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Quill Syem Flex

Old 05-21-18, 09:06 PM
  #1  
GTryder
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Quill Syem Flex

I'm having issues with flexing and creaking on a Treck 520 flat bar conversion, using a generic alloy "made in China" adjustable quill stem. The stem is currently "slammed" to the lowest position and the flexing worsens when raised. The frame is a small with a short head tube. The adjustable angle bolts are tight as are the face plate bolts. I'm wonder if a quality solid stem such as a Nitto would solve the issue. I would prefer a removable face plate, since brake cables and bar-end shifters are now installed.

Last edited by GTryder; 05-21-18 at 09:07 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-22-18, 06:53 AM
  #2  
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Make sure the clamp and all the other bolts on that adjustable stem are tight. Lots of places on those stems for loose parts to flex. Roger
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Old 05-22-18, 06:59 AM
  #3  
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Is there a bolt under the handlebar?

Truthfully, I'm not a fan of adjustable stems. If it was my bike I'd find the handlebar position that I like, then go shopping for a fixed stem that would mimic that position.
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Old 05-22-18, 08:16 AM
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I have a couple of adjustable stems, and some are definitely better than others. Two that I like are on two of our Trek hybrids -- one came OEM on a 2015 Verve and the other is an aftermarket Zoom stem on a 2006 model 7100. Both of these stems are solid and flex-free. It's probably coincidence that both are oversized 25.4mm stems (for 1-1/8" threaded headsets). The adjustment mechanism works fluidly and tightens securely. Both of these stems feel just the same as a fixed stem once you've tightened the clamp.

I have a third adjustable stem, 22.2mm size, but it's a cheaper no-name one that came on a parts bike that I bought. The stem, despite being tightened securely, has flex/wobble in the adjustment mechanism. It's definitely not going anywhere (I don't believe it to be unsafe), but it also doesn't inspire confidence. I use that stem consistent with Retro Grouch's advice above -- I find the position I like with it and replace it with a fixed stem of a similar height and angle.

I wouldn't write-off adjustable stems entirely, but less expensive ones can leave something to be desired. And, unfortunately, some of the better ones also look a little beefier (and less attractive).

Please post pictures, either now or after your new stem, of your whole bike. I'd love to see your project!
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Old 05-22-18, 09:09 AM
  #5  
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It is an adjustable angle stem ..

so why not find a fixed angle stem to eliminate the flexing due to separate parts moving in relation to each other?

Or just live with it , as is..

I have an ITM CNC machined adjustable angle threadless stem.. FWIW.. mated with ITM butterfly bars..
there is not complete silence.




...




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-22-18 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 05-22-18, 09:31 AM
  #6  
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The position shown is not very low, even if it's the lowest you can put the stem in that bike, and indeed an adjustable stem will have more flex. I would suggest you get a rigid stem that puts the bars in the same position as the adjustable one. But I'm wondering what you do on the bike that would put much stress on the bars.
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Old 05-22-18, 10:02 AM
  #7  
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A TIG Welded Steel quill stem will be as flex less as possible..
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Old 05-23-18, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I have a couple of adjustable stems, and some are definitely better than others. Two that I like are on two of our Trek hybrids -- one came OEM on a 2015 Verve and the other is an aftermarket Zoom stem on a 2006 model 7100. Both of these stems are solid and flex-free. It's probably coincidence that both are oversized 25.4mm stems (for 1-1/8" threaded headsets). The adjustment mechanism works fluidly and tightens securely. Both of these stems feel just the same as a fixed stem once you've tightened the clamp.

I have a third adjustable stem, 22.2mm size, but it's a cheaper no-name one that came on a parts bike that I bought. The stem, despite being tightened securely, has flex/wobble in the adjustment mechanism. It's definitely not going anywhere (I don't believe it to be unsafe), but it also doesn't inspire confidence. I use that stem consistent with Retro Grouch's advice above -- I find the position I like with it and replace it with a fixed stem of a similar height and angle.

I wouldn't write-off adjustable stems entirely, but less expensive ones can leave something to be desired. And, unfortunately, some of the better ones also look a little beefier (and less attractive).

Please post pictures, either now or after your new stem, of your whole bike. I'd love to see your project!
My wife's bike has a good threadless adjustable stem, so I'm aware that they do exist
Thanks for all the replies; I'm now quite certain the stem is the problem, and it has served its purpose to determine proper fit - time to replace with a rigid stem.
Here's a picture of the complete bike - still a work in progress (needs bar wrap or grips which will fit over the shift cables), a bell & lights. Also stripping the worn black anodize off the rear rack and polishing.

Last edited by GTryder; 05-26-18 at 07:07 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-23-18, 07:12 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
The position shown is not very low, even if it's the lowest you can put the stem in that bike, and indeed an adjustable stem will have more flex. I would suggest you get a rigid stem that puts the bars in the same position as the adjustable one. But I'm wondering what you do on the bike that would put much stress on the bars.
Just riding, I can feel side to side flex and hear the creaking. Becomes more evident when standing on pedals to negotiate rough roads or climbing.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:00 AM
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https://velo-orange.com/collections/...ceplate-31-8mm
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Old 05-23-18, 09:13 AM
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Get a quality one. I had a stem like that fail when my kid was on a bike. He was not happy (but fortunately managed to avoid a disaster).
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Old 05-23-18, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
Here's a picture of the complete bike - still a work in progress (needs bar wrap or grips which will fit over the shift cables), a bell & lights.
It looks great; thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-23-18, 11:07 AM
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Beautiful, but my bars are 25.4mm.
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Old 05-23-18, 11:08 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Get a quality one. I had a stem like that fail when my kid was on a bike. He was not happy (but fortunately managed to avoid a disaster).
Definitely going to replace it.
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Old 05-23-18, 11:13 AM
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Quill stems flex more than the far more massive stems for threadless steerers. A good non-adjustqable quill stem will be a lot stiffer (and quieter) than any adjustable stem. Fietsbob is right; a TIG welded steel stem will be stiffer than any aluminum stem. Removable face plates on quill stems is a big ask. No reason it cannot be done, but the choices are very few.

Ben (a rider of quill stems for over 50 years)
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Old 05-23-18, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post

Beautiful, but my bars are 25.4mm.
Ask around for a shim. They are common. Manufacturers would much rather make just one large diameter stem and provide a cheap shim than have to make (and force shops to stock) two different stems for each length offered.

Ben
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Old 05-23-18, 11:21 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post

Beautiful, but my bars are 25.4mm.
1.25"(31,75mm) outside, 1" (25.4mm) inside* shims are made available for this reason.

it is a split tube 1/8" thick tube wall..(3.175mm) machined, and quite nice..

if you had 26mm bars you just get a different shim with a 26mm *ID.




....

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-23-18 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 05-23-18, 01:37 PM
  #18  
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I'm well aware of shims, and will use one if needed.
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