New stem for a better fit

rh100

Well-Known Member
After giving the galaxy a test ride the weekend, I think I may have issues with having the correct fit.

I have raised the stem as far as it will go, but the stem angle drops the top of the bars below the top of the stem and I feel a bit too bent over.

Also, whilst I'm happy with the seat height, the frame is actually a 23 inch, which I suppose means that there is a longer top tube so more stretched out. I am about 5'10, (will have to measure my exact leg measurement later, standing height minus sit height)

I much prefer the upright position of a hybrid, and reading the touring section it seems that most cyclists, to adopt that position, have a stem much higher than you would get on a racer.

So given that I would prefer a more upright position, is the 23" frame beyond hope of making it fit? Or will a longer adjustable stem bring the bars a bit closer and do the trick?

If I do go for a stem, does anyone know what the standard size is for a 531 frame'd galaxy circa late '80's, 1 inch or 1 1/8 inch? I think the clamp size is around 26mm.

I am very unlikely to use the drops, in fact I am thinking about putting butterfly bars on it, which would also make upgrading from the downtube shifters much simpler and cheaper.

Hope the above makes sense :biggrin:
 

Howard

Senior Member
rh100 said:
After giving the galaxy a test ride the weekend, I think I may have issues with having the correct fit.

I have raised the stem as far as it will go, but the stem angle drops the top of the bars below the top of the stem and I feel a bit too bent over.
Can you flip the stem? So..detach the bars, detach the stem, slide the stem off, turn it upside down, re-attach bars, tighten headset?

This should angle the bars up and bring the slightly closer to you. Depends on the angle of the stem however so YMMV.

rh100 said:
So given that I would prefer a more upright position, is the 23" frame beyond hope of making it fit? Or will a longer adjustable stem bring the bars a bit closer and do the trick?
Need photos of you on the bike to get a better idea. You can try various extenders and adjustable stems to raise the bars and bring them closer to you, but generally if the top tube is too long, it's too long.

Need photos.

HTH.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Howard said:
Can you flip the stem? So..detach the bars, detach the stem, slide the stem off, turn it upside down, re-attach bars, tighten headset?

This should angle the bars up and bring the slightly closer to you. Depends on the angle of the stem however so YMMV.



Need photos of you on the bike to get a better idea. You can try various extenders and adjustable stems to raise the bars and bring them closer to you, but generally if the top tube is too long, it's too long.

Need photos.

HTH.
It's a quill stem, so it won't flip. I've seen some adjustable quill stems on the web and thought it might be worth a gamble. I think I may get away with it, I have cross brake levers on the straight bars already, so won't need to be reaching for the hoods. And my other worry was reaching forward to get the gears, when I upgrade from the downtube shifters, but if I go to butterfly bars then so long as I can reach the straight bar comfortably then all controls would be in reach.

So, if all I need to reach comfortably is the straight bar, this should negate the effect of the longer top tube, shouldn't it?
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
rh100 said:
If I do go for a stem, does anyone know what the standard size is for a 531 frame'd galaxy circa late '80's, 1 inch or 1 1/8 inch? I think the clamp size is around 26mm.

I am very unlikely to use the drops, in fact I am thinking about putting butterfly bars on it, ....
It's a standard 1" threaded headset. The vertical part of the quill stem itself has a diameter of 22.2 mm.
The clamp size on the original handlebar is 25.4mm

I thought about putting butterfly bars on mine. Glad I didn't now.

I suggest seeking out an adjustable quill stem - or if you can't stand the ugliness of those - a regular quill with a shorter reach. They are less popular now but you can occasionally find them down to about 35 mm. I got one like that for my OH's Galaxy. It's improved her comfort enormously over the old one which was about 90 mm


**** edit ****
23" frame for 5'10" sounds about right to me.

OH is 5'6" and is on 21" Galaxy (men's one - not the lady Galaxy) of that period
My son - (5'10") is OK with a 25" frame Galaxy -again a 531 framed one, albeit with seat right down - but then being young he doesn't mind being stretched forward.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Thanks Pete, I have ordered an adjustable for now, it's a 75mm reach with + or - 30 degree angle.

On this site http://alex.phred.org/stemchart/Default.aspx (thanks to one of MacB's threads for the link) and a rough estimation of the angle of my existing one - it would seem it will bring the bars closer by 22mm and higher by 61mm.

It doesn't sound much, but I have been outside with the measuring stick :sad:

The saddle height on both my bikes is the same.
There is no real difference in the distance between saddle and handlebars, but could maybe move the saddle forward a small amount.
Technically, the frame is probably a touch too big, let's just say it's a close fit when checking for stand over clearance, but if all the other measurements are ok I can live with this, I never stand over anyway I always lean on one foot to the side, and if I come off it's gonna hurt anyway.

But, the big difference between the two is the height of the bars from the ground, there is about 3 inches!

So that calculator estimates that the bars will be about 2.4 inch higher and a touch closer, I think that should be a good starting point.

Even if I never get it right, I'm kind of enjoying this :tongue:

Edit: ps - Sorry for keep putting small i when it should be capital I,(and missing other cap's aswell) but my keyboard keeps playing up :laugh:
 

emulsifier12

New Member
Location
Nuneaton
Hi RH100.

I had to get used to the setup on my galaxy and at first I was a bit uncomfortable after the first ride after moving from the hybrid.

If all else fails you can always sell you bike to me...:smile:
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
emulsifier12 said:
Hi RH100.

I had to get used to the setup on my galaxy and at first I was a bit uncomfortable after the first ride after moving from the hybrid.

If all else fails you can always sell you bike to me...:sad:
How are you getting on with yours now anyway? Did it take you long to adapt to it?
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
I've got a new stem now, looks like it should give me a better position.

However, when I came to remove the old one, the stem came out of the bike fine, but I can't get the bars out of the stem.

It has a wrap around clamp, fixed with one bolt only. The bars have an engraved sleeve between the clamp and the bars, showing the Dawes logo and Made In England - this seems to be the sticking point. I can twist the stem clamp around the bars and can move the clamp along the bars slightly by twisting, but all it has gotten me is the start of a big gouge in the engraved sleeve. I tried a bit of brute force to prise apart the stem clamp but not made any difference.

So that pretty much made my mind up - I have ordered some butterfly (trekking bars) instead. Go the right size to fit the clamp.

After reading a thread in the touring section it seems worth giving it a go.

The advantages should be:

different hand positions, without the drops which is a back breaker for me

can fit vee brakes (I could have done this before I believe, but with special brake levers that would not have been compatible with the cross top brake levers) which should work with normal hybrid/mtb style levers.

can fit indexed gear levers to the bars to get rid of the downtube shifters

so a couple more questions: Am I right that these type of bars have the same size for clamping brake levers etc as hybrids/mtb's?

The bike has an Exage rear and front mech - are these ok to use with index shifters?

Any issues I may have missed? And for future reference, what is the best way to get bars out of a stem without scratching everything?
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
rh100 said:
It has a wrap around clamp, fixed with one bolt only. The bars have an engraved sleeve between the clamp and the bars, showing the Dawes logo and Made In England - this seems to be the sticking point. I can twist the stem clamp around the bars and can move the clamp along the bars slightly by twisting, but all it has gotten me is the start of a big gouge in the engraved sleeve. I tried a bit of brute force to prise apart the stem clamp but not made any difference.

And for future reference, what is the best way to get bars out of a stem without scratching everything?
You should be able to pry the "jaws" of the stem apart, levering with a big flat blade screwdriver will usually do it.

rh100 said:
Am I right that these type of bars have the same size for clamping brake levers etc as hybrids/mtb's?
You might have to ask MacB - he's the expert on butterfly bars :thumbsup::biggrin:

rh100 said:
The bike has an Exage rear and front mech - are these ok to use with index shifters?
The mechs don't care what shifters you use. If your shifters are same number of speeds as your cassette you should be fine.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
porkypete said:
You should be able to pry the "jaws" of the stem apart, levering with a big flat blade screwdriver will usually do it.



You might have to ask MacB - he's the expert on butterfly bars ;):biggrin:


The mechs don't care what shifters you use. If your shifters are same number of speeds as your cassette you should be fine.
Did try a screwdriver but was concerned about damaging the bars - might have another go, might aswell practice if these are going to be redundant anyway.

Haven't seen MacB on here for a while, have read a few of his threads and found them very useful. I have some old levers from the old mountain bike I can use for testing, which can be replaced with better later on, the Deore levers look a reasonable price. I've got some nasty grip shift shifters I could use also, as I've orders some of those downtube cable stops from SJS. If that works the grip shifts will get changed asap, as they are pretty crap.

Good news about the mechs, I quite like the ones that are on there already.

I think this bike will look a bit ugly for a while, but when i know what works it can be tidied up quite nicely I think.

Thanks again Pete
 

battered

Guru
I find the Galaxy a very long bike. You can get flat batrs for it if you wish but drops would be better.

23 seems big for someone of 5'10. How about fixing a smaller bike with a longer seat pin?
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
If I can get the bars out of the stem then I may try the drops again with the new stem, just for comparison. But to be honest so long as I can get it all compatible then I think the trekking bars will allow me to modify the rest of the bike easier and be more comfy.

23 inch is a tad big, but side by side with my Trek hybrid (20 inch with sloping top tube), seat height is the same and reach will be about the same with the new stem. The only thing is, there is not really any clearance on the stand over height, can stand over but not bend my knees ;) I can live with that though, should keep the mind focused into not falling off :smile: Besides, the bike is my brothers (although I'm doing it up and using it), for the sake of a slight size mismatch it's a worthwhile project.
 

NormanD

Lunatic Asylum Escapee
Put the stem back on the bike and tighten up (any position will do) grab the hair dryer, switch to full heat and warm up the attachment area between the bars and the stem ... now take a large flat headed screwdriver and praise the stem open (with clamp bolt removed) then squirt some WD40 or any penetrating fluid between the bars and the stem clamp ... leave for about 5 minutes.

Now take a very thick book and a rubber mallet, place the book to the side of the bars (book will stop any damage) and try to hit the area in line with the top of the handle bars (gentle hits not full bore) and the bars should come free

If that fails and the stem is redundant, then grab a hacksaw and saw a line across the top of the stem (not cutting into the bars) that should give enough slackness to remove the bars.

If that fails ... grab a beer and lounge on the sofa for the rest of the day ;)

Hope it helps
Norm
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Thanks Norm, some good tips there

I think for tonight I'll take the last option :laugh:

:wacko:
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Decided to have a go anyway...... putting it back in the bike did the trick, allowed me to put just enough leverage on the screwdriver and the bars came out. Thanks both.
 
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