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Old 02-03-11, 11:12 AM   #1
sehsuan
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Ortlieb handlebar bag mount + LH Thomson stem combo for flying

Hello folks, I'll be setting off in late March for a 1100km tour in Japan - but I'm totally stuck getting a better solution than to get a cheap stem just for the flight.

I'm using the Ortlieb Ultimate 5 bar bag mount along with a LH Thomson Elite stem. As you might already know, the Elite stem has this portion that "gently hugs" the steerer tube, I think Sun Ringle was another brand that does this too.

I'm puzzled because in order to box up my bike (I'd need to, because I don't want to take any chances bashing up my relatively new chainrings that I spent a pretty penny on) I'd need to take off the handlebar. But you also do know that the Ortlieb bar bag mount chews up the steel cable, and opening up the stem faceplate and taking the handlebar off isn't the best solution. I'm concerned that despite proper packing,
1. that internal portion to hold the steerer tube can get lost/damaged
2. if the stem is taken off the fork, the fork would be loose in the box

Short of changing a stem, can you share what you think of this combination, and how you work around it while flying? I can only think of getting the cheap stem JUST for the flight. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-03-11, 12:19 PM   #2
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I think you're worrying too much. If you can't take the faceplate off, take the stem off the steer tube and use some combo of packing materials to keep everything in place - tape, zip ties, cardboard and bubble wrap should be fine.
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Old 02-03-11, 02:48 PM   #3
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Directly above my headset I have a 'locking spacer' a pinch bolt holds it in place.

QBP has them , then the general headset adjustment stays even when you pull the stem off .
a seat post band clamp when the lip on the top edge is removed will do as well if its 9/8" ID.

I got mine because Integrated headsets need a bit of retention
while I was fussing over the spacer stack and the 2 stems above it

One stem holds a tube that holds the bar bag mount..

it's under the stem that holds the bars.

Packing tape all the parts to the frame and use Zip ties.

pack it like it was when shipped from OEM factory
pipe insulation over tubes and all that
spreader block in the forks , etc..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-03-11 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 02-03-11, 02:53 PM   #4
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When I pack my S&S bike up with the Ortlieb h-bar mount (which is poorly designed, I agree), I'm usually able to move the bracket enough to allow me to get a ball-headed hex wrench into both stem facebolts. I don't actually remove the stem from the handlebar, but rather just remove the bar and stem as a unit, and rotate the stem in such a way that it makes for easy packing. Get one of those headset spacers that can be tightened down and act like a locknut to keep your fork from falling out when you remove the stem.

As an aside, ball-headed hex/Allen wrenches make life SO much easier when working on the bike. Somehow I missed this fact until just recently, but now I have a nice set for home use and a small set for touring. They allow you to get in many difficult locations as you can use them at many angles, not just straight in.
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Old 02-03-11, 02:55 PM   #5
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Oops, somehow missed fietsbob's post. The "locking spacer" is exactly what I'm talking about.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Oops, somehow missed fietsbob's post. The "locking spacer" is exactly what I'm talking about.
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...95&category=98
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Old 02-04-11, 07:03 AM   #7
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great! thanks for pointing this item out to me, i was wondering for so long if there was such an item available but never really knew it existed. thanks guys!
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