Is there a trick for mounting bullhorn bars to stem?
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  1. #1
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    Is there a trick for mounting bullhorn bars to stem?

    I have a set of Tsunami bullhorn bars from Chuck's (similar to the Syntace bars below) I'm trying to mount to an old Cinelli quill stem. The bars have a slight bend in them just on either side of flat section where the stem clamps. For the life of me, I cannot get the stem past this bend. It just sticks right at that spot, almost like a car would be "high-centered". There is no problem getting around the bend at the corners of the bars, but it is a little tight.

    Am I missing a trick that would get me past this point and allow me to mount the bars, or do I have a mismatch between the stem and bar size? From what I can gather, the bars are 26.0 bars.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by innergel
    I have a set of Tsunami bullhorn bars from Chuck's (similar to the Syntace bars below) I'm trying to mount to an old Cinelli quill stem. The bars have a slight bend in them just on either side of flat section where the stem clamps. For the life of me, I cannot get the stem past this bend. It just sticks right at that spot, almost like a car would be "high-centered". There is no problem getting around the bend at the corners of the bars, but it is a little tight.

    Am I missing a trick that would get me past this point and allow me to mount the bars, or do I have a mismatch between the stem and bar size? From what I can gather, the bars are 26.0 bars.
    You might need an open face quill stem. Some bars won't work with an older style closed stem.

    Is the stem mounted on the bike? Sometimes the bar has to be spun in a lot of different directions to get it through the stem. Having a stem already mounted on the bike can prevent this.
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    i like whiskey
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    Please don't tell me that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    You might need an open face quill stem. Some bars won't work with an older style closed stem.

    Is the stem mounted on the bike? Sometimes the bar has to be spun in a lot of different directions to get it through the stem. Having a stem already mounted on the bike can prevent this.
    I've tried mounting it with the stem on and off the bike. I've tried every twisting/spinning motion I can think of. I've tried to wedge open the stem a little more. Nothing works. I was hoping there was a trick I was missing.

    If I have to find an open faced quill stem that fits, I'll commit hare-carey (sp?). The steerer tube has a 21.15 inside diameter, which is an old standard and nearly impossible to find.

    It looks like I might have to go to plan B. Using a threadless stem adaptor and a threadless stem. I wanted to keep this old school looking with the quill stem, but it's looking more and more like I'm going to have to go the Frankenbike route.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by innergel
    I've tried mounting it with the stem on and off the bike. I've tried every twisting/spinning motion I can think of. I've tried to wedge open the stem a little more. Nothing works. I was hoping there was a trick I was missing.

    If I have to find an open faced quill stem that fits, I'll commit hare-carey (sp?). The steerer tube has a 21.15 inside diameter, which is an old standard and nearly impossible to find.

    It looks like I might have to go to plan B. Using a threadless stem adaptor and a threadless stem. I wanted to keep this old school looking with the quill stem, but it's looking more and more like I'm going to have to go the Frankenbike route.
    Did you try removing the bolt from the stem and prying open the clamp a little?
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Plan B-2?

    Can you make cow horns by taking a hack saw to some drop bars that work with the stem you have?
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  6. #6
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    I did, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    Did you try removing the bolt from the stem and prying open the clamp a little?
    I didn't really crank on it. I'll give that another try tonight. It only needs to be opened maybe 0.6mm. If I trash the stem, it's no big deal. It was not expensive.

    Plan B-2 below is a good idea too. I've got an old set of drop bars that fit the stem.

    Dang it! This bike build is fighting me with EVERY part I try and put on. I noticed last night that the centerpull calipers are too short too. I should have just spent the cash on a custom built Mercian frame and been done with it!

  7. #7
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    grease it a bit

    when you try to pry the stem open a bit, grease the bend with either soap or chainlube to aide in sliding it through.

    good luck!

  8. #8

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    It's probably your stem...

    It's probably your stem. You said it's an older stem/ fork? So it's not a 1 inch fork? If it's not a 1 inch fork then its almost certainly a 25.8 stem clamp. You *might* be able to pry the thing open enough to mount the bars, but it's probably not a good idea.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by timfire
    It's probably your stem. You said it's an older stem/ fork? So it's not a 1 inch fork? If it's not a 1 inch fork then its almost certainly a 25.8 stem clamp. You *might* be able to pry the thing open enough to mount the bars, but it's probably not a good idea.

    Don't know what to say...
    It is a 1" fork but it has a 21.15mm inside diameter instead of the current 22.2mm standard. It's almost certainly a too small stem clamp. I was just hoping there might be a trick that I was missing to get it around that small bend.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by innergel
    It is a 1" fork but it has a 21.15mm inside diameter instead of the current 22.2mm standard. It's almost certainly a too small stem clamp. I was just hoping there might be a trick that I was missing to get it around that small bend.
    If you take the stem bolt out and thread it in from the other side and put a penny in the clamp gap and tighten the bolt the clamp will open more. The bolt will push on the penny opening the clamp evenly so that you can hopefully get your bars on. I've done this on an old Syncros Altura stem back in the day. It had a wide clamp that made it impossible to put any bars into it and the boys at Syncros told me about this little trick.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench
    If you take the stem bolt out and thread it in from the other side and put a penny in the clamp gap and tighten the bolt the clamp will open more. The bolt will push on the penny opening the clamp evenly so that you can hopefully get your bars on. I've done this on an old Syncros Altura stem back in the day. It had a wide clamp that made it impossible to put any bars into it and the boys at Syncros told me about this little trick.
    That is a great idea. I'll try that next time I have a problem
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    This board never ceases to amaze me!

    Quote Originally Posted by wrench
    If you take the stem bolt out and thread it in from the other side and put a penny in the clamp gap and tighten the bolt the clamp will open more. The bolt will push on the penny opening the clamp evenly so that you can hopefully get your bars on. I've done this on an old Syncros Altura stem back in the day. It had a wide clamp that made it impossible to put any bars into it and the boys at Syncros told me about this little trick.
    The depth of knowledge in here is huge! I knew there would be plenty of ideas on things to try. If I can get the stem bolt out, I'll try this tonight. I've tried to take it out before, but I couldn't do it. It appears that the nut is somehow fixed to the bolt. We'll see how this works.

  13. #13
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    Take it to a machinist and have him ream it out to 22.2?
    We are the 801
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