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Old 06-23-10, 11:37 AM   #1
jackb
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Why not adustable stems as stock component?

I don't know about you, but I have yet to find a bicycle with a stem that fits my body. Everytime I consider buying or actually buy a new bicycle, I have to have the stem changed. On two of my bikes I've had to bring the bike back to the LBS to have the stem changed more than once. Wouldn't it just be easier for new bikes to come with adjustable stems? that way you could ride around for a while to see what the most comfortable rise and angle were. then, if you wanted a non-adjustable stem, you would at least know the right size to or exchange for.
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Old 06-23-10, 11:42 AM   #2
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Specialized offers a stem with a cam/sleeve that allows variations when in combination with flipping the stem over. It won't help on length issues. However changing a stem is part of the LBS purchasing experiance.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:39 PM   #3
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They are expensive and heavy. No one wants the weight penalty after the optimum position is achieved. There are ergo stems. One could have the LBS put on an ergo stem and credit the stock stem against the purchase.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:41 PM   #4
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Building adjustability into a stem makes it heavier. That would look bad on the specs sheet and would drive lots of customers off. And like 'Jet says, the only adjust-ability is in the angle, not the length. Better to make sure the LBS puts the correct stem on it as a condition of the sale.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:47 PM   #5
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Building adjustability into a stem makes it heavier. That would look bad on the specs sheet and would drive lots of customers off. And like 'Jet says, the only adjust-ability is in the angle, not the length. Better to make sure the LBS puts the correct stem on it as a condition of the sale.
and, when you buy a new bike clearly discuss future (within a reasonable time) stem swaps as you adjust your stem to home in on fit. I would want the shop to tell me that they will work with me with no additional cost to get the stem right. Many shops have a good collection of "take off" stems in various lengths and angles that they will allow you to switch as needed to get the fit you're looking for.
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Old 06-23-10, 01:21 PM   #6
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My favorite LBS would do a stem swap on a new bike sales for no fee if the stem being swapped wasn't damaged. Additionally, they would be highly unlikely to let someone out the door with a new bike without at least a minimal fitting.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:12 PM   #7
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Adjustable stems are heavy, ugly and flexible and they don't adjust for length. A good bike shop will have measuring stems available to allow buyers to try out a wide range of lengths and angles. I borrowed such a tool by Specialized from my LBS when building my Salsa Casseroll. I was able to dial in a perfect fit.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:15 PM   #8
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I like my adjustable stem.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:06 PM   #9
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I like my adjustable stem.
... as do I

http://www.bikeforums.net/asset.php?...&d=1160602715:
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Old 06-23-10, 08:46 PM   #10
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I'm with Jonn E and TWL. I use adjustable stems on three of my bikes, including my tourer. I will sometimes raise the bars for a while, to see if I like the more upright posture for a particular ride. That is hard to do with fixed stems.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:37 PM   #11
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The bike company lawyers would not want just anyone making adjustments. What would happen if you did not tighten the adjusting nut and the handlebars took a nose dive when you got on? Lawsuit waiting to happen.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:42 PM   #12
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the original Giant compact road bikes came with adjustable stems (i have a stem off one in my parts bin)
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Old 06-24-10, 01:56 AM   #13
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Well, another reason I love my Alex Moultons, they come with adjustable, both fore and aft and up and down, stems. The are stiffer than regular stems, not heavy, and not particularly ugly either. There are now two models - the classic wishbone stem seen on this GT and the parallel stem on the Double Pylon. It is a very clever design - the two stems attach to the quill using serrated hemispheres so that there is absolutely no chance of slippage. The two attachment points on the handlebar is structurally more solid than the usual design and eliminates some of the bar flex. On my recent Mississippi tour I changed it on the fly several times as the terrain changed and as my body adjusted to the 80+ mile days, day after day. It is nice to be able to tweak the position on the fly. I don't know the weight off the top of my head but I don't think it is particularly heavy compared to a standard stem, even though it is stronger.
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Old 06-26-10, 09:11 PM   #14
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Co-Motion has an adjustable stem as an option.
Most tandems now come with an adjustable stoker (rear rider) stem.
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Old 06-26-10, 10:20 PM   #15
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The adjustable stem is the first thing to go on any of my bikes, I've experienced too much flex in the ones that I did use in the past, especially when working stop and go urban traffic.
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Old 06-27-10, 07:53 AM   #16
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The adjustable stem is the first thing to go on any of my bikes, I've experienced too much flex in the ones that I did use in the past, especially when working stop and go urban traffic.
thats why mine is in the parts bin. its a good temporary stem if you are fitting a bike, but thats about it.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:14 AM   #17
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Several Jamis models come with stems that adjust for height by sliding up and down the steering tube. The stem does not appear to be any heavier than a normal stem.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...lite_spec.html
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Old 06-28-10, 06:06 PM   #18
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they don't adjust for length.
Well, they do, within limits. That is, if you want a very short length, you adjust the angle to almost zero, and push it way down into the steerer tube. If you want a long length, you adjust it so the stem part is parallel with the ground.

I used mine to find just the right position, then bought a regular stem. The adjustable tended to become loose, and creaked when climbing hills standing up.BikeNewTires 002.jpg
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