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Old 08-23-08, 05:47 PM   #1
Tiktaalik
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How high to adjust up 84 Pinarello stem? + Sizing question

I recently got an 84 Pinarello which is feeling smallish on me and I want to try to raise the cinelli stem to try to make it fit a bit better. I pulled out the stem a bit looking for the line to say where the minimum length I could pull it out was but I didn't see one. However, there was a line of text that said "minimum length" or something to that effect. My hunch is that at the very least that line of text should be covered, since I don't see any other lines or markings. Would this be the right idea? I've only lifted the stem up about an inch and a bit to reveal that line.

I'm fairly new to bikes so I'm not sure exactly how to size this. It does feel a bit smallish compared to my other bike, which does appear larger. I'm guessing should the stem height sort of line up with the seat height?
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Old 08-23-08, 05:55 PM   #2
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Yeah, you want to have all of that text covered. As far as stem height is concerned, that is a matter of riding style and bike fit... raising the stem might help, but it sounds like you may need a longer stem. You can pick up a quilled stem from any bike shop, if they don't have on in stock they can probably order one for you.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:00 PM   #3
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A picture is always best but by your description I would say you would be correct in not exposing the text.
Minimum insertion would be most logical for it to read.
As for correct height that is a personal thing depending on riding style, age etc.
I have my bar top height at 3 inches lower than the top of my saddle.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:02 PM   #4
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Looks like I type too slow. This post was unanswered when I started or I wouldn't have repeated what he said.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
I recently got an 84 Pinarello which is feeling smallish on me and I want to try to raise the cinelli stem to try to make it fit a bit better. I pulled out the stem a bit looking for the line to say where the minimum length I could pull it out was but I didn't see one. However, there was a line of text that said "minimum length" or something to that effect. My hunch is that at the very least that line of text should be covered, since I don't see any other lines or markings. Would this be the right idea? I've only lifted the stem up about an inch and a bit to reveal that line.

I'm fairly new to bikes so I'm not sure exactly how to size this. It does feel a bit smallish compared to my other bike, which does appear larger. I'm guessing should the stem height sort of line up with the seat height?
If you have the seat at the right height for you (there are threads about that here, or search "bicycle fitting" on Google), the common rule of thumb for handlebar height is for the top of the bars to be 0 to 5 cm or so lower than the top of the saddle. It isn't always possible to get in this range with standard quill stems like the Cinelli, unless the frame is really big enough for you. If you can start out with the 'bar height at teh saddle height, that would be a good thing.

Other common and at least similar to the period of your bike are the Nittos. If you need just a few centimeters of added bar lift either for back comfort or to get in the 5 cm range, look for a Nitto Technomic Deluxe. If you need a big lift, look for a Nitto Technomic. They aren't the same.

Usually the Technomic gives too much lift, and it can really look goofy on small frames, 55 cm or smaller ("giraffe effect"). Problem is, the Technomic is much easier to find! Rivendell sells both of them or at least did, and teh Sheldon Brown site sells only the Technomic. I think the Ben's Cycle Ebay Store has both, as well. You need to play with the bike and a ruler, to see how much lift you might need relative to the Cinelli.

Quality-wise, the Nitto stems are in the same ballpark as your Cinelli.

Another thing to watch out for is that Cinelli stems of your vintage and older have a 26.4 mm clamp diameter, and Nittos come in sizes of either 26.0 or 25.4. A Cinelli 26.4 bar will not fit in a 25.4 mm clamp, and it is arguably not safe to put it into a 26.0 clamp. There were some later Cinelli 26.0 bars made, perhaps you have one of these already. You might have a new handlebar in your future,too. I'd look at Nitto, to maintain the vintage look of your bike.

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Old 08-23-08, 06:56 PM   #6
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My advice is to stay with an older 26.4mm clamp diameter Cinelli stem if you need a different stem. For one thing, it will fit the Cinelli handlebar that's on it now (26.4mm), and for another it's a vintage Pinarello bike, Cinelli is appropriate. Ebay is your friend in this case-
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Old 08-23-08, 07:10 PM   #7
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BTW, are you saying the bike feels too small because the stem is too low? A stem that's pretty low is going to be typical on a racing bike, and that really doesn't have anything to do with whether the bike fits you or not, that's more a question of whether that style of bike is something you're comfortable with. If the cockpit length (saddle to handlbar) is too short or long, that's a fit issue, and can be adjusted some by stem length (forward extension) and the saddle's position on the seatpost clamp. If you have to do something extreme with this to be comfortable, the bike is probably not a good fit-

Last edited by well biked; 08-23-08 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-23-08, 07:33 PM   #8
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BTW, are you saying the bike feels too small because the stem is too low? A stem that's pretty low is going to be typical on a racing bike, and that really doesn't have anything to do with whether the bike fits you or not, that's more a question of whether that style of bike is something you're comfortable with. If the cockpit length (saddle to handlbar) is too short or long, that's a fit issue, and can be adjusted some by stem length (forward extension) and the saddle's position on the seatpost clamp. If you have to do something extreme with this to be comfortable, the bike is probably not a good fit-
That's a good point too. I was thinking that the lower stem on this sort of bike was the normal style of the bike. I did end up raising it a little bit so that it felt a bit better, but if I were to leave it in the original low position typical on a racing bike, how would I move everything else? My reasoning for wanting to move it was because I think this bike feels a bit small by 1/2 to an inch, and biking around as it was I could feel a twinge of discomfort in my back. If I were to leave the stem down would I move the seat a bit closer or how would I change how I'm riding?
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