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Thread: Lowering Stem

  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Lowering Stem

    Ok so I want to lower the stem on my Domane, so here's my uneducated bike wrenching question - there's a retainer on top then a couple bolts that clamp the stem to the tube (Terminology may be off). Are those the only 2 points I need to loosen / remove to take the stem off and pull a couple spacers out from under the stem then put them on top? How much torque on the fasteners when I put it back in place? Am I missing anything like a preload setting etc?
    Trek Domane 5.2
    Cannondale Synapse 3 Ultegra Disc
    Fuji Cross Comp
    Trek Dual Sport 8.4 (sold)
    1969 Camaro Pace car - numbers matching frame off resto
    1969 Camaro Coupe

  2. #2
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    Yes.

    Torque depends on the stem but usually around 5Nm.

    You do need to have the appropriate amount of torque on the topcap to make sure the headset is not too tight and not too loose.

    Too tight would make the steering move very slowly.

    Too loose and you would have play in the headset. You can test this by pressing the front brake and trying to force the bike while it is stationary on the ground.

    Not sure any of this makes sense but hopefully you can figure it out.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    yes, its not too hard to get right......its fairly obvious if its too loose or tight.

    just make sure that you tighten the 2 stem bolts last (after you've done the top retainer).

  4. #4
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    Park Tool's repair guides are the first place I go to find out repair procedures.

    The stem installation guide is good, but it's buried near the bottom of the headset guide.

    See this photo just above that section. There has to be a gap, so that the steerer tube is a little below the top of the stem (or below the top of the spacer that you move up from below the old stem position.)



    Basically, the stem is slid onto the steerer tube, and it's 2 bolts are not tightened at all. The cap is used to pre-load the bearings, so it needs to be barely tight enough to take the play out of the bearings. The cap with it's center bolt is pressing down on the top edge of the stem, while pulling up on the steerer tube by it's threaded plug.

    Now the two stem bolts can be tightened. This locks the stem in place, and the cap could actually be removed now, and the bike steering wouldn't change.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 06-07-2013 at 05:09 PM.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks guys, I have what I need now.
    Trek Domane 5.2
    Cannondale Synapse 3 Ultegra Disc
    Fuji Cross Comp
    Trek Dual Sport 8.4 (sold)
    1969 Camaro Pace car - numbers matching frame off resto
    1969 Camaro Coupe

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