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Frozen stem
#1
I have inherited an Apollo bike that has been left out in the rain.

The expander bolt turns fine and it's had a good soaking in WD40 from the bottom, but stem won't budge. Any tips welcome.

Thanks in anticipation.
  Reply
#2
Have you knocked down the wedge at the bottom of the bolt?
There are two types of wedges - expander and wedge:-

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_st-z.html#stem
(scroll down)

and also see:-
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/stuck-stem.html
Ride hard or ride home alone!
  Reply
#3
Hello Familycat,

Welcome to the forum Smile. When you loosed the handlebar stem bolt did it rise up as you turned it? If so the simple way to get the stem out is easy. Take a small hammer and lightly tap on the head of the bolt and the whole stem and bolt should come loose. Here is better instructions if you do not understand....

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/stuck-stem.html

Good luck and do not hesitate to asked any questions ,
Bill
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#4
I should make a tutorial just for quill stem removal. You can see it done at about 0:35 in this video: http://bikeride.com/overhaul-threaded-headset/
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#5
Just wanted to add this for now, Hitting the top of the bolt with the hammer drives the Stem bolt with the Wedge nut downwards causing it to separate away from the stem itself. After you take it out you will see how it is held together. Alex's video is better reference though.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#6
Thanks everybody.

The wedge will not move and I though there might be a method of freeing it without damage to threads passing through the wedge.

Of course us sensible cyclists would never abuse a bike by leaving it outside in all weathers, hence my asking for a remedy.
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#7
Hi again,
You could try like Alex said in another post use Liquid Wrench to see if it would do the job. If that fails then the only other thing I can suggest is take it to Local Bike Shop.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#8
My experience is that it will take more force than thought at first to free the wedge, I had this problem with my old Peugeot and I did not hit hard enough. The guy from my local bike shop did free it.
  Reply
#9
There may be one other way. I am not sure of how an Apollo is set up or made, if you can take the stem bolt completely out then try this. Turn the bike upside down with a way to support it from the handlebars from touching anything, spray it again with Liquid Wrench, find a wooden dial rod long enough to fit all the way down inside the fork tube to touch the bottom of the stem/wedge. Also make sure the dial rod is wide enough in diameter to just fit inside. From this point take a rubber mallet and hit it a few times. Turn it over again tap where the stem bolt would go. Repeat these processes a few times. My view is that if the wedge is not being held in place by the bolt and only by rust/corrosion then it will come free.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#10
Thanks Bill and every one
That approach should protect the stem and wedge from damage.
Will attempt it when temperature allows.
  Reply
#11
Hm, hitting from below will not free the stem, it will rather drive the wedge more in the gap between the stem and the tube. Also, some forks are closed on the underside (my old Peugeot's is). On the other hand, moving stem and wedge forward and backwards is most probably the right way.
  Reply
#12
(01-08-2010, 07:02 AM)Joe_W Wrote:  Hm, hitting from below will not free the stem, it will rather drive the wedge more in the gap between the stem and the tube. Also, some forks are closed on the underside (my old Peugeot's is). On the other hand, moving stem and wedge forward and backwards is most probably the right way.

The idea is to break the rust build up loose, yes more then likely it will shove it in closer, but I guess I could said to put the stem bolt back in and try a couple of hits on that too lol.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply


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