Bicycle Mechanics - Flipped stem
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03-12-11, 07:42 PM
Hi, I would like to try riding my Cannondale Synapes(monocoque) full carbon forks with the stem flipped = lower bars. Being a carbon and me not being familiar with it, Is there a procedure that should be followed ??? My concern is if I have to remove the top cap is that in any way going to affect the bearing tension on the head tube ??
03-12-11, 08:04 PM
You will have to remove the top cap to get the stem off and set preload after flipping the stem. It isn't too difficult but, assuming a carbon steerer, getting the torque on the stem right once getting the preload set is very important.
03-12-11, 08:11 PM
Yes, removing the top cap and stem is likely to change the headset adjustment so you will have to reestablish the correct adjustment when you reassemble everything. However, it's not difficult.
Leave the stem clamp bolts loose and tighten the top bolt until all of the play is gone from the headset. This is easy to determine by locking the front brake and trying to rock the bike forward and back. If there is any play you will feel it. Most current cartridge bearing headsets specify a light preload of 4 - 10 inch-pounds (that's only 0.5 - 1.2 Nm) for the top bolt so that is just snug.
Once you have the proper headset adjustment center the stem and tighten to clamping bolts evenly and to the manufacturer's spec. A stem on a carbon steerer should be torqued properly and using a torque wrench is VERY desirable. Generally the required torque is about 4-5 Nm but check with your dealer or Cannondale for the actual value.
Park Tools' web site has a tutorial for adjusting threadless headsets that would be worth looking at too.
+1, you'll definitely lose the headset adjustment. Not because you removed the top cap which doesn't do anything once the stem is tight, but because you removed the stem.
It's a very straightforward job. search Adjusting threadless headsets and you'll find a number of free tutorials. Review a few until you think you have it then go ahead. BTW- the carbon fork doesn't really create issues, but if you have a carbon stem be c=vary careful tightening the clamp bolts, some are very prone to stripping.
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