MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

DAMAGE - INTRO

DAMAGE - DERAILLEURS

DAMAGE - CRANK & RINGS

DAMAGE - SPOKES

DAMAGE - PEDALS

DAMAGE - SIDE STANDS

DAMAGE - BRAKE LEVERS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

DAMAGE - POST & STEM

DAMAGE - WHAT ELSE???

 

 

COMPONENT DAMAGE - SEAT POSTS & STEERING STEMS

 

If there is one component that is securely tucked away out of harm's way, it has got to be the seat post.  What possible damage could it experience?  I have never run across a busted seat post!  I have never run across a busted steering stem although I have heard horror stories pertaining to the infamous AVA offering that has been nicknamed the Death Stem.

That said and though I have never come upon a broken stem or seat post, I have purposely busted both several times.

If a seat post or steering stem is installed improperly, the chances of their sticking is great.  Once a seat post or stem gets "stuck", problems will follow.  Removing a stuck seat post or steering stem is a time consuming, difficult and dangerous task.  It can take hours to remove a stuck post or stem.  It will take great effort to remove a stuck post or stem.  And finally, if you go about removing the stuck something the wrong way, you risk damaging the frame set.

If you see a seat post inserted too deeply, be forewarned.  There might be a problem.  The newer style seat posts were fluted for different reasons (weight reduction, strength, appearance).  However, if the post is inserted too far into the seat tube, water is encouraged to collect in the flutes and enter the seat tube cavity.  This will, sooner or later, result in oxidation and the post will become stuck.  Horribly stuck!

If possible, when inspecting a bicycle for purchase, loosen the seat post clamping bolt and try moving the seat post.  If it moves, great!  If not, there might be cause for concern.  If you cannot loosen the bolt, look at the joint where the post enters the seat tube.  Is there any grease visible?  If so, chances are the post was installed properly and it will not be seized.

A steering stem inserted too far into the fork steering tube is also a big concern, particularly when small frame sets are concerned.  If the stem is inserted too far, the wedge in the bottom of the stem will contact the bottom of the fork steering tube.  If this happens, it will be impossible to drive the wedge down to release the stem.  Not only will it be impossible to drive the wedge out of its fit, but it will also be extremely difficult to cut the stem out of the steering tube.

Then there is the problem of a stem that is not inserted far enough into the fork steering tube.  Frequently, there is a minimum insertion line marked on a steering stem.  It this line is visible on the stem when it is mounted into the steering tube of the forks, be careful.  If the stem is not inserted far enough you risk damaging the delicate steering tube by expanding the threaded section of the tube when the stem is tightened up.  Once the threads are stretched they will not accept the head set nut and the forks are all but useless.  This, I might add, is not an uncommon problem since many people who purchased old road bikes looked for greater comfort by raising the stem.  Not a good idea for a variety of reasons, the stretching of the threads being one of them.

Another instance of either stem or seat post damage is the scratched or gouged unit.  Both the seat post and steering stem will become badly scratched over the years.  Or even immediately upon insertion.  This is primarily a cosmetic concern but who wants to look at a seat post that is all scratched up?  This problem can be prevented through proper preparation of both the seat post and steering stem cavities.

The general rules of thumb regarding steering stems and seat posts are pretty simple.  If either is shoved too far into its fit, look out!  If either is not shoved far enough into its fit, look out!  Finally, if you can see no sign of lubrication around either fit, look out!

NEXT- COMPONENT DAMAGE - WHAT ELSE TO LOOK FOR?

 

 

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