Changing Quill Stem on 1996 Specialized Ground Control


New Member
Apr 2, 2012
I have a 1996 Specialized Ground Control I use as a commuter bike, and I'd like to change out the quill stem to something more upright (for less shoulder/back strain during longer rides). Bikepedia indicates the bike has a 1 1/8" sealed mechanism, and I'm interested in going to something like this:

What other specs do I need to take into consideration? What does sealed mechanism mean - is this even something I can swap out?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
The bearings in the headset are sealed. This has nothing to do with being able to remove the stem. If you loosen the bolt at the top of your current stem, you'll see that it can pull straight out - assuming you have enough slack in your cables. So all you really need to do is make sure your new stem adds the height and reach that you want and will fit your current handlebar diameter... This should be marked but I think virtually all mtn. bikes use 25.4mm and that should be the size of yours.

Perhaps your current stem can be raised an inch or two and this will be enough for you.

There is always the chance that if you raise it too far, you'll need to lengthen your cables. You can check this by loosening and pulling up your current stem to the height you want. Turn the wheel as far as you can and see if it binds. BTW, all stems have a line that shows the minimum insertion required for safety.

The stem you linked to is 110mm long so when you consider that it needs to be inserted to 50mm or so, it will only stick up maybe 60mm. Of course you can angle it a bit for more height and closer reach, but this may not give you the height you need. Maybe consider if a longer model would work better for you..
FWIW. The adustable stem may-or-may not be the best resolution ...

How long are the "longer rides" which you take?

Simply changing the handlebars may eventually be the optimal solution for you.

  • BTW ... before you buy a new stem, if you are handy, then you can REMOVE the forward portion of the quill & sleeve a 1 1/8" stem on the remaing, vertical portion of your quill stem ...
  • the DIY quill adapter will give you MANY stem options

If you can, post picture of your bike to show how it is currently set up.
Thanks for the replies!

Alan - my rides to/from work are 10 miles. I will post a pic tonight, but basically, my quill/stem right now is soldered, and the stem portion is approx 5-6 inches long. So I *think* my issue is that I'm actually reaching too far for the handlebars, and I need to bring the handlebars closer to the fork. Does this sound right? Again, I will post a pic and get accurate measurements tonight.

Alf - Thanks for all the great the info - I thought the sealed mechanism would limit my options, good to know it doesn't. Great advice on checking the cable length too.

Thanks again!