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  1. #1
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    Cracked Thomson Stem

    Hi all

    I bought and installed this stem 2 years ago and the bike is rarely used. The bike is only for commuter ride for less than 30 times ever since.

    Last week, I found huge crack on the stem. Mailed thomson, but no reply.

    I lived overseas, the nearest distributor is in Singapore, but no email address (have someone over there to help me out with the claim, but still hoping for the result)

    Today, I search 'cracked thomson stem', and surprised with the result. How can someone claims the strongest built in the world with such poor product and service?

    Search for warranty information, but couldn't find it, anyone can direct me to it?

    Thanks all
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  2. #2
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    That be a picture of someones stem that does not own a torque wrench (or if they own one, they sure as heck didnt use it properly......)

    Thomson is awesome to deal with - I have never had a warranty issue on any of their product, but have talked w them on a few topics.

    Best bet is to call them.

    number can be foundon their website:

    www.lhthomson.com

    They will sort you out.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007
    That be a picture of someones stem that does not own a torque wrench (or if they own one, they sure as heck didnt use it properly......)
    Yeah, I was thinking that crack looked like it happened due to over-torquing the bolts. I'd replace the handlebar, too, because it could also be compromised.

  4. #4
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    I'll agree with the others that it looks like the crack may be due to improper installation rather than a defect.

    But call Thomson. Since it's only a faceplate, I wouldn't be surprised they'd send you a new faceplate free of charge.

    And I second the idea of taking a careful look at the handlebar after removing the faceplate. It may very well be compromised, too.
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  5. #5
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    Thomson is THE best at what they do.

    Faceplate cracks while uncommon are not unheard of which is why they sell faceplates for ten bucks!

    And yes I believe torque to 4 nm.


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  6. #6
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    I cracked two of the face plates, on the third one now. Thompson gave me a new one after emailing them and sending the cracked one back. I used a torque wrench the second time, it still cracked when using the cross pattern to tighten. Made three passes, gradually tightening the bolt in the cross pattern. It seems like it's a matter of when, not if.

    Make sure you have equal gaps at the bottom and top after tightening the plate.

    I'm not buying another Thompson. Sure it's a good looking CNC machined piece, but that's about all it has going for it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rallyraid
    I cracked two of the face plates, on the third one now. Thompson gave me a new one after emailing them and sending the cracked one back. I used a torque wrench the second time, it still cracked when using the cross pattern to tighten. Made three passes, gradually tightening the bolt in the cross pattern. It seems like it's a matter of when, not if.

    Make sure you have equal gaps at the bottom and top after tightening the plate.

    I'm not buying another Thompson. Sure it's a good looking CNC machined piece, but that's about all it has going for it.
    i too have had issues with Thomson. they have done a great job of marketing themselves somehow as "the" stem and post, i dont buy it.

    overtorqueing? are you effing kidding me? so if it is overtorqued, it sure as hell shouldnt crack...it should be, well....overtorqued, and thats it. Overrated IMHO

    I also challenge any of the MTBRetards to prove that Thomson is in fact the so-called, "best". I assure you there is no data on file to support Thomson, or any stem (or post) for that matter, being the best. This whole MTBR notion of Thomson being the best is based on years of cutting and pasting of the same cliches over and over...

  8. #8
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    I'm a huge fan of sexy cncd parts, but I have no dilutions about it bing stronger for a given weight than a forged part.

    That face plate does look to be installed incorectly though, I don't see any gap between the stem and the faceplate.

  9. #9
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    if theres two parts on my bike that i absolutely never worry about, its the stem and seat post. neither are thompson. i dont get the draw, both are very low failure rate items from all the brands.

  10. #10
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    Ummm...if overtorqueing was the culprit, then shouldn't the handlebar have cracked first?? I would certainly hope that my stem would be stronger than my bars! I use RaceFace Atlas and Bontranger stems and never had a prob.

  11. #11
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    Thanks all for contributing.

    I'll try to contact them and see what happen
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTee
    Ummm...if overtorqueing was the culprit, then shouldn't the handlebar have cracked first??
    Not necessarily. Though I have seen someone actually crush the bar at the clamp. The bar actually had a bulge in it where it had been squeezed into the cavity of the stem. (wasn't a Thomson stem - was on a bmx bike).
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  13. #13
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Never used a Thom....never could justify the price. I will not spend $80 on a stem when I can get a good-looking, rock-solid, gorilla-strong stem for half that.

    Heard the stories for years...wonder why they still make 'em.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    ...wonder why they still make 'em.
    Dude, bling is bling. Most the LBS would go out of business if no one upgraded. Any trail bike would function fine with SLX and easton EA50 stuff but our econony would suffer

  15. #15
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    I was going to put a Thompson stem on my mountain bike as an upgrade but my lbs told me that the faceplate crack quite often, so I went with RaceFace instead. If you have to buy a new faceplate, why not get a safer stem instead.

  16. #16
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    Funny that this thread came up......One of my riding buddies cracked the faceplate of his Thomson stem the other day and I couldn't believe it. I guess is not that uncommon.

  17. #17
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    I've cracked a thomson on both my road bike and mountain bike. And I DO use a torque wrench. They sent me a new faceplate for my mtb but would not for my road bike. I love their seatposts but will NEVER buy another stem from them.

    I was told that it was my fault that it cracked. Sharp edges on a machined part = cracks. I'll go for forged from now on. There is a reason that most online stores stock Thomson faceplates...
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  18. #18
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    Agreed with Fo here. The usual defense is "overtorqued faceplate", but if that's really a huge problem, then cheap forged stems should be cracking left right and centre. The vast majority of riders don't use torque wrenches, yet stem failure seems to be a fairly rare occurrence across stems as a whole. The very fact that replacement faceplates are available for this stem should be warning enough.

    CNC just isn't a good idea for bike parts that need to be strong. I went off the idea of CNC stems when my metalluragist buddy found a crack across his Thompson faceplace. Sure, he doesn't use a torque wrench, but he's not stupid about how he treats metals either. On the other hand, I've been riding for years with forged stems with the nuts cranked down about as hard as possible with no problems.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    CNC just isn't a good idea for bike parts that need to be strong.

    I don't get how a part made from a single piece of metal wouldn't be stronger than something with welds. But I'm not a metallurgist.

    I have seen the machines Thomson uses to test their wares against the competition, though. The failure point for one of their stems does come long after anything I have seen them test from a competitor.

    As for the face plate, those pictures show that little care was used in balancing the tightness of the bolts. It really isn't hard to do and once set up is pretty bomb proof.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    if theres two parts on my bike that i absolutely never worry about, its the stem and seat post. neither are thompson. i dont get the draw, both are very low failure rate items from all the brands.
    Exactly

  21. #21
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    I will say that the ONLY time I have used a Torque Wrench on a Thomson, the bars were TOO LOOSE - luckily I found it cycling through the suspension, checking compression adjustments before a jump...

    crank it till it creaks (but don't quote me).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    I don't get how a part made from a single piece of metal wouldn't be stronger than something with welds. But I'm not a metallurgist.

    I have seen the machines Thomson uses to test their wares against the competition, though. The failure point for one of their stems does come long after anything I have seen them test from a competitor.

    As for the face plate, those pictures show that little care was used in balancing the tightness of the bolts. It really isn't hard to do and once set up is pretty bomb proof.
    Forged stems don't need welds. Forging can result in a stronger part than CNC'ing, which is probably why you don't see parts such as cranks produced from CNC machines.

    Though I'm not a metallurigist either- just read a bunch of stuff of stuff by Sheldon Brown

  23. #23
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    I have been to the Thomson factory, and met Thomson himself (RIP) and ridden the trails behind their factory. Although Thomson is not around anymore, I believe his son is continuing where he left off. Any company run by people who ride, who supports riders and events while building top quality componentry is good in my book. Tons of people crack faceplates being hamfisted wrenchers, and I don't blame any company for not warrantying something like that. I have NEVER seen a Thomson stem that was cracked/broken anywhere but the faceplate, they are STRONG. I have a few Thomson products but to be honest they came on bikes I bought, I don't have the coin to justify the purchase, but I still think they are top notch components.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    I have been to the Thomson factory, and met Thomson himself (RIP) and ridden the trails behind their factory. Although Thomson is not around anymore, I believe his son is continuing where he left off. Any company run by people who ride, who supports riders and events while building top quality componentry is good in my book. Tons of people crack faceplates being hamfisted wrenchers, and I don't blame any company for not warrantying something like that. I have NEVER seen a Thomson stem that was cracked/broken anywhere but the faceplate, they are STRONG. I have a few Thomson products but to be honest they came on bikes I bought, I don't have the coin to justify the purchase, but I still think they are top notch components.
    That said, how many cracked stems have you seen, and how many were CNC vs straight forged?

    I've only ever seen two cracked stems. One was a Thompson, the other was a crazy-light weight weenie stem. Still, 2 stems isn't enough of a sample size to really judge on. What's probably more relevant is that I've only managed to come across 2 cracked stems in ten years of riding.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    That said, how many cracked stems have you seen, and how many were CNC vs straight forged?

    I've only ever seen two cracked stems. One was a Thompson, the other was a crazy-light weight weenie stem. Still, 2 stems isn't enough of a sample size to really judge on. What's probably more relevant is that I've only managed to come across 2 cracked stems in ten years of riding.

    Agreed, breaking stems is BAD NEWS and you hear more often of broken forks and frames than you do stems. I personally cannot justify the price tag of the Thomson stuff, but I still think it is top quality high end stuff. I have one Thomson stem that is a work of art compared to most of the other stuff I've got.
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  26. #26
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    thomson has torque values in plain sight on all their stems and seatposts.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Agreed, breaking stems is BAD NEWS and you hear more often of broken forks and frames than you do stems. I personally cannot justify the price tag of the Thomson stuff, but I still think it is top quality high end stuff. I have one Thomson stem that is a work of art compared to most of the other stuff I've got.
    quality and girly faceplates do not equate. In summary, there are plenty of stems and posts better...only sheep run Thomson

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    quality and girly faceplates do not equate. In summary, there are plenty of stems and posts better...only sheep run Thomson

    Sounds like your mind is made up then.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Sounds like your mind is made up then.
    yes

    however, i reserve the right to change my mind at any point, to the extent where i may do an entire 180 and promote Thomson products...in which case Thomson products are rad and everything else sucks but until then, Thomson sucks ass and so do the morons led to believe Thomson products do not suck ass

  30. #30
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    I've seen cracked thomson faceplates before, i've also seen the stem wedges seize in place to the point of the bolt heads stripping when you try to loosen the wedge. This then requires many hours of labour to drill out the wedge bolts and the wedge to seperate stem from steerer tube.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  31. #31
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    This would be a great case study for an introductory course in machine design. Titled: "How too much metal in the wrong place can weaken a part".
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    I have NEVER seen a Thomson stem that was cracked/broken anywhere but the faceplate, they are STRONG.
    Below is a picture of a Thomson stem that I cracked. Note that it is not cracked at the faceplate. I used a torque wrench to install it. Thomson replaced it under warranty.

    I learned in my discussion with Thomson's representative that you should not put grease under the bolt heads; doing so can cause the stem bolts to become over-torqued, even when using a torque wrench. I was told that 36 inch-lbs (instead of the recommended 48 inch-lbs) is probably sufficient torque to secure the stem to the steerer if there is grease under the bolt heads.


  33. #33
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    i wish thomson made carbon stems

  34. #34
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    Damn! The stem in KevinB's photo is horrendous. Not only cracked around the steerer but looks like a crack going out to the bar clamp, too?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    Damn! The stem in KevinB's photo is horrendous. Not only cracked around the steerer but looks like a crack going out to the bar clamp, too?
    Yup.

    You can see that smaller crack better in this close-up:


  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle
    I'll agree with the others that it looks like the crack may be due to improper installation rather than a defect.

    But call Thomson. Since it's only a faceplate, I wouldn't be surprised they'd send you a new faceplate free of charge.

    And I second the idea of taking a careful look at the handlebar after removing the faceplate. It may very well be compromised, too.
    I take back my statement that it was probably installation error; possibly still was, but maybe not. I just had a faceplate (not Thomson) crack on me while installing. Must have been defective, because although the bolts were starting to feel tight, they weren't fully snug, kept turning easily, then snap. Seems the faceplate was bending or something, hence the bolts not snugging. Was a cheap stem, though. Handlebar still appeared fine.
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  37. #37
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    Wow. I seriously don't know how you guys are producing these catastrophic failures. I've been using their stems and posts for nigh on 8 years in one form or another and never had a problem.

    I'm not going to try and rip the Easton parts from your cold dead hands, though. Frankly I don't care what lights your fire. I'm just mystified as to how you break this stuff this way.
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  38. #38
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    Truthfully I see no issue, this is cycling and stuff breaks and if you look at the aforementioned failures it is always at the weakest parts (the thinest) and looking at the failures it looks due to improper torque, now you can have un-even stress even with a torque wrench on every bolt. it will just happen. The picture of the elite stem looks as if those clamps were WAY too tight. I have used torque wrenches on carbon parts and stopped way before the limit as i did not feel as it was safe. I currently own 1 Thompson stem and just sold a bike with another. I have never broken one or cracked one My carbon bars creek when I am putting pressure to power up a hill. I chose them due to looks and weight, i just don't like the look of forged stems. I will either go cnc'd or carbon wrapped.
    You believe that you forged stems are safer and not going to fail, well anything will fail, and i bet you that any product has had at least one failure, i just does not get as highly publicized and picked on as those products that get used the most. Failures happen it is the law of statistics, manufacturing, and engineering. Many forged parts have to have thicker clamps to be able to withstand the stress and thus are heavier.
    For those that call people a fred or sheep for using a certain product, just stop. You are no better for jumping on the bandwagon to bash certain products. If you have used the product and had issues with it give your input, but if it happened to a friend of a friend or you saw it somewhere, just keep you comments to yourself. People will use the products they want to use, and don't need someone telling them they are wrong for using them. I have not had much luck with Crank Brothers but I won't bash people for using them. I had a brand new PC-971 chain come on a new bike and it got 3 stuck links after 2 rides, I replaced it with a new one and never had another issue. I can list case after case of similar issues with highly used products, but the simple fact is they do happen and most will never have a problem.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    Wow. I seriously don't know how you guys are producing these catastrophic failures. I've been using their stems and posts for nigh on 8 years in one form or another and never had a problem.

    I'm not going to try and rip the Easton parts from your cold dead hands, though. Frankly I don't care what lights your fire. I'm just mystified as to how you break this stuff this way.
    It's called odds. Even if 10% of a given product fails (which would be a lot for a post, bar, or stem) the chances that any given individual would not have a problem.

    You hear this all the time "I've been using it with no problem, must be something crazy you all are doing". No, it's just the odds.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS
    Truthfully I see no issue, this is cycling and stuff breaks and if you look at the aforementioned failures it is always at the weakest parts (the thinest) and looking at the failures it looks due to improper torque, now you can have un-even stress even with a torque wrench on every bolt. it will just happen. The picture of the elite stem looks as if those clamps were WAY too tight. I have used torque wrenches on carbon parts and stopped way before the limit as i did not feel as it was safe. I currently own 1 Thompson stem and just sold a bike with another. I have never broken one or cracked one My carbon bars creek when I am putting pressure to power up a hill. I chose them due to looks and weight, i just don't like the look of forged stems. I will either go cnc'd or carbon wrapped.
    You believe that you forged stems are safer and not going to fail, well anything will fail, and i bet you that any product has had at least one failure, i just does not get as highly publicized and picked on as those products that get used the most. Failures happen it is the law of statistics, manufacturing, and engineering. Many forged parts have to have thicker clamps to be able to withstand the stress and thus are heavier.
    For those that call people a fred or sheep for using a certain product, just stop. You are no better for jumping on the bandwagon to bash certain products. If you have used the product and had issues with it give your input, but if it happened to a friend of a friend or you saw it somewhere, just keep you comments to yourself. People will use the products they want to use, and don't need someone telling them they are wrong for using them. I have not had much luck with Crank Brothers but I won't bash people for using them. I had a brand new PC-971 chain come on a new bike and it got 3 stuck links after 2 rides, I replaced it with a new one and never had another issue. I can list case after case of similar issues with highly used products, but the simple fact is they do happen and most will never have a problem.
    you must ride an ellsworth given your level of tolerance for crappy parts. to each their own

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    you must ride an ellsworth given your level of tolerance for crappy parts. to each their own
    No, I don't like their design and yes i know of the failures. The problem I have is people criticizing others for the things they use. Why can't people on this forum let others use the parts they want to use and form their own opinions? There seems to be this constant need to critize others because they don't run the the same part or they haven't had the same issues. The more you produce an item the more chances for failure and manufacturing defects. If you produce 1000 units a year at a have a 1% problem rate then you will have 10 failures and they are less likely to be seen by the public. if you produce 100,000 units , with a 1% failure rate then 1000 failures and given the # of people on the forum, the issues will make their way to the internet. People use the products they want to use for various reasons, I don't generally buy into hype, but i analyze and compare the products that i want to use. I don't appreciate when people feel it is their given right to criticize others for what they have decided to use.

    I for instance will never use a Marzocchi fork, 4 of the 5 I have owned have leaked air or oil since day 1 and the fifth was such a pain to setup. Not to mention having to send it off for service is a pain. There is a thread in the DH or shock section about failures. People say they are crap and get on others for using them, but you have to take the situation into context. the majority of the forks present are used in FR or DH and many are single Crown designs. First FR and DH put high loads and forces on fork, combine that with taking away half your support (single crown) you are going to have failures. Also Marzocchi forks are generally* cheaper then comparable models from fox or rockshox, thus people just starting, younger people, or people with tighter budgets are going to buy them. Younger people and people just starting are not as smooth or haven't develped their skill as much as veterans thus are going to be more abusive to the forks. Younger people are going to take higher risks and do bigger stunts. With all these factors combined with the natural failure rate of any product you are going to see a high number of failures. Marzocchi has had to do something to keep costs down to keep the final product cost down, this may be removing extra material or a lesser grade. As i said i will never buy another marzocchi fork, but that is based on my experiences and i will not criticize those who do. Sorry for the sidetrack.
    Do i believe Thompson stems have a high failure rate, no, I believe that they produce many stems and due to natural failure rates and improper installations you will see failures at the weakest part of the stem. If it was a design failure and there were many failures then i would hope they would issue a recall and issue a redesigned faceplate. Looking at the OP first picture, it looks as if the bottom right bolt was at a higher stress level then the others.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS
    No, I don't like their design and yes i know of the failures. The problem I have is people criticizing others for the things they use. Why can't people on this forum let others use the parts they want to use and form their own opinions? There seems to be this constant need to critize others because they don't run the the same part or they haven't had the same issues. The more you produce an item the more chances for failure and manufacturing defects. If you produce 1000 units a year at a have a 1% problem rate then you will have 10 failures and they are less likely to be seen by the public. if you produce 100,000 units , with a 1% failure rate then 1000 failures and given the # of people on the forum, the issues will make their way to the internet. People use the products they want to use for various reasons, I don't generally buy into hype, but i analyze and compare the products that i want to use. I don't appreciate when people feel it is their given right to criticize others for what they have decided to use.

    I for instance will never use a Marzocchi fork, 4 of the 5 I have owned have leaked air or oil since day 1 and the fifth was such a pain to setup. Not to mention having to send it off for service is a pain. There is a thread in the DH or shock section about failures. People say they are crap and get on others for using them, but you have to take the situation into context. the majority of the forks present are used in FR or DH and many are single Crown designs. First FR and DH put high loads and forces on fork, combine that with taking away half your support (single crown) you are going to have failures. Also Marzocchi forks are generally* cheaper then comparable models from fox or rockshox, thus people just starting, younger people, or people with tighter budgets are going to buy them. Younger people and people just starting are not as smooth or haven't develped their skill as much as veterans thus are going to be more abusive to the forks. Younger people are going to take higher risks and do bigger stunts. With all these factors combined with the natural failure rate of any product you are going to see a high number of failures. Marzocchi has had to do something to keep costs down to keep the final product cost down, this may be removing extra material or a lesser grade. As i said i will never buy another marzocchi fork, but that is based on my experiences and i will not criticize those who do. Sorry for the sidetrack.
    Do i believe Thompson stems have a high failure rate, no, I believe that they produce many stems and due to natural failure rates and improper installations you will see failures at the weakest part of the stem. If it was a design failure and there were many failures then i would hope they would issue a recall and issue a redesigned faceplate. Looking at the OP first picture, it looks as if the bottom right bolt was at a higher stress level then the others.
    too long to read, so i didnt bother but suffice it to say, i am sure i disagree with anything you say, unless there was some level of agreement with me in which case i agree

    In summary:


  43. #43
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    The image is true!
    were just not going to agree and that is fine, beauty of free speach, It's the criticizing others for using a part that I mainly don't agree with, which seems to go on allot. Oh well, Where's the "fighting on the internet is like" picture when you need it.
    Last edited by JoshS; 10-23-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    you must ride an ellsworth given your level of tolerance for crappy parts. to each their own
    Oh, behave!


  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS
    The image is true!
    were just not going to agree and that is fine, beauty of free speach, It's the criticizing others for using a part that I mainly don't agree with, which seems to go on allot. Oh well
    Fo himself does it a lot, but maybe you haven't been here long enough his sense of, uh, humor.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Fo himself does it a lot, but maybe you haven't been here long enough his sense of, uh, humor.
    Yeah, I got that, but it is others too, he was just the outlet
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Fo himself does it a lot, but maybe you haven't been here long enough his sense of, uh, humor.
    not trying to be funny, just stating facts, i.e.,

    -> parts i use trump parts that sheep use
    -> everybody else's opinions are retarded and should be ignored
    -> anybody not insulted by the above points is also retarded

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    I don't get how a part made from a single piece of metal wouldn't be stronger than something with welds. But I'm not a metallurgist.

    I have seen the machines Thomson uses to test their wares against the competition, though. The failure point for one of their stems does come long after anything I have seen them test from a competitor.

    As for the face plate, those pictures show that little care was used in balancing the tightness of the bolts. It really isn't hard to do and once set up is pretty bomb proof.
    When you forge a piece of metal it's grain changes with the piece, flowing with every bend and corner, lowering stress within the piece. When you machine a piece the grain structure is still that of the original stock.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    not trying to be funny, just stating facts, i.e.,

    -> parts i use trump parts that sheep use
    -> everybody else's opinions are retarded and should be ignored
    -> anybody not insulted by the above points is also retarded

    You suck at trolling.
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  50. #50
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    You suck at trolling.
    I am not trolling...i am stating facts. if i hurt your or other peoples feelings that does not constitute trollling, but rather that people are too sensitive to my making valid points, as many others have done in this thread

    though if the filter is applied, i am simply saying that i think thomson is overrated, etc, and there are perhaps better choices. there are PLENTY of other products falling into this same bucket, many of which i fell prey to at one time or the other but nevertheless, thomson is overrated, period

  51. #51
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    Fo for the most part is pretty good at trolling; his success rate varies depending on the density of newbies in the waters. Sometimes he tries to hard though, and his quality goes down.
    So, you're not going to put a thomson stem on your new abomination Fo?
    ****

  52. #52
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    Fo for the most part is pretty good at trolling; his success rate varies depending on the density of newbies in the waters. Sometimes he tries to hard though, and his quality goes down.
    So, you're not going to put a thomson stem on your new abomination Fo?
    no, i am not...i am honestly done with thomson.

    in part because i think the folks at Chromag are entirely kewl, but also because Chromag exudes gnar, they are my new favorite. I have one bike already with Chromag bars, stem and love em...a lot. New bike will have Chromag stem (and seatpost, bars, saddle) as well. Only downside I suppose is if you need rise in which case, SOL, but it works for me. In terms of weight, the Chromag Ranger stem is on par with Thomson anyway so its not as if stuff is heavy (not their AM stuff anyway). Otherwise, I have had great luck with Hope stems which if people are into cool looking CNC work, are very tough to beat, and about same price as Thomson i think

  53. #53
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    Too bad, cause I have about 6 different thomson stems I was hoping to sell you.
    Both my bikes are rocking with 45mm syntace superforce stems right now. Stiff, light, an no BS; don't let the lack of a solid faceplate fool you. They are da shizzle:

    ****

  54. #54
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    you mean you didnt machine your own ghey stem? WTF?

    yeah, those are kewl, i agree

    While Chromag Ranger stems are my favorite




    I think KCNC products are badass and i wouldnt hesitate, as I like the Bear model




    and the Controltech FX researches well...seems pretty rad across the board with very non girly bolts



    and besides Hope, the only other AM-worthy stem i identified based on a recent fit of stem OCD, was of course the relatively popular Sunline V1 All Mountain, but now dont like it cuz aquaholic runs one


  55. #55
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    I just found this today. I'll be calling Monday for warranty info.


  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    Dude, bling is bling. Most the LBS would go out of business if no one upgraded. Any trail bike would function fine with SLX and easton EA50 stuff but our econony would suffer
    Dude, bling can be bling all day long, but crap is crap, too. No matter what the price.

    Been rolling RaceFace stems since '03, and not a one has cracked, or even CREAKED.

  57. #57
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    Not directly equating here, just saying, but I've been building big-box crap for nine years; over 16,000 bikes built, and I've seen more DIFFERENT cracked stems in this thread than I've seen on all that garbage!

    Nah, no problem HERE.....................................

  58. #58
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    Yeah, this is a problem, a bigone. If I can not get a new one out of the warranty program I am looking at buying something new. Chromag make great stuff but to date my best stem ever was my original Syncros but it's a 135 mm from way back. Race Face does make nice stuff..

  59. #59
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    Thomson builds stuff for Boeing. Hamfistedness and deviation from monkey business is not tolerated. Monkey business being standard mountain bike behavior.

  60. #60
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    Same thing happened to my faceplate.

    Had it for 2 years before it broke. It was on my fixed gear track bike that I ride around town so it never saw any heavy mileage or crashes.

    I still love thomson stuff.

    Meh.

  61. #61
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    All components break,have flaws,arent made well.Even the best and someone somewhere is going to break the best in anything.Ooops i have just crashed my lamborghini.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero
    I will say that the ONLY time I have used a Torque Wrench on a Thomson, the bars were TOO LOOSE - luckily I found it cycling through the suspension, checking compression adjustments before a jump...

    crank it till it creaks (but don't quote me).
    I don't use a torque wrench, but last night I was fooling around with my X4 and Truvativ Stylo bars. I tightened the bolts to what I felt was reasonable, not tight enough to risk stripping them. I cycled the suspension and the bars slipped in the stem, tightened them more, and I got them to slip again. I also have noticed that I have to readjust the alignment with the wheel all the time because the stem slips on the steerer tube while riding. I have the bolts "cranked 'till they creak" and it still slips. Any tighter and they will strip.

    Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    I don't use a torque wrench, but last night I was fooling around with my X4 and Truvativ Stylo bars. I tightened the bolts to what I felt was reasonable, not tight enough to risk stripping them. I cycled the suspension and the bars slipped in the stem, tightened them more, and I got them to slip again. I also have noticed that I have to readjust the alignment with the wheel all the time because the stem slips on the steerer tube while riding. I have the bolts "cranked 'till they creak" and it still slips. Any tighter and they will strip.

    Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed.
    Thomson recommends greasing the threads of the bolts and using a torque wrench. You are likely under torquing the bolts. When I do bolts up by hand I am always way under. Using the torque wrench and alternating with 1/4 or 1/8 turns until the torque is even on the stem bolts and the face plate bolts has been successful for me so far.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangtime
    Yeah, this is a problem, a bigone. If I can not get a new one out of the warranty program I am looking at buying something new. Chromag make great stuff but to date my best stem ever was my original Syncros but it's a 135 mm from way back. Race Face does make nice stuff..
    thomson is AWESOME, they hooked it with a new stem even though it was damamged by a hamfisted mechanic(i even informed them of this). i received a reply within 2 hours(this was even after normal work hours) and i had a new stem 10 days from shipping it (usps ca->ga)

  65. #65
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    I ride a BMX bike, so I'm a bit out of place here, but I had a similar failure with my Thomson stem face plate, and this forum thread was the first result in Google when I was seeking a solution. My experience with Thomson's customer service was simply amazing...and I want to share it here in case anyone else is in a similar situation (and also as a way of saying thank you to Thomson for helping me!)

    For warranty information: bikethomson.com/about-us/#WARRANTY

    For contact information: bikethomson.com/about-us/#CONTACT US

    As for my personal experience: I contacted Thomson via email and told them my stem faceplate cracked. I also told them it probably wasn't under warranty anymore. Basically, I asked them nicely if they could send me a free replacement face plate.

    I sent the email...and literally--no seriously, I'm not exaggerating--2 minutes later I have a response, asking me where to ship the replacement. The response came back so fast, I thought it was an auto-responder, but it wasn't.

    No questions asked. No hassle. No interrogation about where / when I bought it or how many ft-lbs I torqued the bolts. None of that. The only question was "where do we send the replacement part?"

    I don't know...maybe I caught the right person at the right time (11:00 PM Central ?), but that was hands-down the most impressive display of customer service I've ever experienced. Totally blew me away.

    It's nice to see that some companies still stand behind their products and put customer service first.

  66. #66
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  67. #67
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    I wouldnt make a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. Your stem is fine......just buy a new faceplate. They are all over ebay and in new pretty colors.

  68. #68
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    I used to run thomson stems. Couldnt justify the price on my new build(for added weight!) so I went with a run of the mill 3t with Ti bolts instead.

    Thomson needs to make a 6 or 7 degree 4 bolt faceplate design. 10 is too much for a lot of people and 0 is too little.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  69. #69
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    Im a torque Nazi and have cracked a race plate. Imho they need a few more grams worth of material.

  70. #70
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    I got pretty much the same crack on my Thomson faceplate after a very slow speed crash. I torqued it correctly, even lubed the bolts per their install instructions. AND the stem was only a month old. Anyway, emailed them and they told me to send the entire stem assembly in and they replaced it. Only downside was bike downtime -- about two weeks.

  71. #71
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    I don`t always crack my faceplate-
    but when I do I prefer Thomson!

  72. #72
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    Never thought I would ever have a problem with a Thomson component, but I have joined the club. Crack straight down the centre from the bar clamp area.

    Stem is X4 100mm 6degree rise- about 3 years old.

    And yes, I use a 1/4 drive torque wrench. For the price, what a joke. Will never run another Thomson stem again.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirjo View Post
    Will never run another Thomson stem again.
    Even though I cracked one, I still like them. The guy from Thomson that handled my warranty told me that it needs to be torqued less if there's grease under the bolt head. I've been using the slightly lesser torque values that he told me and haven't had a problem since.

  74. #74
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    If a component like a stem, fork, handlebar, or front wheel was to fail when riding, you could get seriously hurt or even die.

    Im done with thomson stems. I sold every one I own. I never even broke or cracked one. I just did some reading into forging vs CNCing. I think anyone who would pay extra for a weaker and heavier product needs to get their heads checked.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  75. #75
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    Anybody that is dumping using Thomson products is nuts. Thomson is a leader the industry with a great reputation. Any of the very few issues that customers have came across are addressed accordingly. And a very high percent have been replaced by the company even if it was the consumers fault for over tightening. And even if they are out of warranty they help you out. I have been running a Thomson stem for 11 years with no problem. And I know of numerous riders with the same longevity record with no issues. Every product from every manufacturer has some flaws with some released. Thomson products are usually consumer error in over tightening. I don't know why people tighten down so hard. They have reccomended torque specs to go by. I myself don't even use that. A little common sense goes along way. Thomson is a top notch company that make top notch products. And they stand behind their product.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  76. #76
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    I bought my Pugsley used, and it came with a Thomson stem. Now, I was not the one who installed this stem. However, the guy I bought it from has worked as a bike shop mechanic for many years, and his entire basement resembled a bike shop. In other words, he knew what he was doing.

    After a year and a half of riding the bike, this happened to the stem:



    Again, can I say with 100% certainty it was torqued correctly? No, but I'd be surprised if wasn't (even though this crack definitely looks like a torque issue). I never had cause to take the stem off or headset apart, so I never torqued it myself.

    Regardless, I'm not impressed. I have used dozens of different stems over the years and never had a failure. So I'm steering clear of Thomson. I doubt I could warranty it since I wasn't the person who initially bought it, but even if I could I wouldn't bother, since I simply wouldn't trust it. It was replaced with a cheaper FSA stem.

    I definitely stay away from Thomson products.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwalker View Post
    I bought my Pugsley used, and it came with a Thomson stem. Now, I was not the one who installed this stem. However, the guy I bought it from has worked as a bike shop mechanic for many years, and his entire basement resembled a bike shop. In other words, he knew what he was doing.

    After a year and a half of riding the bike, this happened to the stem:


    Again, can I say with 100% certainty it was torqued correctly? No, but I'd be surprised if wasn't (even though this crack definitely looks like a torque issue). I never had cause to take the stem off or headset apart, so I never torqued it myself.

    Regardless, I'm not impressed. I have used dozens of different stems over the years and never had a failure. So I'm steering clear of Thomson. I doubt I could warranty it since I wasn't the person who initially bought it, but even if I could I wouldn't bother, since I simply wouldn't trust it. It was replaced with a cheaper FSA stem.

    I definitely stay away from Thomson products.
    With all due respect you bought it used so your case is a moot point. It doesn't matter if you bought it from the best bike mechanic known to man. There is no telling what kind of torque it has been subjected to. So I think you have no basis for not trusting the product. Until you own one since new and know what it has been subjected to there is no honest review.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  78. #78
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    Thomson make a good product, but plenty of other top line companies make just as good stem if not better, take a look at Straitline for example, they make killer stems and gear, i wouldnt swap out my straitline for thomson gear if i could for free..
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  79. #79
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    For the “Thomson sucks crowd”:

    This is an online MTB community with over 400,000 members with a three year old thread in which a grand total of 10 people claim to have had a Thomson stem fail, three of the ten provided pictures.
    Over the last three years how many stems has Thomson built and sold? Thomson started building bike parts 18 years ago, how many older Thomson stems are still out there?

    You do realize stuff breaks on MTB’s? Right?

    Me? I think Thomson has an outstanding record of industry leading quality.

  80. #80
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    I've broke 3 (or 4)....they were all torqued correctly

    the latest THOMSON crack their customer service said I torqued within specs and that maybe the OD of my steerer was less than 1 1/8 (it wasn't)...or that the starnut was not centered in-between the 'clamps' on the stem...

    that may have been it as I was dialing in the cockpit on a new bike so the steerer tube was a little long....it also doesn't help that I ride like an epileptic gorilla....on a rigid rig



    BTW - THOMSON customer service is top notch FWIW...and I do think they make a very sexy product, and have many satisfied and loyal customers....but I've moved on to other brands for stems...
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  81. #81
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    Thomson make beautiful products. Perhaps they concentrate too hard on the looks.



    This is from my road bike. That's a crack at a stress raiser. There's no way any competent engineer has designed in that unradiused corner.
    Last edited by nuffink; 11-10-2012 at 04:02 PM.

  82. #82
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    It doesn't seem to be a torque issue. What is this thing made out of cheese?
    I have owned countless stems over the years, no name, Azonic, Easton, RaceFace, Pro etc.
    I don't own a torque wrench, I bear down on on the bolts pretty hard, I have never suffered a failure. If over torquing was an issue, I should of suffered my share of broken faceplates.
    I reckon it has to do with inconsistant centreing of the faceplate.
    Plus, other people have stated that they have used a torque wrench to gain proper torque and still suffered broken faceplates.
    If I had a Thomson stem, I'd be worried, it's a part where when/if it fails, you will suffer injury.
    My personal safety is more important than "bling".

    Another reason for failure could be something in manufacturing changed when Mr Thomson's son took over, either way I'm staying well clear.
    Last edited by SV11; 11-08-2012 at 10:33 AM.

  83. #83
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    Just found an email from David Parrett of Thomson. He told me to mail it back to them and they will replace it.

    I take back my comments. I feel like an Arsehole. They do stand by their products, and I will continue using with confidence.

    I can't really see it happening again.

    Anyway, I have attached an image indicating where mine cracked, as my bike is in the shop at the moment.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by kirjo; 11-10-2012 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Email recieved from Thomson

  84. #84
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    I broke mine clean in half last month. Emailed Thompson, they said send it in and I had a new one the next week free of charge.

    Thompson X4 stem

  85. #85
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    Im begging to think theres a link here, i realise that a hell of a lot of riders use thomson, but this is a massive amount of breaks in different places on the stem.
    Ive never owned a torque wrench, owned heaps of stems for DJ and AM, and ive never broken a stem or even fractures one, and do my bolts up tight enough to never have any slippage of bars or fork, im starting to think thomson might have a few design floors, i wouldnt touch them after reading this thread, i'll stick with Straitline and Deity.
    The spots some of these stems are breaking doesnt look good for thomson, i think they must be skimping out on material to get the weight down to much.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Im begging to think theres a link here, i realise that a hell of a lot of riders use thomson, but this is a massive amount of breaks in different places on the stem.
    Ive never owned a torque wrench, owned heaps of stems for DJ and AM, and ive never broken a stem or even fractures one, and do my bolts up tight enough to never have any slippage of bars or fork, im starting to think thomson might have a few design floors, i wouldnt touch them after reading this thread, i'll stick with Straitline and Deity.
    The spots some of these stems are breaking doesnt look good for thomson, i think they must be skimping out on material to get the weight down to much.
    Don't jump ship just yet there Mr. T. this thread is but a fraction of a fraction of all the stems on the trails. This always happens with all products related to MTBing. Once someone posts a product failure more come out of the woodwork and it gets blown out of proportion. More times than not it's the consumers fault.
    Look at the outstanding customer service this company doe's to keep the consumer happy. I'm sure if there was an ongoing and frequent issue they would address it and fix the flaw. They have been at the top of the industry for 15 years I am sure they wouldn't sacrifice a top notch reputation that they have built on for so long.

    And IMO some of these torque issues are not only tightening down out of torque specs. But also could it be because some guys don't know the importance of tightening down a 1/4 turn on a bolt. Then alternating to another bolt back and fourth 1/4 turn at a time. Some guys tighten a bolt then tighten another bolt which puts uneven pressure in an area which can result in failure.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 11-10-2012 at 06:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Don't jump ship just yet there Mr. T. this thread is but a fraction of a fraction of all the stems on the trails. This always happens with all products related to MTBing. Once someone posts a product failure more come out of the woodwork and it gets blown out of proportion. More times than not it's the consumers fault.
    Look at the outstanding customer service this company does to keep the consumer happy. I'm sure if there was an ongoing and frequent issue they would address it and fix the flaw. They have been at the top of the industry for 15 years I am sure they wouldn't sacrifice a top notch reputation that they have built on for so long.

    And IMO some of these torque issues are not only tightening down out of torque specs. But also could it be because some guys don't know the importance of tightening down a 1/4 turn on a bolt. Then alternating to another bolt back and fourth 1/4 turn at a time. Some guys tighten a bolt then tighten another bolt which puts uneven pressure in an area which can result in failure.
    Fair call DJ, cant argue with any of that mate
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    I beg to differ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    With all due respect you bought it used so your case is a moot point. It doesn't matter if you bought it from the best bike mechanic known to man. There is no telling what kind of torque it has been subjected to. So I think you have no basis for not trusting the product. Until you own one since new and know what it has been subjected to there is no honest review.
    I have been a bike mechanic for over 40 years, and a hardcore freerider type for most of that time, and have only seen two cracked stems of any brand. I've seen plenty of stripped threads and lots and lots of stripped bolt heads, but only one cracked faceplate and one welded stem that was cracked where the neck of it was welded to the steerer tube clamp.

    I just discovered this thread a few minutes ago, and from what I've seen and heard here, I will NEVER run a Thomson stem of the current design. I agree with what someone stated above about how stem, handlebar or front wheel failures could potentially be deadly and are almost certain to be very painful.

    I've seen enough photos of enough different Thomson stem failures in just this one thread to be scared of them. Can anyone come up with any photos of ANY OTHER BRANDS of failed stems? If so, please post the photos here on this thread. In the World according to me, it should be damn near impossible, even for a ham fisted lout, to damage any stem in the ways I've seen shown here. I like my stuff to be bulletproof.

    Thomson's current stem design=FAIL!!!
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc View Post
    I have been a bike mechanic for over 40 years, and a hardcore freerider type for most of that time, and have only seen two cracked stems of any brand. I've seen plenty of stripped threads and lots and lots of stripped bolt heads, but only one cracked faceplate and one welded stem that was cracked where the neck of it was welded to the steerer tube clamp.

    I just discovered this thread a few minutes ago, and from what I've seen and heard here, I will NEVER run a Thomson stem of the current design. I agree with what someone stated above about how stem, handlebar or front wheel failures could potentially be deadly and are almost certain to be very painful.

    I've seen enough photos of enough different Thomson stem failures in just this one thread to be scared of them. Can anyone come up with any photos of ANY OTHER BRANDS of failed stems? If so, please post the photos here on this thread. In the World according to me, it should be damn near impossible, even for a ham fisted lout, to damage any stem in the ways I've seen shown here. I like my stuff to be bulletproof.

    Thomson's current stem design=FAIL!!!

    Caught trolling again I see.

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    Wtf???

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    Caught trolling again I see.
    Trolling? You're an Fing idjit!!! How is this "trolling"? I simply mention that I've been in this bizness longer than most of the wet-behind-the-ears punks on this forum have been alive, and that I've RARELY seen such carnage to ANY brand of this particular component and ask that if anyone has photographic proof of ANY OTHER BRAND of stem failing in a similar manner, to post it for comparative purposes, so that we could all see if this is just a problem with Thomson stems, or if lots of different brands of stems fail in a similar manner.

    My guess is that out of all of MTBR, it will be difficult to find more than half a dozen similar failures of other stems of ALL OTHER BRANDS COMBINED, thus proving that:

    THOMSON STEMS=FAIL!!!

    So go ahead, post your photos of failed non-Thomson stems; let's see 'em!
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc View Post
    Trolling? You're an Fing idjit!!! How is this "trolling"? I simply mention that I've been in this bizness longer than most of the wet-behind-the-ears punks on this forum have been alive, and that I've RARELY seen such carnage to ANY brand of this particular component and ask that if anyone has photographic proof of ANY OTHER BRAND of stem failing in a similar manner, to post it for comparative purposes, so that we could all see if this is just a problem with Thomson stems, or if lots of different brands of stems fail in a similar manner.

    My guess is that out of all of MTBR, it will be difficult to find more than half a dozen similar failures of other stems of ALL OTHER BRANDS COMBINED, thus proving that:

    THOMSON STEMS=FAIL!!!

    So go ahead, post your photos of failed non-Thomson stems; let's see 'em!
    Just as I said you have been trolling these boards for years. You only pop your head up to get people riled up. Mechanic my ass you I both know you worked at Wall Mart as a bike assembler. Play it up as you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Don't jump ship just yet there Mr. T. this thread is but a fraction of a fraction of all the stems on the trails. This always happens with all products related to MTBing. Once someone posts a product failure more come out of the woodwork and it gets blown out of proportion. More times than not it's the consumers fault.
    Look at the outstanding customer service this company doe's to keep the consumer happy. I'm sure if there was an ongoing and frequent issue they would address it and fix the flaw. They have been at the top of the industry for 15 years I am sure they wouldn't sacrifice a top notch reputation that they have built on for so long.

    And IMO some of these torque issues are not only tightening down out of torque specs. But also could it be because some guys don't know the importance of tightening down a 1/4 turn on a bolt. Then alternating to another bolt back and fourth 1/4 turn at a time. Some guys tighten a bolt then tighten another bolt which puts uneven pressure in an area which can result in failure.
    You are unbelievable. So everyone who has had a failure is because they are ham fisted monkies? Seriously, where do you get off? I like how you dismiss those who used a torque wrench and still suffered issues.

    This doesn't happen with all products, again your clutching at straws.

    This many failures is totally unaccepteable, especially because it's a high ticket item. You're defending it to the hilt, but you don't realize that you're starting to sound ridiculous.

    You're making it sound as if Thomson stems can only be fitted by specialised mechanics, WTF! It's a stem for gods sake.
    Last edited by SV11; 11-11-2012 at 12:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    You are unbelievable. So everyone who has had a failure is because they are ham fisted monkies? Seriously, where do you get off? I like how you dismiss those who used a torque wrench and still suffered issues.

    This doesn't happen with all products, again your clutching at straws.

    This many failures is totally unaccepteable, especially because it's a high ticket item. You're defending it to the hilt, but you don't realize that you're starting to sound ridiculous.

    You're making it sound as if Thomson stems can only be fitted by specialised mechanics, WTF! It's a stem for gods sake.
    You do know that this is a four year old thread right. It was just recently brought back to the forefront. I am not saying that all these issues are due to bad torque techniques by the consumer. Obviously some are some aren't. No product is perfect all I'm saying is if Thomson thought that there was an issue due to their negligence of quality control that they would address it. Like I said this thread is a fraction of a fraction of the total of stems running around.

    About ten years ago Thomson had an issue with their face plates. They had a ridge on the inside where the plate met the bar. This was a machining issue. Many were released and a few customers had issues with the ridge cutting into carbon bars. This was immediately addressed and fixed. All prior consumers simply sent in their plate # and a new face plate was sent out free of charge. Only a few people running carbon bars had issues but all jumped on the deal. The point is if a company who has built such an impressive reputation as Thomson felt there was an issue it would be top priority to address it. Maybe there is an issue and they haven't addressed it yet. Doubtful but possible, they do have records of all warranty claims and I'm sure if there is a sudden spike out of the norm number that it will be dealt with.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 11-11-2012 at 01:26 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    About ten years ago Thomson had an issue with their face plates. They had a ridge on the inside where the plate met the bar. This was a machining issue. Many were released and a few customers had issues with the ridge cutting into carbon bars. This was immediately addressed and fixed. All prior consumers simply sent in their plate # and a new face plate was sent out free of charge..
    What you said cements my suspicions even further. It seems there is a non existent R&D department and/or testing. When your manufacturing a premium product, you can't afford to have anything go wrong (because you're paying a premium), the bigger the reputation the more you have to lose. Even having a handful of faceplates fail, thats a handful too much as the resulting failure can lead to serious injury, which can lead to law suits. I think what's saving their @ss is their great customer service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    What you said cements my suspicions even further. It seems there is a non existent R&D department and/or testing. When your manufacturing a premium product, you can't afford to have anything go wrong (because you're paying a premium), the bigger the reputation the more you have to lose. Even having a handful of faceplates fail, thats a handful too much as the resulting failure can lead to serious injury, which can lead to law suits. I think what's saving their @ss is their great customer service.
    Do you honestly think there is any product in the MTB world that has a flawless non failure record. You say a non exsistant R&D department, there is no way they could make it especially this long. A premium customer service to cover up for no R&D department I doubt it. The face plate issue I talked about was only a problem once carbon bars hit the market place [ten years ago]. They realized that ridge effected carbon and fixed it. So anyway only time will tell if there is a real issue and if so if they correct it. All I know is my Thomson stem is 11 years old and going strong. I'm 205 lbs and ride hard and have never used a torque wrench but rather torqued to feel onto an Easton carbon bar of the same age.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 11-11-2012 at 06:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Anybody that is dumping using Thomson products is nuts. Thomson is a leader the industry with a great reputation. Any of the very few issues that customers have came across are addressed accordingly. And a very high percent have been replaced by the company even if it was the consumers fault for over tightening. And even if they are out of warranty they help you out. I have been running a Thomson stem for 11 years with no problem. And I know of numerous riders with the same longevity record with no issues. Every product from every manufacturer has some flaws with some released. Thomson products are usually consumer error in over tightening. I don't know why people tighten down so hard. They have reccomended torque specs to go by. I myself don't even use that. A little common sense goes along way. Thomson is a top notch company that make top notch products. And they stand behind their product.
    I agree with most of what you are saying, but no other stems on the market have had any issues with over torque except Thomson. Sorry, but at 20 mph DH with a 4 ft drop I do not want to find out if the face plate cracks and there are many MTBR's that have faceplates crack using the specified torque. Just saying. I do believe the seatposts are the best ones out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    I agree with most of what you are saying, but no other stems on the market have had any issues with over torque except Thomson. Sorry, but at 20 mph DH with a 4 ft drop I do not want to find out if the face plate cracks and there are many MTBR's that have faceplates crack using the specified torque. Just saying. I do believe the seatposts are the best ones out there.
    I have to agree. I have always used Thompson stems and posts but after mine broke into I am scared of it.

    I was impressed that they have great CS and sent me a new one which I quickly installed and have been using but I would be lying if I said I'm not think about it when I'm bombing down sections.

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    Yes, this thread is 4 years old and the amount of breaks posted in this thread only represent a very small portion of Thomson stems in use..

    But the way I look at it... Thomson holds a very small overall market of the total stems sales.. there are many companies that easily sell 2 to 3 times more stems then Thomson. Given that, we shouldnt be seeing so many cracked stems. We should be seeing 3 times as many posts about Easton stems cracking if this rate was normal.

    I love Thomson products, but I stay away from their stems.

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    Chromag. Enough said.

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    i'll add my two cents. i love their seatposts but have moved away from their stems just because i wanted to try other brands and i feel there are others with quality as good or better stem wise.

    one of their issues regarding torque is that they use good quality bolts for their products compared to some used on other brands, which does lead to over torqueing, the bolts won't fail if you do over tighten them like bolts on other stems will. their quality is what leads to problems sometimes as stupid as that sounds. the stem bolts on my twenty6 stem and my straitline stem are of a much lesser quality which makes it almost impossible to over tighten before the bolt head fails or rounds out. which is why thomson went with a smaller allen key size on their bolts to try to prevent over tightening issues.

    as far as failures, i will agree that they probably have more stems out there than anyone else and that their failure rate is pretty low and their cs is top notch. unfortunately we as consumers are at the mercy of quality control. it's not like i've never thought about the castings of my fork and wondered, will it fail at some point? we all ride with some faith that things will be ok. unfortunately 5h!t happens sometimes. i don't think there is some conspiracy hiding thomson failures. they wouldnt be one of if not the top selling stem manufacturers sales wise if they made dangerous junk

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