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Old 12-29-07, 03:12 AM   #1
Kommisar89
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Why do vintage French stems all seem to be 60-85mm?

Was the average Frenchman rather short back in the day or was there so unusual thing about top tube vs. stem length or something? Whenever I search eBay for a vintage French stem they all seem to be 60-85mm. That seems really short. I need something in the 100-105 range. Vintage Italian stems don't seem to suffer from the same problem. Is this just sampling error or are old French stems really shorter?
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Old 12-29-07, 04:21 AM   #2
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must be a supply thing 'cause I had exactly the opposite experience a couple years ago. I needed a french 95 or 100 and all I could find for months were stems of 110 and longer-mostly 120's.

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k
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Old 12-29-07, 11:11 AM   #3
Charles Wahl
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I've read in these pages about Peugeots having unusually long top tube proportions. That might have something to do with it.
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Old 12-29-07, 11:27 AM   #4
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Maybe all the longer ones snapped!
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Old 12-29-07, 11:29 AM   #5
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I could use a longer one for my Gitane but haven't had much luck (at a reasonable price) either (Anyone have one ~ 115mm to swap for a 95?). I think part of it is that back in the 70's you bought a much larger frame than is recommended today. The era's frame sizing is also why I have an 80's seatpost on my 70's frame - just couldn't find a 70's post over about 160mm.
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Old 12-29-07, 12:46 PM   #6
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My '74 PX10 has a rather long top tube and it came with a stem with quite a bit of extension. I replaced the stem with a shorter one the day I bought the bike because I was just too stretched out. I worked at the shop where I bought the bike. I still have both stems. I can't give the measurements now because I'm at work.
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Old 12-29-07, 03:48 PM   #7
Kommisar89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick burns View Post
Maybe all the longer ones snapped!
Don't think that thought didn't occur to me
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Old 12-29-07, 05:27 PM   #8
stronglight
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I bought a PX-10 new, in France, in 1970 and it came with a 100 mm stem - which seemed to be about the most common size on the French "Racing" bikes that I recall. The stems on bikes with less Race aspirations, the more common recreational rides, had slightly shorter stems.

I think these mid-length stems (90-100 mm) were all just left on their original bikes... which are now in landfills or thrift stores.

Photo below shows the typical recommended set-up for saddle and stem in the 1960s-70s - which also explains the lack of long seatposts.

...Notice the bike in the photo appears to be a Peugot UO-8

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