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  1. #1
    WTF?
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    in search of a better shim

    i've had a cinelli XA 26.4 stem with 26.0 bullhorns for a while now, and haven't found a shim that holds the bars firmly enough to put all my weight on the ends, i mostly use the bars near the stem and the shoulders, so it wasn't really a problem. (i only have one 26.4 stem, but it's in a length i like) tried beer cans. someone said sparks cans were .0035" thick, so i went to the hardware store for something thicker. ideally .01" (.01"*25.4=.254 mm, .254*2=.58mm which is about the difference between 26.4 and 26.0).

    they had a whole section of shims, strips of different metals in different widths and thickness. from .012" to .05. i ended up getting a strip of .018" stainless steel and a 6"x12" sheet of .033" brass perforated with 100 holes per square inch. i figured the holes would add some friction and keep things from moving. the perforation unfortunately tripled the price versus just a plain sheet.

    i decided to use the brass sheet, and cut it to size. it was ***** to get in between the bars and the stem, especially since i didn't want to have to rewrap my bars, i kind of slid them back and forth trying to wedge the shim in there. i had to use a screwdriver to force the stem to open a little bit, since i was basically now trying to fit 27 mm bars into the stem. after tightening everything down, it seems good. put all my weight on the ends of the bars...solid.

    between the brass sheet and the tin snips i got, it wasn't really worth it, i could have gotten a crappy stem that fit for that money. sometimes you just have to experiment.

    eventually, all my stems will actually fit the bars they're on.

    if anyone wants a shim from the perforated brass sheet, PM me. i'll drop it in an envelope and send it over.

  2. #2
    yo yo yo yo yo
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    strange, i got soda cans to work for me for 25.4 to 26.0 on a cinelli 1a.

  3. #3
    MADE IN HONG KONG
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    Sparks can = .0035 - guilty

    K&S Engineering brass sheets in .010 (should work for 25.4 to 26.0 and for 26.0 to 26.4) available at better hardware stores and at hobby and craft stores near you.

    btw: hint, the paper cutter at work or school make nice and crisp strips out of the brass sheets.

    Ajax, if you PM your address, and width of your stem, I'll send you a strip.
    If you are not having any fun, it's all your fault

  4. #4
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    I've found that on some stem/bar combos, for reasons I can't understand, no shim will work - the bar always slides under enough pressure. I'm an advocate of drilling a small hole through the stem and into the bar and putting a tight-fitting bolt in there to function more or less like a cotter pin in cottered cranks and prevent movement. I've used this set-up on a fixie with 3-speed-type cruiser bars, and I routinely skidded and put a lot of weight on the bar without a problem. Some folks think my method is a recipe for missing teeth. Proceed with caution.

  5. #5
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Rockstar can for me. About a layer and a half.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  6. #6
    Recreational Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Rockstar can for me. About a layer and a half.
    Reminds me of a passage in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance in which Mr. Pirsig discusses the advantages of the beer can as a source of shim stock. Aluminum is easy to cut, deforms, and is slightly "sticky", all of which make it a perfect shim material.

    Kotts
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Specifically Heneiken.

  8. #8
    Senior Member les walters's Avatar
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    just get the nitto shim it rocks

  9. #9
    WTF?
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    i wasn't sure if the nitto shim was flexible or fixed to the 25.4 diameter. plus there is no lbs around here that carries them, i'd have to order online, pay shipping, wait, etc. even though the initial outlay was more than the nitto stem, now i know what to use and i have a bunch in case i have to use it again.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Why didn't you just use 3 sparks shims, or one long one that wrapped around the bars 3 times?

  11. #11
    WTF?
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    i tried two layers of beer cans, but the grooves in the stem kind of tore them apart.

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