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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 09-10-13, 11:31 AM   #1
Saluki1968
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Adjustable-angle Stem?

I feel like I'm supporting a lot of my weight on my arms when I ride my Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's got standard road bars and I usually stick to the tops and rarely use the drops. I've thought about using a straight/MTB bar, but that would mean all-new brake levers and shifters. What about a shorter reach stem and/or perhaps one with an adjustable angle? Would allow me a more upright stance and take some of the weight off my arms. Comments?
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Old 09-10-13, 12:56 PM   #2
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So I've got something interesting on mine:

http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....FTDNOgodKSgAOQ




It's a stem extender. I don't know how to install it, my bike shop did it for me. It doesn't adjust the stem angle, but it allows you to raise or lower the handlebars at preset increments. It's pretty neat. Right now I've got it on its highest level, and I might lower it as I get more comfortable with my position.


Here it is on my Long Haul Trucker:

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Old 09-10-13, 01:07 PM   #3
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I added this to my Escape Hybrid to the bring the factory handlebar up and back about 1" . . . ALL the difference in the world in regard to arm/shoulder comfort while riding.

[h=1]Dimension Adjustable Stem 26.0 110mm 70-130 Degrees Black[/h]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-10-13, 02:31 PM   #4
Bent Bill
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I have them on 2 of my bikes I think there great
whoops old pic the first bike has one now also
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Old 09-10-13, 04:29 PM   #5
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Currently my spouse on his Novara Randonee (similar to the LHT) is using an adjustable stem. However, I think we will go to an extender much like Mith links to. If you use a stem with an adjustable angle the more upright it is the closer it is. It can also make an annoying squeak.
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Old 09-11-13, 06:54 AM   #6
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Bike fitting should start with the saddle position height and then fore and aft location. Many people with arm, hand and wrist issues take the short cut of changing saddle position forward. Getting on the bike sitting static it feels much better being closer to the bars makes you more upright. The problem is the crank didnít move forward with you and in effect it moved backwards in terms of your body position and tips your balance forward when actually riding.

The experiment to try is stand with your heals to a wall and try and bend over and put your hands on the seat of a chair in front of you. With your heals against the wall your butt canít do what it naturally would to balance you and that is move backwards. So when you are in that position and hands on the chair you will feel your arms holding half your upper body weight.Your core canít hold any of your weight because it doesnít have the weight out the back to counterbalance against. Now move out away from the wall and try bending at the waist and place the hands on the chair seat your knees will bend slightly your butt will move back and you can lightly place your hands down, almost no weight on arms hands and wrists. Itís a more athletic position like a quarter back waiting for the snap.

Make sure your saddle position is correct first and then deal with the bar position. Depending on the frame size of your bike you then should work with bars and stem. A bigger frame will have your saddle lower and that will make your bars higher. It will also have a longer top tube and that will stretch you out maybe needing a shorter stem not higher. A smaller frame will be just the opposite, requiring a higher stem but maybe with normal or longer reach.

Just getting upright isnít the whole battle IMO as with being too upright to take weight off the arms you place more weight into the saddle and then you start having saddle issues. Being balanced on the bike is best and when riding the legs pushing down have to push against something and that is your weight balanced over them. Most of us are not strong enough and have more than enough weight to push against so we donít get into the same position a racer would. Picture a world class sprinter captured in a photo coming out of the blocks low to the ground leaning way forward. In that still photo you wonder whatís holding him up? Itís the tremendous force heís applyingto the blocks and ground going forward. Unless you are in that same condition you canít assume that position ether.

I have my drops high compared to every bike photo you see in a catalog. They show them with the tops several inches below the saddle and thatísgreat if you are a strong lean rider. Mine are above the saddle at the tops and below the saddle in the drops about the same amount. I have an adjustable quill stem and find myself lowering it a little more as my conditioning improves every year. Bikes come without long enough cables most of the time to getthings where you want them so you might have to play with the cable lengths also.

Something else I have found that worked for me is I ride on the hoods a lot and moving the hoods up slightly made a big difference after I got the bars positioned correctly. It also gave me a better reach to the brakes from the hoods. Of course thatís a tradeoff with then going to the drops. I use the drops a lot into wind and down hills to get some speed. I tried to get the hoods as high as I could and still have the levers where I could get to them in the drops.

Sorry for the long post I hope someone benefits by the explanation of saddle first in fitting.

Last edited by bud16415; 09-11-13 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 09-11-13, 07:34 AM   #7
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The question arises as to how the dimensions of an "adjustable angle stem" are "measured. For example, the model below is listed as "...26.0,....100mm" Am I correct in understanding that the "26.0" refers to the stem diameter - ie, inside diameter as slips over stem post - and that the "100mm" is the length of the stem? What about the srtem's bar clamp diameter? I don't see that listed on any of the products.
https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...d=0CIcBEPMCMAY
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Old 09-11-13, 08:32 AM   #8
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http://ritcheylogic.com/mountain/ste...able-stem.html

http://ritcheylogic.com/manuals/bars..._10_29_web.pdf
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Old 09-11-13, 10:28 AM   #9
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Thanks!
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Old 09-11-13, 10:37 AM   #10
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I think your answer depends upon whether you need a SMALL adjustment or a BIG adjustment. For big, I suppose that telescopic steerer is the way to go, as proposed by several others.

But if you need a small adjustment (and I'll say even 1/4" of bar height makes a surprisingly large difference to me), you can:
- Add spacers to the steerer (but I assume you already have all the spacers under the stem);
- Try the adjustable-angle stem (which looks like it would get you 2" or so of bar height, which is HUGE);
- Or swivel the drop-bar in its mount, as mentioned above, to move the hoods up just a bit (again, even a 1/4" or 1/2" is really a big change).

If I were you, I'd play with these small things first.

I also found over the last year that HOW I ride makes a big difference. I've lost weight and gotten faster. When I pedal hard, I'm lifting weight off my hands and wrists. Even in the drops, I don't have that much weight on my hands, due to pedaling force. But when I just poodle around with my 10 year old, not pedaling hard at all, I feel a lot of weight on my hands.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:16 PM   #11
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here is a nice little tool to calculate how changing your stem will effect your it's position... it's worth noting raising the stem effectively shortens reach as well as pushing it up.
http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php some years back when dialing in my MTB I found that a 2mm spacer completely changed the way the bike felt and how comfortable I was... 2mm is nothing... except when fitting a bike ;-)

also something you can do to change the fit a bit is a compact handle bar, this can bring the brake hoods closer and the drops (hooks) closer
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Old 09-12-13, 07:54 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that adjastable stems are not so strong/stiff as normal stems.
So they aren't built for withstanding serious pressure.

Also, if your frame is designed for drop bars, it means that it has a short Top tube, due to body/hands position when using drop bars.
If you change to flat bar, your riding position will be very upright because flat bars don't extend your arms/body forward.
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Old 09-12-13, 01:25 PM   #13
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The adjustable stem I have on my bike is very strong andsecure when locked down. It isn’t the lightest thing in the world though. I always said use the adjustable stem as atool to figure out what you need then buy a fixed one to the same location. I didn’tfollow my own advice because I find myself adjusting it depending on how I feeland what kind of riding I’m doing lately.
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Old 09-16-13, 08:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoslen View Post
.....If you change to flat bar, your riding position will be very upright because flat bars don't extend your arms/body forward.
Going to a flat bar would mean redoing the barcon shifters and also new brake levers. I think I'll try the adjustable angle stem with the stock drop bars first.
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