Old style stem clamps?

Giant Phil
Giant Phil Posts: 116
edited October 2008 in Road beginners
Hi all

Looking at a stem on ebay, but has the old style stem clamp. That is, it only has one bolt on the bottom, and it one piece of metal. Was just wondering how I would actually get my bars onto it. Do you bend out the front? My only thought was that if the metal is thin enought to bend enought to get my bars in, then how can it be strong enought to hold the bars? Either that, or do you have to slide them in from one end, removing the tape and brake levers first?

Sorry for the stupid question, but thats gone right over my head.


Giant SCR, BRIGHT Orange.


  • mackdaddy
    mackdaddy Posts: 310
    Post the link for ebay Phil and we might be able to get a better idea and help you.
  • feel
    feel Posts: 800
    chances are it is for 25.8mm bars - are yours not larger? - common size now is 31mm.
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    Yes, you have to feed them in from one end - they open up a little when you undo the clamp - but not enough to get the bars straight in - that would really weaken them.

    A good squirt with WD40 over the bars is useful too to stop them getting scratched as you wiggle them through - depending on the shape of your bars it can be awkward to get the drops through.

    You can get removable face-plate quill stems but they're not too common - I sold a Salsa one a few months ago that was nice. But black.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    You can basically only use classic bend bars; Ergo/Compact bars have bends which are too sharp to fit through the clamp.
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    k-dog wrote:
    Yes, you have to feed them in from one end
    Obviously, you have to strip the bars of bar tape and brake levers (at least on one side of the bars) first, which is a big plus of the newer front-loading Aheadset stems
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Some of the better stems had little 'jacking screws' to force and hold the clamp open and there were only very few open-face quill stems. Getting the bars in without scratching was a bit of an art and not to be done in a hurry - you have to keep turning them as you feed them through and also had to make sure they were round the right way too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..