Bicycle Stem and Bars

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Every 2-3 years, “Lennard Zinn”:http://www.zinncycles.com/ recommends replacing the handlebars. So, I’m off on a search for lightweight set of bars and stem. Right now I have a 3TTT Prima 199 and Icon Sterling Stem. These are pretty light. 200g and 120g respectively, but the Prima is certainly quite flexy. Also, these are 26.0 mm diameter parts and the new thing are 31.8 mm which are supposed to be less flexy. And, of course carbon handlebars. The Icon Sterling is a one bolt binder, so it won’t work with carbon bars, so I need both. Here is what I found out thanks to “Weight Weenies”:http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings.asp and also “Light Bikes”:http://light-bikes.com/road/road.htm which have actual weights of components.
The net for me is I’m probably going to go all carbon bars (no surprise there) with Easton EC 90 via ebay. Then, get a stem that is either magnesium, the Deda Newton Mag 00. If I feel rich, I’ll get a carbon stem (either the Time Monolink or the FSA K-Force Lite). If I feel poor, get a very light aluminum one like the Stella Azzurra Vice Versa or the ITM Millenium.
h4. Handle Bars
The net for me is I’m getting Easton EC 90, but I’m not clear if I should get 26.0 or 31.8 mm on ebay. See notes below:
* “Easton EC90”:http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?GetResult&query=easton&from=R10&ht=1&currdisp=2&itemtimedisp=1&st=2&category2=7294&Top10=&SortProperty=MetaEndSort&catref=C1. There are many more choices right now, but the value leader has to be the Easton EC90. These have been around a long time. Main issue is that they don’t have slots for the derailleur and brake cables. Most folks rout both cables in the front. I routed them front and back when I had my old EC90 which I cracked (another story!) and this worked fine. They were much stiffer than the 3TTT Prima 199s IMHO. You can get them on ebay for $80-100 typically. They also come in both 26.0 and 31.8 sizes now. They are measured center to center in width, so I’ve normally have a 42 cm 3TTT Prima and went to a 42 cm EC90 and is was about 1 cm wider. These are 180 grams for the 40 cm.
* “3TTT More”:http://www.bestwebbuys.com/bikes/search?q=ttt+more&isrc=i-srch-search. These are just out. About the same weight Much as the EC90 and more expensive. Usually about $230 at at “Total Cycling”:http://totalcycling.com/Templates/frmTemplateX.asp?SubFolderID=49&SearchYN=N. These are 31.8 mm oversized.
* “Cinelli Ram”:http://www.lickbike.com/i1109150.htm. These are hard to find, but Lickton’s has them for $465 right now. They are integrated with stem and bar as one. Kind of cool looking. 350 grams, so a little heavier. Main issue is that they require a special computer mount that is even more weight. A luxury, but cool.
h4. 26.0 mm front clamp stems
These stems are quite a bit lighter, because obviously, the clamps are smaller. In general Totalcycling.com and “Wiggle”:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/product_list.asp?CategoryName=Stems&Area=Road have great prices. I’ve ordered from Total and they have been reliable, but not with Wiggle. Here are the choices:
* “ITM The Stem”:http://totalcycling.com/Templates/frmTemplateX.asp?SubFolderID=36&SearchYN=N. This a magnesium stem, so very delicate. Only 105 grams though in 120 mm length. $163 so expensive too. Pretty much the lightest out there.
* “Stella Azzurra ViceVersa Magnisium”:http://www.bikehighway.com/preview_viceversa.htm. A nice review of this “Weight Weenies”:http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings/components.php?type=stems&sortby=real says the stem is actually 100 grams for 110 mm length when it has a the 1″ spacer installed.
* “ITM Millenium Stem”:http://totalcycling.com/Templates/frmTemplateX.asp?SubFolderID=36&SearchYN=N. This is an aluminum stem, so more durable. The ITM website says it is 128 grams and so does weight weenies, but quite a few other sites say it is 140 grams. So, it is not clear where it sits. Weight is often measured with different stem lengths and without bolts, so there is room for wiggle.
h4. 31.8 mm front clamp stems
For 31.8 mm stem components, here is how the choices stack up as whether to get a magnisium stem. These are very delicate, but very light and hard to maintain, but a dream. It is also pretty clear that most new stems are 31.8 now. Choices are:
* “Deda Newton Mag 00″:http://totalcycling.com/Templates/frmTemplateX.asp?SubFolderID=36&SearchYN=N. These are magnesium. 98 grams for the 120 mm stem that I need. 31.8 mm front clamp. Exactly what I need. Sets you back a cool $159. Wow, that’s quite a bit, but maybe worth it.
* Time Monolink Pro Carbon”:http://totalcycling.com/Templates/frmTemplateX.asp?SubFolderID=36&SearchYN=N. Well, I’m not sure it make a big deal, but it looks cool. This is a carbon body, so shouldn’t be as brittle as magnesium. 31.7mm 125 grams and $216 from totalcycling and $300 from coloradocyclist.com and “wiggle”:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=5300006318 is about $187. This is called the Special Pro HM whatever that means. Also have “AW Cycles”:http://www.awcycles.co.uk/products.php?mcat=5&scat=88&prodid=1581 at $195.
* Stella Azzurra ViceVersa. This is a 125 gram stem in 31.8 with 120mm stem according to coloradocyclist where it is $120. It is about $90 from Tiramisu and made out of aluminum, so that is pretty remarkable if true.
* “FSA K-force lite”:http://www.webcyclery.com/.docs/product_id/1571/category_name/Road+Stems/pg/product_detail.html. This is carbon also and just 130 grams in 31.8/120mm stem and $200. Main issue is whether FSA is a good brand. Haven’t seen reviews.

3 Replies to “Bicycle Stem and Bars”

  1. Hi,
    My need is for more than comments. I need help. I just purchased a scooter type bike and I need to raise the handlebars about 3 inches. The HB are TREK, mount by crush, and the overall stem length is around 6 inches and the quill/stem diameter is 22.3mm. I need the overall length it to be a minimum of 9 inches and longer can be accomodated.
    I have been searching the web, and find you page the most knowledgeable on the subject of handlebars and stems that I’ve found.
    I would really appreciate some help in finding a source of this type of item.
    Best Regards,
    Hal Brehe

  2. Hmm. A complicated question. What you need is a special attachment that lengthens the quill/stem setup. The 22.3mm diameter is pretty non standard. Most are 25.9mm or 27.0mm, so this is a speciality part. Off hand, I don’t know of any quill extenders. I’d try the folks at “Branford Bike”:http://branfordbike.com. These guys are experts and have access to the QBP catalog (the catalog of ever strange component in the world.

  3. Hmm. A complicated question. What you need is a special attachment that lengthens the quill/stem setup. The 22.3mm diameter is pretty non standard. Most are 25.9mm or 27.0mm, so this is a speciality part. Off hand, I don’t know of any quill extenders. I’d try the folks at http://branfordbike.com. These guys are experts and have access to the QBP catalog (the catalog of ever strange component in the world.

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