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Old 08-18-06, 12:48 AM   #1
gravyboat
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Please help this idiot tighten handlebars

This is embarrassing but what can I say- I can't figure this out and until I do I can't ride. I apologize if I'm not using the correct terms and hope you can follow this.

I bought an old Specialized Hardrock Classic at a garage sale last weekend. Everything works fine but I wanted to raise the handlebar pole. So I loosened the bolt on top with an Allen wrench, raised it, then tried to tighten the bolt.

No go. I thought I was misaligned or something but no- the bolt wasn't reaching the threads. I was late for something so I thought I'd just lower the pole to the original position (which is the lowest it can go), tighten it up and ride off.

I still couldn't reach the threads. Now I think I'm going nuts. I removed the pole and peered in with a flashlight and see the opening where I assume the bolt threads into. It's way, way down there. So I grab a tape and measure from the opening where the pole goes in to the hole where the bolt threads into.

That distance is 5.5 inches. The bolt is 6.5 inches. But when the pole is put back in, there's also 2.5 inches from the top of the pole (where the top of the bolt sits) to the opening where the pole goes in. I'm no mathematician, but that seems to mean that the bolt has to be a little longer than 2.5 + 5.5 = 8 inches long.

Or else it means that I'm missing something here- or maybe dropped a part? Any suggestions would be appreciated as I really want to start riding this bike.
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Old 08-18-06, 01:17 AM   #2
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Ok first, is it a threadless or threaded headset? Seems like form your description that it's a threaded system.

If so, you can probably just turn the bike upside down and put some sort of stick down the fork and push the semi stuck wedge towards the "bottom", the bolt should lock on really easily, or the wedge will fall out completely.

If threadless, uh someone else can help you out with that. If you can post a picture of the stem area that'd clear up a lot of stuff.
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Old 08-18-06, 02:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, operator. I'm not exactly what you mean by "threaded or threadless headset," but the bolt which seems to hold the position (height) of the headset pole is threaded.

Okay, so you're saying that there's a wedge inside the frame into which the bolt threads? And that this may have slipped down, so if I turn the bike over I can push the wedge back "up" into a position where the bolt can reach it?

I'll give it a go in the morning. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-18-06, 02:19 AM   #4
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Just take the small wedge completely out of the frame, thread it on to the stem bolt a couple of turns and slide that into the steerer tube. You just loosened the bolt too far, and the wedge fell to the bottom of the tube. Once you see it all together, you'll understand.
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Old 08-18-06, 02:21 AM   #5
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Just take the small wedge completely out of the frame, thread it on to the stem bolt a couple of turns and slide that into the steerer tube. You just loosened the bolt too far, and the wedge fell to the bottom of the tube. Once you see it all together, you'll understand.
This might help:
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Old 08-18-06, 02:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyboat
Thanks for the reply, operator. I'm not exactly what you mean by "threaded or threadless headset," but the bolt which seems to hold the position (height) of the headset pole is threaded.

Okay, so you're saying that there's a wedge inside the frame into which the bolt threads? And that this may have slipped down, so if I turn the bike over I can push the wedge back "up" into a position where the bolt can reach it?

I'll give it a go in the morning. Much appreciated.
Exactly. See picture posted above.
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Old 08-18-06, 12:25 PM   #7
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I am still an idiot

operator and sivat, thanks for sticking with me here. I appreciate the photo- this is exactly the setup. I followed your instructions and now I can ride to work today.

Next up: How do I inflate the tires? Just kidding. Thanks very much.
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