Ibis stem swap
I have an older Ibis tandem that has an Ibis stem which clamps onto a 7/8" (I think) tube welded inside the steerer tube of the fork. The fork uses a standard threaded headset, and the stem behaves much like a modern threadless stem. This was apparently a means to adding stiffness by avoiding a quill, and reducing weight. I need to change the stem for fit purposes.
Has anyone had this setup, and found a way to change the stem for something more conventional?
I haven't seen this particular arrangement before. I do recall that there were threaded-to-threadless converter similar to the one you described but they usually had an internal clamping mechanism similar to a quill stem to hold them into the steerer tube, not the welding that you describe. I was hoping someone who knows more about Ibises (Ibi?) than I would answer this but I'll throw out four possible solutions for you.
1. All the steel Ibises I've seen have unicrown forks for which this solution will not work... but if yours has an actual fork crown you could get your local framebuilder to remove the old steering tube and braze in a new one.
2. Perhaps a local machine shop can drill out that welded-in tube and resurface the inside of your steerer tube to allow you to use a traditional quill stem.
3. Find a framebuilder to build a custom stem to your specifications to fit your current steerer tube extension. There are still a few framebuilders around who will tackle an unusual project like this. The one who comes immediately to mind is Paul Sadoff at Rock Lobster Cycles in Santa Cruz, CA.
4. Buy another fork. If your bike has 26" wheels you can probably find a nice beefy used rigid mountain bike fork with a 1" steerer tube. Make sure the steerer tube is long enough for your frame and that the fork rake is not dramatically different from your original fork.
First I suggest using a caliper to measure the steerer tube that the stem is clamped to to see if it is 7/8 inch.
Originally Posted by BobbyHull
If it is a 1 inch then any threadless stem will work with a shim usually provided with 1-1/8th threadless stems for use with 1" steerer tubes.
If it is 7/8 then it may be possible to use two shims. I have never used two shims so make your own judgement about the safety of that approach. There are also shims made for handle bars that would appear to be for about a 1/4 " (6.4mm) adjustment. Not sure if they would work but may be worth looking at. They are designed to put 1" (25.4mm) handle bars in a 1-1/4" (31.8mm) stem.
Last edited by waynesulak; 06-12-12 at 08:42 PM.