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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-07-11, 12:22 PM   #1
tony_merlino
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tourning stem versus adjustible stem for getting more upright posture?

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my handlebar thread. I just ordered the trekking bars from Nashbar, and should have them by the middle of next week. I'm still convinced that my stem will still be too low and too far forward to give me a really comfortable riding position, even with the trekking bars. I raised it to the maximum safe level (there's a mark on it to show that...), and it's still a bit lower than I'd like.

The bike is an older mountain bike, and takes a 22.2mm quill stem. I'm looking at getting a higher, closer to me stem than the one that's on there, and am trying to decide between an adjustable stem and an extra-long touring stem. Does anyone have any experience with either of these?

I really appreciate everyone's patience with my questions. I hope, as I become more experienced in this new (for me) area of "comfort" cycling, I'll be able to reciprocate.

Thanks!
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Old 10-08-11, 04:35 AM   #2
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I use a BBB 22.2 adjustable stem and really like it. Mine is only 40mm long at the top (I have a short torso and reach), but they come in other sizes as well. It's very long height-wise and easy to set higher and higher for comfort touring. I'm seriously thinking about getting longer brake cables so I can set mine even higher than it is right now.
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Old 10-08-11, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
The bike is an older mountain bike, and takes a 22.2mm quill stem. I'm looking at getting a higher, closer to me stem than the one that's on there, and am trying to decide between an adjustable stem and an extra-long touring stem. Does anyone have any experience with either of these?
The only adjustable stems worth owning are the ones made by Specialized and they won't work for your application. I've owned two different infinitely adjustable stems and they've both broken in relatively short order. I know people who have had success with them, but I wouldn't buy another one...
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Old 10-08-11, 11:16 AM   #4
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Good ol' fashion Wald brand stems made of steel can be found here..... http://www.bikeworldusa.com/product_...oducts_id/1707

This same seller has other stems to sell also......... http://www.bikeworldusa.com/advanced...&search=Search
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Old 10-08-11, 02:26 PM   #5
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I don't know what brand my adjustable stem is, but I used it for a month long tour and it is still fine. I don't know what a touring stem is, so I'm afraid I'm not much help. The nice thing with an adjustable one is you can keep adjusting it till you find the sweet spot.
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Old 10-09-11, 07:08 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who responded. I'm now leaning towards getting a stem extender. Of course, this will mean some new cables (as would any method for raising my handlebars.) I used to say that there was nothing as expensive as a free cat. I'm beginning to think that a $100 used mountain bike may be in the same category...
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Old 10-11-11, 09:37 AM   #7
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Nitto makes some tall stems. Check Harris Cyclery or Rivendell to see what's in stock.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
The only adjustable stems worth owning are the ones made by Specialized and they won't work for your application. I've owned two different infinitely adjustable stems and they've both broken in relatively short order. I know people who have had success with them, but I wouldn't buy another one...
I've only ever broken one adjustable stem, by over-torquing it. The screw snapped, and LBS gave me a new one. But adjustable stems are FLEXY! It's very unnerving to climb a hill (standing on the pedals) and feel your handlebars moving!
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Old 10-11-11, 12:18 PM   #9
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My trekking bars were just delivered this morning, and I took an hour off to install them. Right now, I have them installed with the open end closer to me, and higher than the other end. That gives me two usable hand positions, but doesn't really let me use the fully extended position because the brake levers are in the way.

Still - this brought me about an inch closer and two inches higher than my old bars, as well as about two inches in towards the center of the bike, which might be enough for now. I'm going to steal some time for a ride after lunch, and see how it goes.

I'm still going to order the stem extender, so that, even if I'm happy with the height of the closer part of the bars, I can raise the far part so that it becomes usable as a hand position. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get by without replacing any cables...
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Old 10-11-11, 12:50 PM   #10
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Tony:

Do you have a picture of your bike? It might help to see your seat position, frame geometry and handlebar height. FWIW, I have a Nashbar Comfort quill on one of my bikes with some dirt drop bars. It works and is holding fine. And gives quite a bit of rise. If you need more lift than that, then you need to look at your seat angle, seat position forward/back, and frame size because you may be riding something far too small. I don't like extenders as a Clyde because more connections means more chance for failure, slippage, etc. So a single stem is what I prefer.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:39 PM   #11
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The extender is ordered, so I'll see how it works out. Your points are well taken, though. I do believe the frame is too small for me, and it's very possible that I'm just putting lipstick on a pig. But, so far, this hasn't been very expensive - maybe $50 in parts altogether. If it doesn't work out, I'll put it back together the way it was and give it to my son - he just outgrew his bike this year. (A smaller MTB with 24" wheels...)

The trekking bars are pretty cool, and I can always use them on another bike.
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Old 10-12-11, 03:08 PM   #12
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I went with the adjustable stem, works great for me. The angle adjust in 5 degree increments, kept changing angle and moving the stem up and down til I hit a good spot. Got the stem from Niagra Cycle Works, not the greatest quality and the adjusting bolt kept coming loose until I applied some threadlocker. I'm very happy with the product. I'm still getting comfortable with the trekking bars, I really like them but they are such a different animal from the drops I was using previously.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:18 AM   #13
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I've only gotten to take one ride since putting the trekking bars on, but there was already a very positive difference - I don't feel like my chest is all compressed, and it's nice to have another hand position. The transition from the straight mountain bar I had to these wasn't difficult - partially since one of the hand positions is pretty close to the straight bar positions, only a couple of inches closer and higher. I'm optimistic that the stem extender will make it even better, and will let me orient the bars so that I have three usable hand positions.

If I were in shape (less belly, more flexible), I think I'd like drops better. But these seem to be a good solution for now. And for a total investment of less than $50, I can't complain.
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