Stems

Stems for traditional road bikes with 1" threaded steerer tubes are getting hard to find. Sure, you can get ugly welded stems from several manufacturers, including some that ought to know better. But try finding a nicely finished forged aluminum stem these days. It ain't easy. Even Cinelli and 3TTT are only making ugly monstrosities that wouldn't do justice to a Huffy. Most new bikes these days come with 1 1/8" threadless steerers, for reasons that aren't too clear. I can understand using 1 1/8" for a tandem, but a "bicycle built for one" certainly doesn't benefit from the larger size.

So I've begun to search out high quality stems for bikes with traditional 1" threaded steerers. Nitto in Japan still makes a few, and I'm stocking their high rise Technomic model, as well as their medium rise Technomic Deluxe. Shimano used to sell stems, made by Nitto. I found a source for these beauties recently and now have them in stock. The Dura Ace and Ultegra stems are racing stems; they have very little rise. So they are best for riders wanting a relatively low handlebar position, or for a bike like the Rivendell Rambouillet, which has an up sloping top tube and an extended steerer. With the Rambouillet and a Shimano stem, you can have your handlebar level with your saddle, and not have a long extension of stem sticking up from the headset. And I have a few nice old stock stems from Cinelli and 3TTT in just a few sizes.


Shimano Dura Ace

The Dura Ace stems are all gone. There are no more. Since we still have a few 11cm Ultegra stems, and since they look the same other than the printing on the front, I'm leaving this image of the Dura Ace stem clamped to a Nitto bar on the website. But the DA stems really are gone forever. Also, I have no spare parts for any Shimano stems. I have no source for spare parts, and I don't have any suggestions as to where you might look for spare parts.

 

Beautifully finished road stem with hidden binder bolt. These were made by Nitto around 1983 or so. Undoubtedly the most beautiful road stem ever made. For 1" threaded steerers. 26.0mm handlebar clamp diameter. 11cm, 12cm and 13cm available in Ultegra only. The Ultegra stem is identical, except for the steel expander wedge, and Ultegra name on the front. See below.

There is a cap at the top rear of the stem. You remove the cap with a 6mm allen wrench (not supplied). With the cap removed you can adjust the handlebar clamp by inserting the allen wrench through the hole horizontally. You'll need an allen wrench that's about six inches long. To tighten or loosen the stem in the steerer, just insert the wrench vertically to adjust the expander wedge at the bottom. It's a wonderful piece of engineering that eliminates the usual exposed bolt for the handlebar clamp.

These can be extended 7cm outside the steerer tube. In other words, when the stem is in the bike, there can be up to 7cm of the vertical section exposed, from the top of the headset locknut, to the top of the stem at the fixing bolt cap. The total height of the stem is 13.5cm, so a minimum of 6.5cm must be inside the steerer tube.

How are stems measured?

This is a 12cm Dura Ace stem. It's hard to see the numbers on the metric ruler, but the 12 is right above the handlebar clamp, centered on the middle of the bar.


Shimano Ultegra

Same beautiful design and finish as the Dura Ace. Made by Nitto. 7cm shown though that length is now sold out. The difference is in the expander wedge. The Dura Ace had an aluminum cone, the Ultegra has a steel wedge, so it's a bit heavier. For 1" threaded steerers, 26.0mm clamp.

The Ultegra stem is not supplied with an allen wrench. You'll need a 6" long allen wrench to install the Ultegra stem.

As of Nov, 2014, I only have 11cm in stock; all made for 26.0mm handlebars. I cannot get any more of these. When they're gone, that's it!

$ 60.00

I did have some 25.4 clamp size in the past. These are now all gone. I can't get any more.

You must not use a stem and handlebar which are not perfectly matching in the clamp size! Don't try to match a 26mm stem with a 25.4mm bar, or a 25.4mm stem with a 26mm bar! And don't use either with the old Cinelli spec 26.4mm stem or bar!

Spare parts are not available for the Shimano stems. To obtain spare parts, you'll need to buy an entire stem.


Nitto Technomic Deluxe

Beautifully finished road stem, 26.0 clamp size for 1" threaded steerers. Aluminum wedge, 190mm high. 7cm through 12cm in 1cm increments. $ 66.00

11cm can be exposed above the headset with the Technomic Deluxe stem. Due to the way Nitto packages these stems, they occasionally have small nicks in the surface. These are not defects, it's just the way they are.

Also available! Nitto Pearl stem in 26.0, 8cm through 12cm sizes, Looks the same as the Technomic Deluxe, but has the same height as the Dura Ace/Ultegra stem above. The Nitto Pearl is the only stem still being made that has the look of a traditional forged Italian stem from the 1970's. And of course the quality is at least as good if not better than any of the Cinelli or 3TTT stems. $ 90.00

Gold Anodized Pearl Stems

We have these along with matching gold anodized Nitto Model 176 handlebars and Crystal Fellow Model 65 seat posts 27.2mm, 250mm length: $ 90.00

The seatposts are made of a different aluminum alloy than the stem and handlebar. As a result, the color of the anodizing of the seat post is very slightly different from that of the stem and bar. The stem and bar are a perfect match. But since the seat post is a couple feet away from the stem and bar when on the bike, I doubt anyone would notice, or mind if they did notice. The difference is subtle. If you're just getting the stem and bar, it's not an issue.


Nitto Technomic

The Technomic, which has considerably higher rise than other road stems, is taller than the Technomic Deluxe, and is not finished as well. It gets less polishing at the factory. The expander wedge is steel, rather than aluminum, as in the Technomic Deluxe. They are now made in only one version; for European spec handlebars at 26.0mm. This is the diameter of the handlebar at the center section where the stem clamps to it.

16cm can be exposed above the headset with the Technomic stem

225mm tall. Available horizontal extensions: 6cm - 12cm, in 1cm increments.
I stock 26.0 sizes in all extensions. $ 59.00

25.4mm clamp sizes are no longer available.


Nitto Reversible Racing

These are all gone. But they're so cool, I can't bear to take them off the page.

The ultimate old style stem. These are quite old. Nitto found a few way back on a shelf and we were lucky enough to buy a few. They only fit 25.4 handlebars, and there's only one size available, 55mm. Aluminum wedge. The vertical section is 75mm long, and you need to insert at least 65mm of that inside the steerer tube. You can set the horizontal section horizontal, or flip it over and have a very short high rise stem. If you need a short stem, this is the coolest thing available.

stem

Shown here with the extension horizontal.

stem with extension raised.

And here it is with the extension raised.

It takes only a few seconds to swap the extension around. All you need is the same 6mm allen wrrench you use to tighten the stem in the frame, and the handlebar to the stem. One wrench does it all. As with all high end Nitto products, these are exquisitely well made. It's a shame they don't make them any more, and that we can no longer get the longer lengths.


3TTT Synthesis

This is the 3TTT Synthesis. It's a well made stem, not as well finished as the Shimano, but the same height. Maximum 7cm above headset. They are no longer made, and I don't keep them in stock since I have the Shimano stems in stock, and inventory gets expensive. but I can order them, and it generally takes no more than ten days to get them.. 26.0mm clamp diameter. 8 cm through 130cm available.

$190.00


3TTT Synthesis Black

Same as the Synthesis, but anodized black. They are no longer made, and I don't keep them in stock since I have the Shimano stems in stock, and inventory gets expensive. but I can order them, and it generally takes no more than ten days to get them. 8 cm through 130cm available.

$190.00


3TTT Record AR

Looks just like the old Cinelli 1/A , but 26.0 clamp diameter. Maximum 7cm above headset. I only have 6cm in stock. $52.00

 


If you have a Japanese handlebar with a 25.4 diameter center, you'll need some shims to make it fit a 26.0mm stem. We have them. They cost $7.50 for the pair.

You must not use a stem and handlebar which are not perfectly matching in the clamp size! Don't try to match a 26mm stem with a 25.4mm bar, or a 25.4mm stem with a 26mm bar! And don't use either with the old Cinelli spec 26.4mm stem or bar!

Most 26.0 stems can be used with 25.4mm bars if you use these Nitto shims. The exception is the Shimano stems at the top of this page. With the hidden expander wedge, the shims won't work properly and the bar can slip. But with our Nitto brand stems, you can use the shims.

I don't have a gram scale. I don't know the weight of any of the stems I sell. If you need to know the weight of a stem before you purchase it, you are welcome to come by the shop with the scale of your choice and weigh any stem we have in stock.

Stem FAQ

AKA: Proof that people are funny.

Q: I read on your web page that the Nitto Technomic Deluxe stem fits 26.0mm handlebars. Is that true?

A: Yes.

Q: I read on your web page that you shouldn't use a stem sized for a 25.5 handlebar with a handlebar sized 26.0mm. Is that true?

A: If you say you read it, I believe you.

Q: My friend said he heard that his other friend's cousin used a 26.0 stem with a 26.4 bar and that it didn't break for 72 years, three months, six days, four hours and twelve minutes. Given this undeniable fact, don't you think your recommendations are a bit too conservative?

A: Well, I guess maybe perhaps if you put it that way, uh...

Q: How much does the Ultegra stem weigh?

A: Less than it would if it weighed more.

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This page updated: Saturday, November 1, 2014

Peter White Cycles
24 Hall Rd.
Hillsborough, NH 03244
USA
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