I got a beautiful new old stock 1" threaded cinelli stem at my lbs today (only $25!) - wanted to get my butterfly/trekking bars farther up but also away from me. Gorgeous cold-forged aluminum, obtuse angle and 140 mm extension.
Problem is, I can barely budge the dang thing. When I was trying to get it on my bike at the store, I had to wrench it back and forth while applying downward pressure to even get it into my head tube. It's one of those older cinelli stems with the expander wedge that goes *inside* the quill. I'm thinking maybe the part that expands was too big to begin with, maybe use some pliers/vice/clamp to tighten it up? That is...if I can even get the stem out now. I tried adjusting my stem height after I was home and had re-clothed my handlebars, but the thing wouldn't budge.
Tried to find a pic of the stem online - but I'm only finding the acute (72 degree or whatever) cinelli stems. Anyways..
Does anyone have any cinelli stem experience? Are they just beefy or something? Or what about that weird expander wedge system?
I've had a similiar problem with another brand. This may work.
You need to knock the wedge expander out first. Undo bolt a bit from the top and give it a decent tap with a rubber mallet. This should knock the expander out of the quill. You may have to keep loosening the bolt and tapping it downwards to knock the wedge out. Depending on the fork, once the wedge is loose, insert the long bolt from underneath and pull the wedge out of the fork if possible.
Then insert an appropriate size of wooden dowel into the neck from underneath and use it to drive the stem upwards and out. Clean the inside of the neck as it may have rust in it. Then put it back together and adjust. The edge of the wedge needs to be just inside the stem when putting back in otherwise it won't pull up.
When putting it back together, use a non petroleum based lubricant as it will evaporate.
I may take it to the bike shop - but right now it's more of an annoyance than anything else. I'm just worried about having to adjust my stem at some time down the road and not being able to do so.
I tried whacking feebly on the bolt today after loosening it, to no avail. I didn't however loosen it all the way because I didn't see any opening in my head tube/fork from underneath...so if the expander wedge comes out I'm not that confident I'll be able to retrive it from inside the head tube/fork.
You can't wack "feebly" and get it out from my past experience (not this stem). Try a block of wood (piece of 2x4) and lay it on the bolt and smack it good.
Additionally, take a small wooden dowl (largest that will fit in your electric drill chuck) and saw a slit in it and put some fine emery paper in it so that when it spins it will polish the inside of the fork. Lube well and go for it.