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  1. #1
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    When Do you Replace Your Stem?

    I replaced my handlebars about 6 months ago for a better fit and control. I've had my Blur LT now for almost 2 years and it has had alot of upgrades. The stem is one of the few things that are still original (RF Deus XC Stem). The stem still feels stiff and the threads are in good shape. Do you guys replace your stems during specific intervals of riding time? Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: poppy's Avatar
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    Change stems if need to change position, size or of o think the stem threads are no longer in good shape.
    I can use the same one for years as long that it fit and feel safe.

  3. #3
    wpg then, van now
    Reputation: WpgRider's Avatar
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    I would think the same - however my LBS said every 18-24mths they should be replaced (handlebars too). Personally, I upgraded when I went from a 25.4 to a 31.8 setup.

    Otherwise, I'd hang on to it til you need to upgrade again.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy
    Change stems if need to change position, size or of o think the stem threads are no longer in good shape.
    I can use the same one for years as long that it fit and feel safe.
    Me too.

    I guess there is some fatigue in the stem too, but the bars are way more likely to fail over time.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: JustMtnB44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WpgRider
    I would think the same - however my LBS said every 18-24mths they should be replaced (handlebars too).
    Of course your LBS said that, they want you to keep buying stuff.

    There is no need to replace a stem just for the sake of a new one unless you want to changes sizes or save weight or it's damaged or something. Like any part the stem can fatigue over time, but I have never heard of one failing. I still have the original stem on my 1998 Trek 8500 and it seems fine.

  6. #6
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    Reputation: 006_007's Avatar
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    try doing a google search for pictures of a failed/broken stem. Not a whole heck of a lot of em are there ;-)

  7. #7
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
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    4 yrs or visible damage

  8. #8
    Fall guy
    Reputation: phlakvest's Avatar
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    I would say 4-6 years of average riding or visible damage like bear said.

    But I would replace it sooner than that if you ram it into a tree or rock or do something that you think might have over stressed it.

    If something you did to it makes you feel uneasy about it than replace it. IMHO its better to go replace the stem than to change your riding style and baby a suspicious component.

  9. #9
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    the stems are designed for infinite life, meaning under their normal cycle they will not fail. it's up to you to define normal. i'm hoping they used a huge safety factor on it. you could probably call one of the smaller companies up and chat with a design engineer if you really want to know what type of life they are designed to and what loads they are fatigue tested too. if you see paint cracking (not from scratching it but from a crack initiation site) then switch things up.

  10. #10
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
    Reputation: Acme54321's Avatar
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    Working in a shop the only stem failures I can recall were either light or crappy mountain stems or road stems, and none of them catastrophic failures. This of course excludes crashes.

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