A renowned coach in a sport other than cycling brought his bike in yesterday to have a few things done. He has a Seven Axiom, a drool road bike of the mid 1990s. And he has treated it like absolute crap.
I don't worry too much how someone treats their own bike unless they're tyring to ride with me and their mechanical problems are slowing us down or endangering me. But when I have to work on a bike as a professional I receive a certain level of responsibility whether I want it or not.
Titanium is notorious for welding itself to to other metals if not properly protected. The cable adjusters at the top of the down tube are permanently set because of this. But that's minor.
The Coach said his stem was corroded in place. I love a challenge, so I removed the black electrical tape he'd placed over the top of the stem to see if I could work some magic and restore some of the luster to this formerly enviable bike.
There is no stem bolt. The crowning glory of this tour de force of abuse and neglect is that The Coach trusts his facial bone structure, and perhaps his very life, to RUST. His Time carbon fork has a steel steerer, which has bonded to the alloy quill of the handlebar stem. In all likelihood, it will never budge. But no bolt at all? And he's using aero bars, putting further leverage on what started out as an undesired chemical reaction.
What rust hath joined, let no one put asunder. But 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Think of that superfluous bolt as your pre-nup. If everything goes to hell, it will limit your losses.
What say we hacksaw that bad boy right off there and let you start fresh?