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  1. #1
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    What stem for carbon bars?

    I have used Thomson stems almost exclusively. Unfortunately they dont play well with carbon bars. I prefer a solid stiff stem over any weight savings benefit. My question is, what would be a good stem to use to replace the Thomson for my 25.4 carbon bars?
    Last edited by Fisty; 02-12-2006 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    generally speaking, any stem that has a large surface plate and a two bolt design will fit the bill. This evens out the stress on the bar a little more than other designs (ie 4 bolt). there's also something about syntace's 200 degree wraparound something or other, they say that helps the carbon bars but some ppl have trouble getting bars on in the first place.

    go with easton stems you won't be dissapointed.

  3. #3
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    I'm using an syntace f99.. I don't feel it flexy at all. and I'm using a carbon bar. works perfect, no damage on the bar.

    just be sure you are tighteen with right tension.

  4. #4
    Ride on
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    if weight is no concern

    If weight really isn't a concern there are stems out there that use a hinged faceplate. The old EA70 and the Yeti-made ARC come to mind. Unfortunately they are both heavy (>200g) and harder to find. I've got one of each and they haven't let me down yet.

  5. #5
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    off the top of my head i think the lightest stem with a really good faceplate in 25.4 would be the old fsa xc115. i'm using a syntace and have no complaints.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to Hijack the thread, but could someone please give me an indication what the issue is with 4 bolt stems and carbon bars? I'm collecting parts for a build and have a Hope XC stem (4 bolt) and Easton Monkey Lites? What shoud I know?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ51
    Sorry to Hijack the thread, but could someone please give me an indication what the issue is with 4 bolt stems and carbon bars? I'm collecting parts for a build and have a Hope XC stem (4 bolt) and Easton Monkey Lites? What shoud I know?

    Thanks
    Check to make sure the stem has a large contact area with the BAR. If the face plate or the stem side has just the outside edges contacting the bar, it will eventually crack right there. If you use a 4 bolt stem then use a torque wrench and progressively tordue the bolts to spec for the bar you are using moving cross then corner then cross.
    Last edited by Fisty; 02-22-2006 at 01:14 PM.

  8. #8
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    Ok, now I'm concerned..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisty
    Check to make sure the stem has a large contact area with the stem. If the face plate or the stem side has just the outside edges contacting the bar, it will eventually crack right there. If you use a 4 bolt stem then use a torque wrench and progressively tordue the bolts to spec for the bar you are using moving cross then corner then cross.
    I just bought a easton carbon flat bar, and am using a race face deus 4 bolt stem. Are you saying I should be concerned with uneven loads on the bar which will cause it to snap. How would I guage if the face plate is contacting the outside edges more so?

    Here's a couple of pics - maybe you can provide feedback..
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    when we are talking about 4 bolt, we are generally talking about the lightweight 4-bolts w/ the 2 minimal strips of material to hold the bar, such as ritchey's wcs stem. a stem with a faceplate that large has a large surface area and is fine for carbon bars.

    and i use a ritchey stem w/ a ritchey carbon bar, am not really concerned about it b/c i do not overtighten it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill
    I just bought a easton carbon flat bar, and am using a race face deus 4 bolt stem. Are you saying I should be concerned with uneven loads on the bar which will cause it to snap. How would I guage if the face plate is contacting the outside edges more so?

    Here's a couple of pics - maybe you can provide feedback..
    CAN WE GET A PIC OF THAT WHOLE BIKE? LOOKS WILD FROM WHAT I CAN SEE. WE LOVE PICS!

  11. #11
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    As you requested...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisty
    CAN WE GET A PIC OF THAT WHOLE BIKE? LOOKS WILD FROM WHAT I CAN SEE. WE LOVE PICS!
    It's not fully complete at the moment, but here it is with the new fork addition. It has got to be the ugliest colour I've ever seem. I was able to get the fork $200 cheaper than the black, so what the hell. If anything it will sure turns heads being that ugly.

    The total weight of the fork is 1,474grams with cut steerer. Total bike weight with karmas is 24.2 pounds. No chainrings in picture, as I've sent the big ring to Boone to get pinned. It just didn't shift well no matter how it was adjusted.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    over researcher
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctracer01
    when we are talking about 4 bolt, we are generally talking about the lightweight 4-bolts w/ the 2 minimal strips of material to hold the bar, such as ritchey's wcs stem. a stem with a faceplate that large has a large surface area and is fine for carbon bars.

    and i use a ritchey stem w/ a ritchey carbon bar, am not really concerned about it b/c i do not overtighten it.
    I too am concerned. I just ordered a MonkeyLite XC OS bar. I haven't picked up a stem yet, as someone is going to loan me a 90, 100, and 110 so I can determine the right length. When I get it all figured out, I plan on ordering the Thomson Elite X4. Is this a good (safe) combo, or not? The outift I ordred from, a small shop that actually rides bikes, uses the Thomson Elite X4 with carbon bars on his bikes, and he said he has never had any problems at all.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, what he said. Especially with that stem. Also one of the stiffest stems I've used, albiet heavy. No worries if one uses common sense when tighening.

    Little bit of brake cleaner sprayed into a cloth and some rub'n action will get rid of that Lizard Skin logo off the triggers quick. Just a thought.

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={9CA0B28D-2D68-4C52-8FDF-F4AEE0A10E60}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0170279745&ssdyn=1 ">

  14. #14
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    Thanks guys

    [QUOTE=Duckman]Yeah, what he said. Especially with that stem. Also one of the stiffest stems I've used, albiet heavy. No worries if one uses common sense when tighening.

    Little bit of brake cleaner sprayed into a cloth and some rub'n action will get rid of that Lizard Skin logo off the triggers quick. Just a thought.

    I was a little worried I had made the wrong purchase. The stem is very solid, albeit heavy as you said. I recently weighed it, and was very disappointed to see it was 179 grams (with heavy bolts). I've had the stem for 4 seasons and it's always felt very stiff.

    Thanks for the brake cleaner tip to remove the lizard skin logo - I didn't think of that. How long do they typically stay on?

  15. #15
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    Sweet racer! The fork sets it off. Sup with that brake setup? In transition Ide guess. Very nice bike. Just bought a new next LP crank a couple days ago, man they are expensive now! I think its alot better than the new fangled stuff that RF is comin out with. Good luck with your race season.

  16. #16
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    The problem some ppl had with thomsons stems was they either tightened one side too much over the other or the early models had a slight ridge on the faceplate and that dug into the bar. They fixed the ridge issue long ago and as others said common sense when tightening and make sure the plate goes on evenly.

    I have no issues with my stem and carbon bar but I know my friend had the same setup and the bikeshop he had install the stem and bar tightened it on crooked and his bar cracked (which he sold to my other friend who still rides it, even after I told him he just needs to send it back for a replacement )

  17. #17
    SUBLIM8er
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    Get the Syntace F99. It's light, stiff and plays well with carbon. Been running mine with an EC90 for three years. It's all good.
    Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.
    William S. Burroughs

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    I have no issues with my stem and carbon bar but I know my friend had the same setup and the bikeshop he had install the stem and bar tightened it on crooked and his bar cracked (which he sold to my other friend who still rides it, even after I told him he just needs to send it back for a replacement )
    I hope your friend has good medical and dental coverage. Riding a bar that you know is cracked is suicide.

  19. #19
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    the info that came with my EC-90 road bar said using a 4-bolt stem voided the warranty. Not sure if this is still true, or if they ever said that about mtb bars. Easton seems to be a little timid with warranty anyway (the way they say EC70 mtb bars are compatable with bar-ends, yet there aren't any bar ends that meet their spec).
    I wonder if their reasoning is fear that you'll torque one side more than the other.

    For a 1" clamp I'd get an EA-70 stem. For oversize I'd go Thompson X-2 provided you aren't a clyde and aren't riding off your roof or anything.

  20. #20
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    Would this stem work with a carbon bar as long as you tightened it evenly, maybe even used a torque wrench to be sure?

  21. #21
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    yes, i use the wcs version of that. don't overtighten and you'll be fine.

  22. #22
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    I had a Ritchey Pro stem but I found it too flexy but I like em rock solid anyhow so most of my stems are a bit on the fat side.

  23. #23
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    Easton now states that an EC90 road OS bar can be used with 4 bolts stems. They strongly state to makes sure that you clean any sharp edges and remove bars from the inside on the stem. As well you should follow the torque specs but cut them in half (the torque specs are for a two bolt stem).

    So you can use a four bolt but follow the same rules.

  24. #24
    Daniel the Dog
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    Not to be argumentative

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisty
    I have used Thomson stems almost exclusively. Unfortunately they dont play well with carbon bars. I prefer a solid stiff stem over any weight savings benefit. My question is, what would be a good stem to use to replace the Thomson for my 25.4 carbon bars?
    But, I have been using a Thomson stem with my Easton Monkeylites for as long as I can remember. Never used a torque wrench and have never had one problem.

    Jaybo

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    But, I have been using a Thomson stem with my Easton Monkeylites for as long as I can remember. Never used a torque wrench and have never had one problem.

    Jaybo
    ditto here - same combo for 3yrs

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisty
    I have used Thomson stems almost exclusively. Unfortunately they dont play well with carbon bars.
    yeah, i'm not sure what the concern is with a thomson stem and carbon bar?! there IS no problem as far as i'm aware/concerned. BUT, you should always use a torque wrench to correctly and evenly torque the bolts. thomson stems, as you no doubt realise, are amongst the best overall quality and very hard to beat.

    having said that, i also like FSA components. as they are focusing on oversize/31.8mm stems/bars now, you can usually pick up their 25.4mm gear very cheaply. maybe look for an XC-115 stem, which is alloy, 25.4mm clamp, and very lightweight yet strong.

    - Giant NRS Composite - Giant XTC2 - Giant TCRCzero - Giant OCR1 -

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  27. #27
    BLS439
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiny_car
    yeah, i'm not sure what the concern is with a thomson stem and carbon bar?! there IS no problem as far as i'm aware/concerned. BUT, you should always use a torque wrench to correctly and evenly torque the bolts. thomson stems, as you no doubt realise, are amongst the best overall quality and very hard to beat.

    having said that, i also like FSA components. as they are focusing on oversize/31.8mm stems/bars now, you can usually pick up their 25.4mm gear very cheaply. maybe look for an XC-115 stem, which is alloy, 25.4mm clamp, and very lightweight yet strong.

    You guys keep talking about torque wrenches and such. I use the X-4 stem with a Ritchey WCS carbon Rizer bar. The torque settings for the stem are written right on it, but the settings for the bar are no where to be found. What are you guys torquing your bars down at?

    --BLS439

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLS439
    You guys keep talking about torque wrenches and such. I use the X-4 stem with a Ritchey WCS carbon Rizer bar. The torque settings for the stem are written right on it, but the settings for the bar are no where to be found. What are you guys torquing your bars down at?

    --BLS439
    if it's a carbon bar, you are right to be wary about over tightening the clamp. cos even torqued to spec (of the stem) you can crack a bar if it's not suitably reinforced in that area.

    i think what's more important is that all bolts are torqued to the same amount; so it's more about 'evenness' rather than outright tightness.

    IIRC, i torqued my my stem to 30 inch-pounds for carbon bars which is below the max torque spec of the stem. typically, if you hand-tighten the clamp to the point where the bars don't slip/rotate, this is well below the spec of the clamp. then i use the torque wrench to even up the bolts to 'around that level' achieved by hand-tightening.

    no probs so far with this technique.

    - Giant NRS Composite - Giant XTC2 - Giant TCRCzero - Giant OCR1 -

    - nothing stock here - move right along now -
    - Geelong area, Australia -

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