Trying to remove a seized quill stem and did a beginner's mistake of removing the stem bolt. I could not thread back the bolt.

Is there a better way to thread back the bolt to the wedge for me to start all over again the process of removing the quill stem?


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    Remove the stem, remove the bolt from the stem and screw the bolt directly into the wedge to pull it out. If that doesn't work, turn the bike upside down and tap gently on the steering tube to dislodge the wedge (use a block of wood between hammer and tube). Apr 30, 2014 at 5:49

3 Answers 3


Have you tried removing the stem so you have better access to the wedge? Often if you do that you can screw the bolt in and pull the wedge out, then reassemble it away from the bike.

The other approach is to again lift the stem out, remove the front wheel, then turn the bike over and push the wedge out from the fork side. If you have a front mudguard you will need to remove that too, but almost always the bottom of the steerer tube is open so you can get the stem bolt or another long, thin object against the wedge and push it out that way. You may need to hammer it a bit, so preferably use a long punch or spare bolt, rather than the stem bolt that you need to make it all work.


When I made the same error I took the whole handlebar assembly off, removed the long bolt, tied some string firmly round it, and lowered it into the hole. With an Allen key (using tension on the string to keep the Allen key and bolt together) I then had just enough length to reach the wedge.

Screwed the bolt in a bit, and out it all came.


If you have managed to remove the bars then reassemble outside the bike and insert stem and wedge loosely assembled.

If you have not managed to remove the stem then you need to invert the bike and get the wedge arranged and then insert the bolt through the top (that is now on the bottom). Sometimes you can use a long bolt from underneath - remove front wheel and mudguard as Mo suggests - to engage the threads and hold the wedge in place while you put the retaining bolt down as normal.

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