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  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post

    Just to make sure you know, there are basically two dimensions to be concerned with when choosing a stem (or adjusting an adjustable stem). One is reach, which is fore-aft measurement. The other is height. The adjustable stems that I think you are talking about allow you to pivot the extension of the stem. By raising it, you also shorten the reach. This can give you an idea of what you need, but it doesn't allow full experimentation. For example, if you are using a stem that is the right height but the wrong reach, the adjustable one may or may not lead you to realize this. In other words, it doesn't let you change one measurement at a time. It only lets you change both at the same time, so it is far from perfect. But it is probably your best next move, besides the stuff the bike shop is about to do for you.

    This is something I'm a bit confused about. Since my main concern is getting them up to the level of the seat, I would think that if I just got a longer stem that brought them up higher, I'd also want it to have a somewhat longer reach since the bars would already be getting closer to me. How does it work with the adjustable stems, since the only way to get it higher is also to bring it closer? Or is the maximum height of the stem also higher than what is currently on my bike? Also, once you have the height/reach where you want it on an adjustable stem, how do you translate that into the correct height/length of stem on a non-adjustable one?

  2. #152
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    The answers to your question, in order are:

    1. I don't know, but I think you have to make educated guesses.
    2. Yes, usually, but there are fixed stems that are very tall.
    3. Measure on two axes.

    It actually is possible to do this scientifically. You could find a shop that does FIT sessions. I think they're about $150, and they spend an hour or more with you. They put your bike on a trainer and observe. And they put you on a special stationary bike whose every dimension is adjustable. But it's probably premature to do that, since you haven't ridden your current bike much yet.

    And remember, your tastes and needs change over time, further complicating matters.

    I recently got lucky. I bought a bike to add to my embarrassingly large collection. It wasn't a big purchase or decision, since it was underpriced on craigslist. It felt odd at first, and after a while, I realized this bike fits me better than any other bike I own. I plan to duplicate the dimensions on my other bikes. On this one bike, I could sit on it all day, practically living on it.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  3. #153
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    If you want experience with Brooks for women, I'm sure Velouria over at Lovely Bicycle can sort you out. I think she has several.

    M.

  4. #154
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    My take on the stem height/reach issue is that as you sit more upright you are pivoting at the hips. So your shoulders are going up AND back. When I was fitting my bikes I always needed less reach as I raised the stem.

    Coincident to that is as I sat more upright I found it more comfortable to move the seat back a bit. That also required less reach on the stem.

    In all this I assume constant seat to pedal distance as that is the first adjustment I make. Some later tweaking of that dimension may be needed but only in fractions of an inch.

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