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Dented n' Spent
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185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, - hope this is the right place for such a question.

The bar is a new Azonic "Strip Bar" and the stem is a new IRD "Interloc F4 riser". The bar has pretty extreme knurls that remind me of old-school bars made to go into a cheap steel single-bolt quill stem. I didn't realize this when I ordered it and probably would have passed it by had I known. The knurling doesn't quite go to the edge of the clamp so if you look from the side (not shown in pics) the clamp doesn't appear to quite touch the bars, but obviously, it's contacting the knurled area. Maybe this bar was intended to go into a super burly downhill stem that could crush that knurling down flatter - I don't know. When I put a "normal" bar in the stem, the clamp comes down evenly.

As you can see from the photos (top, bottom, and general view), the clamp doesn't clamp down evenly - about 1mm of difference from side to side. It seemed pretty obvious as I was installing it that the knurling isn't even and that was the cause. I "torqued" down the clamp in gradual steps with a criss-cross pattern per norm. I would call it "tightly snugged" but not quite so far as "tight" - as if that's really 'spozed to tell you a whole lot. As you can guess, no, I did not use a torque wrench. I'm not particularly ham-fisted and have a pretty good feel for such things especially in aluminum, but yeah, consider torque an unknown in your consideration. I have no way of knowing where and how much contact area the clamp is getting, but when I put this together, I pretty much expected it to loosen up over time as the knurling flattened out a little. But as it is, I haven't ridden it yet and this question is holding up the last of my build.

Ok, sorry for all the build-up but I wanted to give you every detail I knew. These are the actual questions I have for you all:

Would you just ride this as is, not worry about it, and just tighten it if it comes loose? I don't care about the looks.

Would you take the bars out and try and file the knurling flatter/smoother? I'm dubious about the effectiveness of this myself but it might buy a little more evenness and contact area for the clamp especially if I find an obvious high side.

Would you just buy a new bar with the normal "light" knurling?

Would you *also* buy a new stem clamp because you feel that I may have damaged or weakened the clamp by tightening it down like it is now? This is kinda the real biggie for me and prompted this post. It's a relatively cheap stem and I probably won't be able to buy a new clamp alone anyway. But I'll do that if you think it will snap as a result of what I've done here. I can't really tell if the clamp has been flexed.

Ok, sorry for writing a freakin' book about this but you now know everything I know. Oh yeah, this bike is an Access XCL hardtail w/3" fork intended for "aggressive XC" which to me means it will see up to 2' drops (at worst) with *smooth* landings.

I realize that last sentence may take this thread in a whole new direction but I appreciate all opinions. Thanks!
 

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Super Moderator
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20,810 Posts
I think it will do fine....and the unevenness could likely be more the result of the tightening sequence (even dthough you crisscrossed)... just set them even and start tightening the same amount on all bolts (quarter turn at a time or similar)..until they are tight...
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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1,778 Posts
I would undo the bolts, grease them well, and reinstall. Sometimes a thread sliver will jam up a bolt from seating as far as possible. You're doing the criss-cross sequence, and since you're not using a torque wrench, you need to 1/4 turn max once you begin to feel things snugging up.

A couple test loops on some not too techy trails, maybe not too far from trailhead, and a couple curb smacks to test and you should be good to go.
 

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Dented n' Spent
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185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your opinions. I did back off and start again several times - it just wants to clamp that way. You can just hold the clamp on with your hand it it's crooked. Bolts are greased. I didn't think to thread them in deeper w/no bar but it felt right....
 

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268 Posts
Knurled Bar

I would suggest you file off the mat'l. that was raised up from the knurling operation.
You should be able to file about 1/4 of the circumference of the bar with 1 stroke of the file.
You will know when you have filed enough as the file will begin to touch the area between the knurl lines.
Nothing good can ever result from a knurled handle bar...if it slips once...byby stem.
 

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244 Posts
Looks like the one of the corners are bent down from a bad torque sequence I would set it on a flat hard surface and tap it down using a wood block and hammer or a dead-blow hammer until it sits near flush.
If you set flat surface to flat surface would will see how much its bent.

good luck.
 
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