26mm bars in a 25.4mm stem?

I know its pretty important to match your stem & bars, but can you get away with a 26mm (nitto heat treated alloy) bar in a 25.4mm mtb stem with a 4 bolt cap?

The short answer is don’t do it - either get a different bar or stem (what model Nitto bar, btw?).

While you’ll probably be able to mash it in, it’s not good practice - you’ll most likely crimp the bar in an unhealthy way. Even if your bars have an alloy ‘shim’ around the clamping area (like most alu Nittos), the shim will absorb most of the damage but you still run the risk of creating a stress riser in the underlying bar that might turn into a point of failure later on. Especially if you’re a gorilla sprinter or otherwise haul on your bars a lot.

Its going to be a Nitto Noodle bar in 46, or even 48 if I can find it. It it alu, heat treated. Kookie will have the 46’s back in stock in about 6 weeks.

Nice. I like noodles.

if you’re wedded to the bar, buy a stem to suit.

buy a new bike

Any tips/solutions for 25.4mm bars into a 26mm stem without having to replace the bars or the stem?

I have a Masi 26mm stock stem and some 25.4mm Soba bars on the way…

Any help would be MUCH appreciated!

A 0.6mm shim.

A coke can is the perfect thickness.

  1. Open can and drink contents
  2. Wash out empty can so you don’t get all sticky in step 3
  3. Get some scissors and cut the top and bottom off the can and then cut up the side so you’ve got a flat sheet.
  4. Cut out a strip that is as wide as the clamp area on your stem ( maybe just a little smaller so it won’t look messy).
  5. Wrap it around your bars and cut so it almost does 1 lap around the clamp area but doesn’t overlap.
  6. Put your bar and stem together while holding the shim in place on the bars and tighten as normal.
    This = Ghetto shim :smiley:


How long would that last though? Wouldn’t it compress to being too thin once it is tightened because of how soft the metal is?

Just go to a bike shop and see if they have any shims lying around for it.

I ran a Coke (well it was actually Mountain Dew, don’t hate me!) can shim on my risers for a good few months with no problems.

I run a red bull shim… no dramas at all! now my bike flys because red bull gives you wiiiings :-o

I was going to use a VB can, but didn’t want to get done for drink riding.

Ghetto Shim all the way :mrgreen:
I run a coke can with my risers!

You mean you got someone to shim your risers :evil: Such a thankless job :wink:

Tis true. Skippy helped me out by shimming mine ghetto style on his stem.


I just bought one of these:

Due to some Japanese / English translation issues, I thought it was 26.0, not 25.4. Can I run 26.0 bars in this or should I try and return it and get my money back / exchange?