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Bike Assembly Failure

Old 01-24-21, 10:46 PM
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SkylerDakota
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Bike Assembly Failure

Hi everyone, thank you for reading this post.

I really hate to ask but I have looked through the generic Mongoose manual and watched a Mongoose handlebar assembly online and am kind of stumped. I have a Switchback Comp 27.5 (Women's if it matters) and despite it being 95% assembled I somehow cannot put the last 5 or so pieces on. To me, it looks like what I think is the clamp, is oriented incorrectly just based off looking at a picture of my bike on their website. My first concern was that it was offcenter and I couldn't adjust it just by holding the fork and manually adjusting with my hand, so I unscrewed the removable part of the clamp, removed it, and took two more screws out so that the only thing left was what I think is the screw for the top cap. It looks to me like the clamp is on completely backwards, and I could not remove what I think is the top cap even with considerable effort. I believe I have all the parts and wish I could post pictures but as a new user I cannot.

What do you think I am doing wrong and how much would be fair price for me to pay to have a bike shop help me out as last resort, given that the only things not assembled is the actual handlebar as one piece, the two pedals, and a skinny metal part that honestly I'm not sure what it is.

I would post pictures but as a new user I am not allowed.

Thank you so much.
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Old 01-24-21, 11:18 PM
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Darth Lefty 
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This should help. Stems or the entire fork are frequently turned backwards for shipping because it makes for a shorter box.

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...ion-threadless
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Old 01-24-21, 11:19 PM
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Are you talking about the stem? The part that connects to your steerer tube and your handlebar?
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/00...g?v=1605018675
The order to tighten that is first you preload the top cap but make sure your fork steers freely. Then when you think it feels right, you center the stem then tighten the two bolts.
You can upload your pics to your members album.
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Old 01-25-21, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This should help. Stems or the entire fork are frequently turned backwards for shipping because it makes for a shorter box.
Hi, I read this guide but the issue is that it glosses over removing the bolt from top cap as if there is no resistance. The bike came shipped like this- I haven't managed to move that bolt a bit and am afraid to strip it. Do I need a drill or should I just try harder?
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Old 01-25-21, 01:53 AM
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Not sure I am understanding you- what does preloading the top cap mean? I want to remove the top cap so that I can reorient the stem the correct way but it is stuck on there pretty tight.
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Old 01-25-21, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SkylerDakota View Post
Not sure I am understanding you- what does preloading the top cap mean? I want to remove the top cap so that I can reorient the stem the correct way but it is stuck on there pretty tight.
If you want the stem to rotate on the steerer, you need to loosen the bolts on the side of the stem that are clamping it to the steer tube. The top cap is not what is holding the bars in place. Unless it was over-tightened, you should not even have to loosen it to turn the bars.

All the top cap does is push the stem down onto the headset tight enough to take out any play. THEN you tighten the bolts on the side of the stem to lock the stem in place on the steer tube. At that point you could remove the top cap altogether and it would make no difference.

Unfortunately, you are using terms like "the clamp" and I have no idea what you are talking about. Look up terms like "steer tube (AKA steerer)", "stem", "top cap", stem bolts" and "stem face plate" and try to be more specific about what you are talking about. I know it is not easy when you don't know where to start, but I think those terms should clear up a lot of things.
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Old 01-25-21, 08:51 PM
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OP would be better off looking at YT videos at this point...I have no idea what he's talking about now.
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Old 01-25-21, 09:28 PM
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As mentioned above, you have a threadless headset/stem, so if you look at videos, and there are a lot of them, you need to look for one that shows you how to adjust the headset and stem.

John
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Old 01-25-21, 09:43 PM
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So it sounds like someone tightened the top cap too much or when the stem was tightened down it also tightened around the inner lip of the top cap which I've seen happen.
If you want to adjust the stem there are two bolts, one above the other and they may be facing opposite directions. They will both be below the top cap and are what clamp the stem to the bike. Loosen these and the top cap should be easy to loosen. If the fork is hard to turn side to side or feels tight when you do so that is a sign the top cap was twisted too tight, loosen it a little, if you can move the fork easily the top cap isn't too tight, just position the stem and retighten the two stem bolts.
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