Not the sound you want to hear when you’re packing your bike for a race in 3 days time. That’s the noise that came from my stem/handlebars though and then as I remove one of the bolts there’s a thread of metal on it. The thread isn’t stripped, the bolt goes in and out fine still and can be tightened up. Still it’s worrying.

Fortunately my father knows much more about engineering than I do and I have some assurance that it’s not a complete disaster. I’m told that with materials like aluminium which aren’t ideal for forming threads it’s common to coat the threading with a different metal to form a better lock with the bolt. So what’s happened is this coating has come unstuck on one of the threads. The bolt will still work though there’s more risk I’ll strip threads if I over tighten it, but it should still be fine. I’ll need to replace the stem as it’s not a good thing to have a problem with. For the race – I’ll be very careful reassembling my bike and I’ll be making sure it’s firmly in place with my test ride. I’ll have a check at the expo to see if I can get some threadlock or similar to ensure things stay in place.

Perfect timing though, I fly out tomorrow in the middle of the day and bike check-in is on Saturday afternoon/evening. I’m not taking the laptop, the hotel I’m in does have wifi, but it’s far too pricey and I don’t want the temptation. So this is my last post pre-race, I’m back Tuesday, hopefully with a positive race report.