The most beatiful stem in the world

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The most beatiful stem in the world

Postby MountGower » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:47 pm

A
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by BNA » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:55 pm

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Postby europa » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:55 pm

Lovely. Gorgeous curves on it. :D

I loath the modern threadless stems and don't really understand how they offer any advantage over a quill, especially when you look at how ghastly the Black Beast is now (photos will come ... when I take them, gotta show off her new saddle).

I go to Rivendell periodically. Lovely classic frames. Lugged, not welded. Quill stems. Leather saddles.

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Postby MountGower » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:00 pm

Y
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Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:06 pm

europa wrote:I loath the modern threadless stems and don't really understand how they offer any advantage over a quill, especially when you look at how ghastly the Black Beast is now (photos will come ... when I take them, gotta show off her new saddle).

Threadless stems are easier to service and replace. I hate those quill stems.
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Postby MountGower » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:23 pm

Ser
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Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:34 pm

Well, I was referring to adjustments/replacement. A-stem? I thought there are A-headsets but haven't heard of A-stem.

Remembering the old 3-speed SA Relaigh I had. Adjusting the stem was tough. Couldn't make any height adjustments.

Mechanically these threadless stems are so simple and self explanatory.
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Re: Sure it's nice...

Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:49 pm

alchemist wrote:but
Image

Question is, why lug them when these are available as a one piece. Presumably stronger.

I can understand that the crafty lug design is a major style factor.
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Postby MichaelB » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:51 pm

I have looked a few times at the Llewellyn website and vowed that the next bike I get will be a Ti based one, but would need to save a pretty penny for sure.
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:59 pm

I was almost afraid to open this thread ...... with a title like that, something awful could be lurking just one mouse click away!

Yeah, that's a pretty stem alright. I wouldn't trust it on my mountain bike, but it's pretty. :wink:

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Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:07 pm

Yes, pretty it is. Almost modern art work.

Any plan to exhibit it? :D
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:15 pm

There's that special brand again. The boys will love you sogood.
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Re: Sure it's nice...

Postby tallywhacker » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:18 pm



how can you honestly say that the monstrosity above (looks like a Japanese sex toy - so I have been told) looks better than this
Image

quill stem adjustment - 1 screw
the abomination above - 3 screws (including top cap)
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:38 pm

sogood wrote:Yes, pretty it is. Almost modern art work.

Any plan to exhibit it? :D

POST modernism perhaps?

Bud duh boom!! :cry:

(stand by for Richard to threaten me with a banning again .....)
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Re: Sure it's nice...

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:40 pm

tallywhacker wrote:quill stem adjustment - 1 screw
the abomination above - 3 screws (including top cap)

Isn't that an old-fashioned attitude? Trusting your life to just one screw? It'll only end in tears, you know .......

:lol:
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Postby europa » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:47 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
sogood wrote:Yes, pretty it is. Almost modern art work.

Any plan to exhibit it? :D

POST modernism perhaps?

Bud duh boom!! :cry:

(stand by for Richard to threaten me with a banning again .....)


Cue apparently traditional banning threat :roll:

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Postby europa » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:23 pm

sogood wrote:Mechanically these threadless stems are so simple and self explanatory.


Surely you jest.

A threaded system is adjusted at assembly (or reassembly after greasing but they don't need that very often ... nor does a threadless for that matter unless you get ikey with the grease). The adjustment is as simple as threadless, except it's done with a big nut then locked in place. Then your headset is set ... until you pull it apart, regardless of what you do with the bars. The quill stem just drops in and you tighten one bolt. To change the height, you loosen that one bolt, tap the bolt with a lump of wood and shift the quill up and down in the hole, then tighten the bolt. The hardest part is getting your allen keys out of the tool bag on the bike.

A threadless system has to be adjusted everytime you touch anything on the front end, and can only be adjusted after everything's on the bike. Want to change the bar height? Remove the only bolt holding it all together. Undo the two bolts holding your stem to the steering tube. Remove stem. Remove (or add) spacer. Put stem back on. Replace spacer (if you've dropped the stem). Replace bolt holding it all together. Adjust tension. Tighten the two bolts holding the stem in place.

Hell, the other day, I changed stems on the Black Beast. I couldn't adjust my headset tension because the new stem (a Pro item from Shimano, so not some cheap knock off) was 1mm narrower than the Bontrager that came off (I kid you not, the difference was that slight) and the little cap on the top of everything was pressing hard against the top of the steering tube, not pulling everything down in place. I was lucky enough to be able to find a spacer I was able to use, something you can't assume with the Trek because it has a 1" steerer tube, not the 1 1/8" most bikes have. Something I was only able to do at 9 on a Saturday night because I'd pulled another bike to bits. That sort of thing just doesn't happen with a quill system.

Then you have bits bolted to bits bolted to bits which doesn't look very mechanically efficient to me. A quill is one piece.

I know a bloke who changes bar height regularly and managed to stuff up a head set because he got the adjustment wrong one day - sure, that's easy to do in any case, but the threadless setup meant he had to adjust it everytime he changed his bar height (I won't explain why he changes it so often, he can if he wants to).

In a set and forget world, there's nothing wrong with the threadless system. I admit it. How often do most riders play with their steering head?

But I've just spent a couple of months trying to get my bike fit right. To do so, I've had to buy two extra stems, something I wouldn't have had to do with a quill. Until I bought the adjustable neck, I could not do fine adjustments because to get the heights I need, I had to buy stems with differing angles. Increasing the angle of the neck also stuffs up the reach and when you're working at the angle changes I needed, the change is enough to muck up your reach. After paying big bucks for one neck ... and finding we hadn't compensated enough for the change in reach, I wound up buying an adjustable neck with the longest reach available, and have it set at its max height ... and I'm only getting away with that because I'd already bought bars with a longer reach (to replace the bloody racing bars). The reach of the bike was okay with the stock neck ... which placed the bars over 2" below the seat which my aging body isn't interested in. Both new necks (that's right, I now have two spares lying around) were longer than the stock, it's the increased angle that's stuffed me up. I could have bought a stem extender but once again, you are bolting something into a system that already consists of a number of things bolted together, a system that could be replaced with a single quill stem.

I did look at converting to quill but finding the extra long adjustable neck has hopefully saved me that hassle. In researching the conversion, I asked Sheldon Brown and was interested to note that while he is still using bolt on necks, on at least one of his bikes, he has done away with the bolt and star washer that holds the headstem together on a threadless system and uses a seat clamp to hold the headtem together ... much as a threaded system does with it's nut and locknut.

This wasn't intended to be a rant. I'm sure there were some half reasonable reasons for foisting the threadless sytem upon us, but it has made the search for a comfortable bike set up an expensive and difficult process with no possibility of making fine changes, only coarse (and guessed at that). The Europa with its quill has undergone a similar process and the difference in ease, accuracy and efficiency is astonishing. So, I'm pissed off with the threadless system and my custom bike won't have it. Hence the rant instead of the simple, short 'umm, not in my experience' which would have served just as well in answering that quote.

So let's finish this grumpy rant with this: I bought Trek's touring bike. To get it to work for me as a light tourer, I have been forced to slowly remove all racing components and replace them touring components. Good one Trek.

There. I feel better now. Where's my coffee?

Richard

and I still agree with the original proposition that the quill shown in the original post is one of the most beautiful examples of cycling componentry.

For the record, the quote above really had nothing to do with this rant - this rant was going to happen anyway, the quote just saved me the trouble of starting a new thread. Yes, I AM that pissed off with threadless systems.
Last edited by europa on Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MountGower » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:29 pm

That
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Postby MountGower » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:33 pm

A
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Re: Sure it's nice...

Postby tallywhacker » Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:02 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
tallywhacker wrote:quill stem adjustment - 1 screw
the abomination above - 3 screws (including top cap)

Isn't that an old-fashioned attitude? Trusting your life to just one screw? It'll only end in tears, you know .......

:lol:

the only time in about 25 years riding I have had a quill stem fail on me was 3 months ago after being hit by a car.
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Re: Sure it's nice...

Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:59 pm

tallywhacker wrote:how can you honestly say that the monstrosity above (looks like a Japanese sex toy - so I have been told) looks better than this
Image

quill stem adjustment - 1 screw
the abomination above - 3 screws (including top cap)

I think you answered your question yourself. Two words... Sex, Toy! 8)

But seriously. The threadless stems are so much more flexible that you can easily change height using spacers and by flipping it.

Anyway, I just had bad experiences with those older standards such as these quill stems and cotter pins. Maybe I just didn't know these designs well enough.
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Postby sogood » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:08 pm

europa wrote:A threadless system has to be adjusted everytime you touch anything on the front end, and can only be adjusted after everything's on the bike. Want to change the bar height? Remove the only bolt holding it all together. Undo the two bolts holding your stem to the steering tube. Remove stem. Remove (or add) spacer. Put stem back on. Replace spacer (if you've dropped the stem). Replace bolt holding it all together. Adjust tension. Tighten the two bolts holding the stem in place.

I love control. I don't mind a few bolts here and there, it's hardly rocket science. But it does allow me to control every aspect of the mechanism. Yes, I love mechano sets and similar.
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Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:55 pm

Umm, Richard... the top bolt and star nut on a threadless system is only there to preload the bearings, it's the bolts on the stem that hold it all together.

I've run both types since I got back on a bike in 96, I'd be happy to run either if they're that pretty.

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Postby europa » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:07 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Umm, Richard... the top bolt and star nut on a threadless system is only there to preload the bearings, it's the bolts on the stem that hold it all together.

I've run both types since I got back on a bike in 96, I'd be happy to run either if they're that pretty.

Shaun


Yup, but you have to preload it before you do anything else. I did say 'one bolt holding it together' or some such thing didn't I. Idiot. Very hard to be coherent with a 6 year old yammering in your ear.

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Postby Parrott » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:15 pm

sogood wrote:
europa wrote:A threadless system has to be adjusted everytime you touch anything on the front end, and can only be adjusted after everything's on the bike. Want to change the bar height? Remove the only bolt holding it all together. Undo the two bolts holding your stem to the steering tube. Remove stem. Remove (or add) spacer. Put stem back on. Replace spacer (if you've dropped the stem). Replace bolt holding it all together. Adjust tension. Tighten the two bolts holding the stem in place.

I love control. I don't mind a few bolts here and there, it's hardly rocket science. But it does allow me to control every aspect of the mechanism. Yes, I love mechano sets and similar.


I'm no bike mechanic but have found the threadless system simple and flexible/adjustable.
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