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Can someone tell me what's up with stems?
I was finishing a build on a bike with a carbon fork with a 1-1/8 alloy steerer tube. I had an old riser stem that came off my mtb hanging on the wall, so I put it on just so I could take the bike out, figuring I would replace it later.
After parusing the selection at all my favorite online retailers, I've discovered that mountain bike stems are slightly different and WAY cheaper than road stems. What's the deal? The only difference I can see is that the road stems have a 26mm bar clamp (unless you go oversized, but don't even get me started on that topic) while mtb stems have a 25.4mm clamp.
Does anyone run road bars on a mtb stem? Should I be worried about crimping the handlebar if I leave the mtb stem on for a while?
 

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stems cost the same...

If you find the SAME model of stem is an MTB model it should be priced the same as a road model, unless it's an overstocked or clearance item. You're probably just looking at cheap stems. You can get cheap off-brand stems for road bikes at Supergo.

You can get by using an MTB stem with road bars, but a slight modification will help insure success. File a generous (1mm) chamfer along the four edges that contact the stem. This will eliminate the pinch point.
 

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C-40 said:
If you find the SAME model of stem is an MTB model it should be priced the same as a road model, unless it's an overstocked or clearance item. You're probably just looking at cheap stems. You can get cheap off-brand stems for road bikes at Supergo.

You can get by using an MTB stem with road bars, but a slight modification will help insure success. File a generous (1mm) chamfer along the four edges that contact the stem. This will eliminate the pinch point.
Yeah, what he said - I clamped a 4 bolt Ritchey MTB stem to a 26.0 road bar, and ended up with 4 gouged grooves in the bar. A little light filing should be okay, but better is a properly sized stem. There should be plenty of options if you look around - Ebay is always good, as are the classified here and the online shops. Try qbike.com to search a bunch of shops at once.
A road stem will also fit a mtb bar, with a little shimming. I think Wheels Manufacturing makes shims just for this, actually.
 
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