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Old 06-26-10, 12:30 PM   #1
indybiker01
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Flipping the stem

should i have a professional fitter flip my stem? By flipping it am I making a major adjustment? What kind of things should I compensate for if any?

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Old 06-26-10, 12:43 PM   #2
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Looking at your stem which seems to have about a 5° rise, you'll drop the handlebars about 1 inch or so by flipping the stem. You can get a more accurate measure by extending a line 90° from the stem and measuring how far the bars are above it. Flipping the stem would put the bars the same distance below that line.

Looking at your bike, you have a bunch of spacers under the stem, and moving them from below to above the stem will also drop the bars. Your bars are now as high as they could go (with this stem) and with various combinations of spacer movement and flipping or not flipping the stem you can probably drop about 2 inches or more, with lots of possibilities in between.

As to whether you should DIY or have a mechanic make the adjustments, that depends on your knowledge and mechanical skill. If you're comfortable with the mechanical end, you can experiment and see it any changes help, otherwise I wouldn't pay for changes before deciding what I wanted to achieve.
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Old 06-26-10, 12:59 PM   #3
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so by flipping the stem dropping it an inch, maybe removing one space from the bottom would I probably need to drop my seat a little to compensate?
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Old 06-26-10, 01:03 PM   #4
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so by flipping the stem dropping it an inch, maybe removing one space from the bottom would I probably need to drop my seat a little to compensate?
They are separate things, not related. Saddle height is set for leg length, not handlebar height.
I highly recommend going to a bike shop for a professional fit, rather than just experimenting.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:06 PM   #5
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Generally speaking, your seat position shouldn't change much if you flip the stem. Lowering the bars will extend your reach a bit and assumes you have the flexibility to be comfortable in this position.

To FB's point, what are you trying to accomplish?
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Old 06-26-10, 01:10 PM   #6
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i have done a few TT's....although I dont have aero bars I would like to be able to get a little lower. I feel way too high when riding the bike. Even when I go down on the drops I am uncomfortable to the point that I am still too high if that makes sense....like I am bunched up

i was professionaly fit a while back. my original stem was much more flat. That is what I was used to riding. Whether it was right or not I felt more comfortable. This guy lengthened my stem and put it in a less agressive position.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:24 PM   #7
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If you are comfortable in the drops, but feel like you could go lower, then flipping the stem is an easy way to get lower without a lot of bother. Doing it yourself should not be any trouble IF you have done some of your own mechanical work, and are comfortable with it. Just be careful to get the tightness on your threadless headset right, and properly tighten the stem and bar clamp.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:31 PM   #8
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so by flipping the stem dropping it an inch, maybe removing one space from the bottom would I probably need to drop my seat a little to compensate?
I highly suggest you read up on some fit guides go to www.competitivecyclist.com and use their fit guide as a starting point.

you do not drop your seat because you drop your bars once saddle height and saddle fore/aft is correct you don't touch it to adjust reach. a good STARTING point is .883 x your cycling inseam in CM

its very easy to flip the stem you will need to remove the stem bolts and headset (top) bolt and readjust the headset see here

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=65

I would suggest you flip the stem but leave the spacers underneath and try it out you are going to feel more stretched out make sure yo are rotating your pelvis forward and keeping your back flat.

I also suggest that you possibly get a professional fit or at least a friend to help you out.

ps can I have your zipps they would go great on my bike.



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Old 06-26-10, 01:40 PM   #9
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The very first step in getting good fit is positioning the saddle correctly, both for height and for forward/back with respect to the pedals. When you're turning the pedals effectively, with good extension and no hip movement, and feel comfortable with your power position, then it's time to position the handlebars, not before since any repositioning of the saddle would negate whatever you do to the bars.

My first response was purely from the mechanical considerations, but for fit remember that you'll never get anywhere unless you know where you're going. Figure out what you want, or get a pro to help you, then make the necessary adjustments.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:51 PM   #10
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chad

absolutely not! I love my Zipp wheels.....I like your style though!

My saddle height has been fit....everything on my bike has been setup by a pro....however I dont agree with the stem position. I wasnt racing TT's back then...I am now...he messed my wifes fitting up and doesent want to take the time to readjust..Plus he left my headset loose when he did install my stem. I noticed it halfway on a group ride..I hand tightened it until I got home...i am done with that guy
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Old 06-26-10, 02:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
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so by flipping the stem dropping it an inch, maybe removing one space from the bottom would I probably need to drop my seat a little to compensate?
Quote:
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chad

absolutely not! I love my Zipp wheels.....I like your style though!

My saddle height has been fit....everything on my bike has been setup by a pro....however I dont agree with the stem position. I wasnt racing TT's back then...I am now...he messed my wifes fitting up and doesent want to take the time to readjust..Plus he left my headset loose when he did install my stem. I noticed it halfway on a group ride..I hand tightened it until I got home...i am done with that guy
Ok I wasn't sure how new you were etc, so sorry if I insulted your bike fit intelligence


I agree be done with that guy for sure! doesn't sound exactly like a good fitter or mechanic by any stretch maybe talk to some of the guys on the group rides where they go for fits or you can do what I did and post up some pictures of you on the bike I got pretty damn close that way so far but change ONE thing at a time...trust me.

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Old 06-26-10, 02:34 PM   #12
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I am going to go to a new guy here in town that has worked with hincappie and Mr. Armstrong. A few guys have worked with him and have been impressed. I don't mind buying equipment to make it right but I don't like being sold a bill of goods. Unfortunately, he is on vacation right now.

No offense taken. I am not as proficient on bike fitting as I should be. I messed around with it on my last bike and I got it pretty close to what seemed right. I do think the last fitter helped more than he hurt but leaving the headset loose was a big turn-off. He seems to be more interested in quantity of quality. When you can get to him he seems to take time for you. The problem is he is always with somebody. He works at a high volume bike store. I appreciate your links as they are a big help. I didn't take your post as an insult or a flaming.
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Old 06-26-10, 06:59 PM   #13
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Before


After

The difference is quite huge....Whereas before I had alot of weight on my hands it seems now that I have much less pressure going forward onto them. The bars seem to be at a decent angle. The truth will be known on tomorrows ride.



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Old 06-26-10, 07:19 PM   #14
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like it!
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Old 06-26-10, 08:03 PM   #15
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it LOOKS better but let us know how it feels, how'd the bar tape get so dirty between pictures

oh and whats with the LOOK sticker on the chainstay?

Chad
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Old 06-26-10, 08:12 PM   #16
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I like the look sticker...

The before picture was awhile back....proof I guess that I am using it!
Tomorrow is a 80-100 mile ride....i will have my tools with me
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Old 06-26-10, 08:15 PM   #17
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I like the look sticker...

The before picture was awhile back....proof I guess that I am using it!
Tomorrow is a 80-100 mile ride....i will have my tools with me
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Old 06-26-10, 08:24 PM   #18
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good luck on the long ride jumping right into it be careful.

Chad
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Old 06-27-10, 05:58 PM   #19
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Indy: The 'after' picture looks great! I envy you the youth and flexibility to 'get down'!
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Old 06-27-10, 06:02 PM   #20
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I only got 35 miles in.......

before this



I had the wife pick me up...30 mph winds and lightning strikes to the ground. I made it back to the city but short of my goal.
Felt pretty comfortable...felt a little forward and adjusted the bars up a tad on the ride....after that no real issue. I dont think it would have been an issue 80 miles into the ride. I think we have a winner. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 06-27-10, 06:58 PM   #21
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I just did this today on my MTB-gone-urban-commuter and liked it in my 14km test ride, seems like my weight has a better distribution.
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Old 06-27-10, 07:41 PM   #22
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yikes that looks like no fun with all that flat ground around ya glad you made it home safely.

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Old 06-27-10, 07:46 PM   #23
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The difference is quite huge....Whereas before I had alot of weight on my hands it seems now that I have much less pressure going forward onto them.
That's the way I felt after a professional fitter "fixed" my position by flipping my stem upward. It actually felt a bit better that way on the trainer, but when I rode all the way home on the drops I knew my torso wanted to be lower. I ended up switching to a bar and stem that raised my hands about a centimeter from where they were before the fitting.

My rule of thumb is go as low as you can or you want, as long as you can see and breathe, and control the bike.
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