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  1. #1
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    DIY Stem Shim for 1" steerer

    Yesterday I order a 26" wheel fork with disc mount and 1" threadless steerer. After this I realise that stem for 1" threadless column are practically extinct. And the solution to my problem would be a shim. It's less than 10$ no big deal. But I was just curious if anyone of you have experience with this can I craft a "home-made" shim from cans or even a section or a 1 1/8 steerer? *pause* Ok just received an email from the shop they stock shim but i'm curious.

  2. #2
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    Shims to allow the use of 1-1/8" stems on 1" steerers are very common and, indeed, many 1-1/8" stems include one as standard equipment. Your bike shop should have a bunch of extras and should charge very little. Just be sure the shim's height matches the clamp height of your stem or can be shortened to match. The advantage of getting a stem with the shim included is that the heights are always correct.

  3. #3
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    Just spend the money for the correct shim. The steerer is too critical to safe riding to mess around with homebrew fixes when the correct part is cheap and readily available. Having handlebars come loose in your hands is only funny in the cartoons.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Well home made with a home machine shop , is a rare situation, buy the shim, if not so equipped.

    (+ you happened to have a piece of Al tubing sitting around. 1 1/16" wall .
    1" ID. 9/8" OD. )
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-28-12 at 09:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Well home made with a home machine shop , is a rare situation, buy the shim, if not so equipped.
    Why on earth even consider making one when the proper commercial shim is so cheap?

  6. #6
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    The shim has a 1-1/8" OD and 1" ID (1/16" wall) which is exactly what most 1-1/8" steel steerers have (some have thinner walls) So if you have a dead 1-1/8" fork kicking around check the ID (you can simply slip your fork into the end as a quick check, it should be a tight slip fit), and it it's a pass you have the right material for a shim. Simply saw off a section, and split it down one side and you're good to go.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  7. #7
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    FBinNY that is what I was thinking. That a bunch. Thank you all.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Just anticipate Rust.. given its steel..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Just anticipate Rust.. given its steel..
    +1 All of the shims I've seen are aluminum and compatible with aluminum stems. If you use a section of steel steerer consider painting it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    +1 All of the shims I've seen are aluminum and compatible with aluminum stems. If you use a section of steel steerer consider painting it.
    \
    Gee, lets see.... We've been using steel forks with aluminum stems for how many decades??. Yes it's steel, and yes, of course it may rust, but that's easily prevented with a film of grease or oil all the way around.

    However, I advise the OP to cut it about 1/8" shorter than the stem so it's recessed at both ends, and therefore doesn't have to be perfectly square. Also be sure the slots line up so you get good clamping action.

    BTW- I'm not surer 'd bother if a decently cheap shim were readily available, but knowing something is practical is different than deciding to do it. That decision is up to the user.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    \
    Gee, lets see.... We've been using steel forks with aluminum stems for how many decades??. Yes it's steel, and yes, of course it may rust, but that's easily prevented with a film of grease or oil all the way around.

    However, I advise the OP to cut it about 1/8" shorter than the stem so it's recessed at both ends, and therefore doesn't have to be perfectly square. Also be sure the slots line up so you get good clamping action.

    BTW- I'm not surer 'd bother if a decently cheap shim were readily available, but knowing something is practical is different than deciding to do it. That decision is up to the user.
    All true but it seems to me "much ado about nothing". The real things are available at any bike shop at low cost and of proper thickness. Why make it more difficult? It's like fietsbob's comment about making one in a machine shop?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    All true but it seems to me "much ado about nothing". The real things are available at any bike shop at low cost and of proper thickness. Why make it more difficult? It's like fietsbob's comment about making one in a machine shop?
    I don't always post what people should do, only what they can or can't do, and in some cases what I strongly feel they shouldn't do. Of course, just because one can do something, doesn't mean it's practical.

    If the OP had shown where he lives in his profile and it was in a major US market, I would have suggested buying one locally. But many who ask this kind of question live where stuff can be harder to find. I sell Chain-L all over Russia, and average transit time is 8 weeks. So imagine if the OP were to have ordered a stem, waited 8 weeks for it to arrive, then discovered his error. Should he pay a second postage and wait another 8 weeks, or should he cut up an old fork just gathering dust?

    So whether something like this is much ado about nothing, or a serious effort to get a bike rolling when other options aren't great really depends on circumstances.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  13. #13
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    I was just asking because I,m bored as hell in my cubic office. I know stem shim are around 5$-10$. When riding back home yesterday I was thinking about that cut off 1 1/8 steerer I know it's steel and at first I was thinking that grease will prevent rust. Right, It will prevent rust, but maybe the stem will slip too so maybe a little coat of paint will do fine. Anyway the case is close because yesterday I tipped the bin of stem over at my local coop I found the last specimen of 1" stem. It's steel and not aluminium but it will do fine. No need to machine a shim.

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