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Practice Gratitude
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and good day to everyone,

First off I apologize if this is the wrong place for my question but I didn't know exactly where to ask? I thought about the suspension forum but it looked mostly like shock related stuff; so here I am. :)

Okay, so I am in the process of replacing all of the Rocky Mountain components on my 1994 Equipe and I am having trouble with the stem. It measures about 100mm and has a stack height of about 44mm.

I am unsure of how to measure the angle? I'd like to find a replacement that has the same angle. It is 1 1/8 threadless and clamps onto the 25.4mm old style handlebar.

So if I were to buy another stem and the stack height is smaller do I just take the bike to an LBS and have them cut the steering tube to match? Can I just leave the gap between the headset and the stem? I'm lost and I would appreciate any help.

The reason I'd like to upgrade is because I'd like something more stable and safe with the 4 bolts where the stem connects to the handle bar (instead of the 1 bolt the stock one has) and I would like a stem that is black to match the handle bar.

I took a few pictures to help.

Thanks,
Jason

PS -- I do like the looks of this Thomson Elite but it has a 1.5mm shorter stack height than the stem I currently have? Is this still alright or will I need the LBS to cut the steering tube to match? I still have no idea about the angle but it looks similar to what I have? Thanks.

http://elitecycling.com/page.cfm?PageID=55&action=details&sku=SM3221
 

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I'm SUCH a square....
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1,987 Posts
Looks like a 130mm, zero-rise stem to me. Definitely not 100mm!

Make up the difference with spacers, that's why they exist.

MOST (not all) of what you'll see for an aftermarket replacement will either be zero-rise or jump right to six-degree rise, which you don't want if you want to preserve your present riding position. 130 is a bit hard to find in a mtb stem, but roadies have 'em all day long....
 

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Practice Gratitude
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great start!

Thank you Jonathan and bigpedaler! :thumbsup: :)

I had no idea that there were 'spacers' for the steering tube! So would I put them between the headset and stem or on top of the stem between the stem and top nut?

I did a quick search and you are correct bigpedaler because 130mm zero degree rise MTB stems are hard to find. If anyone has any suggestions... Thanks! :thumbsup:

Many thanks again for any help,
Jason
 

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I'm SUCH a square....
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1,987 Posts
Put the spacers where you have to in order to maintain your bar height; on top is OK, under is 'usual'. I run one above, as the steerer tube is just a little off from my inital measurement a year-and-a-half ago. 5mm of pretty carbon, and I'm good! I also find that it helps the stem seat properly, no issues with being 'over the top' of the steerer....

Have you checked the heavy hitters in online parts? Check under road stuff, there may be a 4-bolt stem there, you never know....

pricepoint.com, performancebike.com, jensonusa.com, greenfishsports.com, wheelworld.com, are some of the places I hit pretty regularly.
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
The tape isn't held in the correct starting point, but that looks like 135, maybe 140 to me. That last photo doesn't look like a zero degree stem, maybe 5/6 degree. OTOH I found this bargain with a brief search for 130 zero degree rise http://www.bikewagon.com/Shop/Control/Product/fp/SFV/32140/vpid/3489423/vpcsid/0/rid/124765 but it's only a two-bolt (counting bolts doesn't necessarily mean much btw). Road stems are not always 25.4 mm clamp diameter...
 

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Practice Gratitude
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! But...

... What should I do to see if there is a slope in the stem? Where should I measure from for the stem? Thanks
 

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Enthusiast
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5,360 Posts
Jason Medina said:
I had no idea that there were 'spacers' for the steering tube! So would I put them between the headset and stem or on top of the stem between the stem and top nut?
You can put them either place, moving them around to adjust the bar up and down. In your case, you probably won't have a lot of room to adjust, but that's ok.

I'm with bigpedaler in that I often run one spacer on top. On one of my bikes, if I don't put one spacer on top, the stem bolt clamps partly above the steerer tube. I don't like that. I want both my stem bolts to be solidly around that steerer tube. Putting one spacer on top solves that problem neatly.
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
FWIW this is the time where you might think about changing stem rise or length, too; do you absolutely love your current bar position? Measure the length of the stem from the center of the steerer tube (center of the top cap bolt) to the center of the handle bar clamp. If you have a stem with a little bit of rise now (hard to tell for sure from photos), you can flip it around and see if there's a difference in bar position (with a 0 degree rise the stem will be in the same position, but a 5 degree rise should be more noticeable with the 10 degree swing in position).
A protractor might help you determine the rise angle.
 

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Practice Gratitude
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many thanks for the help!

I just wanted to close this thread and give a bit 'thanks' to all who helped me! :thumbsup:

I went with the Thomson 1 1/8 threadless 130mm with a 5 degree rise found here:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=935

It was Thomson part number SM-E104 (Black)

I am going to use a 2.5mm aluminum spacer and I should be all set! :)

Thanks again,
Jason
 
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