Bicycle Mechanics - Quill stems
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I have an older bike, and recently, when I had to take the stem assembly apart, I noticed that the quill part, or whatever you call it, looked rusty. Very rusty. Like many other maintenance issues, this got me to worrying. Has anyone out there ever heard of a quill stem catastrophically failing? I'm probably going to replace it anyway eventually; I'm just wondering if I should tackle this one with a bit more urgency.
03-02-08, 07:37 PM
It's more likely to seize than catostrophically fail. But then again we can't inspect the stem for ourselves - you can.
03-02-08, 07:40 PM
As long as it hasn't actually rusted away, clean it up with some steel wool, grease it and run it. There are very few steel stems that aren't seriously overbuilt.
03-02-08, 07:44 PM
Many quill stems are aluminum so the rust may be from the inside of the steerer tube, not the quill itself. In either case, water or sweat gets down between the quill and the steerer and causes one or both to rust if either is steel.
Generally it is recommended the quill be remover every six months or a year, wiped off and greased heavilly before being reinstalled. As Operator noted, seizure is far more common than failure.
Thank you. I'll get out the wire brush and grease- next weekend.
I wire-brushed the hell out of it, greased it, and put it back on, and it seems to work fine. Thanks.
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