RadMini Handlebar Stem Tightening

As with any bike, the RadMini (and RadMini Step-Thru) handlebar stem can loosen over time with normal use and require periodic tightening to ensure the bike is safe and fun to ride. If you feel any movement or "play" where the handlebar stem meets the frame (circled below), the handlebar stem needs to be properly tightened and aligned. 

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 Read through these instructions and contact Rad Power Bikes Product Support if you have questions. If you are not confident in your ability to successfully and safely perform all steps, we recommend having the work performed by a local, certified, and reputable bike mechanic. 

 

1. Power off the bike. Ensure the bike is powered off, then use the key to remove the battery. Once removed, press and hold the “MODE” button on the LCD Display Remote until the display remains off for about two seconds (it may flash on briefly). This ensures the power is fully discharged from the bike and it is safe to work on.

2. Loosen the stem pinch bolts. Use a 6 mm Allen wrench to loosen the two stem pinch bolts until the handlebar stem can move independently of the front wheel.

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3. Open the folding latch by pressing and holding the red stem clasp release button and push the stem clasp down. Unfold the stem to allow access to the top cap. For more details, see the folding stem operation Help Center article.

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4. Tighten the top cap about a half turn using a 5 mm Allen wrench. Do not over tighten.

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5. Check the top cap tightness. Close the folding stem and lock it in place with the clasp and perform two tests to assess proper tightness:

5a. Check for adequate tightness ("wiggle test"). With the front wheel turned and perpendicular to the bike frame, hold the handlebar securely and carefully push and pull the handlebar forward and backwards while feeling for play at the connection of the handlebar stem and the head tube. If there is any movement at that connection point, the top cap is too loose- open the folding stem, tighten the top cap ~1/4 turn, close the folding stem, and test again. Repeat until there is movement at the stem-head tube connection. Notice: ensure you feel for movement at the stem-head tube connection only, not movement from the suspension fork or give from the tires. 

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5b. Check for adequate looseness ("wheel flop test"). Standing beside the bike, lift the front wheel off the ground and tilt the bike frame to the left, resting on the kickstand. If the top cap is adequately loose, the front wheel should flop to the left, without having to be pulled to the side. If the wheel does not flop to the side freely, the top cap is too tight- open the folding stem, loosen the top cap ~1/4 turn, close the folding stem, and test again. Repeat until the wheel can flop to the side freely.

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6. Close and lock the handlebar stem. Once the top cap tightness has been adjusted tight enough so there is no movement in the stem-head tube connection but loose enough the wheel will flop to one side under its own weight when elevated and tilted, ensure the folding stem is locked in the upright position. 

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7. Align the handlebar. Point the front wheel directly forward so it is in line with the frame. Rotate the handlebar stem independently of the wheel so the handlebar is perpendicular to the wheel direction and frame. Notice: ensure you use the front wheel and the front fork arch, but not the fender, as reference points for the handlebar alignment.

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8. Evenly tighten the handlebar stem pinch bolts. Once aligned, use a torque wrench with a 6 mm Allen bit to tighten the two handlebar stem pinch bolts evenly, by alternating between bolts each half turn. Torque evenly, until both bolts are secured at 14-15 Nm. 

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9. Reinstall the battery, test the bike fully, and have your work inspected by a certified, reputable bike mechanic.

For questions or assistance, please contact Rad Power Bikes Product Support by email to support@radpowerbikes.com or by phone to (800) 939-0310 x 2.

 If you do not have the experience, skill, and tools to complete maintenance and adjustment of your bike, Rad Power Bikes highly recommends having a certified, reputable bike mechanic maintain, tune, and ensure the bike is safe to ride.