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Old subject, new concern: my quill stem(16 posts)

Old subject, new concern: my quill stemPaulCL
Feb 7, 2002 8:40 AM
My quill stem is about 4 or 5 years old. When visiting my LBS the other day, we got into a discussion on durability of components - OK - it started as a Campy vs Shimano debate. I mentioned my stems' age and the mechanic just shook his head and told me to replace it ASAP or I'll soon be losing teeth. I guess when a stem fails, if they ever fail, it is catastrophic. What do you all think?? Since quill stems are real cheap these days, any rec's on good ones to choose from???
re: Old subject, new concern: my quill stemgwilliam
Feb 7, 2002 8:47 AM
I'm still using the same Specialized quill stem that came on my 1984 Klein. I'm not to concerned about replacing it.

ITM Eclypse at Performance $19.99bigdave
Feb 7, 2002 8:48 AM
They are CrMo, and strong... not the lightest, but strong. They don't have an open clamp, but oh well. A pretty beefy stem, and they are going for $19.99 at performance or nashbar. They retailed for like $20 more than that. I just bought one because I wanted to try a 1 cm longer stem for fit reasons and it seems like a nice stem. Also, good reviews in the reviews section of this site.

ill second the eclypse...johan burnt eels
Feb 7, 2002 9:08 AM
$20 for a good stem and at an ok weight is a steal and i couldn't resist.

i hated all the logos and used brake fluid to erase them as they looked to wear easily. i like its quirky looks and bolts. using the expander helped me scratch up my bars and i beleive ht single bolt (not opening clamp) design aids in acheiving a litlle stiffness.

i think nashbar has them for even cheaper.

if your bars are 26.4 diameter then licktons has some cinelli stems for your purpose as well as a few other quill stems.
Feb 7, 2002 8:51 AM
You gave no explanation. Alloy versus steel? Rust problems? I've had both steel and alloy quills for years, and have never had a problem. I clean anf gease them periodically.

Feb 7, 2002 9:13 AM
My LBS owner had a guy who was dead set on getting a welded alloy stem, might have been a Control Tech. So he sold him one. It was light, etc.

Well, the weld at the face clamp snapped during a ride, and he wound up with a broken hip... still walks with a limp.

My .02? If you have any reservations about a stem, for whatever reason, replace it with a quality stem. It's your control center... if it goes, you're toast. If nothing else, for peace of mind. And with the ITM going for $19, that's cheap peace of mind.

Why they have gone to forged alloy stems for strength (nm)Paul
Feb 7, 2002 9:19 AM
they havejohan burnt eels
Feb 7, 2002 9:33 AM
cinneli and ttt both at one stage had forged alloy quill stems and are now hard to find.

i beleive they had difficulties with making them easier to insert and mount bars making some give up on them. thus necessitating the sleeve as its not good/hard to pry open forged alloy.

i use to have one of these and it was both stiff and beautiful. i never had a problem with it.
I still have my Cinelli 1/R stem, and 3 XA stems...Cima Coppi
Feb 7, 2002 9:58 AM
The clamp system on the 1/R was awkward, and it never really securely held the bars in place. I always had to use a shim taken from an aluminum can to make the clamp work. The stem was solid though, and I would not hesitate to use it today.

Beautiful, Italian art work at it's best (nm)Paul
Feb 7, 2002 11:11 AM
3t optionsfuzzybunnies
Feb 8, 2002 9:10 PM
If you want a forged alloy quill stem check out the 3t motus available through qbp or sinclair imports at your LBS. Has the advantage of being a removeable faceplate and sleek looking to boot. Seen several welded alloy stems fail but never a forged, till the day I see other wise I'll stick with forged. Russ
Another old wive's tale, brought to you by your local bike shop.Dog Breath
Feb 7, 2002 9:05 AM
Well, to stay in business they have to sell new stuff right?
The viability of the bike business is based upon people "upgrading" or changing parts they do not have to, or selling "new and improved" bikes that offer no performance advantage. In order to sell all this stuff they tell bold-faced lies.
Feb 7, 2002 11:03 AM
But, at about $20 per, the LBS isn't going to make much. Besides, these are the same guys who have spent time checking my bike and did't charge me. I trust them.

I didn't mention that my stem (and frame, and my body) went through a serious wreck about 3 1/2 years ago. I would like to think that if the stem was prone to failure, it would aleady have happened. Above all, $20 isn't much to pay for peace of mind.
You're rightmr_spin
Feb 7, 2002 2:16 PM
I'll send you my address and you can send me $20, too. After all, $20 isn't much to pay for peace of mind, right?

And hey, if $20 will get you peace of mind, $200 will get you TEN TIMES as much peace of mind.


The serious wreck sort of changes things. That might be worth $20.
re: NopeSteveS
Feb 7, 2002 9:48 AM
Given that you didn't mention the specifics of the discussion, if the mechanic was referring to a high grade cold (?) forged quilled stem like a 3TTT, I think he is completely wrong. I have several much older than the age of yours and no problem, plus, of all the cyclists that I have known who used quill stems (Cinelli, 3TTT, etc.), not one has ever mentioned their stems failing.

Of course, these were no tig welded steel stems.
Old Wives Talesgrzy
Feb 7, 2002 2:43 PM
Ultimately it all comes down to metal fatigue, defects, design limits, loads applied, and cycles - I don't think that anyone can really answer any of those questions. Do you crash often, race a lot or really work your equipment? Just plain age isn't enough to toss something. The mechanic is trying to get you to buy a stem from them and just repeating a bunch of tripe that he and his buddies toss around. File it under bicycling folk lore. Fact of the matter is that many quill stems are over built and there are literally millions of them out there much older than yours and doing fine. You should be more concerned about the age of your handle bars.

Next he's going to tell you to replace your frame or you're going to lose your mind and that the word "gulible" is not in the dictionary. When was the last time you replaced your crank and BB - think of what else you might lose. Typically metal will start showing cracks and there are signs of an impending failure (unless you wack something hard enough) and there are die penetrant tests to look for cracks. Composites are the typical things that fail suddenly and catastrauphically. Just pay attention to your bike while doing regular maintenance and you should be fine.