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Old 01-14-22, 12:30 PM
Awaiting Parole
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
EDITORIAL: It never ceases to amaze me how many C&V fans will spend thousands of dollars on a classic bike and CHEAP OUT on a critical item like a stem that can be replaced for $50-$75.... SMH

Yes, verktyg tis I but I would NEVER make a comment like that!

Think of your head as a cantaloupe or maybe a small watermelon or honeydew (honey-do)... Back in the 70's I knew some Docs doing their residencies at several local hospitals. They described making morning rounds in the the neurology wards as "watering the vegetables"! Sad...

Please refer to my first response above.

SAD but very true...

Back in the early 70's when we were young and dumb and everything was trial and error because there was no one around to teach us any better, we (all the local shops) frequently used undersized alloy bars with Cinelli and 3TTT stems.

They were much prettier than the ugly cast aluminum "death stems". Although they were hard to find we could get those forged stems with 22.0mm quills for French and some other European bikes that used metric tubes.

Back then, Cinelli and 3TTT bars were also hard to get plus they were super expensive so we clamped the beautiful Italian forged stems down on 25mm alloy French bars. DOH! After cracking or breaking the clamps on 2-3 stems during assembly, we learned better - the hard way.

Back in 1975 I mounted a Milremo badged internally reinforced 25mm Philippe Professional bar in this 26.4mm Cinelli stem. I used it for over 35 years on at least 3 different bikes that I put a lot of miles on.

One day I realized that the 38cm wide bars were way too narrow for me. When I spread the bar clamp to remove the old bars, the front of it went flying across my workbench with a musical ping!

This break is in a different area but it brings up a point. I suspect that many cracked or broken bar clamps can be traced back to clamping down on undersized bars. Unlike steel which can be repeatedly deformed, aluminum has a much lower capacity for repeated bending before it fails.

Someone gave me this 3TTT stem. On closer examination I saw the cracks in the clamp... Into the junk box!

Here's a Philippe stem with a similar crack:

It appears that some of these cracks may be due to flaws in the forgings but who knows.

I'm always cautious about buying used stems, especially if the clamp needs to be spread. You never know the history of any bike component, especially something as critical as a stem!

Trigger Warning:
If carrying groceries, this can happen to your fruit and worse to you body.....please be careful, bad things can happen when equipment fails. Making no light of the dangers or injuries involved.....Best to be safe than sorry.

IMO, It's much better to spend a few dollars on a new stem than risk serious injuries that could last a lifetime....broken bones and lost teeth are not worth it. As others have said would you use it on your child's or best friends bike and feel good about it?
Best, Ben
Voice recognition may sometimes create odd spelling and grammatical errors

Last edited by xiaoman1; 01-14-22 at 02:56 PM.
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