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Cinelli 1/A stem pinch bolt upgrade?

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Cinelli 1/A stem pinch bolt upgrade?

Old 09-29-19, 12:51 PM
  #1  
oldschoolbike
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Cinelli 1/A stem pinch bolt upgrade?

Does anybody make a better pinch bolt for the 1/A stem?
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Old 09-29-19, 12:54 PM
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Jim Merz would probably turn you one. Titanium if you want it. It'll be a work of art. Won't cost under $10 however.

may I ask what is wrong with the one you have ?

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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Old 09-29-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
Jim Merz would probably turn you one. Titanium if you want it. It'll be a work of art. Won't cost under $10 however.

may I ask what is wrong with the one you have ?

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
Thanks, I will look up Jim Merz. Titanium would be nice, it would be sympathetic with some other Ti touches on that bike.

Since you ask (long answer): The original is getting pretty dicey regarding fit of the Allen key, and since I have put Tektro (Ergo copy) levers on the bike I am on the hoods more often, and the bars tend to slip on rough roads due to the extra moment arm my weight is applied at. I really don't want to strip that Allen head trying to apply more torque than has been needed for the last thirty years with Record levers and my hands usually on the bars, not the hoods. I am reluctant to try a touch of Fibre Grip or similar as I am not 100 percent certain it won't cause fretting in an aluminum to aluminum joint.

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Old 09-29-19, 05:14 PM
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Are the serrations on the bar and stem still in good shape? If not, perhaps it's time to replace one or the other.
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Old 09-29-19, 07:43 PM
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That's probably an issue after such long service. It's a PITA to inspect for, with having to remove the tape and lever from one side to extract the bar. I am looking for a shorter/shallower bar that I can thread through a 1/A though, so maybe that's in the cards for sooner rather than later. Part of getting older, I guess. Those deep drops sure look manly but I am not on them much lately.

I have found stock replacement pinch bolts available for a reasonable price. Maybe I should buy two. Clearly a new one should be lubricated when installed, to maximize the pinch force for a given applied torque.

I did remove and inspect the current one. Most of the Allen key broaching is good, only the top 2 mm is damaged, leaving about 5-6 mm for good grip. In retrospect I realize the issue: The socket faces back toward the headset, and there can be limited room to maneuver the Allen key to proper alignment for full insertion. A few times over the last 30 years I probably was short on patience and applied torque before inserting the key fully.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by oldschoolbike View Post
That's probably an issue after such long service. It's a PITA to inspect for, with having to remove the tape and lever from one side to extract the bar. I am looking for a shorter/shallower bar that I can thread through a 1/A though, so maybe that's in the cards for sooner rather than later. Part of getting older, I guess. Those deep drops sure look manly but I am not on them much lately.

I have found stock replacement pinch bolts available for a reasonable price. Maybe I should buy two. Clearly a new one should be lubricated when installed, to maximize the pinch force for a given applied torque.

I did remove and inspect the current one. Most of the Allen key broaching is good, only the top 2 mm is damaged, leaving about 5-6 mm for good grip. In retrospect I realize the issue: The socket faces back toward the headset, and there can be limited room to maneuver the Allen key to proper alignment for full insertion. A few times over the last 30 years I probably was short on patience and applied torque before inserting the key fully.
Here's my fix for this, a little fiddly but it's like choking up on the bat, you have to get closer to the bolt and improve the angle when the socket is compromised. I use a bit and a wrench but you can use a key and a wrench if you have/get a long one with a box end.




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Old 09-30-19, 05:27 AM
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That's a good trick, Van !

Remember too that not just any bar will fit these ! you need the correct size Cinelli bar, 26.4mm diameter. If you use a bar that is 25.4 or 26.0 diameter, both of which are common bar diameters, you won't be able to get it tight enough and may crack the clamp.

If you have to resort to "carbon paste" or other band-aids to keep the bar from slipping, something is not right.

Lastly - allen keys do get worn out and can damage fasteners. Treat yourself to a new set of allen wrenches (the Wera allens are awesome) or touch the business end to a bench grinder every year or so.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA


Last edited by mpetry912; 09-30-19 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
That's a good trick, Van !

Remember too that not just any bar will fit these ! you need the correct size Cinelli bar, 26.4mm diameter. If you use a bar that is 25.4 or 26.0 diameter, both of which are common bar diameters, you won't be able to get it tight enough and may crack the clamp.

If you have to resort to "carbon paste" or other band-aids to keep the bar from slipping, something is not right.

Lastly - allen keys do get worn out and can damage fasteners. Treat yourself to a new set of allen wrenches (the Wera allens are awesome) or touch the business end to a bench grinder every year or so.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA

Tx, those are pretty cool, I have several sets and for the tolerances and wear of tools and fasteners, I mix and match for best fit when things get sketchy. I prefer the allen's that are all six sided so you can add a box wrench for a backstop when you need to, ymmv.
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Old 09-30-19, 08:31 PM
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No need for wrench boosters on allens. That's what 3/8 drive sockets are for. this is an 8mm shortie. Comes in real handy especially when using the torque wrench !

but my point is - your allen keys DO wear out and can damage fasteners. Get new ones or clean 'em up with your bench grinder. WAY cheaper than replacing fasteners on your bike

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA

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Old 09-30-19, 08:47 PM
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.
...I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to say that, IMO, the Cinelli 1A pinch bolt is an example of the worst in Italian engineering design. It's right up there with the Fiat 124 and the Caproni 60 Noviplano airplane. I hate them.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
Remember too that not just any bar will fit these ! you need the correct size Cinelli bar, 26.4mm diameter. If you use a bar that is 25.4 or 26.0 diameter, both of which are common bar diameters, you won't be able to get it tight enough and may crack the clamp.
That's what shims are for. Many people cut them out of old soda or beer cans. Nitto offers purpose-made handlebar shims. I have a roll of brass shim stock I use for this.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to say that, IMO, the Cinelli 1A pinch bolt is an example of the worst in Italian engineering design.
Worse than the Cinelli 1/R, even?

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Old 10-01-19, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Worse than the Cinelli 1/R, even?

...when I lose the little wedge thingy on those, I have the sense to save the stem bolt and throw the rest of it away.
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Old 10-01-19, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
No need for wrench boosters on allens. That's what 3/8 drive sockets are for. this is an 8mm shortie. Comes in real handy especially when using the torque wrench !

but my point is - your allen keys DO wear out and can damage fasteners. Get new ones or clean 'em up with your bench grinder. WAY cheaper than replacing fasteners on your bike

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA

Don't think that will work on the 1A , the booster allows for much more positive engagement and leverage while keeping it firmly in place so as not to compromise the tool or fastener anymore than normal wear and tear. I keep several new wrenches in stock so its never a problem, 4,5,6mm and a few others.

There's always a need for boosters, breaker and cheater bars at some point, much better to be prepared and plan for it when necessary, fail to plan, plan to fail.

Especially with crappy hard to source bike fasteners like this, be careful, keep em going and ride on.
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Old 10-04-19, 06:21 AM
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No, that 8mm shortie is for crank arm bolts, it won't work on the 1/a or even on the Cinelli Mod 1 stem which has a 7mm allen head quill bolt. Most of those bolts are compromised because it's hard to find an allen key in that size. However, Cinelli made them. I have a couple different ones in 7 and also 6 mm. They are rare but not impossible to find now, I got these for a buck back in the day.

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Bainbridge Island, WA USA


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Old 10-04-19, 10:14 PM
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Wera and other "nice" tool companies make Hex keys with extra short "short" ends; they are invaluable in situations like these. I would also like to call out @merziac for casually flashing a lined drawer full of Snap-On. The young people call that #lowkey #flex #humblebrag , lol.
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Old 10-05-19, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothness View Post
Wera and other "nice" tool companies make Hex keys with extra short "short" ends; they are invaluable in situations like these. I would also like to call out @merziac for casually flashing a lined drawer full of Snap-On. The young people call that #lowkey #flex #humblebrag , lol.
Did you say "Snap On" ?

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Old 10-05-19, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothness View Post
I would also like to call out @merziac for casually flashing a lined drawer full of Snap-On.
That was Mark Petry's tool box he flashed.
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Old 10-05-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
That was Mark Petry's tool box he flashed.
That was a truly subtle #humblebrag there @mpetry912. Maybe actually a #metahumblebrag ?
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Old 10-05-19, 08:29 AM
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Yes but it looks like NoMadMax has "trumped" my ace on Snap-On. Sounds like another tool box thread coming on.

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Bainbridge Island, WA USA

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Old 10-06-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
Yes but it looks like NoMadMax has "trumped" my ace on Snap-On. Sounds like another tool box thread coming on.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA

Maybe on the box, but my money says your knowledge base is deeper than mine. I specialize in "breaking" not "fixing"
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Old 10-06-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Did you say "Snap On" ?

This from a man who harbors the chaos known as cats.
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Old 10-06-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by oldschoolbike View Post
Thanks, I will look up Jim Merz. Titanium would be nice, it would be sympathetic with some other Ti touches on that bike.

Since you ask (long answer): The original is getting pretty dicey regarding fit of the Allen key, and since I have put Tektro (Ergo copy) levers on the bike I am on the hoods more often, and the bars tend to slip on rough roads due to the extra moment arm my weight is applied at. I really don't want to strip that Allen head trying to apply more torque than has been needed for the last thirty years with Record levers and my hands usually on the bars, not the hoods. I am reluctant to try a touch of Fibre Grip or similar as I am not 100 percent certain it won't cause fretting in an aluminum to aluminum joint.

oldschoolbike
There are 2 issues with that stem, at least, and I embrace them all (like what I did there?)

1- The need for a short L allen wrench. Try it with a 70mm stem sometime. I did not seek such a wrench, but did find one; it was nominated and forced to serve. Get someone to grind one off if needed.

2-The bolt can "bottom out." Washers are your friend, but of course, it's Italian, so the washer is fairly difficult to find. I've had to make do once by using the seat post binder washer and a recessed brake nut. One brake was preferable, 12 miles out, than walking with a loose bar.

Always check #2 above first, to save time. Keep a stash of bolts from old stems, and washers (from stem bolts, clamp bolts, and seatpost binder bolts.

@crank_addict once saved a memorable ride for me by rummaging for same in his trunk of bike parts. Yes, literally the trunk of his car. Of course, then his Bottechia broke on the ride.
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Old 10-06-19, 02:29 PM
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Someone say Snap On tool box?
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Old 10-06-19, 08:29 PM
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Worse than the Cinelli 1/R, even?

Actually, that's Gial Ackbar's favorite stem.
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