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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-31-07, 08:53 PM   #1
jonnyboy77
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Newbie Stem Question

First post in the mechanics thread, please be gentle ...

I did some searches on this topic and read a few posts, but I am still not quite sure what applies to me.

The question. How do I get from this stem:



to something like this stem:



My bike is a newly acquired late 90's Trek 7500 (not sure on exact year though) and it has the rather ugly looking hybrid style stem, and I am looking to replace it with something more 'modern looking', and then swap out the handlebar with a flatter item too.

I am assuming I will have to purchase something like this:



and this:



and then add some handlebars?

I have also seen the stem adapters? would this be a sensible option? I am unclear on what work would be required to make the full transition and conversely I am unclear on the pros/cons of using an adapter such as this one:



As you can see i am a little confused. Any help appreciated!

Thanks

Jon
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Old 07-31-07, 09:23 PM   #2
_dhan_
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get the stem adapter. make sure it's the right size. they come made for either 1" and 1 1/8" steerer tubes.

to get an understanding of how everything goes together, you need to start with threaded (what you have) and threadless (2nd pic) forks. this determines what type of headset and stem are used. quill stems slide into the steerer tube of threaded forks. modern stems clamp onto the outside of the steerer tube of threadless forks. the stem adapter slides into the steerer tube of a threaded fork, acting like a quill stem but allowing you to attach whatever newfangled stem you like.

the other option to get a "modern looking" setup would be to replace the fork, headset, and stem.
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Old 08-01-07, 03:09 PM   #3
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I have done more research on this, and have a better understanding of threaded vs threadless headsets. My next move is to confirm what I suspect and dismantle the front end of the bike.

Once this is done I will price up the options and make a decision. Threaded to Threadless (style) adapter $17 from Jenson + plus stem and bar costs - or new fork, headset, stem and bar .... hmm.

Jon
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Old 08-02-07, 05:22 AM   #4
ang1sgt
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Jon,

Any reason other than LOOKS? The old style headset and stem combos work just fine and are still in use today. Why change it if it is working? To do it right, it will cost a bit of money and you will also need some tools and further knowledge of these systems before you really get into it.

Good Luck
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Old 08-02-07, 07:02 AM   #5
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another thing to consider is that quill stems (and adapters) make it VERY easy to adjust handlebar height. with threadless, once you cut the steerer, you are limited in adjustability. if you go threadless, get a bunch of spacers and ride around a couple of weeks to find the most comfortable height before cutting.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:14 AM   #6
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+1 on why do it if it is only for looks. Better off in the long run to save your money for a newer ride.

The adapter route will be cheaper and have fewer chances of installation problems than the new fork route.

Do a little research on the fork, it can change how the bike handles. You could consider a shock if you wanted.

You can leave the steerer long permanently and use spacers. It will give you more options and allow for some vertical adjustment of your bars. It is not as clean looking but it is more flexible.
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Old 08-30-07, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ang1sgt View Post
Jon,

Any reason other than LOOKS? The old style headset and stem combos work just fine and are still in use today. Why change it if it is working? To do it right, it will cost a bit of money and you will also need some tools and further knowledge of these systems before you really get into it.

Good Luck
I managed to procure a Trek Steel threadless fork from a 7200FX bike, so I may well go down the threadless route now.

It's not just looks, although the quill stem setup I have is super UGLY. I also find the quill setup today, and I have in the past, found them very 'creeky' I am looking at tuning it up to see if I can cure this, but with the arrival of the new fork I might just do the new front end anyway.

I also opted to chat to my local bike shop to see if they would entertain doing this for me, and also supplying the headset, stem and handlebar from their Bontrager catalog to keep it looking stock.

Thanks for your comments so far.

Jon
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Old 08-30-07, 07:48 PM   #8
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You should have no creaking, and you can fix that. Grease and more torque is usually the answer. I have no creak on any of my threaded setups.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:25 AM   #9
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You should have no creaking, and you can fix that. Grease and more torque is usually the answer. I have no creak on any of my threaded setups.
I can actually see the stem part of the setup flexing when it creaks, its not a very sturdy setup and has a split to accommodate what looks like a rubber bush.

Jon
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