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  1. #1
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    Felt Z4 VA stem replacement

    I replaced the stock Felt VA (variable angle) stem on my Z4 last week. Wanted to let people know what worked for me, in case they may also want to replace theirs. You may want to consult your bike shop on this one, if you've never dissembled a modern headset. You also should own a torque wrench to get the bolts correct on assembly, especially on the carbon steer tube.

    The F series uses a different stem from the VA (variable angle) on the Z, so YMMV on that that model for comments below.

    The key thing you need figure out, to replace the stem, is the height the old and new ones use on the carbon steer tube. Unless you want to get involved in cutting the steering tube. I didn't, and also wanted the capability to return the bike to stock if needed.

    The Z4 VA stem has a slanted insert that wraps around the steer tube and sits inside the VA stem. You rotate it 180 degrees to change the up/down angle from 8 to 16 degrees.
    The height I measured on my Z4 VA stem is 43mm on one end (thin), and 44 mm on the other (thick). It weighed 172g with the insert and screws.

    The way mine was delivered, it had 25mm of plastic spacers under it (10/5/10), and just the Felt cap on top.

    I used a Ritchey WCS 4 Axis BB stem, the latest design, that is 42mm tall. This one, it weighed 114g for 100mm length.
    Ritchey WCS 4-Axis BB Black Stem

    I also ordered a 20mm carbon spacer from wheels mfg., and a spacer kit, in case...for now or later.

    I removed the 10, 10, and 5mm stock spacers and replaced them with the single 20mm carbon spacer. Then the new Ritchey WCS stem, then a 5mm spacer on top of the stem, then the Felt cap. It all worked fine.
    I was looking to get 10mm less reach, and also move the bars lower, and so this worked great to accomplish that. Pics to follow.
    Last edited by Z'mer; 04-18-2014 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Here's the stock Felt VA stem, and replacement installed
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Felt Z4 VA stem replacement-feltstemva.jpg   Felt Z4 VA stem replacement-feltstem1.jpg  

  3. #3
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    I have a Z4 and a Z85. I was fitted for the z85 and had a 90mm Felt stem installed. My Z4 came with a 100mm stem. I swapped the stems. Now my z85 has the 100 and my z4 has the 90. I would like to put another 100 back on the z4. So, I might be interested in buying yours, if available.

  4. #4
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    I'm looking to swap my stem as well and it looks like the top cap that is used with the variable angle stem is not uniform. However it looks like you reused the original top cap? I'm trying to figure out if I need to buy a new top cap or can use the existing one...
    2013 Felt Z4 56cm
    1990 Basso Loto 56cm

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Club View Post
    I would like to put another 100 back on the z4. So, I might be interested in buying yours, if available.
    My original Felt VA stem was 110mm, the Ritchey replacement was 100mm.
    So no spare 100mm Felt VA stem here. I would just get a Ritchey or 3T. If you do, see comments below on top cap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    I'm looking to swap my stem as well and it looks like the top cap that is used with the variable angle stem is not uniform. However it looks like you reused the original top cap? I'm trying to figure out if I need to buy a new top cap or can use the existing one...
    Get the new Felt carbon top cap, it's like $15. That's what I did after I quickly realized the VA top cap was wrong. Sorry, never circled back and updated this thread. I'll post a new pic of the unit with proper cap. It needed one more thin spacer to work.

  7. #7
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    I reused the top cap.

  8. #8
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    Here's a few pics of the Ritchey stem with Felt carbon cap.
    There's a new spacer under the carbon spacer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Felt Z4 VA stem replacement-stem_3.jpg   Felt Z4 VA stem replacement-stem_1.jpg   Felt Z4 VA stem replacement-stem_2.jpg  

  9. #9
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    I also replaced the Felt Variable Angle stem on my 2016 Felt Z4 Disc. I replace it and the bars with Zipp Contour SL 42 cm center to center bar and Zipp Service Course SL stem at 90 mm. Both sizes are the same as stock, but the bars have a 13 mm longer reach (77 vs 84) and a deeper drop (128 mm vs 118). The Zipp stem is -6 degrees and the Felt is -8 degrees. I like the longer reach and the deeper drop. I had to add 2mm of spacers for the Zipp which has a stack height of 41 mm vs the VA stem of 43 mm. Zipp wants you to have your carbon steerer tube level with the top of the stem. Zipp stem comes with a Zipp stem cap. I used Promax spacers in red for variety. Here are pics.

    Felt Stem and Bars:











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