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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 12-15-04, 04:02 AM   #1
takeshi117
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steel handlebars with aluminum stem: bad idea?

i just scored a sweet deal on some Nitto 36 cm track handlebars (only distributed in japan!). anyway, i'm looking to upgrade my stem as well but the matching steel NJ pro drop stems are 165 bones! id much rather spend the $66 for the aluminum version, but will i be running into a problem with the obvious weight difference? i can just imagine myself riding along and suddenly the handlebars fall out of the stem...ouch! am i crazy?
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Old 12-15-04, 04:05 AM   #2
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shouldn't be a prob at all. i have a steel nitto bar and an aluminum nitto stem. Plus i've used it other aluminum ahead stems.
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Old 12-15-04, 04:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi117
i just scored a sweet deal on some Nitto 36 cm track handlebars (only distributed in japan!). anyway, i'm looking to upgrade my stem as well but the matching steel NJ pro drop stems are 165 bones! id much rather spend the $66 for the aluminum version, but will i be running into a problem with the obvious weight difference? i can just imagine myself riding along and suddenly the handlebars fall out of the stem...ouch! am i crazy?

No Problem at all.

Enjoy your new gear!

S/F,
CEYA!
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Old 12-15-04, 07:50 AM   #4
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The Nitto aluminun stems are quite burly & stiff and aren't what one would consider a light weight part...you'll have no prob at all assuming you weigh less than 300 lbs...
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Old 12-15-04, 09:00 AM   #5
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The aluminum/steel interface may be susceptible to galvanic corrosion, eating away at the aluminum.

Can anyone confirm that this isn't a problem (and explain why), not just anectdotally, but on the chemistry?
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Old 12-15-04, 09:18 AM   #6
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bmxers have been using steel bars with aluminum stems since the 70's with no ill effects. i would be more worried about the stem cracking than any corrosion issues.
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Old 12-15-04, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
The aluminum/steel interface may be susceptible to galvanic corrosion, eating away at the aluminum.

Can anyone confirm that this isn't a problem (and explain why), not just anectdotally, but on the chemistry?
Well, galvanic corrosion is when different metals are brought into electrical contact underwater (maybe in a moist environment too). Not really applicable unless you have an electrified bike (theft prevention?). However even with normal oxidation of the metals, you can't confirm that this isn't a problem in terms of chemistry, because it is. The aluminum oxide formed over time bonds to the steel (why it's a good idea to grease aluminum seatposts in steel frames, and move them every month or two). However, maybe it's not a problem because ammonia dissolves aluminum oxide fairly easily.
Anyway, in practice, this obviously isn't too serious of an issue, because how many of you actually use steel seatposts in your steel frames? Not I.
The handlebars will be fine. If you are really worried about anything chemical going on, one could always spray a strip of primer on the bars the width of the stem clamp.
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Old 12-15-04, 12:15 PM   #8
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What about the other way around? I have a steel stem with aluminium bars. Could this be dangerous?
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Old 12-15-04, 12:17 PM   #9
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50 million aluminum seatposts in 50 million steel frames can't be wrong.
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Old 12-15-04, 01:50 PM   #10
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over time.weather,etc-aluminum+ steel can fuse together. the aluminum starts to pit,ues some anti seize compond!
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Old 12-15-04, 06:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by na975
over time.weather,etc-aluminum+ steel can fuse together. the aluminum starts to pit,ues some anti seize compond!
That is true especially with seat post , stem and head tube but I never seen it with stem and handle bars.


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Old 12-15-04, 07:56 PM   #12
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WhY IS THIS STILL IN THIS FORUM? SHOULDN'T THIS BE IN MECHANICS? SOME MOD HAS THE POWER FOR THIS.
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Old 12-15-04, 08:04 PM   #13
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TRACK handlebars + TRACK stem questions = TRACK forum

do you seriously care that much though? yeesh
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Old 12-15-04, 08:05 PM   #14
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btw thanks to everyone for the info, looks like i have the green light!

takeshi
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Old 12-15-04, 09:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Erik
What about the other way around? I have a steel stem with aluminium bars. Could this be dangerous?
Check out sheldon brown, I read on his site that it is in fact dangerous. Also, I used a steel stem w/alum bars for a few months and noticed some wear on the bars.
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Old 12-15-04, 09:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HereNT
WhY IS THIS STILL IN THIS FORUM? SHOULDN'T THIS BE IN MECHANICS? SOME MOD HAS THE POWER FOR THIS.



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Old 12-15-04, 10:27 PM   #17
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Galvanic corrosion happens when two dissimilar metals are in contact w/ one another in the presence of an electrolyte (such as salt water). There's no need to apply an external charge.

It's true that millions use alu posts in steel frames. That's good. It's also true that they will seize if you're inattentive (I recently had to use an old MTB handlebar as a pry bar to get one free in fact). That's bad.

Ah well, give it a shot. See if the stem corrodes away or fuses to your bars. Then you'll have your answer. We'll expect a full report.
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