I've never dealt with changing stems before, so I'm not familiar with the issues. I have short arms and have had hand pain in the past, so I want to keep my options open for my new bike.
I'm looking at the Novara Forza, among othes. It has flat handlebars with an ATS adjustable stem. This gives it some vertical adjustment, but no real fore-aft adjustment. Would an off-the-shelf angle-adjustable stem be compatible with this? Or is that even the right approach to take?
I found a nice blog post on the NVO ATS, which describes both the shim and a proprietary headset cap. I assume the Novara ATS has a similar design. Is there any way to tell if the outer diameter of the shim would fit an off-the-shelf stem? Or even if it would be safe? If not, could I assume that I could remove the shim, use a standard angle-adjustable stem with standard spacers, and that the headset cap wouldn't be an issue?
(For what it's worth, the other bikes I'm considering are the Cannondale Adventure 3/4 and Trek 7300/7200. I realize these are a step above; the only reason the Forza is still in the running is because of the sale price; Novara doesn't seem to have anything in the same class as these two.)