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Thread: Stem length

  1. #1
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    Stem length

    Hello. Been lurking 'round here, posted once or twice and looking for some advice.
    I picked up a used mtb about six months ago. Got a GREAT deal on it and have been using it for commuting and recreational riding as much as possible since.
    However, I believe the previous owner was taller then myself or at least had longer arms. I feel like I am reaching too far for the bars and am putting too much weight between my legs rather than under my "sit bones." I'm on a budget, so a new bike is out of the question. A shorter stem for the threaded headset is my solution but I am wondering if that will reduce the reach enough (90mm, 45 degree?). Some useful(hopefully) info can be found below. Thanks for any help - Paul

    Top tube: 57cm ctc
    Seat tube: 47cm ctc
    Stem: 110mm, maybe 70 degrees?
    Me: 5'9"
    My arms: approx. 57cm wrist to underarm


    Oh yeah the bike has flat bars, which I thought of "trimming," since I never seem to use the outer two inches(on each side; four inches total). Is this wise or should I sell/trade for narrower bars? (59cm ZOOM 170 aluminum)
    Please excuse the long post
    Two TVs and two Cadillac cars, that won't help me at all.
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  2. #2
    cab horn
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    You can definitley swap a shorter stem in there. Trimming the bars can also be done but you have to be *really* sure that that is the length you want. More often than not after trimming, people feel like they cut it just a half inch or an inch too much.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    You can definitley swap a shorter stem in there. Trimming the bars can also be done but you have to be *really* sure that that is the length you want. More often than not after trimming, people feel like they cut it just a half inch or an inch too much.
    +1. Also, before you cut the bars, be sure to trial fit your brake levers, shifters and grips in their new position. Rapid Fire shifters for example, if they are installed on the curve of the bar, will bind up and not shift. Honestly, two inches sounds to me like a whole lot to trim off each end of your handlebar.

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    You might want 1/2 inch on the end of the bars for fitting bar ends. On a longer ride they are good for giving a change in hand position, or if you have them set low they give a more aero position for headwinds.

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    Bike Tools Etc. has a bunch of stems for threaded steerers in both 1" and 1-1/8" diameter in all kinds of lengths and rises and everything is under $25. Look here:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...uill-MTN-Stems

    Be sure to go to the next page also for items 11-19. Somewhere in this list is what you need.

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    Thanks all. I ended up getting a 60mm, 45 degree cheap stem at Performance. It's perfect!

    Except... a few days after intalling it I noticed that the quill seemed to have loosened. I mean that the bars were turning freely of the fork, and rather easily. So, I retightened with all my might. The bars will still twist if I brace the wheel between my legs and put what I would say is medium pressure on the bars.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Two TVs and two Cadillac cars, that won't help me at all.
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  7. #7
    Florida to Oregon in 2007 lighthorse@eart's Avatar
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    bluebeard,
    I have no suggestion about the loose quill but have a question about the stem you did buy. I am looking for a stem that is shorter than 90mm and note that your new one is 60 mm. I have looked on Performance and can't seem to locate one that is shorter than 90 mm. Exactly which one did you buy?
    lighthorse
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    Maybe sanding the wedge would help rough it up so that it would hold better. To remove it, loosen the wedge bolt a few turns and then tap it down with a rubber mallet. It should come out so you can take a look.

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    lighthorse: I bought the stem at a Performance store in my area. Last one on the shelf.

    phil: Thanks, I will give that a shot
    Two TVs and two Cadillac cars, that won't help me at all.
    -Lou Reed

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebeard
    Thanks all. I ended up getting a 60mm, 45 degree cheap stem at Performance. It's perfect!

    Except... a few days after intalling it I noticed that the quill seemed to have loosened. I mean that the bars were turning freely of the fork, and rather easily. So, I retightened with all my might. The bars will still twist if I brace the wheel between my legs and put what I would say is medium pressure on the bars.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Are you sure you didn't get a 1" stem for use in a 1-1/8" headset?

  11. #11
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    I am almost certain I bought the correct size stem. The fit was snug and I don't believe anything larger could fit. There is no play when the quill is loose, other than the turning I am attempting to remedy.
    Two TVs and two Cadillac cars, that won't help me at all.
    -Lou Reed

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