Stem Faceplate Installation
By Brad Quartuccio
As threadless stems have become all but standard so have removable faceplates, and with good reason. Stem and bar swaps are made much easier thanks to a removable faceplate, but installation requires more care than with an old-school single bolt clamp. Think about it—a sheared bolt or a cracked faceplate could result in complete loss of control. A few extra seconds upon installation could prevent a nasty component failure down the road.
As they say in London, “mind the gap.” With a removable faceplate, it is important that the gap between stem and faceplate is the same top to bottom to avoid distorting the stem or bolts or crimping the bar. For much the same reasons it is important to tighten the clamp bolts to torque spec gradually, alternating between them on a two-bolt clamp and following the 1-2-3-4 pattern shown on stems with a four-bolt clamp. Common with other non-bicycle precision fittings, alternating bolt patterns are a good habit to practice to maintain the integrity of most any clamp with multiple bolts.