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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 07-17-10, 01:39 AM   #1
wmgreene85
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Does anyone feel this way?

The more I unscrew and re-screw my stem's face clamp, the higher the chance I have of dying.
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Old 07-17-10, 02:25 AM   #2
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LOL. Yea, stem plates are one of those things that I'll swap out a bar, screw the plate back on, double check, double check the double check, go get a cup of coffee, come back, check again, put everything away, finish my coffee and then before riding run upstairs, grab the Allen wrenches and make sure again. Then I obsess over whether I greased the bolts or not. This despite the fact see-through green grease is oozing out everywhere. Then, I wipe it down, try to get over myself and go ride.
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Old 07-17-10, 02:48 AM   #3
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While I'm sprinting hard and doing lots of skids is tough on your stems BMXers use stems that function the same way, if a little more robust, and they have no problems. They slam on them waaaaay harder and death is not an issue. Basically, unless you somehow forget to fasten your stem up, you should be ok. Even if you don't do it up properly and your bars do slip I don't think death is going to ensue.
I get the fear, but it is 100% irrational.
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Old 07-17-10, 02:49 AM   #4
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For me, its more of the seat-post connection to the seat. Mines always slowly unscrews itself after a mile worth of bumps.
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Old 07-17-10, 07:15 AM   #5
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Put a drop of blue Loctite on the bolt.
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Old 07-17-10, 07:44 AM   #6
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All of my threadless stems have 4 bolt bar clamps. There is no redundancy with the 2 bolt designs, and if one of those bolts decides to strip out while riding, a very bad outcome will ensue.
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Old 07-17-10, 07:51 AM   #7
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When I built my Soma Rush I had a choice of a threaded or threadless fork. I wanted threaded but everyone suggested threadless.....as being better. If I where to do it over again I would definitely do a threaded fork. I never have had problems with my numerous previous bikes that were threaded forks and like the look, the height adjustment aspect and many other aspects of threaded vs threadless forks.
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Old 07-17-10, 08:05 AM   #8
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Don't over tighten and always lube the threads.

The former is uber hard skillz to learn. I use the flex of my hex wrench. But you know, some people tighten the bolts so hard the handlebar is left deformed. (and evidently bolts never failed during the use by those users as no trace of slippage detectable) But you shouldn't risk it when you don't need to. If you feel your stem is too trashed, replace it.

I try to get stems with bigger bolts like 5-6mm hex. I get more feel of threads. I know some stems use 4mm, but the hex wrenches at that size (or smaller) start to twist enough that I can't feel the bolts seizing sometimes. Totally uncool.

Stripping threads feels like sudden release of tension. You won't "hear" it. You will feel it release. I am lucky I never had bolts snap in the middle tho.

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Old 07-17-10, 08:57 AM   #9
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When I built my Soma Rush I had a choice of a threaded or threadless fork. I wanted threaded but everyone suggested threadless.....as being better. If I where to do it over again I would definitely do a threaded fork. I never have had problems with my numerous previous bikes that were threaded forks and like the look, the height adjustment aspect and many other aspects of threaded vs threadless forks.
and this is relevant how?
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Old 07-17-10, 10:28 AM   #10
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and this is relevant how?
The concern that the OP brings up is relevant to threadless forks only, with a threaded fork the appropriate stem would not have the cap to worry about. It just seems to me for my personal preferences that any benefit of the threadless fork is outweighed by the other downside aspects to it. No big deal either way though.

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Old 07-17-10, 10:42 AM   #11
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and we're not discussing threaded vs threadless, just his concern on face plate bolts.
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Old 07-17-10, 10:48 AM   #12
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and we're not discussing threaded vs threadless, just his concern on face plate bolts.
Sorry I contributed to this thread....but yes we are in fact discussing threaded vs threadless indirectly in that the threadless has a face plate (thus the OP's concern) whereas with the threaded fork the stem would NOT have the faceplate to worry about.
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Old 07-17-10, 10:51 AM   #13
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Old 07-17-10, 10:58 AM   #14
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Scrod...which one is me?
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Old 07-17-10, 12:07 PM   #15
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Actually, some quill (threaded) stems also have faceplates >>> http://www.ride-this.com/index.php/k...ource=googleps

Twice as much to worry about here
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Old 07-17-10, 12:28 PM   #16
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jesus I cried
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Old 07-17-10, 12:46 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Tomo_Ishi;11128270]Don't over tighten

a skill you must learn. overtightened my old stem and snapped the faceplate. i was pissed
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Old 07-17-10, 12:49 PM   #18
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[/quote] bro.
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Old 07-17-10, 01:43 PM   #19
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this, like all other bicycle maintenance, is a skill that has to be learned. When I first started working on bikes, I made TONS of mistakes (under-tightening and over-tightening my stem faceplate being two of them). I remember mashing up a hill and having my bars roll under on me. Scary.

I've also had crank arms fall off the bottom bracket while riding. And hubs stip out. And pedals detach from the pedal spindle. And had clipless systems fail. And seatposts collapse into the seat tube. And seats rotate upwards on me because I didn't tighten down the clamp enough. I think that's probably most of it...

Now, though, I consider myself to be one of the better wrenches I know. Certainly better than the guys who work at most shops around here.

Just don't be such a puss about stuff and learn from your mistakes.
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Old 07-17-10, 01:52 PM   #20
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I used to obsess over tightening the seatpost clamp. I tightened it so hard it literally pulled the metal in half, still works though.
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Old 07-17-10, 03:27 PM   #21
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if your worried, buy a torque wrench
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Old 07-17-10, 03:59 PM   #22
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if your worried, buy a torque wrench
thank you, I was wondering how long it was going to take before someone mentioned the one way to ensure that you don't do something stupid.
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Old 07-17-10, 04:04 PM   #23
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thank you, I was wondering how long it was going to take before someone mentioned the one way to ensure that you don't do something stupid.
Good mechanics don't need torque wrenches.

Also, OP, don't know if you know this already, but here's a tip for tightening stem faceplates:
-Always rotate which screw you're tightening. On 4-bolt designs, you want to go to the diagonal and then the vertically opposite bolt. Just eyeball it and make sure the stem is tightening down evenly on bottom and top. It's really easy to strip these bolts if you tighten the bottom/top so hard that it pulls out the other side.
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Old 07-17-10, 04:14 PM   #24
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Good mechanics don't need torque wrenches.
obsessive mechanics have a few on their bench at all times, especially when they deal with carbon components constantly.
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Old 07-17-10, 04:26 PM   #25
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Put a drop of blue Loctite on the bolt.
+1
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