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Is this stem ruined?

Old 11-30-23, 12:42 PM
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Here is another issue that is concerning. There is a spot on the top of the stem that I polished back a bit with some compound. When I run my finger across it, it feels like a flat spot. The question is… did he clamp it to close the clamping area? I don’t see marks on the other side, but who knows. Could be something fell on it and put a dent in it resulting in a slight flat spot.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:55 PM
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I don't think any amount of assurances or hand-holding are going to assuage your fears here. Just buy a new stem and forget about it.

Last edited by smd4; 11-30-23 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 11-30-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I don't think any amount of assurances or hand-holding are going to assuage your fears here. Just buy a new stem and forget about it.
😂Ö probably right. Itís the kind of part I donít want to gamble with, but it sure looks nice to meÖ thatís where the conflict comes in I guess. All of the Nitto stuff looks nice to me, Iím sure Iíll have no problem finding a replacement.
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Old 11-30-23, 01:33 PM
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It's a stem.

To ask the question is to answer it. Otherwise, someday you're going to going to be leaning into a hard downhill corner, after a long straightaway, with your tears running into your ears, and one of the voices in your head will say, "you know, if that stem broke right now, you'd totally die. Just sayin'..." And that voice will be right. And you'll never be able to shut it up.

Take no chances with the front end.

--Shannon
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Old 11-30-23, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Here is another issue that is concerning. There is a spot on the top of the stem that I polished back a bit with some compound. When I run my finger across it, it feels like a flat spot. The question isÖ did he clamp it to close the clamping area? I donít see marks on the other side, but who knows. Could be something fell on it and put a dent in it resulting in a slight flat spot.
Or from time to time the OO stood this bike upside-down, resting on that 'flat spot' and the seat.
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Old 11-30-23, 01:43 PM
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probably just where the cables were rubbing..mine has a small wear mark from where the cables rubbed.
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Old 11-30-23, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
😂Ö probably right. Itís the kind of part I donít want to gamble with, but it sure looks nice to meÖ thatís where the conflict comes in I guess. All of the Nitto stuff looks nice to me, Iím sure Iíll have no problem finding a replacement.
Now you can go on the hunt for the nicest quill stem ever made (by Nitto as well):

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Old 11-30-23, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
😂Ö probably right. Itís the kind of part I donít want to gamble with, but it sure looks nice to meÖ thatís where the conflict comes in I guess. All of the Nitto stuff looks nice to me, Iím sure Iíll have no problem finding a replacement.
To make it as clear as possible. THERE IS NO GAMBLE HERE.

It simply boils down to decision about your own obsessiveness, and how much you're willing to spend because of it.

If you're bugged, buy a new one and be happy, but don't lie to yourself that's a safety based decision.
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Old 11-30-23, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Good question.

He claims that the LBS swapped the bars and set it up with the thumb shifters and all, but judging from the stem situation I would say that is questionable at best. The cables do look very fresh, so it had to be done fairly recently. He was moving to Italy and decided it wasnít worth bringing bikes with him, canít blame him. He was likely in his 70ís, according to him he hadnít ridden the bike much since they swapped everything over.

He claimed thousands of miles logged on it in his younger days and the bike had the drops on for most of its life.
Personally I wouldn't hesitate to run that stem with the proper bars or shim if it fit my needs, but you do you.
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Old 12-01-23, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Now you can go on the hunt for the nicest quill stem ever made (by Nitto as well):

How come that doesnít seem to have any way of clamping the bar?
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Old 12-01-23, 06:20 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Here is another issue that is concerning. There is a spot on the top of the stem that I polished back a bit with some compound. When I run my finger across it, it feels like a flat spot. The question isÖ did he clamp it to close the clamping area? I donít see marks on the other side, but who knows. Could be something fell on it and put a dent in it resulting in a slight flat spot.
A 40 year old touring bike that saw extensive use might have a scuff ? Im shocked
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Old 12-01-23, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
How come that doesnít seem to have any way of clamping the bar?
The clamping bolt (as well as the wedge/cone bolt) is hidden inside the stem. You can see the clamping wedge just inside the stem itself.

Itís an elegant stem from a more civilized time.

Last edited by smd4; 12-01-23 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 12-03-23, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Yes, it looks like a Specialized-branded Nitto "Dynamic" stem. That's a high quality stem; ID should be 26.0mm
I agree, having owned both, they were indistinguishable to my eyes, except for the logos. The Dynamic is a beautiful stem and readily available stem usually for $50-70 new. Probably also able to fine a Specialized on Ebay. I sold one there a couple of years ago.
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Old 12-03-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
The clamping bolt (as well as the wedge/cone bolt) is hidden inside the stem. You can see the clamping wedge just inside the stem itself.
There's an image that clarifies this in another thread HERE. Clever design!
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Old 12-05-23, 02:39 PM
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Ouch! Prudence dictates, replace it! The aluminum has probably been taken beyond its elastic limit. and you would have to bend it again to get a standard 1" diameter handlebar in. Stems are not expensive. Face plants are.

Last edited by jsallen; 02-26-24 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 12-05-23, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jsallen
Ouch! Prudence dictates, replace it!
Bull hockey. There's nothing wrong with it.
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Old 12-05-23, 03:27 PM
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While there may be, and even probably is, nothing wrong with it, there is something wrong with me:

Fear.

I have crashed, exactly once, due to a stem failure. Checking out a buddy's newly built BMX bike. He'd forgotten to tighten the stem all the way. So, as I was honking up a hill, the stem pulled out of the fork. The crash was so fast and so violent that I literally didn't know that I'd crashed. Like, "Why is everything sideways??... Owww... Why do I hurt?" Had it happened at any kind of speed, I'd have been seriously injured, if not killed.

Nobody who has experienced a stem / fork / front end failure will risk anything that might create a repeat. Having doubts about your stem does not conduce to pleasant, enjoyable, carefree bicycling.

--Shannon
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Old 12-05-23, 03:40 PM
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I agree with FBinNY. The stem isn't going to break.

But I'd also like to add two thoughts.

One, thanks for posting the hidden-bolt Dura-Ace stem. Those are great. I remember finding one on a SLX tubed bike I owned for a little while. Super cool.

Two, for those who act as if a broken stem results in death/automatic catastrophe, I'd like to offer a few counterexamples. I've had two Thomson stems with face plates that cracked. Neither failed while I was riding. I just approached the bike and said, 'oh, whoa, that stem plate is cracked.' So it failed at some point, but didn't let go of the handlebars. Second, I had a bike shop return a mountain bike to me after servicing the fork, and they forgot to tighten the bolts around the steer tube. I rode off, with the handlebars suddenly offering no control over the front wheel, but it didn't matter -- it was similar to riding no handed. I just coasted for a bit, then gently applied the brake. A bike with a broken stem will still balance and offer the usual gyroscopic steering. It may lead to a devastating crash, but it sure doesn't have to.
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Old 12-05-23, 03:54 PM
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There's a very fundamental difference between mechanical failure and mechanic failure.

IMO this stem is safe and virtually immune to mechanical failure, however nothing can protect it or you from mechanic failure.
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