Quill Stem and Fork's Steering Tube Frozen

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Javier Sanchez, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the fork's
    steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?
     
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  2. Had this happen only once, Which is why now I always smear a layer of _waterproof_ grease on
    the stem, as an anti sieze, before inserting it into a steerer tube which is made of any
    different metal.

    You could try soaking it in WD-40 (or something similar that claims to free frozen things) and see
    if that doesn't help release it. But you may end up simply having to wrench it out and clean the
    inside of the steerer tube.

    And be sure to coat the NEW stem with something that will prevent this before inserting it. Like I
    said, I use a waterproof grease.

    I know there will be a few that say this doesn't matter, but the only time I didn't do this was $40
    proof enough for me that it DOES.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  3. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Javier Sanchez writes:

    > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the
    > fork's steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?

    Although this was a common ill, it should become rarer, now that we have the horrible misnomer
    "Threadless headset" which is really a non stick stem. That's what it's all about, not threads. It's
    too bad that these folks could not have coined a better name for their stem solution, one for which
    bicycles have waited for more than 100 years. Long live the "Non-quill stem"!

    Saw it off above the head bearing, bore it, first with a large drill, and then a Dremel tool to
    grind a slot down one side of the remaining shell. Actually, that is what a frame repairer will
    do. Don't try this yourself unless you are good at it, which you probably are not or you wouldn't
    have asked.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  4. Grenouil

    Grenouil Guest

    "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I
    realized that it had
    > frozen against the fork's steering tube. Does anyone have
    any suggestions
    > for how to separate them?
    >
    >
    >

    There's been lots of previous posts on this - you might want to do a google search on this newsgroup
    to see previous responses

    I had this problem on an old road bike - hacksawed off the stem close to the headset, removed the
    fork, ran a hacksaw blade through the stem and steerer tube, and CAREFULLY sawed a slot in the stem,
    then used a steel rod and hammer to force the remains of the stem out of the steerer. Obviously, if
    you're not careful, you can saw into the steerer tube....

    Try soaking it in WD-40 first, then try the rod and hammer before using a hacksaw - some
    heat may help
     
  5. Nick Payne

    Nick Payne Guest

    Remove the front wheel and front brake and turn the bike upside down. Squirt some penetrating oil or
    WD-40 or similar down the steerer tube and leave overnight. The next morning, lay the fork crown
    sideways across a carpenters trestle and clamp a block of wood across the top of the crown. Twist
    the handlebars back and forth to loosen the stem.

    You could also try the same with the front wheel in the fork and braced between your legs, but that
    risks bending the wheel and/or forks.

    Nick

    ps. I'm thinking steel forks here. If you have plastic forks bonded to a steel steerer then they
    might not like this treatment.

    "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the
    > fork's steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?
     
  6. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    Did you hit it with a hammer?

    "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the
    > fork's steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?
     
  7. Whitfit

    Whitfit Guest

    > "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the
    > > fork's steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?

    I dealt with this last night on an old bike. Take off the front wheel, turn bike upside down, and
    shoot some kind of penetrating oil down the steerer. Wait for the oil to penetrate, then, clamp the
    stem in a vice and use a piece of wood between the forks (at the crown so as not to bend anything)
    and use it as a lever to twist the forks. IF this doesn't work, then destructive removal is your
    last option.

    Whitfit.
     
  8. Marcus Coles

    Marcus Coles Guest

    Nick Payne wrote:
    > Remove the front wheel and front brake and turn the bike upside down. Squirt some penetrating oil
    > or WD-40 or similar down the steerer tube and leave overnight. The next morning, lay the fork
    > crown sideways across a carpenters trestle and clamp a block of wood across the top of the crown.
    > Twist the handlebars back and forth to loosen the stem.
    >
    > You could also try the same with the front wheel in the fork and braced between your legs, but
    > that risks bending the wheel and/or forks.
    >
    > Nick
    >
    > ps. I'm thinking steel forks here. If you have plastic forks bonded to a steel steerer then they
    > might not like this treatment.
    >
    > "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >

    If the stem is frozen due to aluminum oxide use the above method but substitute household ammonia
    for the penetrating oil.

    I have been using the ammonia with stuck aluminum seat posts in steel frames since reading about it
    on Sheldon Brown's site and it works great. Thanks Sheldon!

    I'm not going to get suckered into the quill vs. threadless debate.

    Marcus
     
  9. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Javier Sanchez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > While trying to take the stem out of my road bike, I realized that it had frozen against the
    > fork's steering tube. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to separate them?

    If it's not too badly frozen, you may be able to get it out with twisting/penetrating oil. There is
    a very good chance that those methods won't work, and you must be very careful not to apply too
    much force.

    I knew my stem was frozen, and left it that way for a couple of years, until I was forced to replace
    it when it cracked. I had a very long quill, which complicated matters, since I had about 5" inside
    the steerer tube.

    I hacksawed the stem off just above the headset, removed the fork, and put it in a vise. I used a
    "rotary rasp" bit on a hand power drill to drill out the aluminum stem from inside the steel tube. I
    used a "conical" bit to start, followed by a "pear" bit. It was tedious work, but I managed to
    remove all of the stem to a depth of about 2.5". I had hoped to be able to drive it out at that
    point, but it wouldn't go. I then slitted the length of the remaining stem, using first a hacksaw,
    then a keyhole saw with a softer blade when I got close to the steerer wall. I cut 2 slits. At that
    point, I was able to (barely) drive the stem remnants out from the bottom of the fork using a long
    steel rod.

    If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't. Some professional with the correct tools could do
    it much easier. I had hoped that the corrosion was only locking the stem over a fraction of its
    length, the grip was much more tenacious than that. I had tried the penetrating oil & ammonia cures
    when I first noticed the stem was stuck. The stem had been well greased, and had been undisturbed
    for perhaps a year or so when I first discovered it had seized. I try to pull, clean & regrease my
    other quill stems more frequently now.
     
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