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Quill stem to new threadless type
#1
My 80s bike has a quill stem. It is too short. The bars raised up to a comfortable height exceeds the minimum line where you aren't supposed to raise it higher than, exceeds it by an inch.

I like the new aero/ergo/compact wing style bars by FSA. I want to install it on my bike. I saw something on Amazon and other sites called a quill stem adapter. The bottom of it looks just like my stock quill stem. The top of it looks like those buttons or whatever they are called, that sit atop the new style of threadless headsets.

So do I have this right: I need a quill stem adapter in the size to fit my current headset. I need a clamp with a faceplate (confusingly, also called a stem). And I need a bar of the same diameter that the clamp fits.

What are the right terms to describe all this? I found the bar I want on bikebling.com but the person emailing me does not seem to understand what a quill stem adapter is. Keeps repeating that my stem needs to match the diameter of the bar. Finey dandy, but the stem has to have something to stand on. That would be the quill stem adapter, right?

Or can you buy an entire threadless headset to go on an old bike?

All help appreciated.
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#2
The adaptor you found on Amazon is the easiest.

You can go threadless; most like 1" threadless on your bike, which is somewhat rare and thus expensive, AND you need to replace your fork to do.

My green GT has an adaptor similar to what you are looking, except that it has a 1 1/8" threaded headset. I was originally planning on one for my SR, but I needed to bring the bars much closer to the saddle, and ended up using a BMX stem.

Once you have the adaptor, there are adjustable stems: http://www.amazon.com/Kalloy-Adjustable-31-8-30-150d-Threadless/dp/B001CK0CZA/ , but for some people find that they loosen. Some stems come with shims to fit different diameters of handle bars; like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Degree-Handlebar-Shims-Black/dp/B002BVW4V4/

Whatever you choose, get a light torque wrench and torque the bolts to spec - they are very easy to strip out. This is the one I bought: http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-Pro-Grade-4-Inch-Torque-Screwdriver/dp/B000RZ1D86/ Finding one that goes low enough is not easy.
Nigel
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#3
(06-04-2013, 01:42 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  The adaptor you found on Amazon is the easiest.

You can go threadless; most like 1" threadless on your bike, which is somewhat rare and thus expensive, AND you need to replace your fork to do.

My green GT has an adaptor similar to what you are looking, except that it has a 1 1/8" threaded headset. I was originally planning on one for my SR, but I needed to bring the bars much closer to the saddle, and ended up using a BMX stem.

Once you have the adaptor, there are adjustable stems: http://www.amazon.com/Kalloy-Adjustable-31-8-30-150d-Threadless/dp/B001CK0CZA/ , but for some people find that they loosen. Some stems come with shims to fit different diameters of handle bars; like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Degree-Handlebar-Shims-Black/dp/B002BVW4V4/

Whatever you choose, get a light torque wrench and torque the bolts to spec - they are very easy to strip out. This is the one I bought: http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-Pro-Grade-4-Inch-Torque-Screwdriver/dp/B000RZ1D86/ Finding one that goes low enough is not easy.

Thanks, Nigel. I actually have an independent bike mechanic who is helping me. I'll maybe copy him this thread. Thanks.
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#4
(06-04-2013, 01:42 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  Once you have the adaptor, there are adjustable stems: http://www.amazon.com/Kalloy-Adjustable-31-8-30-150d-Threadless/dp/B001CK0CZA/ref=sr_1_6?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1370309880&sr=1-6 , but for some people find that they loosen. Some stems come with shims to fit different diameters of handle bars; like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Degree-Handlebar-Shims-Black/dp/B002BVW4V4/ref=sr_1_5?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1370309880&sr=1-

Nigel, my second concern comes from the shallow depth of my headtube. It's a small bike and the headtube is only ..... deep. So how do I know if the adapter is going to raise the handlebars high enough? I may end up with the same original problem as noted above.

It's just an $18 part from Amazon. Maybe I should buy it and see what the height is?
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#5
One note to mention redfox, this type of mod is not exactly a weight weenie decision. The quill to threadless adapter is kinda heavy in and of itself, then if you choose an adjustable stem to go with it it is even heavier. I recommend on the stem is to decide rise and extension and go for non adjustable stem to suit. Most people I know never change them anyways once they set them
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#6
(06-04-2013, 02:16 AM)redfoxglove Wrote:  
(06-04-2013, 01:42 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  Once you have the adaptor, there are adjustable stems: http://www.amazon.com/Kalloy-Adjustable-31-8-30-150d-Threadless/dp/B001CK0CZA/ , but for some people find that they loosen. Some stems come with shims to fit different diameters of handle bars; like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Degree-Handlebar-Shims-Black/dp/B002BVW4V4/

Nigel, my second concern comes from the shallow depth of my headtube. It's a small bike and the headtube is only ..... deep. So how do I know if the adapter is going to raise the handlebars high enough? I may end up with the same original problem as noted above.

It's just an $18 part from Amazon. Maybe I should buy it and see what the height is?
you will obtain rise by the stem choice. 7 degree stem not much rise, 30 degree stem more rise and so on. then figure extension 60mm not much, 120mm more and so on. more extension will raise the bars and also reach so keep that in mind too. If you know what fit you prefer it will be easier to figure out what you need to obtian what you want. Like I know for myself I want my seat to be about even with my bars and prefer about 27in. from the center of my seatpost to the center of my bars. Try to think along those lines that work for you. then you will know what to buy. a protractor and ruler will help
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
(06-04-2013, 02:38 AM)painkiller Wrote:  you will obtain rise by the stem choice. 7 degree stem not much rise, 30 degree stem more rise and so on. then figure extension 60mm not much, 120mm more and so on. more extension will raise the bars and also reach so keep that in mind too. If you know what fit you prefer it will be easier to figure out what you need to obtian what you want. Like I know for myself I want my seat to be about even with my bars and prefer about 27in. from the center of my seatpost to the center of my bars. Try to think along those lines that work for you. then you will know what to buy. a protractor and ruler will help

got it. and by "stem" you are meaning the adapter, and by extension you are meaning the clamp/faceplate, right?

I can make a good guestimate of rise by noting how high I have raised the handlebars that puts them above the minimum/maximum mark on the existing stem.

yes, I will measure my reach from the center seat post to center of bars, I'll use my Trek 520 for the model. I've just been going by feel, probably better to have a number as one more data point.

This mod bike always was too short in the reach. There are so many more options in bikes these days! Back in the day I bought this bike, it was the only bike close to my size of any quality to be had for hundreds of miles around...rural north Florida.

thanks, painkiller
(06-04-2013, 02:23 AM)painkiller Wrote:  One note to mention redfox, this type of mod is not exactly a weight weenie decision. The quill to threadless adapter is kinda heavy in and of itself, then if you choose an adjustable stem to go with it it is even heavier. I recommend on the stem is to decide rise and extension and go for non adjustable stem to suit. Most people I know never change them anyways once they set them

Yeah, weight is not the top concern, yes, I want to go fast but not competitive to where a couple grams shaved off is going to make a difference. At this point. Function is the key value in this case, and the limits of what the existing bike offers. I don't really want to replace the fork at this time.

On ebay I saw a quill adapter that has the adjustable radius type of clamp or extension, similar to what's on my Giant hybrid commuter. It looks like a big knuckle in the middle of the stem that rotates into different positions. It allows all kinds of variations of angle, extension, and so on but it is quite heavy. And I find, like you say, that I adjust it to something I like and it stays there.

good comments, helps in the thinking process, thank you!
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#8
(06-04-2013, 02:03 AM)redfoxglove Wrote:  ......I actually have an independent bike mechanic who is helping me. .......
we're kinda disappointed that you are not doing the work yourself, after all that is the focus of this forum, to do your own repairs, modifications and upgrades.

But we'll advise you anyway. Smile
Nigel
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#9
(06-04-2013, 01:52 PM)redfoxglove Wrote:  
(06-04-2013, 02:38 AM)painkiller Wrote:  you will obtain rise by the stem choice. 7 degree stem not much rise, 30 degree stem more rise and so on. then figure extension 60mm not much, 120mm more and so on. more extension will raise the bars and also reach so keep that in mind too. If you know what fit you prefer it will be easier to figure out what you need to obtian what you want. Like I know for myself I want my seat to be about even with my bars and prefer about 27in. from the center of my seatpost to the center of my bars. Try to think along those lines that work for you. then you will know what to buy. a protractor and ruler will help

got it. and by "stem" you are meaning the adapter, and by extension you are meaning the clamp/faceplate, right?

I can make a good guestimate of rise by noting how high I have raised the handlebars that puts them above the minimum/maximum mark on the existing stem.

yes, I will measure my reach from the center seat post to center of bars, I'll use my Trek 520 for the model. I've just been going by feel, probably better to have a number as one more data point.

This mod bike always was too short in the reach. There are so many more options in bikes these days! Back in the day I bought this bike, it was the only bike close to my size of any quality to be had for hundreds of miles around...rural north Florida.

thanks, painkiller
(06-04-2013, 02:23 AM)painkiller Wrote:  One note to mention redfox, this type of mod is not exactly a weight weenie decision. The quill to threadless adapter is kinda heavy in and of itself, then if you choose an adjustable stem to go with it it is even heavier. I recommend on the stem is to decide rise and extension and go for non adjustable stem to suit. Most people I know never change them anyways once they set them

Yeah, weight is not the top concern, yes, I want to go fast but not competitive to where a couple grams shaved off is going to make a difference. At this point. Function is the key value in this case, and the limits of what the existing bike offers. I don't really want to replace the fork at this time.

On ebay I saw a quill adapter that has the adjustable radius type of clamp or extension, similar to what's on my Giant hybrid commuter. It looks like a big knuckle in the middle of the stem that rotates into different positions. It allows all kinds of variations of angle, extension, and so on but it is quite heavy. And I find, like you say, that I adjust it to something I like and it stays there.

good comments, helps in the thinking process, thank you!
the adapter is what the stem clamps to and the bars attach to.
stem is spec'd by degreee of rise and amount of extension
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#10
(06-04-2013, 02:35 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  
(06-04-2013, 02:03 AM)redfoxglove Wrote:  ......I actually have an independent bike mechanic who is helping me. .......
we're kinda disappointed that you are not doing the work yourself, after all that is the focus of this forum, to do your own repairs, modifications and upgrades.

But we'll advise you anyway. Smile

Yeah, I would like to do some of the wrenching work, time permitting. Right now I have a 60 hour a week job and I am just getting the bike to a rideable condition by doing all the research work. Later in the summer my job fades back to a 36 hour week. Over the winter my plan is to set up a space to do some of my own mechanical work and I am clearing out a space for that in our tiny house. Husband gave me a copy of the Todd Downs Bicycle Maintenance and Repair which I have been reading, and we have bought a couple of bike tools at rei. So I think I can do some of it, maybe a lot of it. By winter there will be more time for this kind of thing. The focus right now is getting it rideable. I have two other bikes that are rideable, so I didn't really need to do this right away. But it was such a shock to have this particular bike back in my hands, and all I really wanted was to bring it back to its former state of glory. I can't really do that entirely, but putting new bars and tape, tires, and truing the wheels and tune up is a good start. I couldn't stand to look at it in its debilitated state all this summer and fall, it just hurt too much. Over the winter I can learn more, do more, and feel good about where the bike is at as I go along. So there you have it.

My ultimate goal is to be independent in my bicycling life. It's not a good feeling to be on the road and not knowing enough about the bike, repairs that might come up, or if you're getting ripped off at an LBS because you don't know enough and you are on tour with not so much money as grit. So that's how I view this forum, an opportunity to become knowledgeable and work toward independence or at least increased self reliance. If I had known more back in the day, I would have not listened to those who told me my cranks were fine, my reach was fine. No, my cranks were 5mm too short and my reach was at least 10mm too short, and I did thousands of loaded miles with it like that, thanks to youth and spunk. But the "voice of experience" often outweighs the intuitive feminine voice, especially when the voice of experience holds the wallet.

If turning the wrenches is the qualifier for participating here, then I'm disqualified at this point. And there you have it.
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#11
"If turning the wrenches is the qualifier for participating here, then I'm disqualified at this point. And there you have it."
Redfox let me tell you that the only "qualifier" you need is the passion of cycling and the willingness to learn. Trust me I have seen plenty of posts and think maybe they should not be turning a wrench quite yet. I have enjoyed your enthusiasm on this site and look forward to seeing your finished work.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#12
(06-05-2013, 03:07 AM)painkiller Wrote:  "If turning the wrenches is the qualifier for participating here, then I'm disqualified at this point. And there you have it."
Redfox let me tell you that the only "qualifier" you need is the passion of cycling and the willingness to learn. Trust me I have seen plenty of posts and think maybe they should not be turning a wrench quite yet. I have enjoyed your enthusiasm on this site and look forward to seeing your finished work.

Thank you, painkiller. I would love to post my finished work. Yes, it is a joint project with a likeminded couple who are dedicated cyclists, now riding a recumbent because their necks are out of tune, I met them via craigslist. Getting this bike back is a gift from the Universe and I'm trying to show my gratitude. Thanks for this site, it has been a joy reading into it. Back in the day these things were a well kept secret. Thanks to the internet we can all join in the fun, at whatever level we can enter. Thanks.
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#13
We all started somewhere, I was that little kid in the hood that kept the bikes going back in the day. collected tools one by one as they always paid for themselves again and again. I have never taken a bicycle to the shop for anything that I can remember. I only trust myself I guess and am quite picky about little details that some just take for granted. I certainly know what its like to have a bike I just cannot part with, I have a few. So be warned it could happen to you!
I say start with tools you need for your stable and go from there. Keep a keen eye for detail, incorporate balance and symmetry in color and components and finishing details and your bicycles will "pop" to the eye and roll out smoother than any shop could do for you. Shops have to make money thats the bottom line. We can take our time.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#14
(06-05-2013, 10:53 AM)painkiller Wrote:  We all started somewhere, I was that little kid in the hood that kept the bikes going back in the day. collected tools one by one as they always paid for themselves again and again. I have never taken a bicycle to the shop for anything that I can remember. I only trust myself I guess and am quite picky about little details that some just take for granted. I certainly know what its like to have a bike I just cannot part with, I have a few. So be warned it could happen to you!
I say start with tools you need for your stable and go from there. Keep a keen eye for detail, incorporate balance and symmetry in color and components and finishing details and your bicycles will "pop" to the eye and roll out smoother than any shop could do for you. Shops have to make money thats the bottom line. We can take our time.

Yes it's the way of the world, too much rush, not enough time. And it's often the case when a woman or girl goes into a shop for work on the car or on the bike, you get b.s'd to the nth degree if you don't know your stuff you walk out spending hundreds that you didn't really need to spend. The only way to change that is to self educate. Even then, it's a challenge cuz let's face it, men have most of the knowledge and the genders have their gender specific language and social rules, spoken or unspoken.

Yeah, I like to think I'll be able to do all my own work but that presupposes having a bike or bikes that are rideable while I learn. Don't want to rush through trying to learn something just so I can get out on the road.

I read on here that park tools are a good reliable brand, and I've had a chance to look briefly on their site. Enjoy reading in the book my husband gave me. Looking forward to learning more and not being in a hurry about it.

Thanks for sharing what you know. It's inspiring to read what you write about your builds, it just seems to come second nature but your story above explains all that.

Back to the grindstone...
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