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Matching Stem to Handlebars

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View Poll Results: Would you keep the stem and handlebars paired with the same make?
Yes
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28.57%
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Matching Stem to Handlebars

Old 05-22-21, 10:16 AM
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mruneedahelmet
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Matching Stem to Handlebars

I'm currently set up with a Cinelli 1A with Model 66 bars; they are from later production with the 26.0mm size. The bars don't really suit me so I'll be swapping them for some Nittos.

Should I swap the stem too to something Nitto, if only to simplify the installation? Would keeping the Cinelli as a combo make sense to sell on to a new owner? I understand 26.0 Cinelli bars are a bit of an oddity. I'm not exactly building something for Eroica so not that fussed about aesthetics.
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Old 05-22-21, 10:19 AM
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If brand doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.

Only size matters.
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Old 05-22-21, 10:49 AM
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My instinct would be to keep them together; if some future buyer needs to have your #66 bars, there's a fair likelihood (not a certainty, mind) that they're also going to want a Cinelli stem to go with it -- even if 26.0 has opened up a world of interchangeability after 26.4.
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Old 05-22-21, 11:05 AM
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I don't really care about matching brands. But, if you're planning on selling or reusing the bars, don't scratch them up and make a mess out of them.

Open Face stems have opened up a world of possibilities for bar shapes and forms. Aero bars?
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Old 05-22-21, 11:32 AM
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I wouldn't bother getting a Nitto stem if the Cinelli works, but I would keep the Cinelli bars for a future owner. I think it would add to the value when/if you sell.

My Schwinn Circuit came with Cinelli 90mm stem and 64/40 bars - way too short, way too narrow. I got a 130mm Cinelli 1A stem and Soma Highway One bars, but I'm keeping the original bar and stem, as well as the original really short SR seatpost, all zip-tied together, so if I sell it in the future (Fat chance! I LOVE this bike!), they'll be part of the package. Everything else on the bike is the original spec, including the San Marco Rolls saddle.
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Old 05-22-21, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I wouldn't bother getting a Nitto stem if the Cinelli works, but I would keep the Cinelli bars for a future owner. I think it would add to the value when/if you sell.

My Schwinn Circuit came with Cinelli 90mm stem and 64/40 bars - way too short, way too narrow. I got a 130mm Cinelli 1A stem and Soma Highway One bars, but I'm keeping the original bar and stem, as well as the original really short SR seatpost, all zip-tied together, so if I sell it in the future (Fat chance! I LOVE this bike!), they'll be part of the package. Everything else on the bike is the original spec, including the San Marco Rolls saddle.
I get your point about keeping original spec of a bike for resale; however this bike is a bit of an oddity and mystery. It's a mid 90's Concorde, Tange Prestige frame, of Japanese manufacture - haven't seen another one like it. Practically the entire spec is Japanese (Shimano, Ritchey MIJ) save the Cinelli cockpit (unless the later production was shifted to Japan?)

I don't suspect that the Cinelli bits will matter significantly to a future owner, not if replaced with quality Nitto ones. I do see the value in a future owner wanting matched stem and bars, however. FWIW, the 1A is 110mm length and the 66 bars are 44 width, not far off a "normal" pairing.

I contemplated going with compact bars, like the Somas, as I'm most comfortable on them but managed to source some classic curve Nittos with a shallower drop.
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Old 05-22-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I don't really care about matching brands. But, if you're planning on selling or reusing the bars, don't scratch them up and make a mess out of them.

Open Face stems have opened up a world of possibilities for bar shapes and forms. Aero bars?
Yes, whoever did the install of the bars onto the stem already marred them up a little. I would rather avoid making it worse swapping different bars onto the stem.

The replacement stem would be of similar design to the 1A. The new bars will be classic curve drop bars, nothing peculiar.
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Old 05-22-21, 12:05 PM
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Would you keep the stem and handlebars paired with the same make?

Sure... If I could afford it. Come to think of it I have had only one bike where the stem and bars were a pair. They were Cinelli on a 1975 Liotto.

Being a cheap bastard, at inspection every one of my bikes is FRANKEN. Have a stem and bars from same make; I'm lucky to have them out of the same material... Ha
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Old 05-22-21, 12:17 PM
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Almost always ... unless it's french.
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Old 05-22-21, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mruneedahelmet View Post
I get your point about keeping original spec of a bike for resale; however this bike is a bit of an oddity and mystery. It's a mid 90's Concorde, Tange Prestige frame, of Japanese manufacture - haven't seen another one like it. Practically the entire spec is Japanese (Shimano, Ritchey MIJ) save the Cinelli cockpit (unless the later production was shifted to Japan?)

I don't suspect that the Cinelli bits will matter significantly to a future owner, not if replaced with quality Nitto ones. I do see the value in a future owner wanting matched stem and bars, however. FWIW, the 1A is 110mm length and the 66 bars are 44 width, not far off a "normal" pairing.

I contemplated going with compact bars, like the Somas, as I'm most comfortable on them but managed to source some classic curve Nittos with a shallower drop.
Yeah, if it's not a known original part, then, yeah. But you could sell the Cinelli bar and stem together. A month ago, I might have bought it! Pretty happy with the 130mm 1A and the Highway One, now.
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Old 05-22-21, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mruneedahelmet View Post
I'm currently set up with a Cinelli 1A with Model 66 bars; they are from later production with the 26.0mm size. The bars don't really suit me so I'll be swapping them for some Nittos.

Should I swap the stem too to something Nitto, if only to simplify the installation? Would keeping the Cinelli as a combo make sense to sell on to a new owner? I understand 26.0 Cinelli bars are a bit of an oddity. I'm not exactly building something for Eroica so not that fussed about aesthetics.
Since you're asking then yes mainly because they are the outlier here, Nitto bars and SR, whatever stem, Nitto if you really want but I wouldn't unless I had one already in stock (and I do ), any decent Japanese stem would be fine with me if you're not going to keep the Cinelli's on it. I would keep them together just because they may compliment each other for a better sale later.
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Old 05-23-21, 07:12 AM
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Being a restorer of vintage road bikes, I would want the bar to match the stem if that was original issue to the bicycle. Other than that, I want a bar wide enough to impart comfort and a stem, of suitable length and as pretty as I can find...


This is a Legnano pantographed stem and shall remain, forever, on my Legnano. The handlebar has no markings at all but was original to the bike, or at least close to it. It too will remain...



When I do not know for sure what is needed for restoration or if I just don't have, meaning can't afford, the proper stem, I go with ornate...


The Carnelli stem, above, was pirated from a Bottecchia and installed on the all chrome Torpado that I built. My most recent Torpado features an OEM stem and I like it not quite as much as the Carnelli, but original ttt offering is much preferred...
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Old 05-23-21, 10:08 AM
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I have a couple of Cinelli 66-40 bars matched with 100mm 1A stems, all 26.4. Thankfully they are the right combination for me.

One came on a complete bike, but the other was bought as a matched pair. Iím glad the PO kept them together, as finding 1A stems in useful lengths is harder than I expected.

I have a third 66-40 in 26.0 without a mate, will probably use a Nitto when the time comes.
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Old 05-23-21, 01:27 PM
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I need things to be matchy-matchy. Even if that match is just in my head- slapping parts together isn't my bag, baby.

A stem and bars... that's right in your face every time you ride.

Additionally- there's the "keeping things together" thing.
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Old 05-23-21, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I need things to be matchy-matchy. Even if that match is just in my head- slapping parts together isn't my bag, baby.

A stem and bars... that's right in your face every time you ride.

Additionally- there's the "keeping things together" thing.
OK, I'm convinced to keep stem and bars paired. Fortunately Nitto stems are readily available, unless I'm going to the extreme of seeking out one that is vintage accurate. Still, I am confident I can source one without breaking the bank.

Your point about the significance of the cockpit is a valid one. Only on my most recent bikes have I been spoiled with excellent stems and bars. Heck, I took for granted the DuraAce stem and Nitto M176 bars I had on the Marino I just sold; I would have happily swapped that with the Cinelli setup if the order of transactions permitted.
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Old 05-25-21, 06:09 PM
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Many of the above comments reinforce my thankfulness for being an insensitive clot. I even have 26.0 bars in 26.4 stems with a beer can shim. And in distant times I recall wedging open bar clamps to get too-big bars to fit !
Wild and crazy times, eh?
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Old 05-25-21, 10:18 PM
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Match, I tend to replace 30 to 40 year old stems and bars with Nitto.
Tim
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Old 06-05-21, 11:29 PM
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I successfully tracked down a more appropriate stem and handlebar combo. The ergonomics of this Nitto Mod 55 bar, with a shallower drop than the Cinelli 66, suit me much better. The Pearl stem is easy on the eyes too.

​​​​ Anyone looking for a Cinelli CdM bars paired to a 1A stem?


Nitto Pearl stem and Mod 55 handlebars
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Old 06-06-21, 06:41 AM
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To make the bike fit, I usually have to change the stem and/or bars anyway, so I'm not too worried about keeping the originals together. I just try to have the replacements match the character of the bike.

For a bike that I'm selling, if I have the matching pieces and they don't work for me, then I'll put them on to make the bike look a bit more coordinated.
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Old 06-06-21, 07:08 AM
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Yeah, put me in the I don't care camp about matching. It's a bike for riding and the stem/bar are part of the fit process. Give me what works for the look I am going for on that bike.

I'm currently working on a Klein Quantum II that I took in recently. For silly reasons only I'm trying to get it under 18 lbs. Since I only have 3 ozs to go and the current Modolo 8X Tenos bars don't work for me I'm trying to find a lighter, compact bar/stem setup in the size needed to work for me. Won't care if they match brand wise or not. Now to figure out who makes the lightest 26.0 bars these day.....
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