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25.4 to 26.0 shims are crazy expensive!

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25.4 to 26.0 shims are crazy expensive!

Old 11-17-12, 05:36 PM
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frantik
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25.4 to 26.0 shims are crazy expensive!

Seriously.. what's up with that? You can get a complete stem for LESS than two strips of stainless steel!

I just got a "good deal" on some nitto shims for $8.. to go with the stem i paid $10 for.. i could have kept using my aluminum can shim but i'll trust these proper shims more

/rant
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Old 11-17-12, 05:46 PM
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Well I had to reluctantly get a set of those shims yet they are still not proper - I have 25.4 bars and a 26.4 stem. It's holding for now but I'm eventually going to get both matching.
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Old 11-17-12, 06:03 PM
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It depends on your application. I was never, and still not totally sold on them but they do have their place. Since I need to/ like to sit higher than the average rider I either have to fight my Nitto B115s through a Kalloy hybrid/ATB type stem or use a threadless adapter and shim since you can't rind that many 25.4 threadless stems these days.

Shims with threadless adapter




Bars I fought to get them in the Kalloy stem



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Old 11-17-12, 06:08 PM
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I got the shims to allow me more options for stems for my drop bar mtb. So far the only stem w/o a removable face plate that I've been able to easily fit on the Salsa Woodchipper bars has been a 26.0 road bike stem. i haven't ridden on it yet though so i'm not 100% sure if this stem will work out or if i will need to look for more.

i also bought a fork mounted cable stop so that I don't have to look for stems with cable stops, which are also pretty rare these days
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Old 11-17-12, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
There's a quotable quote about shims in here as I remember....

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in pdf
His handlebars had started slipping. Not badly, he said, just a little when you shoved hard on them. I warned him not to use his adjustable wrench on the tightening nuts. It was likely to damage the chrome and start small rust spots. He agreed to use my metric
sockets and box-ends.

When he brought his motorcycle over I got my wrenches out but then noticed that no amount of tightening would stop the slippage, because the ends of the collars were pinched shut.

"You’re going to have to shim those out," I said.

"What’s shim?"

"It’s a thin, flat strip of metal. You just slip it around the handlebar under the collar there and it will open up the collar to where you can tighten it again. You use shims like that to make adjustments in all kinds of machines."

"Oh," he said. He was getting interested. "Good. Where do you buy them?"

"I’ve got some right here," I said gleefully, holding up a can of beer in my hand.

He didn’t understand for a moment. Then he said, "What, the can?"

"Sure," I said, "best shim stock in the world."

I thought this was pretty clever myself. Save him a trip to God knows where to get shim stock. Save him time. Save him money.

But to my surprise he didn’t see the cleverness of this at all. In fact he got noticeably haughty about the whole thing. Pretty soon he was dodging and filling with all kinds of excuses and, before I realized what his real attitude was, we had decided not to fix the
handlebars after all.

As far as I know those handlebars are still loose. And I believe now that he was actually offended at the time. I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can!


The shim I made seems pretty good but it needs to be a little thicker for me to not worry.. it's from a pineapple juice can that is a lot thicker than a soda can but not as thick as the nitto shim
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Old 11-18-12, 04:22 AM
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Ha, great story, about the un-shimmed BMW. Bianchigirl, I hope you don't break that coffee cup like that. I've learned a good bit from your posts here, before joining, Bianchigirl. One day soon I'll post up a thread with pics, of my Frejus, which was one of the Italian companies aquired by Bianchi, eventually. Frejus won a LOT of races in the 30s, 40s & 50s, especially, so I imagine you've at least heard of them.
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Old 11-18-12, 05:31 AM
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I like using proper shim stock. Anyone who needs a piece of brass shim stock can PM me. I'll send a small piece, no charge. I have lots of sizes. But it's up to you to determine exactly which size you need. Aluminum beer can is fine, if that's the thickness you need.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by spacemanz View Post
Ha, great story, about the un-shimmed BMW. Bianchigirl, I hope you don't break that coffee cup like that. I've learned a good bit from your posts here, before joining, Bianchigirl. One day soon I'll post up a thread with pics, of my Frejus, which was one of the Italian companies aquired by Bianchi, eventually. Frejus won a LOT of races in the 30s, 40s & 50s, especially, so I imagine you've at least heard of them.
Thank you spaceman it is always nice to hear I have a fan or two. I can't wait to see your Frejus, I am familiar with the name name but not sure I knew they were linked to Bianchi. Somthing like a Frejus, Legnano or even a Holdsworth from the 60s is on my list of bikes I would like to have.

I am not sure I ever actually used that cup holder, I'll make a point to try it out soon.
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Old 11-18-12, 07:27 AM
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I know the economy is tough, but I don't think it's bad enough to complain about a pair of precisely machined shims that travelled half way around the world costing a whopping $8.
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Old 11-18-12, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
I know the economy is tough, but I don't think it's bad enough to complain about a pair of precisely machined shims that travelled half way around the world costing a whopping $8.
I'm not complaining about the $8 as much as I'm commenting that the product in general seems overpriced. For $8 you can buy a whole stem sent 1/2 way around the world. But good luck finding these shims for $8.. i got them locally off CL.. online they will run you close to $20 with shipping

I don't know how precisely machined the aluminum can I was using was, but it was only $1 per can (enough for at least 3 shims) and came with a free tasty beverage too. The can was shipped from the Philippines (ie halfway around the world If it were just a tiny bit thicker i wouldn't have even needed the fancy shim

honestly i feel like with the Nitto shims you're mostly paying for the name. Plus there doesn't seem to be any competition.. no one else offers the shims that I'm aware of.. probably because most people just use a can
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Old 11-18-12, 08:05 AM
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You used Philippine beer cans? Well, there's your problem right there.

Just curious, what does Nitto list as the thickness of their shims? I figured out to the nearest thou' for the stem/bars on my Gitane, but can't remember what I came up with. .004, as I remember, but could be wrong.
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Old 11-18-12, 10:07 AM
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Make your own. K & S Enginering sells 0.012" (0.3mm) stainless steel in 3" x 6" sheets for $6.00. You could get 4 sets out of a sheet, so average cost would be only $1.50. K&S products are available at many hobby and craft stores and even some hardware stores. If not available locally, you can buy it on-line through various merchandisers.
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Old 11-18-12, 11:16 AM
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Try some aluminum roof flashing. This piece is only 60 cents and looks like it would provide enough for at least a couple of stems. The specifications say that it is 0.011 gauge.
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Old 11-18-12, 02:02 PM
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Yes, Velo Orange sells some shims that are slightly less than the Nitto version as does Problem Solvers which are available at any LBS. All are much more precisely machined than a beer can. And, no, you can't get a Nitto quality stem for anywhere near $12. What good is it to make comparisons if you're not comparing apples to apples?

I can get behind frugality, but if you're belly aching about the price of an $8-20 shim set that is better than anything you could make yourself (not to mention the time it would take to do so), then you don't value your time very much or have nothing legitimate to complain about in your life. If the latter, consider yourself lucky.
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Old 11-18-12, 02:13 PM
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The fact that you got a Nitto stem for the super-cheap price of $10 means the whole setup, including shims, is costing you $18? I wouldn't be complaining if I was you.
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Old 11-18-12, 02:35 PM
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You can get a roll of shim stock from mcmaster.com

But you didn't.
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Old 11-18-12, 03:03 PM
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Well the trick is when you are ordering other parts you simply have to remember to order a set or two of these. When I order bars from Ben's/Milwaukee I always just include shims since odds are good I'll need a pair.
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Old 11-18-12, 03:14 PM
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The Nitto ones are value added by being sandblasted for grip ,and I think stainless steel.
26.0 - 25.4 = .6mm, half that is 0.3mm you just need beverage can that is that thick to cut up.

if you own a digital caliper , measure what sheet metal you can find.
For better Bodging, measuring tools come in so handy..
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Old 11-18-12, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paramount1973 View Post
Try some aluminum roof flashing. This piece is only 60 cents and looks like it would provide enough for at least a couple of stems. The specifications say that it is 0.011 gauge.
Ya, shimstock material is so available, you don't really have to buy it if cost is an issue. I have always used slices of aluminum cans and plastic cola bottles for shimstock and it has always worked well: always available. Nearly free. Easy adjust with a pair of scissors.
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Old 11-18-12, 03:43 PM
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The fact that you got a Nitto stem for the super-cheap price of $10 means the whole setup, including shims, is costing you $18? I wouldn't be complaining if I was you.
I wish i got a Nitto stem for $10.. but I didn't.

Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
you don't value your time very much or have nothing legitimate to complain about in your life.
jeez, not sure why some people are getting so dickish when I comment that it's ridiculous a company charges $10-15 for two strips of metal. people in this thread are offering options that cost less than a dollar.
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Old 11-18-12, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
jeez, not sure why some people are getting so dickish when I comment that it's ridiculous a company charges $10-15 for two strips of metal. people in this thread are offering options that cost less than a dollar.
If you think a beer can shim is the same as what you can buy at your LBS then that's what you should use. And if you're so knowledgable about small metal part machining and global distribution maybe you could enlighten us as to what the "two strips of metal" should cost.

I'm just calling you out on a bull**** rant. So, yeah, I'm sure it does sound "dickish" when someone tells you to try again when you have a legitimate gripe, but I can't say I'm sorry.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
If you think a beer can shim is the same as what you can buy at your LBS then that's what you should use. And if you're so knowledgable about small metal part machining and global distribution maybe you could enlighten us as to what the "two strips of metal" should cost.

I'm just calling you out on a bull**** rant. So, yeah, I'm sure it does sound "dickish" when someone tells you to try again when you have a legitimate gripe, but I can't say I'm sorry.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:05 PM
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Nice! Good on you for not taking it personally. It's only one thread fail.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
It's only one thread fail.
this thread is full of information on shim options, and even includes an offer by a member for some free shims. Seems like a winning thread to me, even despite the trolls
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Old 11-18-12, 04:31 PM
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The "better" (old fashioned type) auto parts stores sell shim stock in various thicknesses.
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