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Old 02-11-09, 12:50 PM   #1
Allegheny Jet 
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Stem lenght question

I getting parts together to put my 1972 Raliegh Supercourse back on the road. Over the years I have not been kind to the original quill stem and used a hammer to free it more than once leaveing dents on the top. I have looked on line and can purchase higher quality NOS stems that will look nice on the bike. I want to purchase the same size stem but don't know exactly how to measure the original. I assume that the angles will be close on most of the stems available. To determine the length of the stem do I measure from the center of the quill bolt hole to the center of the opening that secures the bar? Last night I did a rough measurement using a tape measure and came up with a little less than 95 mm. The original frame measurement was 21.5 inches for the seat tube (I don't remember any other measurement done in 1972). That stem size would seem a little short based on the 56 cm frames I now ride on.
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Old 02-11-09, 12:53 PM   #2
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Nitto is the best bet. The wedge is a good quality that won't snap nearly as easy as others. If it measures 95MM it is probably a 100MM stem. If you want a little more reach try a 110.
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Old 02-11-09, 12:59 PM   #3
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You might want to take a measurement from the saddle (try to measure from where your bones sit) to the bars and compare that to your other bikes that you feel comfortable on. Depending on top tube length, you won't necessarily need/want the same length stem.
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Old 02-11-09, 01:07 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Allegheny Jet;8343810Over the years I have not been kind to the original quill stem and used a hammer to free it more than once leaveing dents on the top.[/QUOTE]

A few weeks ago, someone posted a link to some Japanese bike builders and there was a ball peen hammer "hammered" stem. Looked great. Might as well take that hammer and hammer that crap out of it!
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Old 02-11-09, 01:13 PM   #5
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A few weeks ago, someone posted a link to some Japanese bike builders and there was a ball peen hammer "hammered" stem. Looked great. Might as well take that hammer and hammer that crap out of it!
I've got a good start.

Thanks for the advice and Nitto brand. The fit of the bike was always good and I hope to keep it the same. So, am I correct in that to measure a stem the distance is from the center of the bolt to the center of the bar?
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Old 02-11-09, 03:56 PM   #6
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as far as I can tell,different manufacturers measure it differently. I think most measure center to center but some of them measure along the stem, others measure at 90 degrees to the quill, believe it or not. depending on the angle of the stem, this can make a difference in the length of the stem.

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Old 02-11-09, 03:59 PM   #7
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I've got the original stem from my 73 super course that you can have for the price of postage if you like.

Let me know and I'll send you a pic to see if you want it.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:33 PM   #8
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I've got the original stem from my 73 super course
You Super Course aficionados are amazing. I bought mine in 1970 and could hardly wait to get rid of it.

Goes to show, one man's meat is another man's poison.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:15 PM   #9
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You Super Course aficionados are amazing. I bought mine in 1970 and could hardly wait to get rid of it.

Goes to show, one man's meat is another man's poison.
I couldn't get a SuperCourse in 1970, and had to settle for a Gitane. I couldn't wait to get rid of that either!
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Old 02-12-09, 01:11 PM   #10
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You Super Course aficionados are amazing. I bought mine in 1970 and could hardly wait to get rid of it.

Goes to show, one man's meat is another man's poison.
As a college student in 1973, $200 was a huge investment, although minimual, for a entry level race bike with tubulars at the time.

Years later, after the tubs were gone, the Brooks' worn out and the Stronglight Crank,(why did they use the word 'light' for solid steel billets?) freewheel and chain mounted on my family room wall the bike still brings back memories. The ride of a 531 hand made frame is silk compared to my CAAD 3, CF Roubaix Expert and Trek cross bike. I want it all back, with it's DT shifters, 10 speeds, chorme lugs and silky smooth tubs. I still have the original brakes but may go with something more areo and modern so I can ride the hoods.
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