Bicycle Mechanics - Quill stem size/measurement question
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12-24-12, 06:07 PM
I am changing out a quill stem on an older bike for a friend. The current stem diameter is 1 1/8" (28.53mm) and the headset is also 1 1/8". I ordered a new Profile quill stem in a 1 1/8" size. The packaging clearly states it is 1 1/8" diameter stem, yet the actual stem diameter measurement is 1" (25.18mm). I called the company I purchased the stem from, and they told me to just tighten the quill bolt and the slack would be taken up by the tapered end. I did so, but I am seeing 1/16" gap on both sides. This sure doesn't seem logical to me, but I haven't played around with a quill stem for years. Is this really the way it is supposed to fit?
12-24-12, 06:42 PM
A nominal 1-1/8" quill stem has an actual quill OD of 1" (25.4 mm) since it goes inside a 1-1/8" OD fork steerer. A threadless stem has an opening that is truly 1-1/8" ID since it goes outside of the steerer. I wonder if the original stem quill you measure at an actual 1-1/8" OD is for a rare nominal 1-1/4" steerer.
+1, Quill stems are sized based on what they fit, not what they are. 1-1/4" steerers (take a 1-1/8") stems are extremely rare, and you may have difficulty finding one. If you think you've found one, be sure to cross examine the seller to make sure that you're getting a stem with an OD of 1-1/8" for a 1-1/4" steerer.
If you can't find a stem you're best option is to find or make a shim with a 1/16" wall to reduce the ID of your fork to 1". Even then the stem selection will be limited since 1-1/8" steerers were introduced about the same time as threadless headsets, so 1" threadless and 1-1/8" threaded are both fairly rare (but not nearly as rare as what you have).
12-25-12, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the response HillRider and FB. The bike is one of the original Fischer mountain bikes and is about 24 years old. The stem is probably a proprietary Fischer stem. It probably is a 1-1/4. Will have to hunt around for one.
A bit of history. When 1-1/8" came out Gary Fischer figured he'd go one better and brought out 1-1/4. As I said earlier, threadless came out at just about the same time, leaving 1-1/4" threaded twisting in the wind. Fischer only made these for a short while, then fell into line changing to 1-1/8" threadless.
If you can find the stem, and ever need a headset I still have a couple new ones left over.
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