Questions tagged [stem]

The stem is the part of the bicycle that secures the handlebars to the fork.

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21 votes
20 answers
42k views

Is reversing the stem (pointing it backwards) a safe way to reduce reach length?

Assuming a steerer/fork/brake/cable setup that does not rely on the stem facing forward: is it safe to point a stem backwards as a way to reduce seat-to-bar reach (i.e. as a way to 'fit' a too-large ...
djangodude's user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
7k views

Deterrents against partial (component) theft

Big question: Is there any way to increase the security of bolted on portions of a bicycle? Specifics: I cycle as my primary mode of transport (in East London) on a early 90s steel road bike with ...
alsothings's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
9k views

What effect does changing the stem length have on my bikes handling

I'm finding that when jumping my mountain bike seems to be very nose heavy no matter how far back my saddle is. What effect will moving to a shorter stem length have? My bike, a Boardman FS-PRO came ...
davefiddes's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
9k views

How is stem length (reach) measured?

How is the length of a stem measured? Where does the measurement start and finish?
Martynnw's user avatar
  • 1,407
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is it okay to flip a stem

The stem on my bike is at roughly negative five degrees. If I were to flip it upside down, thus making it positive five degrees, might I be putting pressure on parts of it that were not designed for ...
Carl's user avatar
  • 286
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Broken stem tube – LBS "just" lowered handlebars. Is this safe?

I have asked this elsewhere on the internet as well, but this is the Stack Exchange adaptation. I have three related questions and I'll try to make it clear what they are. Here's some background where ...
kqr's user avatar
  • 281
11 votes
3 answers
24k views

Attaching a stem to a carbon steerer: how much torque?

So I decided to travel with my bike this week and to my surprise discovered that the steerer is carbon fiber. I had removed the stem from the steerer for packing but naively assumed it was aluminum ...
darkcanuck's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
14k views

Is it safe to use a spacer that reaches above the steerer tube?

I have a spacer that reaches from the top of the stem and over the top of the steerer tube. I am able to lock it down with the top cap, but I was wondering if it is safe to ride like this, or if I ...
user1049697's user avatar
  • 4,208
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is stem cap redundant after tightening stem bolts?

Is it right to think that after the preload is set, and the stem bolts are tightened, the stem cap becomes redundant? Will the preload be held fixed by the stem? If so, does that mean the stem cap can ...
John M.'s user avatar
  • 205
10 votes
3 answers
54k views

Better solution for uncomfortably low bars: a stem riser, or taller stem?

I've got my (threaded) stem at the maximum height, but I'd be more comfortable if the bars were higher relative to the seat. It would be uncomfortable to lower the seat any further. I was intrigued ...
Thalecress's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
2k views

PRO LT Handlebar Stem asks to tighten top handlebar screws first before bottom screws? Conflicting manual instructions?

I bought this PRO (Shimano) LT handlebar stem. However, I'm having difficulty decoding the instructions in which to tighten the handlebar clamps. The stem itself has this piece of cardboard in between ...
andoofthewoods's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Threadless handlbar stem bolts - grease, threadlock, anti-seize, or dry?

I'm reinstalling a threadless stem after cleaning and degreasing. There are two sets of bolts: the faceplate bolts that attach the handlebars to the stem and the pinch bolts that clamp the stem to the ...
SSilk's user avatar
  • 4,199
9 votes
2 answers
33k views

Is it possible to compensate a short sized frame by adjusting seatpost and stem?

Could you achieve the same position you would have on a bigger frame by raising seatpost and stem? And how could I adjust those to "simulate" a bigger sized frame?
Vital V's user avatar
  • 357
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why the small difference between common sizes of handlebars (31.8mm) and MTB seatposts (31.6mm)?

Many handlebars have a 31.8mm clamp section, and a common MTB seatpost size is 31.6mm. I know these are both around 1 1/4 inches. Why the 0.2mm difference though?
MaplePanda's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
22k views

Are stem height extenders safe to use?

I was trying to determine the longest length I can safely cut my steer tube, then I learned about stem extenders. I have to wonder, if you cut your steer tube to the maximum recommended length for ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 1,988
8 votes
5 answers
6k views

How can I raise my handlebars when there are no spacers above the stem?

I have a threadless setup with no spacers above the stem. What is the simplest way to raise my handlebars?
Mastiff's user avatar
  • 313
8 votes
7 answers
17k views

How do you make the handlebar stem straight?

I adjusted my stem height the other day, and since then, the stem hasn't felt straight. I've attempted to straighten it a few times, but because I'm just eyeballing it, the handlebars don't quite seem ...
amcnabb's user avatar
  • 7,095
8 votes
5 answers
32k views

Bike is slightly too large, shorten the stem?

I feel that my bike frame is slightly too large because I'm stretching out quite a bit even when on the hoods. I'm considering swapping out my 90mm stem for a 35mm or 40mm stem It seems like these ...
Trogdor's user avatar
  • 251
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Handlebar slips in quill stem clamp when going over bumps

I bought this new Kalloy quill stem, with Sakae 25.4mm handlebars as pictured below. The handlebars were purchased at an eBay auction. Here's the setup from the side I've tightened the handlebar ...
andoofthewoods's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

What makes a stem a "mountain bike stem" and why might it not be suitable for (or clamp properly on) a road bike?

I am about to purchase a stem labeled "Mountain Stem" with the two diameters: 1-1/8" steerer 31.8mm bar clamp to install on a road bike. There is stock of "road bike stems", ...
Sam7919's user avatar
  • 9,112
8 votes
2 answers
8k views

What's the performance difference between a front-load and top-load bike stem?

I recently bought a bmx and after doing a few tricks on it, the front-load stem became loose enough for the bars to slide forward (they rotated towards me about the point the bars were connecting at ...
user784637's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
249 views

Do bicycle stems have certified usage ratings (road/XC/Enduro/DH)?

Clamping dimensions aside, are all stems rated for all the cycling disciplines, especially in the MTB domain? In other words, are stem manufacturers liable to guarantee their products to be safe to ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Creaking when in the saddle

I know there are about a million questions on here about creaking while pedaling, but I haven't seen one that relates...apologies if I missed one. I bought a 2011 BMC Streetracer SR02 last year; ...
Ealhmund's user avatar
  • 2,065
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does it really matter if my stem doesn’t block the hub?

6’3” tall Bianchi via nirone c2c Alu carb 2010 bike. I got hit by a car and am just rebuilding this bike so I can ride (the other one was totaled). The 120mm stem on it made the steering very skittish....
Bigonabianchi's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
850 views

Is it unsafe to put a stoker stem on the front?

This year my wife and I bought a used tandem and have been having fun. We like long rides on our singles, but the tandem cockpit is uncomfortable for me. I'd like to put an extra-long stem on the ...
Wesley's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
2 answers
666 views

How do you interpret "minimum insertion" of a quill stem?

I have a 1" threaded fork here, longer than usual. The headset nuts have been separated by a significant number of spacers. So many, that if the quill stem is inserted to the minimum, almost none ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 13.9k
7 votes
2 answers
880 views

Replace (potentially 15+ year old) stem/handlebars?

Is there a point at which aluminum drop bars and stem are simple "too old" and need to be replaced? Back story: I'm ever-so-slowly rebuilding a used (but new to me) 2006 Trek 520. I've taken ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 193
7 votes
3 answers
294 views

Will it be effective to use hot water and cold canned air to unjam a quill stem?

I have a bike frame that has been left outside for years, I tried to remove the stem by hitting the bolt with a hammer, using rust dissolver. I achieved nothing. We use a torch and water where I work ...
José Gregorio Ferrer Reyes's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does a quill stem without a front bolt work?

Looking at quill stems I noticed this rather curious one and I couldn't imagine how it secured the handlebars without an apparent bolt. Any ideas? more images
whitezo's user avatar
  • 93
6 votes
4 answers
400 views

How does this stem/headset work?

I have a bicycle (Göricke, circa. 2012) with an unusual stem. It appears to have a quick-release nut which can rotate through a quarter turn. Here is a picture, with the dust cap removed: I would ...
onewhaleid's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
21k views

Getting the right cockpit position. Sliding forward. What should I adjust to keep my sit bones on the seat?

I am experienced rider and I'm looking for some advice on how to adjust my cockpit position. I am a daily commuter, and do regular 40-50k rides on the weekends, and with the warmer weather will work ...
Doug D.'s user avatar
  • 86
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the ideal balance (forward/backward) in the saddle on an endurance road bike?

I got my first road bike (and found I favor endurance riding position), and I can't figure out if I'm positioned well in the saddle. It's as far aft as it goes, but I still feel like I'm falling ...
ETL's user avatar
  • 265
6 votes
2 answers
5k views

How deep does a quill stem need to be inserted?

I have an old road bike with a quill stem and I want to raise the stem. After raising it to where I want it, the stem has about an inch between the high end of the expander nut and the top of the ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.7k
6 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is my carbon fork steerer tube damaged by overtightened stem bolts

As per the title: I've had my bike serviced by a bike shop, who helpfully tightened up the stem cap and pinch bolts on my headset. I rode it approx 15 km (9 miles) and I noticed some play in the ...
tomandco's user avatar
  • 199
6 votes
2 answers
245 views

Why are thorn resistant tubes prone to valve stem failures?

I would welcome knowledgeable answers rather than opinions please. I have been cycling 50+ years and now work in an LBS. I have seen numerous examples of so-called “thorn-proof” TP tubes, of different ...
Henry S's user avatar
  • 267
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Stem top bolt wouldn't screw in after transport

I transported my bike via plane in a canyon shuttle 2. It was well secured and safe. To pack it up I had to unscrew the top stem bolt and unhinge the stem along with the handlebars. Once I attempted ...
Ivan's user avatar
  • 639
5 votes
2 answers
518 views

What brand is this handlebar stem?

I just purchased a used bike recently and I am curious to the make of my handlebar stem. Would anyone be able to identify the brand logo?
Roman's user avatar
  • 233
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I install a quill stem extender?

I don’t understand how to install a quill stem extender. Photo included. I have my stem, the long screw and the wedge. The stem extender on the right has a stem, a long screw, and a wedge. The screws ...
Sarah's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
4 answers
5k views

Would Lowering my Handlebars Help my Performance?

I ride now with pretty decent comfort, I have no real back/neck/shoulder pain. As I ride now I feel decent, but I feel as though I might be in too much of an upright position on the bike to get the ...
Weirix's user avatar
  • 525
5 votes
1 answer
520 views

Is it possible to use a 26mm clamp diameter stem with a 24mm handlebar?

I am considering getting a stem, which is meant for a 26mm grip area diameter. However, the handlebar I want to use it with is 24mm diameter (this diameter is uniform, so 24mm both at the grip and at ...
goose_lake's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
6k views

Should I be able to 'manually' rotate the headset?

When I wrap my fingers around my roadie's headset, I'm able to 'rotate' some parts of it freely around. Should this be happening? If it should not be happening, what is causing this and is it ...
Trogdor's user avatar
  • 251
5 votes
2 answers
617 views

Steerer tube flush with top of stem

I bought a secondhand suspension fork online and the steerer tube has been cut to 170mm which I thought was plenty from what I calculated, turns out not so much. After doing a quick test install, the ...
Thierry 95's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
730 views

Threadless stem keeps loosening [duplicate]

I recently got a 2018 Felt VR30. I've been riding for a long time, but this is the first bike I've ever had with a carbon fork, and only the second I've had with a threadless headset. The problem I'm ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30k
5 votes
1 answer
6k views

What are the advantages of handlebars with an integrated stem?

I was doing a bit of research for an upcoming handlebar purchase, and came across this strange piece of hardware -- handlebars with an integrated stem (or possibly a stem with integrated bars). So ...
Jules's user avatar
  • 475
5 votes
1 answer
7k views

Can't Tighten Handlebars

I have an old Trek mountain bike with a "Traditional" handlebar stem (Quill stem?) and I've suddenly become unable to adequately tighten the stem to a) remain in line with the wheel and b) stop the ...
Lefty's user avatar
  • 155
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do I remove a quill stem?

(I recently got an old Favorit road bike (made in Czechoslovakia) and started restoring it. In order to give the frame a new coat of paint, I need to strip it down from everything.) I'm stuck with the ...
Matej Dlabal's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What would be the handling of a bike with reversed stem?

There are short and long stems: What effect does changing the stem length have on my bikes handling There are flat bars and there are curved back bars for comfort upright position: There even ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

I stripped one of four bolts on the faceplate of my stem. Is the stem usable until the replacement arrives?

The aluminium stem on my road bike says the max torque for each of the four faceplate bolts is 6nm. So I set my calibrated torque wrench to 6nm... and one of the bolts stripped its thread. I guess “...
52d6c6af's user avatar
  • 329
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Broken stem, how to fix?

My crappy bike (Aldo Cadenazzi) was squeaking for the last two days. Then today the stem broke. Luckily I was very slow when it happened. How can I fix it? I have read a little bit about threadless ...
nimcap's user avatar
  • 337
4 votes
2 answers
852 views

About to cut my steerer tube, can I just measure the spacers and mark at that distance?

I have a chimney of 3 spacers which I would like to remove (cosmetic reasons mostly). I am not sure about marking at 2-3mm under the stem's top and cutting there. A bit too much of eyeballing. I feel ...
Learning is a mess's user avatar