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Real Tech question: Buying a new stem(13 posts)

Real Tech question: Buying a new stemPaulCL
Nov 29, 2001 8:42 AM
I ride a 1997 Colnago bititanio. Without measuring, I am assuming that I will need a stem for a 1" (not 1 1/8") stearer?? correct. I think the 1" was standard way back then....

By the way, I still use a quill stem - and no, I am not switching to the new threadless stems.
You are correct,TJeanloz
Nov 29, 2001 8:45 AM
I could be wrong, but I don't think Colnago is on the 1 1/8" bandwagon yet. They certainly weren't in 1997. Finding a road quilled stem in 1 1/8" would be a neat trick too...
T - question for you, quill-related:RhodyRider
Nov 29, 2001 1:16 PM
My stem seems to be seized or frozen or whatever the terminology is. I was able to loosen the bolt no problem, but the stem itself didn't want to budge. I simply wanted to lower it a smidge, but it wouldn't move under normal pressure. I don't want to horse it for fear of doing something bad to the steerer tube. Any suggestions for "unsticking" a stuck quill stem? (Facts: It is a TTT Synthesis, into a Kestrel EMS fork, steel steerer.)
Any help would be much appreciated. Is the simple answer to just bash it a bit with a plastic mallet?
It could be easy, it could be hard,TJeanloz
Nov 29, 2001 1:25 PM
First things first, after you loosen the bolt about 1cm, you need to hit it (the bolt) with a hammer to knock the wedge out of position. Once you do that, the stem should move.

If that doesn't move the stem, hit the stem with a hammer (put a block of wood between the hammer and stem).

If that doesn't move the stem- and it might not- remove the stem bolt completely, go to the hardware store and get yourself a can of "Spray Penetrant", fill the headtube with the penetrant, plug the hole in the top of the stem. Let your bike sit upside down for a few days (don't do this on the living room carpet- it will ooze penetrant out the top). Repeat attempts with the hammer.
Thanks, bro. (nm)RhodyRider
Nov 29, 2001 1:36 PM
And ...pmf1
Nov 30, 2001 5:12 AM
When you put it back in, use plenty of grease and periodically re-grease it.

My wife's Litespeed used to have this problem big time. The stem would always get stuck. Since I started using Permetex (similar to ti-prep, can be bought at an auto parts store) the problem went away. Even though your bike is not ti, you may want to try this stuff. Its a bit messy, but works great.
Actually, the bike is Ti...RhodyRider
Nov 30, 2001 8:56 AM
It's an LS Catalyst. My assumption was that the stem wedge was stuck in the steel steerer tube, I didn't think the Ti head tube had any role in this. (OBVIOUSLY I'M NOT A MECHANIC OR EVEN VERY INTUITIVE ABOUT THIS TOPIC!)
So I will take your "greasy" advice, too. Thanx!
Actually, the bike is Ti...TJeanloz
Nov 30, 2001 10:33 AM
You're right, the stem is going into the steel steerer. But the ti anti-sieze compounds work well in this situation because they're a little thicker than grease, and more effective at staying where they need to be.
re: Real Tech question: Buying a new stempmf1
Nov 29, 2001 8:47 AM
I'd bet my left n** that its 1''. The 2001 C-40 has a 1'' headset.

Ernesto doesn't fall for gimmicks. The forks have no lawyer tabs and the head tubes are 1''.
yupJack S
Nov 29, 2001 1:46 PM
but the Biti was pretty gimmicky... the ones I've seen all cracked at the BB weld.

BTW, laywer tabs are a CPSC requirement IIRC, and only required for complete bike mfgers. For example, Treks will have them, Serottas won't.
yuppmf1
Nov 30, 2001 4:50 AM
I have no idea what CPSC and IIRC means. I'm a dumb economist, not a lawyer.

I think by default, you'll see most U.S. fork manufacturers making forks with lawyer tabs even on their after-market forks. Most of those imported into the U.S. probably have them. The Look HSC2 I bought with a frame (unbuilt) had them. If I were a manufacturer selling in the U.S., a place where you can sue for coffee being too hot, I'd do it too. Better safe than sorry. The good news is that with a metal file and about 10 minutes of free time, they can be a thing of the past.

Last summer, while commuting home, I saw a guy cross a street, hit a bump and his front wheel went flying off. Turned out he forgot to close the quick release (and no lawyer tabs). He landed on his fork and dinked himself up pretty good. The fork was trashed. I felt so sorry for him that I told him to wait while I rode home, got my car and gave him a lift home. Maybe they have a purpose. Sure are annoying though.
Lawyer tabs,TJeanloz
Nov 30, 2001 8:28 AM
They are the result of the Consumer Products Saftey Commission (CPSC). We owe other fantastic innovations to this group: non adjusatble STI levers (so small hands can't reach the brakes), reflectors on Litespeeds, and a few others.

Colnagos do not need tabs (or reflectors) because they are not sold as bicycles, but as bicycle frames and forks.
Thanks..now off to Col. Cyclist Warehouse salePaulCL
Nov 29, 2001 8:50 AM
It's amazing how cheap the quill stems are these days since they are out of style - and that's what it is too - Style!