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  1. #1
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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?

  2. #2
    Crack kills inkdwheels's Avatar
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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.
    Im Here.

  3. #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!

  4. #4
    Senior Member dabern's Avatar
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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...
    Rock Lobster

  5. #5
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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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?

  6. #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.

  7. #7
    troglodyte ryan_c's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  8. #8
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    What about the other way around? I have a steel stem with aluminium bars. Could this be dangerous?

  9. #9
    Milwaukee Bike Co.
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    50 million aluminum seatposts in 50 million steel frames can't be wrong.

  10. #10
    na975
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    over time.weather,etc-aluminum+ steel can fuse together. the aluminum starts to pit,ues some anti seize compond!

  11. #11
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    Quote 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.


    S/F,
    CEYA!

  12. #12
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    WhY IS THIS STILL IN THIS FORUM? SHOULDN'T THIS BE IN MECHANICS? SOME MOD HAS THE POWER FOR THIS.

  13. #13
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    TRACK handlebars + TRACK stem questions = TRACK forum

    do you seriously care that much though? yeesh

  14. #14
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    btw thanks to everyone for the info, looks like i have the green light!

    takeshi

  15. #15
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    Quote 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.

  16. #16
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereNT
    WhY IS THIS STILL IN THIS FORUM? SHOULDN'T THIS BE IN MECHANICS? SOME MOD HAS THE POWER FOR THIS.




  17. #17
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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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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