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  1. #1
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    Arrow Will a short stem ruin bike handling?

    I picked up a full Durace Lemond TSX that is a 58cm from a friend for a great price. I have fallen in love with the ride quality of this bike. The problem is I am only 5'10" and fit really well on a 55cm bike with 90mm stem and the Lemond is way to big for me. Can I just put a really short stem on the Lemond or will it adversely effect the handling / ride quality? I have been looking high and low for a TSX Lemond in my size but they are always out of my price range.

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1938 Autocycle View Post
    I picked up a full Durace Lemond TSX that is a 58cm from a friend for a great price. I have fallen in love with the ride quality of this bike. The problem is I am only 5'10" and fit really well on a 55cm bike with 90mm stem and the Lemond is way to big for me. Can I just put a really short stem on the Lemond or will it adversely effect the handling / ride quality? I have been looking high and low for a TSX Lemond in my size but they are always out of my price range.

    Thanks for any help
    It'll just slow down your steering a bit/make it less twitchy. I did that to my mtb, what is "really short"? What size frame?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
    It'll just slow down your steering a bit/make it less twitchy. I did that to my mtb, what is "really short"? What size frame?
    The frame is a 58cm and I like to ride a 55/56cm with a 90mm stem so I will need the shortest stem I can find. Will probably try a 60mm stem (hopefully that will be short enough)

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    SR made 40mm stems. My '91 Bianchi Eros came to me with one, and I was able to ride the bike just fine.

    You might consider switching to handlebars with less reach and drop while you work on your flexibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    handling , how? fast slalom , criteriums, or JRA and touring .. what is your goal?

    what is the top tube length? size does not say much about length.. short on details..

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    handling , how? fast slalom , criteriums, or JRA and touring .. what is your goal?

    what is the top tube length? size does not say much about length.. short on details..
    Just using the bike for genral riding no racing etc. I just don't know much about road bike setups and wanted to ask some questions before I started making changes.

    Thr top tube is 57.5cm per the Lemond catalog and I prefer a 55cm top tube with a 90mm stem so it looks like I can run a 70mm stem and get this bike to fit. Other then a tall stand over hight that is not a big problem for me.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    what actually effects the way the bike steers , the trail dimension, on the ground, does not change,
    head tube angle + fork rake/offset..

    I only note, [ '75, I built an oversquare bike frame) .. 60tt, 58st, was the front end felt lighter
    due to the wheel being a bit further from the C of G, a bit ..

    It now has a big front porteur basket, resolving 'too light' , carrying stuff..

  8. #8
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    LeMonds are known for having an extra-long top tube -- being stretched out was the plan.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post


    You might consider switching to handlebars with less reach and drop while you work on your flexibility.


    Good call. I don't know why I did not think more about the bars. The bar on the bike have a long reach and deal drops. Soma highway one bars will be the ticket
    http://shop.boxdogbikes.com/products...-short-shallow
    Getting really pumped to get this bike to fit me so I can put some miles on it
    Last edited by 1938 Autocycle; 11-21-13 at 10:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Is the frame too big?
    Would wear shoes that are too big???

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Is the frame too big?
    Would wear shoes that are too big???
    If the shoes felt as nice going down the road as a frame made from TSX tubing does I might.

    I normally would just find a bike that fits but all the high end TSX bikes are out of my price range and I think this bike is going to work out fine with the bars and stem changed

  12. #12
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    BTW, Dimension makes inexpensive stems in both quill and threadless for 26mm and 31.8 bars in either silver or black. I saw ones from 60mm to 120mm, maybe longer. 60mm could be more than short enough for you.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1938 Autocycle View Post
    Good call. I don't know why I did not think more about the bars. The bar on the bike have a long reach and deal drops. Soma highway one bars will be the ticket
    http://shop.boxdogbikes.com/products...-short-shallow
    Getting really pumped to get this bike to fit me so I can put some miles on it
    I just got a Soma Highway One--I love it. I think it might be the same as Easton's--dims are match exactly.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    LeMonds are known for having an extra-long top tube -- being stretched out was the plan.
    and good thing the OP never mentioned the top tube length measurement, to make that clear..


    Yea a lot of handlebar benders , began making a short ramp drop bar
    since Brifters, to get all the Mech inside, are so Long.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-23-13 at 11:39 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dang's Avatar
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    I own a 86 centourion myself. Naturally it's a tad to big for me also so I did switch out the stem with a shorter one.. Didn't notice any difference in the ride but it felt kinda awkward at first. I like it.
    A bicycle, or bike, is a pedal-driven, human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other.

  16. #16
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    It's not too big for you. I ride with a fellow who is 5'9 on a 58.

    Tilt your pelvis and stretch out. Read this thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tion-Discovery

    look at the picture in this post http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14804011


    Also, the higher head tube on the bigger bike will also bring the bars closer to you. For example, I ride a 54 with a 9cm stem and a 55 with a 10cm stem. Huh? The bigger bike is taller in front, so I can use a longer stem since the bars are higher.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    It's not too big for you. I ride with a fellow who is 5'9 on a 58.

    Tilt your pelvis and stretch out. Read this thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tion-Discovery

    look at the picture in this post http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14804011


    Also, the higher head tube on the bigger bike will also bring the bars closer to you. For example, I ride a 54 with a 9cm stem and a 55 with a 10cm stem. Huh? The bigger bike is taller in front, so I can use a longer stem since the bars are higher.
    Great thread, just read it start to end. Interesting timing as I just slammed the stem on my Felt Z4 last weekend and found that my neck and shoulder problems I had been having disappeared.

    As you suspected when I dropped the bars played with the seat positioning and got stretched out the Lemond more less fits me. I will more then likely change out the bars for some Soma highway 1 bars and roll it.

    Thanks to all for the input and help

  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1938 Autocycle View Post
    Just using the bike for genral riding no racing etc. I just don't know much about road bike setups and wanted to ask some questions before I started making changes.

    Thr top tube is 57.5cm per the Lemond catalog and I prefer a 55cm top tube with a 90mm stem so it looks like I can run a 70mm stem and get this bike to fit. Other then a tall stand over hight that is not a big problem for me.
    Ok for the 70 mm, but can you get a handlebar with 1 cm less reach? If so, you only need an 80 mm stem, which is a lot easier to find.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Ok for the 70 mm, but can you get a handlebar with 1 cm less reach? If so, you only need an 80 mm stem, which is a lot easier to find.
    Ya that is what I have decided on. I am planning on the soma highway one compact bars and ether a 80mm hiden bolt Dura Ace stem or an 80mm Deda Elementi / Tre Murex Road Quill
    http://m.ebay.com/itm/370858226558

    Leaning towards the Dura Ace because it would match the rest of the parts on the bike but they much harder to find and the convenience of the removable bar clamp on Deda Elementi is hard to pass up.

    Unfortnatly I need to sell my other steel bike to fund the bar and stem purchase.

  20. #20
    BikeFitPro
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    Stem length does not change how a bike handles. However it may change how you handle the bike.
    If you are better fit you will handle the bike better. So many people get caught up on stem length so beware it is not the big deal many think it is.
    I like the handle bar suggestion as well. Go short and shallow and shorter stem if you really want to make this work.

    Cheers

  21. #21
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    I've ridden on 60-80mm stems, but I kept reading about people who said handling was compromised for stems under 100mm. I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean since reach to the hoods can vary quite a bit, and reach from the tops to the hood varies as well. I never found the 60mm stem uncontrollable on the flats though, but the bike might have been stable due to slack HTA.

    Also I thought Lemonds were supposed to have normal fronts, just slacker STAs. They were also sized C-C so the top tube appeared longer for any given size.

  22. #22
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    I have a Lemons Zurich 57cm, I usually ride 53cm, I put a threadless adapter with a shorter stem, I didn't measure it, I also replaced the setback seat post with a regular one. It handles perfectly!
    I have bikes from 53 to 57cm and as long as they measure 20 inches from the tip of the seat to the center of the bar I am a happy rider.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  23. #23
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I think that's right, unless you legs are unusually long make the adjustment at both ends; keep your center of gravity from going too far to the rear. Most of us probably ride with too much weight on the rear wheels as is.

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