stuck handlebar stem

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bildom, Apr 18, 2003.

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  1. Bildom

    Bildom Guest

    I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The fork is carbon fiber, so I'm
    trying not to put too much torque on the fork legs. I can get it to move a little, side to side but
    can't free it up enough to move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have used
    penetrating oil and tapped it. I've successfully removed a terminally stuck one in the past, so I
    know the worst case senario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to proceed with this one? I don't
    care if I have to waste the stem but I want to save the fork and not damage it at all. Thanks in
    advance. - Bill
     
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  2. H. Guy

    H. Guy Guest

    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The fork is carbon fiber, so
    > I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork legs. I can get it to move a little, side to
    > side but can't free it up enough to

    can you remove the stem from the wedge completely and see what's going on in there? how 'bout going
    at it from the bottom with a little oil and the tappies again?
     
  3. Phil Holman

    Phil Holman Guest

    "BilDom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike.
    The fork
    > is carbon fiber, so I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork
    legs.
    > I can get it to move a little, side to side but can't free it up
    enough to
    > move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have used penetrating oil and tapped it.
    > I've successfully removed a terminally
    stuck
    > one in the past, so I know the worst case scenario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to
    > proceed with this one? I don't care if I
    have to
    > waste the stem but I want to save the fork and not damage it at all.
    Thanks
    > in advance. - Bill

    Having dealt with this more than once on some older frames, I am now the proud owner of a 7/8"
    drill. This is a simple stepped drilling operation for an aluminum stem stuck inside a 1" steel
    steerer tube. I save the fork and sacrifice the stem. To prevent future problems I've replaced the
    aluminum stem with steel.

    Phil Holman
     
  4. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "BilDom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The
    fork
    > is carbon fiber, so I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork
    legs.
    > I can get it to move a little, side to side but can't free it up enough to move it up at all, or
    > get it to spin completely around. Have used penetrating oil and tapped it. I've successfully
    > removed a terminally
    stuck
    > one in the past, so I know the worst case senario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to
    > proceed with this one? I don't care if I have to waste the stem but I want to save the fork and
    > not damage it at all.
    Thanks
    > in advance. - Bill
    >
    >

    I am surprised there _is_ a carbon threaded fork. It seems to me a poor design as the force of the
    stem wedge would tend to split the carbon material. After you get it out, make a thorough inspection
    of that steerer in a good light!

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  5. H. Guy

    H. Guy Guest

    > I am surprised there _is_ a carbon threaded fork. It seems to me a poor design as the force of the
    > stem wedge would tend to split the carbon material. After you get it out, make a thorough
    > inspection of that steerer in a good light!

    i wondered about that myself, but i eventually decided that it *had* to be a carbon fork with steel
    steerer. otherwise i'd be scared to go anywhere near it.
     
  6. Bildom

    Bildom Guest

    The fork is carbon with a steel threaded steerer tube. I wouldn't ride a carbon threadless steerer,
    let alone carbon threaded steerer. - Bill "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "BilDom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The
    > fork
    > > is carbon fiber, so I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork
    > legs.
    > > I can get it to move a little, side to side but can't free it up enough
    to
    > > move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have used penetrating oil and tapped it.
    > > I've successfully removed a terminally
    > stuck
    > > one in the past, so I know the worst case senario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to
    > > proceed with this one? I don't care if I have
    to
    > > waste the stem but I want to save the fork and not damage it at all.
    > Thanks
    > > in advance. - Bill
    > >
    > >
    >
    > I am surprised there _is_ a carbon threaded fork. It seems to me a poor design as the force of the
    > stem wedge would tend to split the carbon material. After you get it out, make a thorough
    > inspection of that
    steerer
    > in a good light!
    >
    > --
    > Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "BilDom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The fork is carbon fiber, so
    > I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork legs. I can get it to move a little, side to
    > side but can't free it up enough to move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have
    > used penetrating oil and tapped it. I've successfully removed a terminally stuck one in the past,
    > so I know the worst case senario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to proceed with this one?
    > I don't care if I have to waste the stem but I want to save the fork and not damage it at all.
    > Thanks in advance. - Bill

    Is the stem bolt recessed on on the top of the stem. If the bolt is on the top, unscrew the stem
    bolt a couple of turns, and then smack it down with a hammer. If the bolts recessed, use an allen
    key with a hammer to hit the bolt. The sudden downwards force on the expander wedge should free
    the stem up.
     
  8. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Bill Dom writes:

    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The fork is carbon fiber, so
    > I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork legs. I can get it to move a little, side to
    > side but can't free it up enough to move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have
    > used penetrating oil and tapped it. I've successfully removed a terminally stuck one in the past,
    > so I know the worst case scenario.

    This is the main benefit of the "threadless head-set." It no longer has the elegant (hidden) but
    useless stem attachment that is prone to seizure. Quill stems are secured against rotation by
    expanding or wedging the bottom end in the steer tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from
    side-to-side with loads on the handlebar, pumping in sweat and water. Salt water and aluminum create
    corrosion can expand a steel steer tube. An example of this can become is seen on stainless steel
    swimming pool ladders that have rounded aluminum "bar-end" plugs. These plugs, together with
    chlorinated water increase steel tube diameters by more than 1/8".

    Forks have been ruined by twisting on such seized stems. Don't do it. Saw the stem off nearly flush,
    take the fork out and mount it in a vise to drill out the stem with increasing drill sizes up to
    7/8". Then take a Dremel tool and slot through to the steer tube. The remaining aluminum shell will
    come out easily. I have examples of these lying around my place.

    Long live the "threadless stem!"

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  9. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Bill Dom writes:

    > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The fork is carbon fiber, so
    > I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork legs. I can get it to move a little, side to
    > side but can't free it up enough to move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have
    > used penetrating oil and tapped it. I've successfully removed a terminally stuck one in the past,
    > so I know the worst case scenario.

    This is the main benefit of the "threadless head-set." It no longer has the elegant (hidden) but
    useless stem attachment that is prone to seizure. Quill stems are secured against rotation by
    expanding or wedging the bottom end in the steer tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from
    side-to-side with loads on the handlebar, pumping in sweat and water. Salt water and aluminum create
    corrosion that can expand a steel steer tube. An example of this can become is seen on stainless
    steel swimming pool ladders that have rounded aluminum "bar-end" plugs. These plugs, together with
    chlorinated water increase steel tube diameters by more than 1/8".

    Forks have been ruined by twisting on such seized stems. Don't do it. Saw the stem off nearly flush,
    take the fork out and mount it in a vise to drill out the stem with increasing drill sizes up to
    7/8". Then take a Dremel tool and slot through to the steer tube. The remaining aluminum shell will
    come out easily. I have examples of these lying around my place.

    Long live the "threadless stem!"

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  10. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >seizure. Quill stems are secured against rotation by expanding or wedging the bottom end in the
    >steer tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from side-to-side with loads on the handlebar, pumping
    >in sweat and water.

    Steady on - how does sweat get onto the top of the head tube? I suppose a few drops land off the end
    of the nose, but...
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
     
  11. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    David Damerell writes:

    >> Quill stems are secured against rotation by expanding or wedging the bottom end in the steer
    >> tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from side-to-side with loads on the handlebar, pumping in
    >> sweat and water.

    > Steady on - how does sweat get onto the top of the head tube? I suppose a few drops land off the
    > end of the nose, but...

    But what? I guess you never stand while climbing and it is climbing that generates the most sweat.
    It only takes a little bit and I have the seized stem-remains hanging on the wall to show the
    results. Today I use a steel stem and an extended steer tube with clamp to prevent any further
    seizures... of dangerous materials.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  12. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >seizure. Quill stems are secured against rotation by expanding or wedging the bottom end in the
    > >steer tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from side-to-side with loads on the handlebar,
    > >pumping in sweat and water.

    "David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:cfz*[email protected]...
    > Steady on - how does sweat get onto the top of the head tube? I suppose a few drops land off the
    > end of the nose, but...

    You wouldn't think that should happen but it does - big time. Jobst does not exaggerate the problem.

    We have certain customers who periodically and predictably need their corroded quill stem extracted
    with great effort. Other riders with the same brand of bike, similar miles and the same stem go
    years with nary a spot and the grease is still clean on removal. We associate the problem with sweat
    which varies in quantity (and perhaps in salinity??) from rider to rider. Rollers are definitely
    associated with stem corrosion because with no airspeed the salt runs straight into the quill.

    http://www.yellowjersey.org/photosfromthepast/unstuck!.jpg
    http://www.yellowjersey.org/photosfromthepast/wfdstuck.jpg

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  13. Bildom

    Bildom Guest

    Sorry, not even close. "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "BilDom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I have a quill stem semi-stuck in the steerer tube on a road bike. The
    fork
    > > is carbon fiber, so I'm trying not to put too much torque on the fork
    legs.
    > > I can get it to move a little, side to side but can't free it up enough
    to
    > > move it up at all, or get it to spin completely around. Have used penetrating oil and tapped it.
    > > I've successfully removed a terminally
    stuck
    > > one in the past, so I know the worst case senario. Anyone have any suggestions about how to
    > > proceed with this one? I don't care if I have
    to
    > > waste the stem but I want to save the fork and not damage it at all.
    Thanks
    > > in advance. - Bill
    >
    >
    > Is the stem bolt recessed on on the top of the stem. If the bolt is on the top, unscrew the stem
    > bolt a couple of turns, and then smack it down with a hammer. If the bolts recessed, use an allen
    > key with a hammer to hit the bolt. The sudden downwards force on the expander wedge should free
    > the stem up.
     
  14. A Muzi <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>seizure. Quill stems are secured against rotation by expanding or wedging the bottom end in the
    >>>steer tube, leaving the top end free to yaw from side-to-side with loads on the handlebar,
    >>>pumping in sweat and water.
    >>Steady on - how does sweat get onto the top of the head tube? I suppose a few drops land off the
    >>end of the nose, but...
    >We have certain customers who periodically and predictably need their corroded quill stem extracted
    >with great effort. Other riders with the same brand of bike, similar miles and the same stem go
    >years with nary a spot and the grease is still clean on removal. We associate the problem with
    >sweat which varies in quantity (and perhaps in salinity??) from rider to rider.

    Ah, fair enough; if there is a variation in quantity, my head perhaps sweats less than is typical,
    and that is why I have not noticed this possibility - since I do stand while climbing when
    necessary.

    My forehead sweat does not run off the forehead but instead evaporates immediately, so that the
    moment I stop riding the next load of sweat becomes saturated with salt and lands in my eyes. :-(
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
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