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What era is this stem from? AVA. Death Stem?

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What era is this stem from? AVA. Death Stem?

Old 01-19-11, 04:01 PM
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shnibop 
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What era is this stem from? AVA. Death Stem?

https://cgi.ebay.com/AVA-Stem-Classic...item41561cf415

considering this for a build (68/69 LeJeune), but not sure if it would be somewhat period correct.

22mm base? to fit a french headset/fork.

is this a "death stem" model, with 2 slots?

alex
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Old 01-19-11, 04:06 PM
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22.0mm is correct for a French stem, but I thought they all had a 25.0mm clamp area, but I could be wrong......
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Old 01-19-11, 04:19 PM
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shnibop,
I have a very similar AVA stem that NLerner traded me. He told me it was not a "death stem". I trust him. The clamp bolt design is just like the one to which you linked. I did not measure that stem's clamp area, but it has a Japanese randonneur bar in it as we speak. I can only assume that that bar has a 25.4mm diameter. I have seen more modern French stems with 25.4mm clamps and, of course, Cinelli sold stems with 22.0 diameters that accepted a 26.4mm handlebar.
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Old 01-19-11, 04:21 PM
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You trusted me?! Bwahahahahahahah!

The AVA death stem has an open back and lots of hollowness. From Sheldon Brown:



Neal
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Old 01-19-11, 04:32 PM
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So the original stem from my '72 Jeunet "has a reputation for failure and should be replaced immediately"? But I polished it and everything. It has an opening in the back showing it's hollowness. I think it's an Atax, though. It has a little star on it.



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Old 01-19-11, 04:39 PM
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Yes, send it to me immediately for proper disposal. In fact, don't even remove it from the bike--just send the whole thing.

Neal
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Old 01-19-11, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
You trusted me?! Bwahahahahahahah!

The AVA death stem has an open back and lots of hollowness. From Sheldon Brown:



Neal
I have a 3ttt stem from the same era with a very similar design, with lots of hollowness and open back - should I be wary of this as well?
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Old 01-19-11, 04:55 PM
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All variants of AVA stems w/single expander cutouts and no relief holes are destined to fail at the quill. This includes the 1980's variants that have a revised clamp design.

Late 1970's and 1980's ATAX (Cinelli 1A-copy) stems often have voids and are prone to cracks.

-Kurt
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Old 01-19-11, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
All variants of AVA stems w/a single expander cutout and no relief hole is destined to fail.

-Kurt
My teeth thank you.
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Old 01-19-11, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dashuaigeh View Post
My teeth thank you.
Meh. Surely it wouldn't fail on you, Jesse.
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Old 01-19-11, 05:42 PM
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Sheldon Brown said that all of the AVA stuff has a reputation for breaking and should be replaced. That includes AVA bars. He didn't restrict it to the particular style in the picture. I also saw in an old thread where he said that all French stems should be replaced. I'm not willing to go that far.
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Old 01-19-11, 05:44 PM
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Has anyone seen these things break or a picture of it broken?
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Old 01-19-11, 06:08 PM
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I took the picture that is on velobase of a cracked death stem. At least I think its still up.
Sheldons reference has been previously disregaurded as a safty sentiment only. - if you don't know if its dangerous, you should replace it just to be careful.
Aside from this, I have only seen failure in the 2-slot versions. I use (and occasionaly inspect) an AVA stem with 25.4 clamp and one slot. Also I have never heard of the later "open-face" AVA stem having any issue.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:10 PM
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Here's a link to GitaneUSA about French death stems. No photos of the AVA but some good info.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:11 PM
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Cool. I"ve been reading about it and I just happen to have a quill 22.2 stem that I can sand down. But I want it to have the original look. I probably won't be hammering on the bike anytime soon.
That's good to know though.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Here's a link to GitaneUSA about French death stems. No photos of the AVA but some good info.
One man's opinion.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
That includes AVA bars.
Correct. I have yet to see an AVA bar that isn't bent lower on one side from rider weight than the other.

-Kurt
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Old 01-19-11, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
One man's opinion.
Agreed - just provided as input. It's more prudent to periodically check the stems to make sure issues aren't developing.

I would agree with you that I wouldn't go as far as Sheldon did with his opinion either.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Sheldon Brown said that all of the AVA stuff has a reputation for breaking and should be replaced. That includes AVA bars. He didn't restrict it to the particular style in the picture. I also saw in an old thread where he said that all French stems should be replaced. I'm not willing to go that far.
Perhaps the entire country should be replaced? That would surely be too far...
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Old 01-19-11, 07:14 PM
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I have seen a number of cracked and broken stems of various brands.There is always a lot of talk about the so called Ava death stems. Considering the frequency that these supposedly fail you would think there would be a lot of pictures,but i seldom see any,so I tend to be a bit skeptical. As a matter of fact there seems to be little agreement on which models are the death stems.However here are a few pics of an Ava stem that has a scary looking crack.This style which has the vertical bolt is the style which i tend to be wary of.I do not know if this style is the supposed death stem.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
ava.JPG (33.4 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg
ava (2).JPG (35.1 KB, 89 views)
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Old 01-19-11, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
....There is always a lot of talk about the so called Ava death stems. Considering the frequency that these supposedly fail you would think there would be a lot of pictures,but i seldom see any,so I tend to be a bit skeptical. ....
+1

My death stem has not cracked in 40 years. That could change tomorrow, but a lot of other things could happen too.

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Old 01-19-11, 07:50 PM
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I used one of these on my wife's Bottecchia mixte build. Now you guys got me all worried. I even polished it all up.
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Old 01-19-11, 07:53 PM
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It only takes a few people saying "Death stems", "Death fork", "Death Frame"....."Death bike", then all of the sudden it's taken as fact by everyone and their kittens! I suspect that they might have cracked as shown but most likely most of them did not crack any further than that for most people.

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Old 01-19-11, 07:57 PM
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COMING TO A BICYCLE SHOP NEAR YOU:

The all NEW Titan Teledyne with Viscount Aerospace Pro aluminum fork. Fitted with AVA stem and bars, Simplex Prestige front and rear derailers, non-stress-relieved Record crankarms, drillium seatpost, and no warranty.

Please bring a valid $1,000,000 life insurance policy with you when you make your purchase.

-Kurt
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Old 01-19-11, 08:09 PM
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Here's the same stem mounted to my '62 Continental. Still smiling after 49 years.

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