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Source for 21.1 Quill Stems?(4 posts)

Source for 21.1 Quill Stems?timfire
Apr 25, 2002 9:21 AM
I was wondering if there are any good sources for 21.1 quill stems, preferably online. I would like one both for myself (trying to fix up an old mountain bike into a commuter/ rain bike) and for a friend (he's trying to fix up an old schwinn).

I can get some used ones from a store around me, but the options are limited. Also, I was wondering if they ever made some 21.1 stems with 26.0 size clamps. It would be nice to put some modern bars on the bikes. That might be asking for too much, though.


--Timothy Kleinert
Are those the old, OLD ones? .833 inch?cory
Apr 25, 2002 9:29 AM
I never heard the metric size for those things, but seems to me they were .833 inch, which would be about 21.1mm. My first mountain bike, in the way-early '80s, used that size and I never could find a replacement even then. Two faint possibilities, neither very promising: Look at some of the old-line parts suppliers (one is Wald Bike or something similar to that; try or check used bikes at places like the Salvation Army. I think every stem that size I ever saw was steel or a steel quill with aluminum extension pressed on, very low-quality and heavy.
Sheldon Brown says...timfire
Apr 25, 2002 9:42 AM
I got this information off the Sheldon Bron site, though its under Harrris Cyclery > Parts section.

"... [Older] American-style bikes have thicker steerer tubes than Euro bikes, so they take thinner stems. The usual diameter is 21.15 mm vs the British 22.2 mm size..."

And elsewhere...

"From the WWI era to the 1970s, U.S. made bicycles, often of very high quality, were built to rather different standards than those that prevailed in the rest of the world... When the 1970's bike boom brought large numbers of European (and later, Asian) bikes to the U.S., the older American dimensional tolerances went into retreat, and were increasingly relegated to department store bicycles, such as Huffy and Murray. People began to associate the American dimensions with these low-end bikes, and to forget that many high-quality machines had been made to these standards. While the European bikes were undeniably lighter and faster, the better American bikes were made with a greater emphasis on durability and ruggedness."

My mountain bike is an old late 80's/ early 90's Huffy "Free Spirit," While my friends bike is a mid-80's Schwinn (I think).

--TImothy Kleinert
Apr 25, 2002 10:12 AM
Obviously Sheldon Brown has a few 21.1 stems, but I was wondering if there was anyplace with a better selection.

I was really hoping that someone had made some stems to retro-fit those older sized stems with newer handlebars.

But, maybe I'm hoping for too much.

--Timothy Kleinert