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  1. #1
    Senior Member shnibop's Avatar
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    What era is this stem from? AVA. Death Stem?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/AVA-Stem-Classic...item41561cf415

    considering this for a build (68/69 LeJeune), but not sure if it would be somewhat period correct.

    22mm base? to fit a french headset/fork.

    is this a "death stem" model, with 2 slots?

    alex

  2. #2
    Senior Member Capecodder's Avatar
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    22.0mm is correct for a French stem, but I thought they all had a 25.0mm clamp area, but I could be wrong......
    Amy, I'll always remember you...... I miss you so much, for you filled my days with so much joy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    shnibop,
    I have a very similar AVA stem that NLerner traded me. He told me it was not a "death stem". I trust him. The clamp bolt design is just like the one to which you linked. I did not measure that stem's clamp area, but it has a Japanese randonneur bar in it as we speak. I can only assume that that bar has a 25.4mm diameter. I have seen more modern French stems with 25.4mm clamps and, of course, Cinelli sold stems with 22.0 diameters that accepted a 26.4mm handlebar.
    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 01-19-11 at 03:24 PM.
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  4. #4
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    You trusted me?! Bwahahahahahahah!

    The AVA death stem has an open back and lots of hollowness. From Sheldon Brown:



    Neal

  5. #5
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    So the original stem from my '72 Jeunet "has a reputation for failure and should be replaced immediately"? But I polished it and everything. It has an opening in the back showing it's hollowness. I think it's an Atax, though. It has a little star on it.



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  6. #6
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    Yes, send it to me immediately for proper disposal. In fact, don't even remove it from the bike--just send the whole thing.

    Neal

  7. #7
    grad stud. dashuaigeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    You trusted me?! Bwahahahahahahah!

    The AVA death stem has an open back and lots of hollowness. From Sheldon Brown:



    Neal
    I have a 3ttt stem from the same era with a very similar design, with lots of hollowness and open back - should I be wary of this as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Durability is an understatement. After a nuclear apocalypse, all that will remain will be roaches and Schwinn Varsities.

  8. #8
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    All variants of AVA stems w/single expander cutouts and no relief holes are destined to fail at the quill. This includes the 1980's variants that have a revised clamp design.

    Late 1970's and 1980's ATAX (Cinelli 1A-copy) stems often have voids and are prone to cracks.

    -Kurt

  9. #9
    grad stud. dashuaigeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    All variants of AVA stems w/a single expander cutout and no relief hole is destined to fail.

    -Kurt
    My teeth thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Durability is an understatement. After a nuclear apocalypse, all that will remain will be roaches and Schwinn Varsities.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashuaigeh View Post
    My teeth thank you.
    Meh. Surely it wouldn't fail on you, Jesse.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown said that all of the AVA stuff has a reputation for breaking and should be replaced. That includes AVA bars. He didn't restrict it to the particular style in the picture. I also saw in an old thread where he said that all French stems should be replaced. I'm not willing to go that far.

  12. #12
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    Has anyone seen these things break or a picture of it broken?

  13. #13
    French threaded PDXaero's Avatar
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    I took the picture that is on velobase of a cracked death stem. At least I think its still up.
    Sheldons reference has been previously disregaurded as a safty sentiment only. - if you don't know if its dangerous, you should replace it just to be careful.
    Aside from this, I have only seen failure in the 2-slot versions. I use (and occasionaly inspect) an AVA stem with 25.4 clamp and one slot. Also I have never heard of the later "open-face" AVA stem having any issue.
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  14. #14
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Here's a link to GitaneUSA about French death stems. No photos of the AVA but some good info.
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport; 1975 Teledyne Titan;1984 Peugeot PSV10N; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1977 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 or 1994 Scott Comp Racing mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1980's Peugeot Limestone hybrid;

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  15. #15
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    Cool. I"ve been reading about it and I just happen to have a quill 22.2 stem that I can sand down. But I want it to have the original look. I probably won't be hammering on the bike anytime soon.
    That's good to know though.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scozim View Post
    Here's a link to GitaneUSA about French death stems. No photos of the AVA but some good info.
    One man's opinion.

  17. #17
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    That includes AVA bars.
    Correct. I have yet to see an AVA bar that isn't bent lower on one side from rider weight than the other.

    -Kurt

  18. #18
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    One man's opinion.
    Agreed - just provided as input. It's more prudent to periodically check the stems to make sure issues aren't developing.

    I would agree with you that I wouldn't go as far as Sheldon did with his opinion either.
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  19. #19
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    Sheldon Brown said that all of the AVA stuff has a reputation for breaking and should be replaced. That includes AVA bars. He didn't restrict it to the particular style in the picture. I also saw in an old thread where he said that all French stems should be replaced. I'm not willing to go that far.
    Perhaps the entire country should be replaced? That would surely be too far...
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  20. #20
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    I have seen a number of cracked and broken stems of various brands.There is always a lot of talk about the so called Ava death stems. Considering the frequency that these supposedly fail you would think there would be a lot of pictures,but i seldom see any,so I tend to be a bit skeptical. As a matter of fact there seems to be little agreement on which models are the death stems.However here are a few pics of an Ava stem that has a scary looking crack.This style which has the vertical bolt is the style which i tend to be wary of.I do not know if this style is the supposed death stem.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
    ....There is always a lot of talk about the so called Ava death stems. Considering the frequency that these supposedly fail you would think there would be a lot of pictures,but i seldom see any,so I tend to be a bit skeptical. ....
    +1

    My death stem has not cracked in 40 years. That could change tomorrow, but a lot of other things could happen too.

    - Auchen

  22. #22
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I used one of these on my wife's Bottecchia mixte build. Now you guys got me all worried. I even polished it all up.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    It only takes a few people saying "Death stems", "Death fork", "Death Frame"....."Death bike", then all of the sudden it's taken as fact by everyone and their kittens! I suspect that they might have cracked as shown but most likely most of them did not crack any further than that for most people.

    Chombi
    Last edited by Chombi; 01-20-11 at 01:12 AM.

  24. #24
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    COMING TO A BICYCLE SHOP NEAR YOU:

    The all NEW Titan Teledyne with Viscount Aerospace Pro aluminum fork. Fitted with AVA stem and bars, Simplex Prestige front and rear derailers, non-stress-relieved Record crankarms, drillium seatpost, and no warranty.

    Please bring a valid $1,000,000 life insurance policy with you when you make your purchase.

    -Kurt

  25. #25
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Here's the same stem mounted to my '62 Continental. Still smiling after 49 years.

    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

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