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Old 04-24-08, 03:21 PM   #1
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Schwinn Sports Tourer stem

Hi all;

First time poster here in C & V.

I just got this '73 Sports Tourer which I'm going to restore. Although it's a 26" frame, the reach is a little short for me, so I'm thinking of getting a different, longer stem, and I'd also like wider bars. I'm checking out the Nittos "Technomic Road Bike Stem - 120mm x 25.4mm" which should be long enough, but I'm thinking the diameter will be too big.

My stem measures about 20mm or so, and the collar hole is about 22mm (ID).

I checked my stem for markings, and one side says "74 max," which I assume is the depth. The other side has something like "2" (over) "1553" (over) "463."

Make sense to anyone?

Thanks!

John






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Old 04-24-08, 03:47 PM   #2
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I think the 25.4mm in the Nitto Technomic spec is the diameter of the handlebar clamp, not the diameter of the stem. I just measured my Technomic stem and the diameter (OD) is 22.2mm.

The part number for the stem for your Sports Tourer is Schwinn p/n 55 616, which has a 21mm OD (the old 13/16" standard), so if the ID of the steerer tube is larger than 22.2mm, the Technomic stem should fit. If you have to use a stem with a 13/16" OD, Harris has some, but they're not Nitto Technomic; Harris' part number is SM242 and they're only available with an 80mm extension.

EDIT - Well, the fork for your Sports Tourer (2097-C) is "For handlebar stems with 13/16" (21mm) O.D.", so I don't think the 22.2mm Technomic stems will fit.

According to the Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery website, "American-style bikes have thicker steerer tubes than Euro bikes, so they take thinner stems. The usual diameter is 21.15 mm vs the British 22.2 mm size. The stems listed below are this size. Sorry we don't have more to choose from, but these are getting scarce (these are the SM242 stems I mentioned above)."

I just checked the QBP catalog, and all of the 1" quill stems are 22.2mm, so I'm not sure what to tell you except maybe browse the web for vintage bike parts vendors looking for 21mm quill stems.
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Old 04-24-08, 06:18 PM   #3
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John,

Welcome to C&V. Great to have you. I'm not certain, but I don't believe that is the original stem for your Sports Tourer. The big give away is the rust. The stem pictured looks more like the one from a Varsity. I say I can't be certain because I've never been in the presence of a Sports Tourer. But I have two of its close cousins, a '71 & '72 Super Sport, and they have an aluminum stem made in England which has an "S" on both sides, just behind the bar clamping ring. I believe the Sports Tourer had the same stem. Now with all that said, I wouldn't worry about ditching the one in your picture.

If you look closely in this picture you can just make out the "S" between the brake lever extension and the bar wrap.

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Old 04-24-08, 06:37 PM   #4
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Pastor Bob, you're right. The correct stem should look like Figure 1 with the embossed "S".

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Old 04-24-08, 07:34 PM   #5
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Thanks Scooper and pastorbob for the information.


I'm glad you went back and edited yourself Scooper, because after your original reply, I was about ready to go ahead and order the Nitto 120mm stem, and matching bars thinking they would fit. Whew!


My current, apparently non-original, stem is about 80mm long, so the extra 40 mm on the Nitto would definitely have helped a bit, but oh well.


So, I'm wondering: would getting a different seat post with more setback to make up the extra reach I need be a viable alternative?


Or what about those adjustable stems I've seen...was it was on one of the Paramount track bikes? They looked somewhat long. Do you think one of those would have the 13/16 width I need?


Obviously, I'm grasping at straws.

John
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Old 04-24-08, 07:46 PM   #6
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The 13/16s or 21mm stems are tough to find, especially in a long size.

Those old Paramount track stems will cost a pretty dime and I bet they are the larger size (but I might be wrong).

Have you looked at these stems at Harris? Here are three possibilities.
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/opc.html#stem
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Old 04-24-08, 08:10 PM   #7
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Incidentally, that non-original stem is from a late '70s/early '80s Varsity. Revised or not, this stem variant was more bend-prone then the originals, believe it or not - and just as heavy.

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Old 04-24-08, 08:22 PM   #8
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Another weird variation here. I have an alloy Schwinn stem that looks like the varsity cutaway type. I can check my stash tomorrow evening and see if I have a longer one with the 21mmm quill. On a side note, my 83 Le Tour has what looks like about a 100mm reach, and uses the smaller size. I think it's one of the SR models, the ones that say "custom" across the front.,,,,BD

EDIT; Just got out the calipers, it is a 100mm, a good 20mm longer than the varsity probably is. They're out there! I will keep an eye out for you.


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Old 04-24-08, 08:23 PM   #9
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Not to hijack this, but what ever became of your chrome Paramount, BD? You did better on it then I with my '70 by $200. I'm jealous

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Old 04-24-08, 08:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
John,

Welcome to C&V. Great to have you. I'm not certain, but I don't believe that is the original stem for your Sports Tourer. The big give away is the rust. The stem pictured looks more like the one from a Varsity. I say I can't be certain because I've never been in the presence of a Sports Tourer. But I have two of its close cousins, a '71 & '72 Super Sport, and they have an aluminum stem made in England which has an "S" on both sides, just behind the bar clamping ring. I believe the Sports Tourer had the same stem. Now with all that said, I wouldn't worry about ditching the one in your picture.

If you look closely in this picture you can just make out the "S" between the brake lever extension and the bar wrap.

Yup, that's a stem from a Varsity. The alloy stem with the "S" embossed on the side was used on the Super Sports, Sports Tourer as well as the "gas pipe" Continentals.

I'm currently building up a NOS Superior frame that I found on eBay. The Superior is what the the Sports Tourer was called for the last couple of years of production. Instead of messing around with the old 13/16 forks, I bought a modern 1 inch fork and headset. In order to get this setup to work, I had a machinist friend make some aluminum reducing shims for the head tube so I could install the ISO 1 inch headset cups. Now I can use any ISO standard stem for 1 inch forks.
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Old 04-24-08, 08:42 PM   #11
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Way too small unfortunately. The top tube hit near the middle of my thigh, lol. It got turned into $850 cash from one of my cohorts. My wife took $500 for savings, and I got the rest. With that I bought the blk R600 C'dale, and the parts to finish it. It's in pretty good hands though. My friend Jerome, who is on here sometimes. He's a near expert on bmx resto's, and has already got a decal set from Waterford. Once he gets done I'll get him to post some pics. It was a fine machine, but I felt like a gorillla on a tricycle, lol.,,,,BD
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Old 04-24-08, 08:55 PM   #12
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At the risk of being laughed off of C&V, I wonder just how heretical it would be to put a Nitto Technomic stem on a lath and take off 0.6mm off the radius. I'd think any competent machine shop could do that.
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Old 04-24-08, 09:06 PM   #13
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At the risk of being laughed off of C&V, I wonder just how heretical it would be to put a Nitto Technomic stem on a lath and take off 0.6mm off the radius. I'd think any competent machine shop could do that.
It would be easier to ream the inside of the steer tube. That way you could use any standard 1 inch quill stem you desired.
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Old 04-24-08, 09:10 PM   #14
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Way too small unfortunately. The top tube hit near the middle of my thigh, lol. It got turned into $850 cash from one of my cohorts. My wife took $500 for savings, and I got the rest. With that I bought the blk R600 C'dale, and the parts to finish it.
Traitor!

Interested in a rusty, all-chrome, early '76 Schwinn Voyageur II?

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Old 04-24-08, 09:20 PM   #15
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It would be easier to ream the inside of the steer tube. That way you could use any standard 1 inch quill stem you desired.
Good point. You're right, that would be easier and better.
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Old 04-24-08, 09:26 PM   #16
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Not necessarily - depending on how much Schwinn centered their drilling, you might find that you'll ream right through the locknut washer slot.

Curiously enough though, I have evidence of Schwinn reaming one of their own 21.1 FORKS out to 22.2. Apparently, the AVA bar and stem on my '71 Schwinn Continental weren't Schwinn's standard bag of parts - sure enough, the fork was reamed out to 22.2, and there's a small (offset, no less) ledge in the steer tube to prove it (also proves that they didn't ream it out properly).

I ultimately used a donor fork on that bike, which came in the Schwinn standard 21.1 size.

As for your machine, if you want to use a stem other then stock, just haunt eBay. Many machines into the '80s used 21.1 stems, especially some of the nicer department store machines with their SR Custom stems. Another case - I recently pulled a Gran Compe stem out of a Nishiki. Very nice stem usually on better mid-range machines. Sure enough, 21.1.

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Old 04-24-08, 09:53 PM   #17
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I thought I just found one. It's a 77 110mm Raleigh stem from a Super Grand Prix. It has the step down and everything. I tried the caliper, and even with the machined down quill it was still 22.2. Weirdness.,,,,BD
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Old 04-25-08, 04:47 AM   #18
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I guess we could re-name this thread, "Stem Maddness"
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Old 04-25-08, 05:00 AM   #19
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Not necessarily - depending on how much Schwinn centered their drilling, you might find that you'll ream right through the locknut washer slot.

Curiously enough though, I have evidence of Schwinn reaming one of their own 21.1 FORKS out to 22.2. Apparently, the AVA bar and stem on my '71 Schwinn Continental weren't Schwinn's standard bag of parts - sure enough, the fork was reamed out to 22.2, and there's a small (offset, no less) ledge in the steer tube to prove it (also proves that they didn't ream it out properly).

I ultimately used a donor fork on that bike, which came in the Schwinn standard 21.1 size.

As for your machine, if you want to use a stem other then stock, just haunt eBay. Many machines into the '80s used 21.1 stems, especially some of the nicer department store machines with their SR Custom stems. Another case - I recently pulled a Gran Compe stem out of a Nishiki. Very nice stem usually on better mid-range machines. Sure enough, 21.1.

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"Centered their drilling"? Dude what are talking about? Do you think that steer tubes are made from solid bar stock?

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Old 04-25-08, 05:20 AM   #20
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"Centered their drilling"? Dude what are talking about? Do think that steer tubes are made from solid bar stock?
Steer tube manufactured in 21.1, centered correctly. Schwinn drills/reams/etc. out to 22.2 and a half-moon shaped ledge is visible halfway down the tube. That's offset to me.

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Old 04-25-08, 06:02 AM   #21
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Steer tube manufactured in 21.1, centered correctly. Schwinn drills/reams/etc. out to 22.2 and a half-moon shaped ledge is visible halfway down the tube. That's offset to me.

-Kurt
I really doubt Schwinn did that at the factory. Sounds more like a bike shop hack to me. Any COMPETENT machinist can easily ream the inside the steer tube without buggering it.

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Old 04-25-08, 06:05 AM   #22
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

Quote:
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It got turned into $850 cash from one of my cohorts. My wife took $500 for savings, and I got the rest
Boy does that sound familiar. Except the percentage of my cut is always substantially smaller.


Well, it looks like my options are narrowed down thusly:

1. Ream out the steerer tube to 22.2, and then the Nitto long-reach stem would fit.

How hard would this be? Could I do it with a hand-drill and large bit? Or would I have to go to a machine shop?


2. Buy the Nitto long-reach stem and grind off 1.1 mm, and then it would fit in my steerer tube.

Could I do this with a standard work-bench buffer/grinder, or would that be too imprecise?


3. Get that "stem-raiser-adapter" which pastorbob linked from Harris (for $19.95), and then the Nitto long-reach stem would fit inside that.

The only problem is the resultant stem + adaptor might end up being a bit too high for me.


4. Keep an eye out for vintage 21.1 stems, with longer (110-130mm) reaches.

Assuming they made them that long, which hopefully they did.


By the way, this thing rides so smoothly, I can't believe it, even better than my modern Bianchi steelie. Talk about absorbing the road!



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Old 04-25-08, 06:30 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys.



Boy does that sound familiar. Except the percentage of my cut is always substantially smaller.


Well, it looks like my options are narrowed down thusly:

1. Ream out the steerer tube to 22.2, and then the Nitto long-reach stem would fit.

How hard would this be? Could I do it with a hand-drill and large bit? Or would I have to go to a machine shop?


2. Buy the Nitto long-reach stem and grind off 1.1 mm, and then it would fit in my steerer tube.

Could I do this with a standard work-bench buffer/grinder, or would that be too imprecise?


3. Get that "stem-raiser-adapter" which pastorbob linked from Harris (for $19.95), and then the Nitto long-reach stem would fit inside that.

The only problem is the resultant stem + adaptor might end up being a bit too high for me.


4. Keep an eye out for vintage 21.1 stems, with longer (110-130mm) reaches.

Assuming they made them that long, which hopefully they did.


By the way, this thing rides so smoothly, I can't believe it, even better than my modern Bianchi steelie. Talk about absorbing the road!



John
DO NOT grind the Nitto stem! All you are going to do is ruin a perfectly good stem. DO NOT attempt to drill out the steer tube by hand. You will not be able to keep it centered. Take your forks to a small mom and pop machine shop, and have the machinist ream the steer tube for you -- $20-$30 bucks tops.
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Old 04-25-08, 07:57 AM   #24
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Well, it looks like I might end up having to do that, fissile, which is not really the direction I was hoping to go.

Pastorbob, when you say don't worry about ditching my current stem, do you mean it is inadvisible to ditch it, and so I should stick with it --- or that it wouldn't be too difficult to ditch it, and find another stem?

Thanks,

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Old 04-25-08, 08:02 AM   #25
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I can check my stash tomorrow evening and see if I have a longer one with the 21mmm quill.
That'd be great, BD!

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