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tri-newbies online bicycle cleaning & maintenance 101
Cleaning the Handlebar Stem and Headset of Your Bicycle
This is another step that I suggest you do once a month. Even more so than the seat post. This area is another victim of body sweat! Especially for a triathlete riding in the aero position. This is a photo of a traditional handlebar stem or quill stem. However, today's newer ahead stems will also be subject to rust and corrosion. ONE POSITIVE NOTE: Because today's ahead stems basically "wrap" around the fork post, you do not have to remove the stem for cleaning. If you have an older quill stem your brake cables may be routed in such a way that it will be difficult to remove your handlebar stem. Especially a traditional stem. If this is the case, I suggest you consult your local bike shop to ask them what they would do.
1) Like your seat post,  mark your spot with some tape before removing the stem. On a traditional quill stem, begin by loosening the stem bolt. This will require a large Hex wrench.
2) Once the bolt is loose, you should be able to lift the seat post up and out.
3) Wipe the stem post with a rag. Then cover the post with grease below your tape mark. Slide the stem back into place. Grease will gather at the top of the head set. With your finger, draw a bead of the left over grease around the stem covering the corner between the stem and headset. This again will help ward off future moisture until your next cleaning.
4) Just as you did with the exposed cables, put a little grease between your fingers and wipe on your head set just enough to put on a light film. No need to be liberal. Again, just a preventative means to help ward off moisture. Every little bit helps!
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