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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-04-08, 01:09 PM   #1
cmikepee
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Can't get bullhorns through stem?

I don't know if I'm just a complete idiot or if these bullhorns just aren't compatible with my stem, but i can't seem to get the curve of the bullhorn through the stem. Are these supposed to be universal?
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Old 10-04-08, 01:15 PM   #2
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Did you try prying the stem open?

OTOH, some bullhorns, like the Profile stoker, require an open faced stem. That particular bar is 26mm end to end.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:16 PM   #3
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handlebars have different size diameters, as do stems. they're not 100% universal, no. these sizes are fairly standard: 25.4mm, 26mm, 31,8mm.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:41 PM   #4
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You may need to measure the diameter of the bars vs. the stem opening. Also as was pointed out, some bars will need an open face stem. The curve of the bar may be too tight to get through the stem. I suggest having a set of cheap calipers to check all those pesky diameters. I have a $15 plastic digital set that have served me well. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:46 PM   #5
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soap,a lot of soap.
i managed to get a 26.0 mm bullhorn in a italmanubri stem, no open faced.
some scratches but bar tape all over.

And did I say soap?
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Old 10-04-08, 03:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Did you try prying the stem open?

OTOH, some bullhorns, like the Profile stoker, require an open faced stem. That particular bar is 26mm end to end.
btw, anyone know of cross levers that would fit on a bar like the profile stoker, that's 26mm end to end? (without just buying 31.8mm levers and using shims?)
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Old 10-04-08, 03:56 PM   #7
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the bottom of the stem goes along the inside of the curve of your bars you are putting them in..
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Old 10-04-08, 04:00 PM   #8
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This is rather coincidental. I just ran into the same problem last night. I have Ritchey Prologues(?) that I just bought that wouldn't slide through the stem right away. I took a hex-wrench (the L shaped style) and pried the stem open. Put some concentrated dish soap on them, and they slid in with a little bit of twisting (that's what she said). Once that was done, the bolt wouldn't reach all the way through the stem. I took some lockjaw pliers and clamped down on the stem which allowed me to get the bolt through enough to catch the threads on the nut. All in all, if you just finagle it around enough it will get through.
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Old 10-04-08, 04:28 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue getting my new bars into the stem, a little prying with a large screwdriver did the trick. Plus, no nasty scratch marks from walking them in.
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Old 10-04-08, 05:44 PM   #10
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Great thing about most old TTT stems was that the stem bolt hole was threaded the whole way through. So you could back the bolt out, stick a penny in the gap and then use the bolt to spread the stem. Hard to explain, but handy.

Be careful about scratching the bars, especially near the stem. Broken handlebars are bad.
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Old 10-04-08, 08:49 PM   #11
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Can't get bullhorns through stem? thats what she said... sorry had to
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Old 10-04-08, 09:10 PM   #12
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Great thing about most old TTT stems was that the stem bolt hole was threaded the whole way through. So you could back the bolt out, stick a penny in the gap and then use the bolt to spread the stem. Hard to explain, but handy.

Be careful about scratching the bars, especially near the stem. Broken handlebars are bad.
Hey White Lobster... If both sides of the hole are threaded then you can never tighten them down. I think what you are talking about was that you can thread the bolt in from the BACK side against a penny or other flat thing and use that to spread the bars.
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Old 10-04-08, 10:24 PM   #13
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I had this issue a lot and it took a lot of grease / soap / whatever to get bars through. Ultimately, I ended up just buying an open faced quill stem (TTT Motus, Salsa SUL) or you could just get a threadless adapter and a threadless stem. The latter is nice because you have so many options for rise / length / diameter etc
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