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  1. #1
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    How should I get my handlebars closer?

    I am about 5'11' but most of that is in my legs (i.e. - short torso). I love the geometry of my GT Zaskar, but I find that the handlebars have always been a bit of an uncomfortable stretch. I still have the stock KORE Litebar handlebar, which is straight, and a KORE Lite Stem, which is pretty long.

    I want to decrease my stretch by a couple of inches but am not sure whether I should get a shorter stem, like on of those new 50mm downhill jobs or some bent handlebars with a steep rise.

    It seems that I would have better leverage if I keep the long stem and got a new riserbar. Also, I don't want to get a "downhill" stem if it will detract from my a-little-of-everything riding style, but I like my current handlebars and wouldn't be opposed to just changing the stem.

    What would you suggest?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  2. #2
    Chi
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    Rides with Cows Chi's Avatar
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    Where are you? I have a stem I need to get rid of ....

  3. #3
    I ride a REAL Schwinn!
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    Not necessarily a bike fit expert, but....

    I wouldn't go with a really short downhill stem. That would have a real negative effect on handling for an XC bike. Risers would definitely give you a more comfortable riding position, but it might not solve your reach problem. A shorter stem and a set of riser bars might be the answer.

    -Moab
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  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I am not sure why a shorter stem would affect handling to the negative. When I shortened my stem height I noticed an incredible control increase in my bike handling. Why would you want a longer stem which to me, anyways, seemed slower and less responsive?

  5. #5
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Be careful, making that big a change in your set up. See if your local shop will let you try a bit shorter stem and then exchange it for a shorter one if needed.
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  6. #6
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    nice bike! I had one 10 years ago it was sweet, rev.chuck is the man he knows whats up always

  7. #7
    I ride a REAL Schwinn!
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    Negative may have been the wrong word. I meant that his steering would feel more twitchy. In a way, he would feel as though he had more control, but he might also feel as though he was out of control in certain situations. It depends on how you like the bike to handle. When he mentioned a downhill-style stem, I pictured a dramatically shorter stem.

    -Moab
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    You mentioned shortening your stem by a couple of inches, that's a pretty dramatic change. 10-20 millimeters will be a much more resaonable change and still have a noticable affect. I went to a 120 from a 135 and the handling, comfort, and geometry changed significantly for the better. Steering is faster but more "twitchy" however, the new geometry more than makes up for it in the handling department (much easier to get and keep my weight back) and the more upright position helps with logs, jumps, drops, etc.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all of the help. I have moved my seat a little closer and have a new, shorter stem (about 1/3 shorter) on the way. I think it should help! If not, I will try a different length.

    - Erik

  10. #10
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    You should be careful about moving your saddle to fit your arms. You really should set your pedal-saddle relationship first, then your saddle to bars.
    It really makes no difference if you shorten your reach using a shorter stem or riser bars. The effect on steering is the same; it depends on wheer your hands are in relation to the steering axis.
    If your bike is too long you should maybe consider a shorter bike. The fashion for some makes is a long top tube, but different manufacturers make different shaped bikes. You can always get a size smaller to achieve a short bike.

  11. #11
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    Different stem

  12. #12
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    You might find that the new women specific designs fit you better, they take into account shorter torso but longer leg, and they don't all come in pink.

    I have the opposite problem - average legs but my knuckles scrape the ground... Anyone know of GSD's (Gorilla Specific Designs?)

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  13. #13
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    You Might wanna try a Lil bit shorter stem with a riser bar.What size stem do you have on there now?

    AC1_Rider
    "Pain Is Weakness Leaving Your Body."

    "Nothing's To Fear But Fear Itself."

    "Nothing's Crazy Unless Your Crazy."

  14. #14
    :\ ping of death troie's Avatar
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    What kinda stem did you buy erik?

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