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  1. #1
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    lefty-loosey....

    Apologies in advance for this basic question.

    I'm trying to adjust my handbars and the bolt is so darn tight that I can't tell if I'm loosening it or tightening it. (at least I know it will stay in place).

    Looking down at the top of the handbars, facing the back of the bike (wheel held with my legs), seat in front of me, which direction do I turn?

    [edit: just to be clear, the bolt is on the underside of the stem]

    Thanks again.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
    Apologies in advance for this basic question.

    I'm trying to adjust my handbars and the bolt is so darn tight that I can't tell if I'm loosening it or tightening it. (at least I know it will stay in place).

    Looking down at the top of the handbars, facing the back of the bike (wheel held with my legs), seat in front of me, which direction do I turn?

    [edit: just to be clear, the bolt is on the underside of the stem]

    Thanks again.

    If the bolt head is facing away from you, turn it clockwise to loosen (opposite of "lefty loosey" rule). You can prove this to yourself by going under the bars and look directly at the bolt head.

    Another way to remember or verify is to use the "right hand rule". Hold your right hand as if you are hitchhiking. If you were to operate the wrench in the direction with which your finger curls, the fastener (bolt, screw, nut...) will advance in the direction of your thumb.

    (Note, the "lefty loosey" rule applies to "right hand threads". There are a few components, like one of the pedals and bottom bracket which are the opposite "left hand threads". On the wrench flats of your pedal, you might see an "L" stamped into it, indicating "left hand threads".)

  3. #3
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    If the bolt-head is facing away from me, turn clockwise. I assume that means that if it's facing me, turn counter-clockwise.

    Gonna go try it now.

    THANKS!!!!

    (I hate to post these simple questions, but, I knew that bit about different thread directions. It would be my luck that I would turn it in the direction to make it tighter if I didn't ask.)
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  4. #4
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Reverse threads are only used to counter a constant rotation, like that of the wheels or crank. Stems don't rotate.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    Reverse threads are only used to counter a constant rotation, like that of the wheels or crank. Stems don't rotate.
    Well, they're not SUPPOSED to rotate.

  6. #6
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Well, they're not SUPPOSED to rotate.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  7. #7
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    turn the bike upside-down and sit it on the bars/saddle. Now, you can look at the bolt.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

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