Just finishing up my first cross bike and I need some help with stem length.
Seems like many people (myself included) will have a stem length that places the handlebars where they obscure the view of the front hub when the hands are on the hoods. I just put a Thomsen 110mm on my bike and I'm wondering if it might be a bit too long. It obscures the front hub but seems a wee bit stretched out.
Is there an advantage in cyclocross to having the stem longer or shorter for performance or control reasons? Does anyone have a preference...hub obscured, handlebars in front of hub or handlebars behind hub?
12 Y.O. Litespeed MTB, IRO Jamie Roy fixie, Custom Habanero Ti 'Cross, No name SS MTB, Old school lugged steel track bike (soon)
The hub obscured thing is not really a rule, but more of a quick and dirty guideline. I wouldn't base my decision on that alone. Think of it this way, any number of stem lengths can put your bar along a line from your hub to your eye, but most of these will not be ideal positions. I'd say if you feel too stretched out, then you probably are. Try a 100mm. Personally, I like to run 100 mm for off road, and 110 or even 120 for road riding, although all can work for me. With the longer stems I spend less time on the hoods, and more on the ramp of the bar.
And as a side note, I love my Thompson stem. It is like a peice of granite-solid.