[CR]Quill?

(Example: Framebuilders:Richard Moon)

From: <BobHoveyGa@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 11:03:46 EDT
Subject: [CR]Quill?
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org


John;

In today's parlance, I believe that any elbow-shaped stem that goes inside the steering tube is referred to as a quill stem. As far as I can recall it has always been that way, but then again maybe I wasn't paying much attention back then.

Interesting thing about the expander... back in the day, we used to associate the slant wedge expander with cheap stems, as you mentioned. Theory was, the conical wedge applied even pressure in a circle around the circumference of the steerer, while the slant wedge applied pressure front to back (and therefore had more chance of distorting the steering tube). Where'd we get this idea? Beats me... it made sense I guess, but it turns out we were probably wrong... most bike mechanics I've spoken with in the years since seem to feel that the conical wedge has a much greater liklihood of leaving a bulge in the steerer than the sliding wedge (which overall has a larger surface area to distribute pressure). I've been told that the conical wedge concentrates its force in such a narrow band that it can leave a significant bulge in the steerer if overtightened. Not only that, the expanding of the steering tube can actually cause it to shorten a bit, even with "proper" tightening... enough so that some mechanics consider it necessary to readjust the headset bearings AFTER the stem is tightened. So I guess that explains why Cinelli and others switched, with the result that sliding wedges are about all one sees on quill stems these days.


>The outer part of the quill pedal extends out and up and comes to a point.
>This also looks like a pen nib, which is probably the reason for the name.
>This would support my interpretation of the definition of a quill stem.

One definition of a quill is "A hollow shaft that rotates on a solid shaft." Given the many configurations of pedal platform shapes, many of which do not resemble a pen nib, I think the 'hollow shaft' definition is probably a more likely derivation for the term.

Bob Hovey Columbus, GA

In a message dated 9/10/06 3:03:13 PM, classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org writes:


>
> I had come to believe that a quill stem was the traditional type where the
> vertical part was tubular with a couple of slots and the expander bolt was
> tightened to draw a conical wedge up inside it, expanding it to secure it
> in the steerer tube. This vertical part had a couple of slots cut in from
> the bottom to allow it to expand. I just assumed this was a quill stem
> because the slotted tube resembled a pen nib. (Younger members, who don't
> know what a pen nib is, please use Google.) Then again, the tailstock quill
> of a lathe also has a tapered bore, but no slots. The newer, cheaper stems
> had the vertical tube cut at an angle and the expander bolt pulled up on a
> wedge with a matching angle to jam it in the steerer tube. However, I was
> just reading a piece on stems on the Rivendell site and the writer refers
> to the vertical part of both these stems as the "quill" and the horizontal
> part as the horizontal extension. Have I been wrong all this time, or has
> the definition been changed to distinguish all traditional stems from the
> new, off-topic, type for threadless forks? (Actually, "back in the day", we
> called stems "extensions". "Stems" had virtualy no extension and were found
> on common roadsters.)
>
> The outer part of the quill pedal extends out and up and comes to a point.
> This also looks like a pen nib, which is probably the reason for the name.
> This would support my interpretation of the definition of a quill stem.
>
> John Betmanis
> Woodstock, ON
> Canada