Tioga T Bone Stem
Tioga T-Bone advertising material in the recent past has said a number of things, and used photographs that don't reflect what the T-Bone stem is at the moment. These things we will clarify for you. Truly, the T-Bone was one of the most popular aftermarket Cro-moly tubular stems ever made for mountain bikes. Tioga, in ads, has said that the T-Bone is made of Tange Prestige Cro-moly tubing, that may be true if you are able to find a T-Bone that has been made in Japan.
You must understand that Tioga is a marketing company that originates ideas and commissions factories to make them, or finds a bicycle item made by a factory and does world-wide marketing of the item under their "Tioga" brand name. Tioga's U.S. office is in Southern California, the most well known of the owners in Tioga, (or more likely the only owner), is "Rio" Marui, a Japanese national. Marui Ltd. of Osaka, Japan is also owned by Mr. Marui and was, for many years, the sole export/trading company for Shimano bicycle products to the U.S.
Sometime in 1989, T-Bone stem packaging changed from a plastic windowed box, to a plastic envelope with a stapled header card. Up to that time, the T-Bone stem had been made in Japan. With this new package it was discovered that the T-Bone was now made in Taiwan, by Hsin Lung for Tioga. The T-Bone is made of Cro-moly steel tubing, but they no longer label the quill tube with the Prestige decal, probably because the Taiwan version isn't made with it, (even the Prestige model T-Bone used the Prestige tubing for the quill only). The steel tubing for the quill is 1.8mm thick.
The Cro-moly extension is made specifically for use as a T-Bone extension. The extension tapers at the back and is miter cut to fit snugly to the quill. The binder tube, (made of 1.6mm thick steel), and the quill each have a hole drilled where they are TIG welded to the extension to relieve the heat and stress from the welding process. The binder fitting is machined from steel rod and TIG welded to the binder tube, then sawn through to create the cinch system.
All the welds are extremely clean, with no extra flash, and show smooth movement of the wire feed as the weld was made. The stem at this point is painted a matte, flat Black. The cap piece that slides into the quill is made of cast steel and painted gloss Black. The expander bolt is chrome plated steel with 8mm by 1.25mm thread pitch, has a 6mm allen head, is 123mm long and weighs 44 grams. The wedge is cast steel, tapped for the expansion bolt after casting. The binder bolt is chromed steel, with a 5mm allen head, has a 6mm by 1mm thread pitch, is 20mm long and weighs 6 grams. A cable hanger is used to route the brake cable using a Ritchey Split Hanger, Syncros Hang Doggy, or the Dia-Compe equivalent.
The T-Bone is available only in Black and comes in either the 1" or the 1 1/8" diameter. The Top routing model is available in 90mm, 105mm, 120mm, 135mm, or 150mm extension lengths. The Internal routing model is available in 105mm, 120mm, 135mm, or 150mm lengths. The T-Bone in a 1" diameter and a 135mm length weighs 356 grams. The same stem in 1 1/8" size weighs 404 grams. The T-Bone fits handlebars that have a 25.4mm outer diameter.