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Thread: Stem Aesthetics

  1. #1
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    Stem Aesthetics

    I don't really want to talk about the reason I'm doing this, but right now my stem is 100 mm. I feel pretty comfortable right now, but aesthetically, it looks too short.(Not explaining why, don't ask ) If I buy a 120 mm stem, will I feel the difference that much? More importantly, it'll look longer, right?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CollectiveInk's Avatar
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    Ok, sounds like some Fruedian issues going on. But, you will notice a difference in a longer stem. I recently went from 120mm to a 90mm (to compensate for a too long top tube.) Physically, the longer stem was causing my back more pain and the shorter one is a pleasing change.

    As far as the bike dynamics go, the shorter stem is more responsive/twitchy while the longer was more stable.

    Question is, if the 100mm fits you, and isn't causing issues why change? Has someone been making fun of your stem length?
    Tim
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    Specialized Allez Elite / Haro Extreme x6 Expert / Trek 4300 / Fuji Supreme SL / LeMond Reno - converted for TT / Giant Warp DS1 / Tommaso Ponza / Trek 4300 - 13.5" (For Sale)

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    Ok, well this will probably settle the issue, but I'm 5'3'', and a teenager.

    But as for the back pain, how soon does it kick in? I don't go for rides longer than an hour or an hour and a half. If it kicks in at 3 hours, then I should be fine.

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    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    2 cm is a big difference in fit. YMMV

    So what happened - Did some girl tell you that your stem was too short?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Vaio, at your age it probably won't kick in for a while, but for me in my 50s it could be in the first mile or so. I find my arms relax when the bars are in the right place, and a too-long stem feels like I'm stretching out too much, and it accentuates shoulder pressure. With my residual rotator cuff injury, I will feel that very soon into a ride.

    Handlebar position is very personal, much more so than saddle/pedal positioning.

    Road Fan

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    har har roger

    alright, thanks guys, i'll just leave it as it is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CollectiveInk's Avatar
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    Well, regardless of whether you're 50, 35 or 15 taking care of your body by riding a properly fitted bike is smart. And I noticed within the first 20 min of riding the improvement when I switched out my stem for a shorter one. After 2.5 hours I really noticed the improvement.

    You still never said what made you want to get a bigger stem in the first place.

    I would recommend the Zinn art of road bike maintenance. The section on fitting has been very helpful.
    Tim
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaio_s View Post
    I don't really want to talk about the reason I'm doing this, but right now my stem is 100 mm. I feel pretty comfortable right now, but aesthetically, it looks too short.(Not explaining why, don't ask ) If I buy a 120 mm stem, will I feel the difference that much? More importantly, it'll look longer, right?
    This is probably the smartest thread i've read this month. Messing with fit just to look cool. Seriously, ask yourself if that is smart.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JamisVE's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mess with it if you comfortable. I had a stock 120 mm stem and had it changed to a 105 from back pain. It helped quite a bit and no one mentions my short stem

  10. #10
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    Fit is more important than looks. Go buy a "titanium" sticker and slap it on there. that'll impress 'em.

  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Repeat after me: Form follows function.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I read someplace that Eddy Mercx, at least some years ago, insisted that all of the bikes that he produced have 110mm stems. If that's true, you are in good company thinking that your 100mm stem is too short.

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