Touring - Help on purchasing a new stem
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I recently purchased a Specialized Sirrus. The bike feels great, but on my commute to work I feel like I am leaning forward slightly too far and putting pressure on my back. My back tends to feel a little tight when I get off. I was thinking that if I raised the handle bars an inch or so it would help my back out. Is this just me not having ridden in a while or the height of the bars. I was wondering what a good stem would be and whether an adjustable stem would be better, so I can play with the height a little bit and figure out what I like.
09-25-12, 02:34 PM
well up angled stem , vs one that is low rise is an obvious substitution..
adjustable angle if you wish.
Bike Shop visit, can offer some alternatives to see 1st hand.
09-25-12, 02:43 PM
I tend not to like adjustable stems. The 2 that I have ever had the displeasure of riding with didn't hold the handlebars rigid enough so the whole bike felt floppy and unsure of itself.
My go to response here (as I'm sure I've said it before) is to find a local bike shop that has a stem swap bin and try a few, when you find one you like give them a few bucks and leave your old stem in the bin for the next person. : ) Lots of bike co-ops will do the same.
I take it you don't have much play with moving the bars up or down? This is another option, but haven't seen many of these being used: http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Alloy-Bicycle-Stem-Raiser/dp/B000FHBED0
Also make sure your saddle is in the right position (adjustments should made to where the saddle is before where the handlebars are), move stuff around a bit.
09-26-12, 10:12 PM
Yup, stem swap is the way to go. I actually just swapped stems on my LHT today (kept the 17-degree rise but moved from 90mm to 130mm), and it cost all of $5 to do so.
Raising the bars might help a touch by changing the stem angle (moving from a 10-degree rise to a 17-degree rise, for example), or doing the opposite of what I did and moving the bars a bit closer in to you by going for a slightly shorter stem if you're feeling "stretched out." If the problem is more that you're too curved / bent over, then moving the bars in will probably only make the problem worse. Another option might be to see if you could put another spacer on the headset assuming it's threadless?
It is a threadless so I could look into adding a spacer. It already have two spacers on there now, but I do not know how many would fit. I'll check into the stem swap at the LBS. The nearest co-op is in Tulsa, which is two hours away. Maybe the LBS would let me try different stems out so I can get a feel for things. I feel like it may need to be a tad higher up and further out. My seat post seems to be in a good position because my legs feel great.
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