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16 votes

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

Here are a few diagrams I drew in Autodesk Fusion 360 to explain how these zero-gap stems work. According to the instructions provided with the few zero-gap stems I've encountered, you should tighten ...
MaplePanda's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Broken stem, how to fix?

Just replace it. The part is called quill stem, it is not threadless-compatible, and it is still widely used. The only type of quill stems I heard of have 1 inch diameter, so you can just find one ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
15 votes

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

No, it doesn't matter. Riders have different body weight distributions, degrees of upper body strength, body proportions, and sets of priorities for their hunched-over versus upright positioning, even ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

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

Any of the choices except dry will be fine in most use cases. (This assumes a medium strength threadlocker). Lubrication on torque-sensitive fasteners is important. When your goal is to achieve a ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
12 votes

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

Here's how I would fix the problem. This could all be done by somebody with basic tools and basic knowledge. Get a quill-threadless stem adapter and a new stem. This will allow you to fit the new ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.9k
11 votes
Accepted

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

One or more of the three options Change the stem to one with an angle, with such a short stem height gain will be limited. Replace the bars with a riser bar, these will give up to 40mm, maybe more of ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51.3k
11 votes
Accepted

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

I've used stoker stems on recumbents to optimise the fit, and they work no better or worse than a normal threadless stem. Two gotchas though - there's an extra point of adjustment for length, so ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
10 votes

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

Short answer: probably. As long as the stem and handlebars are metal, or composite that can handle the stress of the reversed position you're not going to have mechanical problems. Long answer: ...
Móż's user avatar
  • 23.6k
10 votes

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

What you have now is a bit of a hack, but it could be good temporarily so long as you don't over-stress things somehow, and if you can tolerate the lower handlebar. (Note, I haven't seen how your ...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Replacement stem cap and bolt

The cap and bolts are readily available, if you want no need to stick to a boring round black thing - they come in all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes, colours and functions. You can get them with ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51.3k
10 votes

How do I install a quill stem extender?

Sorry - you have the wrong part, or need a second part to make it all work. The item on the right is a quill stem to threadless adapter, and if you used it to replace your current stem it would ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
10 votes
Accepted

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

There used to be a time when road and MTB stems differed. MTB was 25.4mm, road was 26.0mm. Today, the most common bar clamp is 31.8mm, common to road and MTB. There's no difference apart from the stem ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 19.9k
10 votes
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Some spacers on top of stem or all under?

The primary difference is the height of the bars. Setting that to match your preferred fit should be what drives your decision here. Some manufacturers of forks with carbon steerer tubes recommend ...
Paul H's user avatar
  • 4,152
10 votes
Accepted

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

The combination doesn't work without a shim. The stem is shaped to be a tight fit around the handlebar to spread the pressure evenly. If you manage to tighten the bolts enough to clamp the thinner bar,...
ojs's user avatar
  • 22.2k
9 votes

The stem connects the handlebars to the...?

That's the fork steerer. The fork has to be replaced if you want it taller. That, or perhaps, you could add another spacer to gain a marginal 10/20mm.... Replace the forks if you're desperate. Once ...
yollooool's user avatar
  • 1,033
9 votes
Accepted

Adjustable stem busted - Do I need to replace the whole stem?

I'd call that part garbage, sorry. You've overtightened it enough to tear apart the metal, and that toothed flange is probably custom. I would suggest replacing the whole unit with a different ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
9 votes
Accepted

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

This really is an opinion more than a factual question. That you still have three bolts means its held together, but it was designed with 4. So there's a non-zero chance another bolt will go because ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
9 votes
Accepted

Is stem cap redundant after tightening stem bolts?

Yes this is correct. Once the stem bolts are tight, they hold the system together. The top cap can be loosened without releasing the preload. You could try it out and you should find that the stem ...
Swifty's user avatar
  • 12.8k
9 votes

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

You can get another handlebar with a different value of "rise": There are models with very high rise: You can go to the extreme (might be very flexy, but OK for e.g. commuting):
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

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

Cutting off an amount of steerer equal to the spacers you are removing is faulty logic because it makes assumptions about how good the steerer gap (that 2-3mm distance) is now. When you have spacers ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

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

It's a surprisingly controversial topic. Many technical sources (Barnett's Manual is where I first learned it) say the expander wedge should be below the threaded section. If this is true, there's not ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes

Are stem height extenders safe to use?

This is a very good question, and one that a lot of people get wrong or approach thoughtlessly. The answer is no, it's not significantly different in terms of safety whether your stem got where it is ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes

Is my carbon fork steerer tube damaged by overtightened stem bolts

In practical terms, it's impossible to tell for sure in a case like this. It's probably fine, but there's no way of knowing absolutely via visual inspection. The surface indentations from the stem ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to set this fork steerer / stem higher?

This is a traditional quill stem, meaning it's shaped like a "7", with the vertical part fixed inside the steerer tube by a wedge bolt. There should be an allen bolt at the top--it looks ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Are Adjustable Stems With Reasonable Merit?

Whether they work: Short answer yes, they do not have major widespread problems. Most problems that do occur are related to undertightening the bolts on them to start with, or adjusting them without ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes

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

Answer this question for yourself: WHEN the stem fails, what's going to happen to me - AND EVERYONE AROUND ME? And only ride in ways that you're willing to live with the answer to the above question. ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
  • 10.7k
8 votes

Is stem cap redundant after tightening stem bolts?

As noted, the cap is theoretically not needed to hold the stem in place, but in the rare situation you need a stem adjustment on the road/trail you'd have a hard time of it. I've removed a spacer ...
Sody Pop's user avatar
8 votes

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

You can buy a handlebar riser adaptor like this:
natraj kalyan's user avatar
8 votes

Slamming my stem considerations

No, just move any spacers from below the stem to on top of it. Don't cut the steerer in case you want to sell the bike later, or even if you change your mind later.
8 votes

Will a New Horizontal Stem Riser Support a Front Child Seat

I would not risk it - that's your child on top. As an alternative, look at a "wee-ride" style of seat. This sits over your top-tube and locates the child between your knees. Not the most ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k

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