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  1. #1
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    Why are there (virtually) no ahead cro-mo / cromo /crmo/ cromoly stems on the market?

    I'm just curious why there are like no ahead cro-mo stems on the market? I understand that some people who have the need to zip around or commute 50 miles a day worry about weight and perhaps this tiny 3inch part would mess up their setup if it was cro-mo. However surely at least a few major companies would include a version in their line? Even bmx companies for whatever reason are happy to use cro-mo for the forks, frame and handlebars (which are MUCH larger and therefore heavier than a stem) but they always resort to an CNC Aluminum stem instead.

    I've found some quill cro-mo (or more likely hi-ten) stems and a 110mm 0 degree rise unbranded chrome coloured cro-mo stem but that's about it. No choice in a riser stem, or a short stem like your typical bmx stem or for a standard black colour.

    Anyway, I guess this is kind of a rant but I was wondering if there's some sort of mechanical reason no-one seems to offer these on the entire internet (UK searches in my case). Cro-mo handlebars are touted for how strong and reliable/'bomb-proof' they are. However surely when someone is pulling up aggressively on their bars for whatever reason, a massive amount of pressure is also been exerted on the stem which would therefore benefit from being made of the same material?

    Cheers

    p.s. I've had to type cromolly in so many ways because even the various manufacturers can't seem to decide how to refer to it which makes searching for those parts especially tricky.
    Last edited by the watcher; 02-27-11 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Salsa used to be the goto for crmo stems but the recalls put the kibosh on that action.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  3. #3
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Nitto, Tioga, UBI, Salsa only recalled some of their cromo stems not all, Sinz Pro, Sunlite, just to name a few.

  4. #4
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    Nitto was the chrome coloured 0 degree 110mm (or was it 120mm?) stem which I'd seen, although they hadn't even deigned to say whether is was 1 1/8th threadless ahead or not. I'll look into the others although the UK distributor linked from Salsa's site doesn't sell any crmo stems now.
    Thanks


    edit: Sinz Racing haven't even bothered saying what material they use on their (admittedly) nicely designed site:
    The first front-loading, hollow-forged stem made for BMX, Sinz Pro Lite stems are some of the lightest and strongest BMX stems available. Hollow forging results in a much stronger and more reliable stem than CNC machining does. Pro Lite stems fit 1 1/8” steerer tubes, come in 50- or 55-millimeter lengths and are available in four colors.
    The comparison to CNC machining implies an Aluminum Alloy though.

    Nothing coming up with a search in google for: cr-mo tioga stem (unless you meant all of those use cr-mo BOLTS. I meant the actual material for the stem should be crmo)

    Sunlite: couple of chrome coloured steel (hi ten?) stems available if I order from the USA. Most results seem to be quill. Couple of threadless models. Suitable one is 22.2mm which is quite a difference from my current 31.8mm handlebars. I don't mind going down to 25.4mm bars if necessary but 22 is too much since my gear and brake shifters/leavers would end up needing shims (or shim for the bars).

    Ubi: Similar result to Sunlite. Like i said, there's a gap in the market here with no-one proviing a decent range (with various options for colour, size, steering diameter) with cr-mo materials for stem AND hardware, not just the hardware (bolts).

    So far the best solution is a bar and stem combo where it's welded into one body. However these again are very limited in the choices for dimensions, colours etc.
    Last edited by the watcher; 02-27-11 at 06:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=the watcher;12288964edit: Sinz Racing haven't even bothered saying what material they use on their (admittedly) nicely designed site:


    The comparison to CNC machining implies an Aluminum Alloy though[/QUOTE]

    Or they could be implying that steel is stronger and more reliable then CNC machining on aluminum is.

  6. #6
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Salsa only recalled some of their cromo stems not all
    This is true, however they seem to have stopped selling them after the recall last year. Fingers crossed they can get things sorted and offer them again. I really like my Salsa stem.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Or they could be implying that steel is stronger and more reliable then CNC machining on aluminum is.
    Fair enough. I'll send an email to Sinz and get back to you. Hopefully it will be good news

    Here's one online review of it though:
    Construction is on the Sinz Pro Lite stem is front loading, hollow, forged alloy. The overall quality is pretty good, however we don’t like the bolts. This is an imported stem,and as such comes with the cheaper grade bolts. These bolts are common on may imported stems and they have a tendency to strip very easily and dolt bite as well as grade 8 chromolly bolts found on US made stems.

    If you are trying to build a super lite bike, this stem will help you shave off a lot of weight. But we would recommend using aftermarket bolts like those made by 43 Hardware. If you really want to go crazy you can get the hollow bolts.

    This stem is available in a very cool bead blast black finish, or a high gloss white. Retail is about $60, which is a bit high for an imported stem, but is the lightest stem you can by, so if your really concerned about weight, it is a good choice.

    Sinz Racing
    Everytime I've seen "Alloy" in the description of a stem it referred to 6061 Aluminum
    Last edited by the watcher; 02-27-11 at 06:45 PM.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can hire custom made Tig welded stems from many frame builders .

    cheaper cost mass produced ones seem to be replaced by aluminum ,
    as it scales up to automated production better.

  9. #9
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You can hire custom made Tig welded stems from many frame builders.
    Or lugged...

    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info. Does anyone know of any reputable custom builders in UK who won't charge the Earth? Otherwise I quite like the look of the Nitto CT-80 100mm (Cromolly) or the Nitto Lugged Stem. Leaning towards the latter since I wanted an upright ride and since I don't seem to have any choice in a mass produced riser stem, I'll have to get the shortest stem possible and hope the riser bars help.

    Just out of interest, should it be fairly easy to paint the chrome stem so it looks like my bike:
    http://www.marin.co.uk/2011/bikepage.php?ModNo=11M29

    Compared to previous models of the Muirwoods 29er, this year's model seems to have a more metallic black colour, hence the question. I remember spray painting our bikes as kids, however it was always a dull non glossy (or is it matte?) paint we used.

    Thanks for the help people.

    Oh and Fietsbob, thanks for providing a practical reason for why none of the main players like race face etc seem to offer cr-mo stems.

    So far the price I'm seeing for a Nitto threadless Cr-Mo stem is £110.00 (domestic supplier). For that amount I could probably get a titanium stem! Or at the very least a carbon stem.
    Last edited by the watcher; 02-28-11 at 08:10 AM.

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