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Stem-Handlebar fit problem (both claim to be 25.4mm)

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Stem-Handlebar fit problem (both claim to be 25.4mm)

Old 06-08-12, 05:29 AM
  #1  
robo
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Stem-Handlebar fit problem (both claim to be 25.4mm)

I just picked up a new handlebar and stem combo, both Ritchey parts, and both claimed as 25.4mm in the clamp. Problem is, the handlebar doesn't seem to fit the stem.

Here's the stem: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=39270
And here are the bars: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=80314

Here's what it looks like when I fit the handlebar to the stem:



Now, the stem is clearly marked as 25.4mm, while the handlebars have no markings. The page for the handlebars on the retailer's site says 25.4mm in the title, and 31.8mm in the details, but I'm sure the latter is an error, since the bars measure on my (cheapo plastic) calipers as in the ballpark of 25.4mm, definitely not 31.8.

In addition, the stem's front clamp pieces fit perfectly over the bars - it's just the curve on the stem itself that appears to be too small.

According to Sheldon's site, the vast majority of road bars are 25.4mm, and 26mm is a rare boutique size. Is is possible that's what I got with these (fairly low-end, older model) Ritchey bars?

I also can't find any information at all on these bars except on the ChainReactionCycles site. I'm guessing it's old stock, but no info at all seems odd...
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Old 06-08-12, 05:45 AM
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Probably the handlebar is not rounded in the clamp area??

Measure that thing in at least 4 different places and see what you get, it could be ovalized some how. Seen old cinelli's come with 1 mm of difference depending where are you measuring it. Probably is a 26 mm depending where are u measuring.

The stem looks like ok to me, Always you can check using another handlebar just in case but pretty much is just thing of putting the front cover and measuring.
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Old 06-08-12, 05:50 AM
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The gap is consistent no matter the angle of the bars, so it's not that...

I should add that after doing a bit more Googling, it seems that 26mm wasn't as oddball a size as Sheldon made it sound... seems to have been pretty common for road bars.

Last edited by robo; 06-08-12 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:45 AM
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In the bar description it says it's a 31.8mm clamp as does the description for the stem. If the stem says 25.4 they sent you the wrong stem.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
In the bar description it says it's a 31.8mm clamp as does the description for the stem. If the stem says 25.4 they sent you the wrong stem.
Just saw that for the stem too. I think ChainReactionCycles is just very sloppy with their part descriptions. It's probably a copy and paste from a similar stem. But the part I ordered was "80mm 6 Deg Black 25.4mm" as shown on the 'Buy' tab, and the stem has 25.4 etched into the handlebar clamp area.

I guess there isn't so much mystery here anymore. The handlebars must be 26mm, and the description which said 31.8 in the 'description' and 25.4 in the title and in the 'Buy' tab line, was wrong on both counts.

Too bad - was a good deal on both (10 each)
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Old 06-08-12, 08:02 AM
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In the past good quality road bars were most commonly 26.0 mm with 25.4 being mostly low cost road bars and nearly universal for MTB bars. Currently, 31.8 mm has become the "standard" for both road and MTB bars.
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Old 06-08-12, 12:32 PM
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There were also some Modolo bars in 26.6mm as well to go with their 26.6mm stems.

In this case, it's best to measure. Put the cap on the stem and measure the clamp's diameter. Then measure the bars. I've seen both stems and bars mislabeled and the only way to determine their actual size was to pull out the calipers and measure for yourself.
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Old 06-08-12, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
There were also some Modolo bars in 26.6mm as well to go with their 26.6mm stems.
And Cinelli made bars and matching stems in 26.4 mm but both these and the Modolos are pretty much C&V items these days.
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