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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 11-20-11, 03:35 PM   #1
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Stem stuck in forks

Well guys I'm converting a old road bike into a fixed gear and I'm having some trouble getting the stem out of the forks. Any help on how to get it out would be appreciated.

Here is a picture of it
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Old 11-20-11, 03:41 PM   #2
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Try asking in the "Mechanics" subforum.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:45 PM   #3
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It looks like you're taking off the headset, not the stem. There's a bolt on top of your stem that you need to loosen. This loosens the stem wedge and you can twist and pull the stem out. If there was rust or corrosion inside it may take a few taps with a rubber mallet.

Here's a diagram:
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Old 11-20-11, 03:45 PM   #4
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You have to grab an allen wrench, loosen the bolt on top of the stem a few turns 'til it's raised up about 3/8". Then grab a scrap piece of wood and a hammer. Put the wood on the bolt head and hit it hard with the hammer. Once the bolt's knocked down pull stem. Twist a bit if necessary.

Why are you taking the stem out? Not necessary for a conversion.

Oh, before you follow my instructions you'll probably want to put your headset back together so you don't lose anything.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:46 PM   #5
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Have you dislodged the wedge yet?
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Old 11-20-11, 03:51 PM   #6
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^ what they said, the tap will knock the stem wedge loose. When it tightens inside it is right up against the tube so any rust will hold it there.
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Old 11-20-11, 04:08 PM   #7
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I'ts probably an expander plug, not a wedge. If it's stuck really hard inside the steerer tube it won't move. Try removing the long bolt in the top of the stem, and pull / twist on the stem to pull it out. The wedge can then be pushed out from the bottom of the fork crown with a long drift pin and hammer. Soak with WD40 or rust remover like Liquid Wrench first.
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Old 11-20-11, 04:15 PM   #8
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Thank you for all of your reply's. I tried what LesterOfPuppets said and it worked. Thanks again.

And to answer why I'm taking it off, when I found the bike in a dumpster someone rattle canned it in yellow and didn't tape anything off so there's over spray and stuff on everything so I'm taking it all apart and repainting it.
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Old 11-20-11, 04:20 PM   #9
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Have fun!
I did one last winter and love riding it!
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Old 11-21-11, 01:54 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comment krustyone.

If no one minds I might make this thread into a build thread and post my progress along the way.
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Old 11-21-11, 08:45 PM   #11
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Keep us posted!
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Old 11-22-11, 10:18 AM   #12
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I got a bike that had a broken stem stuck into the fork real good. took it to a machining shop and the broke the fork trying to get it out. Ended up separating the steer column from the fork ends, then used a lathe to bore out the stem. Needless to say trying to get the steer column back on the the fork ends didn't really work all that well
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Old 03-22-12, 05:07 PM   #13
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If you don't care about the aluminum stem, here's a way to remove the stem from the fork in 30 minutes.1) Put a large pot of water on the stove and start boiling it. 2) Take a hacksaw and cut the stem about 2 inches from the fork. 3) Place the steering tube/2 inches of the stem in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes. 4) Put the stem in the refridgerator for about 5-10 minutes. 5) Lock onto the 2 inches of with a pair of vice-grips and easily twist it off. Works everytime for me! Sure I ruin the stem, but I no longer get frustrated when I have this problem.


When you have an aluminum stem stuck in a steel fork the cause is galvanic corrosion. The cure is expansion and contraction. The aluminum expands much quicker than the steel. And the boiling water does not hurt the the fork. I'm quite proud of my method 1) Because I no longer get frustrated with this problem. 2) It's my own original idea.
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