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Stem bolts keep loosening, why?(2 posts)

Stem bolts keep loosening, why?FTMD
Oct 25, 2002 11:53 AM
I have a Ritchey Pro stem. The stem bolts insist on loosening, to the point where you can freely rotate the bars in the clamp. I tighten them down, and within one or two hilly rides (lots of pulling on the bars) they are loose. No, I do not use a torque wrench to tighten them down (on Christmas list), but I've built several bikes from the frame up, so I'm not hamfisted. I use Ritchey stems on all my bikes and this is the first experience I have had like this. I have inspected the threads on the bolts and the threads in the stem as best I can and do not see any problems there. Any thoughts as to why this is happening?
Oct 25, 2002 1:51 PM
Check the stem and the face plate for burrs or other machining defects that could cause the stem or faceplate to contact only a small part of the bar. A thin feeler gage (.003inch) can be used to check for gaps between the bars and the stem.

Check that the fit between the clamp bolts and the internal threads is not obviously loose. If the fit feels sloppy, try the next step.

Use blue loctite on the threads and allow to set overnight before using.

Tighten the bolts more. If you use a 4-5-6 "Y" style wrench, you have to try real hard to break a 5mm bolt.