Touring - adjustable stems, any good ?
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07-12-08, 02:55 AM
ok to follow on from my brooks saddle post, i poss now need a higher stem, i dont have the hight on my forks steerer, so are these adjustable stems any good, as with one i could adjust my height , as always thanks for any help, does anyone use one for touring, ?
Some adjustable stems are good, some not so good. I bought an adjustable stem off ebay some months ago and it's a no name cheap affair -I put it on my backup tourer. It uses one bolt to clamp the stem, and one bolt to secure the angle. One problem I quickly discovered was that I could not adjust the angle unless both bolts were loosened, and likewise could not remove the stem unless both bolts were loosened. I also found the angle mechanism could work just a tiny fraction loose, but I solved that by using a little thread lock on it.
My advice would be to look for an adjustable stem with more than one clamping bolt for the steerer, and obviously a separate bolt for the angle adjust. If possible handle one first to see the quality of it. Having said all that, mine seems to be fine now I've got the right angle and don't need to be adjusting it -it feels very solid.
Though I use threadless headsets, this is one sad case of where you have to wonder if "newer" (since threadless has been around quite a time now) technology is that much better -a quill for a threaded headset is very easily adjustable for height.
07-12-08, 08:27 AM
thanks for that, there a few on ebay, with 2 bolts on the steerer and 1 to adjust, not over pricey so i might just take a chance and see, thanks again
I bought one (Nashbar) to experiment with handlebar heights after back problems caused me to make such changes. I started with the max. elevation setting - and haven't adjusted it since - so now I've got a heavy, ugly stem on my tourer. Oh well. The other issue with them, of course, is that they adjust the elevation, but not the reach - which ultimately made more difference for me on my road bike.
There's lots of options (http://bikeusa.com/page.cfm?PageID=55&action=list&Category=149&type=T) for stem elevation & reach, + ebay, craigslist, etc. And your LBS would likely be happy to help you choose the right size, if you order it from them also.
Bottom line: not as useful for me as I thought it might be....
07-12-08, 10:24 AM
i must admit they dont look great, as i like the low long look, but ive also got back problems, and recently hurt my neck, so ill see how it goes, it will look odd to me at first but will help my neck plus help with the new brooks saddle , i hope ,
As suggested, adjustable stems are more temporary to find out the most comfortable or practical height. They tend to flex and loosen the bolts over time, and that means squeaking, creaking and finally loss of tightness.
If you want to open up the options a bit more, research Nitto stems that have long quills (the Technomic, from Harris Cyclery, I think), or you can go the route of using a threadless adaptor for a threaded steerer tube and fit a 1" stem, choosing the angle and length suggested by the adjustable one. This latter solution is one I adopted for my touring bike after I pirated the original stem for a fixed-gear project. It works well.
07-13-08, 10:38 AM
cheers rowan, im going to use it to find a good position , then look for a alternative,
"Though I use threadless headsets, this is one sad case of where you have to wonder if "newer" (since threadless has been around quite a time now) technology is that much better -a quill for a threaded headset is very easily adjustable for height. "
Most of my bikes have the threaded system. I do like that all I need for a threadless is an allen key. Very road convenient. I left the tube long on my threadless, which is not an elegant solution, but allows me to make height changes if i need them or add accessories.
[QUOTE=Peterpan1;7053896I left the tube long on my threadless, which is not an elegant solution, but allows me to make height changes if i need them or add accessories.[/QUOTE]
Ditto on a recent bike build for me. I can move one, two or all three of the spacers below or above the stem to alter the height incrementally, and if I want a major height change, I can "flip the stem" (which in this case would make the bars quite a bit lower, probably more than would be comfortable for me).
In my estimation, the threadless system does have greater flexibility than short-quill threaded stems (and the Nitto Technomic is one of the few with a long quill).
But my discovery of a threadless adapter for threaded steerer tubes has opened up all sorts of options, too. I was lucky to hit on a special $5 deal for five 1" threadless alloy stems on eBay, all in 10mm increments in length.
07-14-08, 11:56 AM
I had an adjustable quill stem that allowed me to adjust both reach and height. If you have threadless, and used a locking spacer you would also be able to adjust reach and height. Once you have found the right bar position, I dont think you would want to change the setting in the course of a ride.
07-14-08, 01:43 PM
I've been happy with this one:
It did start to come loose at one point, but I can always tighten it up on the road if necessary.
I think it cost $18 at a LBS.
07-15-08, 01:31 AM
we just drove for 4 hours and then 3 and a half home, now my back and neck are bad, i hope the stem comes soon lol,
I have been using a Look stem and love it. Can go into almost any position I have ever wanted. But they are not cheap.
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