signs to look for on the stem/HB?? Like a helmet, do any of you replace these components on a certain time interval??? I don't race (I did, I sucked, lousy conditioning), but I am 185lbs and torque the bars pretty well climbing up the hills of the beautiful Bluegrass of Kentucky.

Any input??? Swap out or leave alone?? THanks. Paul

P.S. Please don't tell me to change my stem to a threadless. I won't. I think they're ugly and clunky. Nothing beats the beautiful lines of my polished aluminum cinelli stem.