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  1. #1
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    getting them past that last 'U'



    Removing the drop handlebars from an old Raleigh. They're covered in dried up tape adhesive. The stem is an old Raleigh style with 'GB' stamped on the sides. No matter how hard I try, though, the drops don't seem to budge past the part of the drop where the brake usually fastens. I'm starting to get a lot of aluminum shavings/filings from all of the twisting, and the bars just won't go past a certain point.

    Anyone out there have any good tips? I tried a little grease, and that didn't work at all. I also tried doing this without the stem attached to the bike, and that didn't seem to help, either.

    These handlebars are really getting scratched up, though, and I don't want to keep trying to force the issue.

    Please Help!

    Thanks,

    max



  2. #2
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic


    Removing the drop handlebars from an old Raleigh. They're covered in dried up tape adhesive. The stem is an old Raleigh style with 'GB' stamped on the sides. No matter how hard I try, though, the drops don't seem to budge past the part of the drop where the brake usually fastens. I'm starting to get a lot of aluminum shavings/filings from all of the twisting, and the bars just won't go past a certain point.

    Anyone out there have any good tips? I tried a little grease, and that didn't work at all. I also tried doing this without the stem attached to the bike, and that didn't seem to help, either.

    These handlebars are really getting scratched up, though, and I don't want to keep trying to force the issue.

    Please Help!

    Thanks,

    max





    I'm going to try and throw this back to the top of the list--just once--in hopes that my OP was just plain confusing.

    I'm trying to get drop handlebars off of a 70s Raleigh Grand Prix that still has its original Raleigh stem. I took off all of the handlebar tape and have been trying to extricate the bars from the stem. Unfortunately, once I get to the last bend in the bar, it won't budge. I'm asking for any advice on getting the bar the rest of the way out; do I need to completely remove the dry, crusty tape adhesive? It's no longer sticky at all, but I'm wondering if that is creating enough friction for it to be impossible to get the bars all the way off. Twisting the bar is scratching it up a lot.


  3. #3
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic


    I'm going to try and throw this back to the top of the list--just once--in hopes that my OP was just plain confusing.

    I'm trying to get drop handlebars off of a 70s Raleigh Grand Prix that still has its original Raleigh stem. I took off all of the handlebar tape and have been trying to extricate the bars from the stem. Unfortunately, once I get to the last bend in the bar, it won't budge. I'm asking for any advice on getting the bar the rest of the way out; do I need to completely remove the dry, crusty tape adhesive? It's no longer sticky at all, but I'm wondering if that is creating enough friction for it to be impossible to get the bars all the way off. Twisting the bar is scratching it up a lot.

    wedge the stem open a bit with a thick screwdriver blade.

  4. #4
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    wedge the stem open a bit with a thick screwdriver blade.



    Did that to get past the first bend (from the flat to the drop). This part, I'm getting no progress. How far can I safely wedge the stem open?


  5. #5
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic


    How far can I safely wedge the stem open?

    Duno, since I dont have my bloodshot eyeballs or grubby paws on it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Alright, this is getting ridiculous. The damn bars are sitting here almos out and looking really stupid not all the way out. I guess I'm just going to pry as far as I can and hope for the best.

    Thanks for the help, sydney. I'll just hope I can channel the spirit of your bloodshot eyeballs and grubby paws.


  7. #7
    Accident Just Happened
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    I just removed the handlebars on my raleigh, which is not as nice as yours. I didn't have any glue on mine, but they were tough to get off. You might want to get the glue off first, with sandpaper, a green scrubbie (my scrubbies are yellow, but whatever), or a rag and some mineral spirits (if you do this, be ventilated and dispose of the rag properly).

    I found that, besides spreading the stem clamp, the key is to feel it around. As you aproach the first curve, when you feel even the slightest resistance, back up, twist the stem, and try to move forward. eventually you will find the sweet spot and it will slide by. So when you get stuck, back up, twist, and come at it again. Through the last turn in the bars, I had to twist constantly in a specific pattern to get the stem off.


    I wouldn't worry about scratching up the bars...you're gonna tape them up anyway. If they're aluminum, you can probably rub them out with sandpaper first and then rubbing compound after.

    You shouldn't need to wedge the stem too far open, but I'm *guessing* that you shouldn't physically be able to open a quality stem too far without significant leverage.

  8. #8
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Put some coins in the gap & thread the binder bolt in from the back. As you tighten the bolt, the tip of the bolt will press against the coins, opening the gap. Sometimes this is the ONLY way to get old bars out of a road stem! If your stem doesn't have threads built into the stem or a hex-socket for the nut to rest in, put the nut in the gap and then the coin. Use "Goo-Gone" to remove old, cruddy stick. Also works fine. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for the added input, all. Good to know I'm not the only one with this particular problem. I don't know if this was a 'quality stem' or not, though it is the original from '74. Anyway, I found the trick--my girlfriend. I held the stem apart and had her weave the handlebars out. Worked great--just needed that extra bit of play in the stem.

    FarHorizon, now that I read your description, I remember reading it (I think somewhere on this forum.) Definitely more elegant than my own.

    BTW, in case y'alls are interested, I replaced the drops with some Nitto Moustache bars, and converted this bike to fixed. I totally dig the way it looks, and the weight is perfect for my fourth floor walk-up apt. here in Brooklyn!


  10. #10
    Accident Just Happened
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    I'd love to see yours...I clipped the bars on my Raleigh, put on a nice set of wheels, made it a fixed gear, and then crashed it. I'll get pictures up when it gets back from the doctor. I was thinking about the moustache bars, but I think I'll wait for a bike that's a little bit closer to what my real size is supposed to be.

  11. #11
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic
    I replaced the drops with some Nitto Moustache bars, and converted this bike to fixed.
    POST PHOTOS!

  12. #12
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Yeah, sorry. I have to get my girlfriend with something else--taking pics. She's got the camera, and right now, she has no more patience for me with the bike. And plus, I still have to put on the brakes (two for symmetry and ss riding if I/someone else needs it) and handlebar tape.

    I'll get pics up soon, though. I'm really looking forward to trying out the moustaches--they look just my speed.


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