experience with Look Ergostem?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Res09c5t, Mar 12, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Res09c5t

    Res09c5t Guest

    Hi, I'm looking at a Look Ergostem. I think the adjustability looks pretty neat. Do these work as
    advertised? Are you happy with it as a permanent stem or do you tend to use it to find fit and then
    buy a "real" one? Any other comments? Thanks in advance! Lyle
     
    Tags:


  2. Patrick Lamb

    Patrick Lamb Guest

    res09c5t wrote:
    > Hi, I'm looking at a Look Ergostem. I think the adjustability looks pretty neat. Do these work as
    > advertised? Are you happy with it as a permanent stem or do you tend to use it to find fit and
    > then buy a "real" one? Any other comments?

    Wishing to increase my bar height a few years ago, but not certain what reach I needed, I got a
    Kalloy adjustable stem. Like I said, it was two or three years ago. I'm still not sure what size I
    need; that stem is still on there. Since it works so well, why should I change it?

    Pat
    --
    Apologies to those easily confused. Address is spam-resistant. Correct email address like pdlamb
    'round-about comcast point net.
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    res09c5t wrote:
    > I'm looking at a Look Ergostem. I think the adjustability looks pretty neat.

    It is. More adjustable than any other stem. Available in both ahead and quill versions.

    > Do these work as advertised?

    Yes - and more: can turn the whole thing upside down for even more wacky positions!

    The adjustability might not be _quite_ as trouble free as you'd think though, because you usually
    have to adjust bar tilt after adjusting pivots; it's tricky to work out what combination of 'A' and
    'B' settings are required for desired position; and the range is limited by cable length in
    practice. However, using it is still much more convenient than changing stems and it can be done by
    the roadside in a few mins with just a 6mm allen wrench. It's also convenient for raising and
    lowering the ahead stem without having to do the spacer business. ...Yes, we know, quill users! :)

    > Are you happy with it as a permanent stem or do you tend to use it to find fit and then buy a
    > "real" one?

    I intended to use it as a long-term temporary stem, ie. use it for some months (after a back injury
    and new bike) before being absolutely sure of what I needed, then transfer it to another bike, etc.
    Unfortunately I stripped the steerer clamp threads (as could be done by overtightening any stem; not
    Look's fault) before I used it all that much. I will get it helicoiled sometime; but now am
    reasonably happy with a regular stem. I like being free of that bulk but do miss the reasurance of
    knowing I could alter the position at any time and also fine tune the reach.

    But you could use it as a permanent stem - providing you didn't mind its weight (400g+), bulk and
    looks. Some users (incl Cycling Plus mag) say they find it rather flexible but I didn't notice this
    myself (although I did have it on short-reach settings) and some track riders usee it so it can't
    be that bad.

    > Any other comments?

    I suggest: Get one if you're unsure what extension and rise you'll need AND you expect to want to
    keep trying various positions, OR you have a temporary back problem or similar, AND you can afford
    it AND you don't mind the single bolt bar clamp, otherwise just use ordinary stems.

    Tip: When adjusting pivot bolts, gently tighten until you just find the biting point, then move and
    set. This will avoid setting inbetween and squashing the washer notches, making them grip less well.

    Bar clamp is 26.0 (new version), clamp height is 40mm (ahead), ahead is 1
    1/8" supplied with a shim for 1".

    (Ahead) Look instruct you not to place spacers under stem but no-one here on r.b.t could come up
    with a good reason why not.

    ~PB
     
  4. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "res09c5t" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi, I'm looking at a Look Ergostem. I think the adjustability looks pretty neat. Do these work as
    > advertised? Are you happy with it as a permanent stem or do you tend to use it to find fit and
    > then buy a "real" one? Any other comments? Thanks in advance! Lyle

    I've used them both on TT bikes and on a tandem - they're heavy, but nice and stiff. Just make sure
    you tighten the bolts to the specified torque - it should be enough to create detents or notches in
    the alu washers. If you don't, the stem can slip on you.

    Andy Coggan
     
  5. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    Mine slips.

    I got one for similar reasons as other posters. I wanted to try a higher bar height and my quill
    stem didn't allow for any more height adjustment, so, rather than just put on another fixed stem, I
    thought the Ergo was a good choice to experiment with positioning. Prior to purchasing it, I had
    read about the slippage issue, but went ahead anyway, because there were indications that it worked
    well for many people.

    For simple, low-impact rides, it works OK , but every weekend I ride with a group, which is more
    demanding, Each of the past few weeks it's slipped as a result of the ride. I have tried all the
    torque suggestions put out by other posters, to no avail. I am going to put on another stem - one
    needs assurance when riding one's bike, not only safety for oneself, but especially for others.

    I'd say that one should consider that the slippage issue is a significant factor when thinking about
    purchasing the Ergostem.

    Mark H.

    "res09c5t" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi, I'm looking at a Look Ergostem. I think the adjustability looks pretty neat. Do these work as
    > advertised? Are you happy with it as a permanent stem or do you tend to use it to find fit and
    > then buy a "real" one? Any other comments? Thanks in advance! Lyle
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I'd say that one should consider that the slippage issue is a significant factor when thinking
    >about purchasing the Ergostem.
    >
    >Mark H.

    I'm a pretty big fellow and have an ErgoStem on my TT bike. I do the deed on it especially when one
    considers the added leverage of the aero bars plus the weight of my upper body resting on the stem.

    I haven't had a problem with it slipping.

    Jon
     
  7. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    I'm open to additional suggestions for tightening it.

    I'd think that it wouldn't require any special methodology, the instructions say nothing. Allegedly,
    one should simply have to line it up and tighten it down, but there have been as many posts from
    folks who've had slippage as those who have had success. Could it be that we're all using the
    product wrong? Is there a special bike mechanic's technique or perhaps a special torque wrench? This
    is the forum to find out.

    Might it be some angle combos are more prone to slippage than others?

    Mark H.

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >I'd say that one should consider that the slippage issue is a significant factor when thinking
    > >about purchasing the Ergostem.
    > >
    > >Mark H.
    >
    > I'm a pretty big fellow and have an ErgoStem on my TT bike. I do the deed
    on
    > it especially when one considers the added leverage of the aero bars plus
    the
    > weight of my upper body resting on the stem.
    >
    > I haven't had a problem with it slipping.
    >
    > Jon
     
  8. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    Whoops, silly me, an important point: Last week, Wednesday, I had my bike tuned up at a good LBS. I
    specifically asked them to check out the stem because of the slipping. They allegedly checked it and
    tightened it, as well. At least they said so - it's written on my invoice. Three days later it
    slipped, the looseness was noticed by a fellow rider at our rest stop. What gives?

    Mark H.

    "Mark H." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:8RPca.10764$S%[email protected]...
    > I'm open to additional suggestions for tightening it.
    >
    > I'd think that it wouldn't require any special methodology, the
    instructions
    > say nothing. Allegedly, one should simply have to line it up and tighten
    it
    > down, but there have been as many posts from folks who've had slippage as those who have had
    > success. Could it be that we're all using the product wrong? Is there a special bike mechanic's
    > technique or perhaps a special torque wrench? This is the forum to find out.
    >
    > Might it be some angle combos are more prone to slippage than others?
    >
    > Mark H.
    >
    > "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > >I'd say that one should consider that the slippage issue is a
    significant
    > > >factor when thinking about purchasing the Ergostem.
    > > >
    > > >Mark H.
    > >
    > > I'm a pretty big fellow and have an ErgoStem on my TT bike. I do the
    deed
    > on
    > > it especially when one considers the added leverage of the aero bars
    plus
    > the
    > > weight of my upper body resting on the stem.
    > >
    > > I haven't had a problem with it slipping.
    > >
    > > Jon
    > >
    > >
     
  9. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    Thanks, Jon. See, that's why this forum is so good, getting other's outlooks and experiences. I had
    given up on the stem, but I'll take it back to the LBS and have them get another look at it (no pun
    intended ;-).

    In the meantime, if anyone else has a clue...

    Mark

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >I'm open to additional suggestions for tightening it.
    > >
    > >I'd think that it wouldn't require any special methodology, the
    instructions
    > >say nothing. Allegedly, one should simply have to line it up and tighten
    it
    > >down, b
    >
    > >Is there a special bike mechanic's technique or perhaps a special torque wrench? This is the
    > >forum to find out.
    >
    > I am sorry I cannot say, my only recommendation would be to make sure that
    the
    > bolts are all lubricated, threads and heads.
    >
    > The one I have is on permanent loan from a fellow who is a well known fitter/mechanic in the area
    > and I am sure if there is trick, he knows it.
    He
    > has several of these and he will install them on a customers bike and
    adjust it
    > and let them ride with it for a while. The fact that it does work with a featherweight guy like me
    > is a sign there is some trick or something.
    >
    > Jon
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Mark H. wrote:

    > Mine slips.

    I presume you mean at the 'A' and 'B' pivots. Mine has never slipped there. I believe it helps if
    you make sure the notches in the washers and stem engage properly, and that the washers are not
    spoilt by setting inbetween notches. The bolts seem to tighten up well; all seems secure to
    me. I haven't used it at the longer extension settings, though, so I suppose it could all be more
    vulnerable like that.

    I have had a bit of slippage at the handlebar clamp - but perhaps that's because I used 25.8 bars.

    ~PB
     
  11. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    Regarding his constantly slipping Ergostem, "Mark H." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:9rQca.10823$S%[email protected]...

    > In the meantime, if anyone else has a clue...

    There are serrated washers on each side of each pivot, which account for the "notches" you feel when
    changing the angle. Perhaps you had the bolts too loose at first, and the subsequent slipping
    episodes wore them down to where they are no longer contributing to keeping the stem from moving?

    Doesn't Look specify a torque for the bolts? I thought that they did, and that it was rather high -
    so maybe you just need to apply even more torque than you have been? (If you strip the threads,
    don't blame me! <g>)

    Is it possible that your stem and/or bolts are defective, so that the bolts are somehow bottoming
    out before applying the expected pressure that sandwiches everything together?

    I did have an Ergostem slip on me once, when I slammed through a low water crossing at the start of
    the Tour de Greune TTT - after that, I learned to really tighten the bolts, and have never had a
    problem since.

    Andy Coggan
     
  12. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    Thanks to all for the good suggestions. Although I think I'm pretty deliberate mechanically, I'm
    not above thinking I may have made some installation error(s). I went over the stem looking for
    wear points, correct lube and brought it to my LBS for double-checking and torquing. It didn't
    appear the washers were compromised, then again...yesterday, slippage on my group ride. Yet, the
    torque on the pivot points (A is the primary offender) was so tight that we could barely break it
    loose with road wrenches.

    The group leaders said that those stems are good for TT and determining handlebar positioning, but
    likely not able to hold up to the forces at the pace we're taking hilly and rough roads. Maybe.

    Anyway, my adventure with the Ergostem is over, whether I did something incorrect or not with its
    use. I need confidence and have to ride especially safe with a group, so off it comes this week. I
    accomplished my purpose, still, as I have a better idea of where I like my bars. Interestingly, I
    had a good comparision of different bar positions as the stem slipped one notch at a time on my
    rides. ;-)

    And, I can't help but think that there is some truth to my original assertion that slippage should
    be a consideration with this stem. Even some posters who have had success with it have had some
    slippage incidents.

    Mark
     
  13. Dianne_1234

    Dianne_1234 Guest

    I took mine apart to guess why it slipped (first time ever!). I'm wondering if the bolt sometimes
    tightens against the mating flats inside, rather than the toothed washers? Perhaps after a little
    wear on the aluminum flat surfaces where the washer grabs.

    "Mark H." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<LKvfa.26406$S%[email protected]>...
    > Thanks to all for the good suggestions. Although I think I'm pretty deliberate mechanically, I'm
    > not above thinking I may have made some installation error(s). I went over the stem looking for
    > wear points, correct lube and brought it to my LBS for double-checking and torquing. It didn't
    > appear the washers were compromised, then again...yesterday, slippage on my group ride. Yet, the
    > torque on the pivot points (A is the primary offender) was so tight that we could barely break it
    > loose with road wrenches.
    >
    > The group leaders said that those stems are good for TT and determining handlebar positioning, but
    > likely not able to hold up to the forces at the pace we're taking hilly and rough roads. Maybe.
    >
    > Anyway, my adventure with the Ergostem is over, whether I did something incorrect or not with its
    > use. I need confidence and have to ride especially safe with a group, so off it comes this week. I
    > accomplished my purpose, still, as I have a better idea of where I like my bars. Interestingly, I
    > had a good comparision of different bar positions as the stem slipped one notch at a time on my
    > rides. ;-)
    >
    > And, I can't help but think that there is some truth to my original assertion that slippage should
    > be a consideration with this stem. Even some posters who have had success with it have had some
    > slippage incidents.
    >
    > Mark
     
  14. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Mark H." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:LKvfa.26406$S%[email protected]...

    > And, I can't help but think that there is some truth to my original assertion that slippage should
    > be a consideration with this stem. Even
    some
    > posters who have had success with it have had some slippage incidents.

    Mine slipped once, but never again after I made sure the bolts were *tight*. Did you ever use a
    torque wrench to see if you had your's tightened to spec? (I confess that I didn't, so I don't know
    what Look's torque recommendation might be - I would like to know, though, since I've got another
    Look Ergostem waiting to go on a tandem, and shiny new torque wrench wanting to be used. <g>)

    Andy Coggan
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Andy Coggan wrote:
    > Mine slipped once, but never again after I made sure the bolts were *tight*. Did you ever use a
    > torque wrench to see if you had your's tightened to spec? (I confess that I didn't, so I don't
    > know what Look's torque recommendation might be - I would like to know, though, since I've got
    > another Look Ergostem waiting to go on a tandem, and shiny new torque wrench wanting to be
    > used. <g>)

    25 Nm, according to the ErgoStem instructions.

    ~PB
     
  16. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Andy Coggan wrote:
    > > Mine slipped once, but never again after I made sure the bolts were *tight*. Did you ever use a
    > > torque wrench to see if you had your's tightened to spec? (I confess that I didn't, so I don't
    > > know what Look's torque recommendation might be - I would like to know, though, since I've got
    > > another Look Ergostem waiting to go on a tandem, and shiny new torque wrench wanting to be
    > > used. <g>)
    >
    > 25 Nm, according to the ErgoStem instructions.

    Thank you!

    Let's see, 9.81 N/kg, 2.205 kg/lbs, your typical Allen wrench that size might be at best 10 cm
    long....so if I apply more than one-third of my body weight to the wrench it should be tightened
    to spec. ;-)

    Andy Coggan
     
  17. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    > > Andy Coggan wrote:
    > > > Did you ever use a torque wrench to see if you had your's tightened to spec? (I confess that I
    > > > didn't, so I don't know what Look's torque recommendation might be - I would like to know,
    > > > though, since I've got another Look Ergostem waiting to go on a tandem, and shiny new torque
    > > > wrench wanting to be used. <g>)

    Sorry not to get back to you right away, Andy, I'm not able to check the NG everyday. Yes, the
    torque is listed as 25 Nm., but I've no torque wrench, that's one reason why I took it to the LBS.

    And, Jon, I've followed the rec.bike NGs long enough to know to give serious consideration to your
    comments/opinions. I understand your point about proper installation. I'm looking forward to
    thoroughly dismantling and inspecting the whole piece when I change stems in a couple days.

    Mark
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...