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Remember to tighten your beautiful C&V stems!

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Remember to tighten your beautiful C&V stems!

Old 01-08-15, 05:03 AM
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Remember to tighten your beautiful C&V stems!

I found out the hard way and ate some pavement. 2 weeks of bandaids all over my face knees knuckles and elbow but hey I'm alive. I may even be prettier now.

Surprisingly the bike is 100% okay. not even a scratch.

I've never had a problem with my DIY work but now I'm reminded how dangerous my own carelessness can be.

Stay safe out there guys.
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Old 01-08-15, 05:44 AM
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Grateful you'll be ok. I'm 58 and I feel like I forget things and what I'd meant to do every day....makes me wonder what's ahead.
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Old 01-08-15, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Grateful you'll be ok. I'm 58 and I feel like I forget things and what I'd meant to do every day....makes me wonder what's ahead.
It's not pretty. I spend my life looking for my glasses.
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
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Old 01-08-15, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
It's not pretty. I spend my life looking for my glasses.
+1 and when I find a pair I also find the other five pair I lost. xn7, glad you are still here to post.
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Old 01-08-15, 08:12 AM
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Glad you are healing and no permanent damage was done. One of my bosses said "We need to learn from our mistakes, but it is better if we learn from someone else's mistakes".

In my line of work, mistakes can be costly, so we constantly practice self checking as well as checking others' work.
If you get distracted or stop for a break, when you come back, go back over what you did before the interruption so you know where you are starting from.
Summit fever, i.e. getting in a hurry because the end is in sight, either the end of a job or end of the day, is a leading cause of mistakes.
Taking a couple minutes to go through a mental checklist, or even a written one, top to bottom before taking a bike out for its first ride can save a lot of pain later.
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Old 01-08-15, 09:06 AM
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Three feet, oops - loose - crash!-(

"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
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Old 01-08-15, 09:18 AM
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I've not done that yet (try to ride without the stem tightened), but just give me time... LOL

So glad that there was no serious damage @xn7 !
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Old 01-08-15, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Grateful you'll be ok. I'm 58 and I feel like I forget things and what I'd meant to do every day....makes me wonder what's ahead.
68 is a whole new level .
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Old 01-08-15, 09:51 AM
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Being interrupted by others, or being hurried by others, has been the cause of a few of my notable mistakes. I think the latin term is projectus interruptus.
My C&V Bikes:
1972 Bottecchia Professional, 1972 Legnano Olympiade Record,
1982 Colnago Super, 1987 Bottecchia Team C-Record,
1988 Pinarello Montello, 1990 Masi Nuova Strada Super Record,
1995 Bianchi Campione d'Italia, 1995 DeBernardi Thron

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Old 01-08-15, 09:55 AM
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I did the loose stem thing once on one of my MTBs. I don't know why I even had the thing loose, but after the bike was sitting in a corner for month, I picked it up, loaded up on the rack, drove 20 miles to the trailhead, hopped on it, rode 10 feet... WHUMP!

Not really injured at all, but of course I didn't have any tools with me. So it's just load it back on the car and drive back home
● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1973 Nishiki Semi-Pro ● 1979 Motobecane Grand Jubile ●1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1988 Schwinn Voyageur ● 1989 Bottechia Team ADR replica ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ● 1993 Technium RT600 ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ●

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Old 01-08-15, 10:08 AM
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My standard road tool kit now includes everything needed to tighten stems, cables, seatpost, crank arms, headset, pedals. Pretty much everything except bottom bracket and hub cones. There has been too many a ride where I get a mile down the road and a FD cable comes loose that was not clamped tight enough, or the bars suddenly tilt down from an insufficiently right stem clamp. No accidents so far, but I got sick of that frustrated slow ride home.
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Old 01-08-15, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
My standard road tool kit now includes everything needed to tighten stems, cables, seatpost, crank arms, headset, pedals. Pretty much everything except bottom bracket and hub cones. There has been too many a ride where I get a mile down the road and a FD cable comes loose that was not clamped tight enough, or the bars suddenly tilt down from an insufficiently right stem clamp. No accidents so far, but I got sick of that frustrated slow ride home.

The only minor or worst case was having a bar slowly slide down or seat post. I figured to have them tight but sometimes they take far more than specified.
I'm always carrying tools and often like MacGyver out on the road or trail. More often helping those without the means. I like to hunt for unique, lightweight compact tools and all packed tightly in my hydration pack pocket. Not all are the perfect or correct tool but can be used in a 'pinch'.
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Old 01-08-15, 10:39 AM
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To the OP: Glad you are OK. Never fun.
I too try to take a couple of key tools with me for the first several rides on the road bike. On one 30+mile ride I discovered, at about the 25th mile, that my seat post was slowly slipping down. I couldn't figure out why the ride was not the same in the previous 5- 10 miles! Didn't have a tool with me so it was like a pain for the rest of the ride with the saddle too low. So now a 4,5, and 6 mm Allen wrench is usually with me and maybe a 8 and 10mm open end wrench.

Once the bike proves to be "stable," they don't come with me. The only tools are the plastic "tire iron" to initiate the removal of the tubular in case of a flat and a pump.
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Old 01-08-15, 11:28 AM
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Glad the OP is all good. I have had a stem come loose but I don't think I have bailed because of it. I have however stood out of the saddle after changing a cassette and chain only to find the chainring is shot too. Over the bar you may go in that instance.

I always carry this on a fast road ride in addition to spare tube and some levers.

My fascination with multi tools began in the mid 1990s when I got this uber cool Giro multi tool (Bad Idea Racing: Excess baggage and the blissful ignorance of youth scroll down at bottom).. don't have it anymore. broke the tire levers.

I always carry a heavy and bulky Topeak tool on MTB ride with a bunch of chain pins in the pouch, it also has two convenient places to snap in spares. Any I have fixed a broken chain of a friend when far from the trailhead which saved us a couple hours walk. So yeah, I would never ride in the woods without it.
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Old 01-08-15, 11:59 AM
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I never rode one with a loose stem, but I bought a vintage NOS bike once and the seller (retired LBS owner) offered to assemble for a small fee ($5 if I recall). Since it was easier to transport on my rack, I had him assemble it. As I loaded it onto the rack, I nudged the handlebar and it turned without turning the front wheel... I was glad I didn't test ride it.
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Old 01-08-15, 12:08 PM
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XN7, glad you're ok, and thanks for the warning.

I once had a stem pull almost fully out of the steerer as I accelerated across an intersection, seems the previous owner had tapered the bottom of the quill in order to get the stem lower into this Schwinn Circuit's very short steerer. I actually didn't hit the ground, saved it by throwing a "kick" or two at the ground and managed to stop!

I also once loosened a stem bolt in order to more easily fit a bunch of road bikes into my truck for a bike exhibit, then by chance offered a guy there the chance to test the old Peugeot.
Good thing he noticed the loose clamp before riding off!

I actually had the bars turn almost 20 degrees the other day on a bike ('87 Jamis Dakar) that I was riding home from the thrift store, again lucky as I was stopping on my front porch when I noticed the bars had twisted from turning sharply into my driveway! The front cantilever brake cable also lost tension as the stem dropped a bit, probably why it dropped when it did.
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Old 01-08-15, 12:11 PM
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Perhaps I'm OCD anyway, but all my stems get tightened to 15-20 ft-lbs before leaving the house for the first time. I use a torque wrench because I'm a weakling and it's easy for me to under-tighten this bolt with a regular 6mm allen wrench.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
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Old 01-08-15, 12:56 PM
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I have a Cinelli XA stem on my Bianchi with the aluminum alloy bolt which seems very fragile. I don't know the recommended torque so I just tighten it until I can't easily twist the bars when holding the front wheel still. The bolt's not very tight with this method but so far so good.

Anybody know the torque spec off hand?
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Old 01-08-15, 12:58 PM
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The better you were as a wrench in the past, the harder it is to realize, as you get older, that you ain't what you were anymore.
BITD I was an aircraft mechanic with an unblemished record. Now I have to stop and think clearly about each step, and check everything twice.
Probably Alzheimers.
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Old 01-08-15, 05:33 PM
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I've taken to sticking a piece of blue painter's tape on the stem whenever I do work on the front end to remind myself. Of course I could always forget the tape. If I forget what tape is, that's when I really have to start worrying.
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Old 01-08-15, 05:35 PM
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& the other thing pull it out so it wont sieze in place, occasionally ..
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Old 01-08-15, 05:53 PM
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After I unload the bike from the rack and QR the front wheel in place, I got into the habit of straddlng the front wheel between my knees and yanking on the bars a bit. I did find it loose one time.

Wish I could find one of those little multi tools with a 7 mm hex key.
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Old 01-08-15, 06:57 PM
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Such discussion will usually lead to the usual debate whether one should apply grease to a stem to prevent it from getting stuck/seizing in steel steerer tubes........
I prefer to not do so on mine as I had some experience with having trouble getting a stem tight enough to stop from twisting in the steerer tube and just pull out and dry out/clean the stem and steerer tube every time I ride in any type of wet weather.
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Old 01-09-15, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
It's not pretty. I spend my life looking for my glasses.
My wife says I have at least 20 pair of reading glasses between the house, trucks, hanger, pockets, etc. I can still never find one.
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Old 01-09-15, 10:16 AM
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Yes. I have to check myself often these days. Indeed the best thing is to go back a couple of steps from where I thought I stopped.

One more thing- when you tighten use anti-seize from AutoZone, Advance, O'reilly's, etc. It doesn't lube, but keeps the corrosion away.

I've got one story about things being loose. I fool with my old cars quite a bit. I test drove my Ghia- it was up near Ann Arbor- on a windy, rainy chilly day in November. Not the best conditions for that, so the drive was a bit shorter than usual, but everything seemed on the square. The owner's husband went through the bills, making a point to show me where he had replaced a bunch of front end parts. The next week I traded money for title and proceeded to drive back here to Kentucky. A nasty front end shake popped up- fortunately with only 40 HP I could only do 60 or so most of the time. The car, nonetheless felt like it would hold together- and it did. After a few months of trying to sort it myself, I took the Ghia to my tire and brake man for an alignment and mounting new tires. At first there was a grim "UH-OH!!!" moment as the mechanic thought the front end mounts might be rusted out. I sat there trying to figure what to do and how much it might cost when the mechanic came back and said the castle nuts holding the kingpins were loose! Just needed tightening and all was well, although he was puzzled about it.

The only thing I could figure was the PO's husband got distracted. Phone call? Lunch ready? Company show up? Forget where he left off? Who knows? Just a case of "I thought I did" or "I forgot" I suppose...

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