This Space for Rent


A new stem for the MLCM

The old stem on the MLCM cracked recently, and I only discovered it just before this year’s running of the Verboort Flat Tire Extravaganza!, so after gingerly poking around the course (I was an organizer, so I wasn’t officially riding it, but someone needed to run a sweep and I picked that instead of attempting to man the Snooseville control) and returning home I removed the broken stem and put this one one.

The stem came with a couple of ugly decals on it, so I had to strip them off (with sandpaper, which also took off the clear anodization around them, so I then had to remove (unsuccessfully, as you can see from looking at the top of the stem) the rest of the anodization) and repolish the thing (and then attach the ugly wart that my GPS clips to) before sticking it onto the bicycle.

Given how the stem failed (one of the ears on the 4-bolt faceplate cracked. I discovered the fault after I’d ridden out to Forest Grove on Saturday; I noticed that the handlebars were drooping, so I loosened up the faceplate, rotated the bars back into position, then tightened the faceplate up again. But when I did that last step, one of the bolts didn’t stop tightening, and when I looked carefully I saw the crack across the ear. Whoops!) my druthers are now in favor of a traditional 1-bolt pinch clamp like every threaded stem in christendom has. But if I did that I’d have to strip the bartape off the handlebars, and I’ve yet to wear through the twining & shellacking I did to the existing bartape.

Hopefully this stem will last longer than the last one (or at least long enough for me to find a nicer stem to replace it with.)