Hello I have a quill adjustable stem on a Raleigh Royale. (The bike is an absolute dream to ride, wonderful seat and great gearing) My issue is that the handlebars wobble, both front and back and side to side. They definitely don't wobble at the face plate area. I'm certain it's at the adjustable part of the stem. The bike is a Raleigh Royale. I've taken as many pictures as I can. Thanks

bolts enter image description here enter image description here where stem wobbles enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • What direction is the wobble? Up-down or side-to-side. This may affect the solution as they are governed by different parts of the structure.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 19:12
  • thanks I'll edit the description, but it wobbles in both directions.
    – Ben
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 20:11
  • I had a similar stem and it was fine when I bought it. as soon as I tried to adjust it, it started to wobble, and I never did get it right. I rode it for a year like that. Eventually I ended up getting a solid stem because I felt it was unsafe with the wobble, even though I never really had an actual problem other than a slight wobble.
    – Kibbee
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


Do the nut and bolt need to be removed to adjust the angle of the stem? If not I can't see how that will ever be tight. If yes then I'd say the design still suffers from a flaw which is that tension of the bolt does not engage those teeth.

All that to say that here is how you test to find the area of wobble (because the problem might be a loose headset): straddle your bike with feet on the floor and pinch the intersection of two parts with one hand while you hold your front brake with the other and use your weight to rock the bike forward and backward against the tension of the brake. You'll feel the loose part move. This test is often used to test for loose headsets by squeezing the headset top nut (that big black nut on top of the headset) and the bottom of the stem where it goes through the top nut. I recommend you do this just to make sure it's not the headset. (It looks like I see grease there - was the bike serviced recently?) If you don't feel movement at the headset try pinching the stem and do the rocking. Whatever the verdict, that stem looks like an engineering short cut and probably will never get tight. I wouldn't be surprised if you sheer that bolt like so many seat tube bolts.

  • Thanks for your advice, but I'm certain the wobble originates where specified. I think you're right and that it's just a design flaw that somehow made it through. Better grab the duct tape!
    – Ben
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 18:16

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