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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 05-23-14, 03:33 PM   #1
ricefarmerr
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Stem length for a more aero position

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Last edited by ricefarmerr; 02-03-15 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 05-23-14, 03:52 PM   #2
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so down in the drops is not aero enough ?
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Old 05-31-14, 06:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricefarmerr View Post
So I was wondering, at what length does the stem becomes too long that bike handling and steering becomes compromised ?
No set answer, as it depends greatly on your body size and proportions and your bicycle size and geometry.

There are some general tendencies that you might expect to notice. At first, lengthening the stem will probably immediately feel worse when going slowly, as the steering will feel heavier and slower. But once you get up to speed, it is very likely that the front end will feel much more stable and better planted. However, if you reach a point where the stem is too long, you will know it because the rear wheel will now have too little weight on it and it will be unstable and skittish in turns. Again, at what point this might happen for you on your bicycle you will have to find out for yourself.
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Old 06-01-14, 01:02 AM   #4
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I'm not clear. To get more aero, are you getting down in the drops or not?

If you are not in the drops, you are not doing much to improve your aero drag. Longer stem + saddle forward won't help much if you are still up on the hoods.

Basically, look at yourself from the side (have someone take a pictures, or ride by a reflective window). The closer to horizontal and flattened out your back is, the more aero.
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Old 06-01-14, 07:04 PM   #5
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You just have to try it. Reversed setback seatpost (set forward?), longer stem, etc. No one answer.
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Old 06-01-14, 10:57 PM   #6
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I've heard 90-120mm is the sweet spot. I have used 80, 90, 100, 110 and 120 on various bikes. My current road is 120 and feels great.
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Old 06-01-14, 11:21 PM   #7
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Moving everything forward doesn't make you more aero, it just puts you further forward. And the negative effect of closing the hip is a loss of power but you have to get pretty low for that to happen and working on hamstring flexibility will help though after a certain point some of the muscles in the hip actually stop being able to contract.

Getting your shoulders and head low and your back as flat as possible are the way to get more aero. Core strength is important to maintaining the position and so is spending a lot of time riding that way.
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Old 06-02-14, 10:36 AM   #8
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There is also a UCI limit for saddle position:
Quote:
For endurance or all mass start events; road, track and cyclo-cross, the nose of the
saddle must be a minimum of 5 cm behind a vertical line drawn up through the center of
the crank axle. For speed events (track); sprint, 500m, 750m, kilometer and team
sprint, the nose of the saddle may move forward inside this 5 cm dimension, but never
beyond the center of the crank.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...egulations.pdf

As you can see in the photo of Cancellara in this article:
UCI eases rules on time trial positions | Cyclingnews.com
even with his saddle at the limit position, he still is perching his perineum on the nose to open his hip angle further.
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Old 06-04-14, 09:08 AM   #9
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Stem length has little effect on steering. The fact is you lean to turn. Bikes are different from cars that way. It's possible to get too low. At some point you lose power with increased drop. It's also possible to to have too much reach. At some point your saddle will be too far forward and the reach is so long that you're just too far forward. Your goal is to be as low as possible without being so low that you lose power. Your goal is to be forward enough with maximum reach without going too far. As the saddle goes forward you put increasing weight on your hands and toes. At some point you've gone too far. If your reach is so long that you can't maintain your saddle position and your sit bones slide forward of the sweet spot it's too long.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 06-04-14 at 09:15 AM.
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