This is a common variation of the type of stem we are talking about. You're right, the end behind the entry of the expander bolt could be closed or open, and the bar clamp could be in front of or below the bars. Most of these variations could be found marked AVA, Pivo, or other brands, or no brand at all. I still suspect one firm, possibly one we've never heard of, made these for all the companies that marketed them. I think these get blamed on AVA in the US only because Peugeot was the biggest selling French bike in the US, and most of these Peugeots had AVA-marked stems. I think it is likely that AVA did not make these stems.
BTW, while I've had AVA bars crack, I've never had any failures with the type of stem we are discussinng. While any alloy stem, or any alloy component for that matter, can fail, I think the talk of "death stems" is wildly exagerrated. I'm about as worried about being injured by one of these stems as I am about being struck by lightning. Either could happen, neither is likely.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
Howard Darr <email@example.com> wrote:
My stem in question has a closed end where the stem bolt goes through but is hollow, as opposed to an open end. It also has the bolt for the handlebar in front of the bar instead of underneath it . There is no pivo or ava markings. The extension is about 100 mm. What say the esteemed group, go or no go?
> As I said earlier, These old "faux lugged" alloy stems by AVA, Pivo and
> others, look so much alike to me that I suspect a single manufacturer made
> them all for the various companies. Don't know why AVA takes most of the
> grief. Maybe because they were best know in America through the
> AVA-marked stems on the Peugeot PX-10. Pivot did make a model that looked
> a little different, which has a "bulge" near the top of the expander bolt,
> i.e it is thicker in that area. Maybe that was an area where earlier
> models had failed.
> Jerry Moos
> Daniel Artley wrote:
> All this talk of the AVA death stems reminds me of Pivo stems that look
> almost identical, yet I never hear anything about them. Are they much
> more reliable and as collectible? I've got at least one in the parts
> bins. I've always thought they were nice looking stems, but most of my
> really old stems are too short a reach for me anymore.
> Dan Artley in Parkton, MD