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Breakage test for al. stems(9 posts)

Breakage test for al. stemsWoof the dog
Feb 10, 2003 11:37 PM
How do manufacturers test their al. stems for strength and durability? Just how often do light aluminum stems break?

I don't trust aluminum stems, and I just looked at my wcs and the walls of a part that clamps the steerer are so thin!

Anyoen else had the same concersn?

Woof the dog.
It keeps me awake at night. Descending and WHAMO(nm)Quack
Feb 11, 2003 1:58 PM
(kinda long) It happened to me onceroadcyclist
Feb 11, 2003 2:35 PM
a lifetime ago in a race in Central Park. We were on some small rolling hills when my Modolo quill stem broke (when I hit a bump). As it turned out, the stems were later recalled. I escaped injury (didn't even go down) but it was probably my scariest moment on a bike (other than being hit by a car). IMHO - WE ARE THE TEST PILOTS!! I guess we just buy name brands and don't go "stupid light". When I bought my Litespeed Classic in 2001, I PURPOSELY DID NOT buy a super-light stem and bars. I don't race anymore and even if I did, I'd be more concerned with rolling weight (rims & tires). I could save the few grams of "stupid light" equipment by taking a crap before the race.
Stem vs Seatpostdaniel_2001
Feb 11, 2003 4:02 PM
I was wondering. The seatpost is also aluminum. Isn't there more stress on it than on the stem? So why not worry about the seatpost breaking?

Stem vs SeatpostWoof the dog
Feb 11, 2003 7:01 PM
that doesn't make any sense. The stress put on the seatpost is from an a lot more vertical angle, so the tube of a post doesn't really give/bend. Besides, you have a saddle too. A lot of your weight is supported by your feet. With stems that are horizontal, its a different story... cause they are just that - horizontal more or less. Plus all the torque applied through the bars. Scary!

Woof the god.
Stem vs Seatpostatpjunkie
Feb 11, 2003 9:08 PM
It's all bar torque. Think of the leverage being placed. and the wider the bars the more the lever. As a bigger rider I avoid all that weenie crap as I have broken things and yes it mis scary.
my personal choice Cinelli Carve (stiff, strong and not too heavy)
if I was a 130 lber I'd be a gram counter maybe but I broke through that weight when I was 12.
Stem vs Seatpostdaniel_2001
Feb 12, 2003 5:22 AM
For many months I was riding around with a broken seatpost rail. I was not even aware of it until I started looking for an unidentified squeak. I guess I was one rail away from being on the ground. I often worried about the stregth of my two bolt Ritchey stem. In particular, about the fact that my safety depends on the strength of those thin bolts. I emaled Ritchey with my concerns. I asked them whether the 4 bolt model would be safer. they replied by saying that they never had a single report of a failure.

Do you trust aluminum rims?Kerry
Feb 12, 2003 6:24 PM
Or aluminum brakes, derailleurs, pedals, cranks, chainrings, frames, saddle rails, seat posts, handlebars, etc.? Aluminum stems (or any other Al parts) are as strong or weak as the manufacturer makes them. Choose a stupid-light design and you run some risk. Get a solid unit, and there's no worries.
re: Breakage test for al. stemsrogue_CT1
Feb 13, 2003 6:22 PM
My 3T Zepp 199 stem just broke today. Actually, the Ti screws on the face plate broke and down I went. I think they were possibly damaged last month when I crashed into a Doberman. Anyway, I don't trust the whole set-up now so I bought an new oversized bar and stem. Better safe than sorry. At least they broke after I had slowed to cross some RR tracks. I had just been riding hard out of the saddle coming down some rolling hills at 40 mph. I'm real lucky they didn't give way then. I'll just have to live with the broken middle finger. Makes it hard to give the bird though.