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Sooooo. The Merckx is beautiful. I love the silky feel of the Campagnolo components. But, riding it hurts my back. Bill suggested adjusting the stem:

"Take a six mm allen key and loosen the stem from the frame. (It's the bolt that can be accessed from on top, not the one that keeps the bars tight). This bolt has a wedge that is pulled up into the stem to make it tight within the steer tube.

So you loosen that bolt and it will rise above the stem. Then you whack the top of the bolt and it will hit the wedge loose and you'll be able to pull the stem out of the frame.

Once out of the frame, clean the stem with a rag and locate the minimum insertion mark. Put a dollop of grease in the steer tube and replace the stem to that mark. This is as high as you can raise the stem.

If this is still not working, you might want to locate a shorter stem. The thing to keep in mind doing this is to match the stem and bar brands. Mixing brands can be dangerous as it may result in a broken handle bar."

Stay tuned!

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this bike is gorgeous -- one of my dream bikes. if you need a longer quill, the nitto technomic can get up there pretty high... they're about $65 on rivbike.com.
I agree. Bill Hannahs pointed me to a new stem on EBay that changed the whole geometry for me. It went from 120mm to 70mm or so. I can now ride the bike without getting a backache. It's beautiful. And, I am amazed how much just a small change like that made in the geometry.

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