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Handlebar replacement - not easy!(3 posts)

Handlebar replacement - not easy!Triphop
Feb 7, 2003 8:56 AM
I have been reading this board for some time now, picking up valuable information, should have asked here before I got into this one. I am new to the road thing, coming from a long MTB background where handlebar replacement is a snap, straight bars or removable face plate stems.

Well, I picked up a used road bike end of the summer, and after getting used to the new road position have decided that I need a longer stem. So, I picked up a forged quill stem with a single bolt face yesterday and went to put it on. I figured how hard could it be? I can do those little toy/mind games like the twisted nails that are bent and interlock. So this should be no problem, maybe a little finagling around the bends, but since road bars and single bolt stems have been around a long time, the designs should have been worked out along time ago, no problem. Had the right clamp diameter to match the bar as well.

Oh, the old stem had a removable face plate, so removal was easy. Unwrap the bars, take off the brake levers and here we go. Figure I will take my time and gently work the stem around, trying to be sure nto to get it wedged. Not more than 30 seconds, the stem is stuck, couldn't get it back or forward, completely wedged! Damn! I am pretty patient, but soon I was ready to hacksaw the bar to get the stem off. After, feigning throwing the bar through the window a number of times, and numerous grunts of frustration, I finally was able to work it free, but not without leaving a real nice groove in the bar. I think that is the end of the handlebar, oh well, it had seen better days anyway.

So I worked on trying to get the stem on for awhile longer, finally figuring it out. But then I couldn't get it off, after some more grunting, I figured out removal, and practiced the "technique" for awhile longer. I now have it down, sure wish I had asked the shop about the "technique" when I bought the stem.

After all that, now I need a new bar to go with my new stem. I started looking on line for the same bar to get a reference point of the design measurements and price. Well, I don't think this bar is manufactured anymore, 3TTT Podium.

Now I have questions, how is drop measured? What about reach? What is considered a "deep" drop? Or are the measurements irrelevant, and I should just go to a shop and check the bars out for the right feel. I liked the bar I have been using, except that when riding in the drops I felt like I had to jam my hands into the top of the curve to be able to reach the levers.

What was all this I have read about simplicity and elegance of quill stems and such? ;) I never would have thought road bikes would be so complicated, should have figured on finesse though. Already know not to touch the brakes as well...heh. I feel like I just went through some sort of initiation into the intricasies of the road world! :)
Two WordsRoadrunner25
Feb 7, 2003 10:06 AM
Removeable faceplate
Still fighting WW-ISpoke Wrench
Feb 8, 2003 6:32 AM
Back in the olden days, Eurpoean countries used to adapt different standards for things like railroad tracks so that invading armies would face more logistical difficulties. I suspect that things like national standard thread pitches and handlebar clamp diameters date back to that. In many cases, handlebar clamp diameters and stem clamp diameters are just enough different that they won't work together. You have to be careful to match them up particularly if you are using a one bolt stem.