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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-30-06, 08:12 PM   #1
baj32161
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10mm means alot

I just swapped out my stock 120mm stem for a shorter (110mm) stem after a year of riding. I couldn't believe the difference I felt immediately. It is almost inconceiveable that it took me this long to realize that my stem was too long....it felt so good when I bought the bike, but now it is so much more comfortable and doesn't leave me with stiff shoulders. The main issue for me was the length of the stem and not necessarily the rise, but they even managed to maintain the same rise. Props to my bike shop for replacing a year old stem and swapping it with a brand new one for nothing.

Cheers,

Brian
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Old 03-30-06, 08:16 PM   #2
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Too bad I didn't know, we could have traded. I just bought a bike and swapped the 110 for a 120. I know how much of a difference it makes to have the bike fit right. Too scrunched up and you can't breathe. Too stretched out and you can't control the bike.
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Old 03-30-06, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'm glad you found an improvement. For me, my position on the bike has evolved a lot over the last 2 yrs. I just rotated my bars down a bit and it immensely improved my ability to stay in the drops. Wouldn't have worked for me last year though. It may be that the 120 was okay initially, but 110 was better once you started bending your elbows more.
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Old 03-30-06, 08:35 PM   #4
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I'm thinking of swapping my 100mm for a 90mm (!). 90mm quill stems aren't that easy to find it seems. For some reason I feel more stretched out than usual this season.
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Old 03-30-06, 08:40 PM   #5
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I need to do the same, need to swap a 100mm for a 90mm and see what that will do, i feel just a tad stretched out
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Old 03-30-06, 08:51 PM   #6
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Let me know if you find a decent 90mm quill stem.
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Old 03-30-06, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Let me know if you find a decent 90mm quill stem.
oboeguy, I have had my eyes on this one from cadence cycle, since ViperZ gave me the idea, it looks great on Viper's new bike

http://www.cadencecycle.com/pd_carbo...ts_cfs800.cfm#

edit, oh wait, my bad I think Viper has this one

http://www.cadencecycle.com/pd_carbo...ite_carbon.cfm

but its expensive, and they don't have it in 90mm

Last edited by Flywolf; 03-30-06 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-30-06, 09:30 PM   #8
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Heh, it's also not a quill stem.
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Old 03-30-06, 09:33 PM   #9
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my bad again

I guess it will help if I read the thread first
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Old 03-30-06, 09:46 PM   #10
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90mm stems come up on ebay fairly often. I have a 90mm 3ttt on my Gazelle that I picked up for less than $25.
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Old 03-30-06, 10:20 PM   #11
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I just did the same and you're right, the difference was amazing!
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Old 03-30-06, 10:39 PM   #12
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90mm stems come up on ebay fairly often. I have a 90mm 3ttt on my Gazelle that I picked up for less than $25.
Dang, you're right. Somehow I always forget eBay as an option (and I sell there too, go figure). So my question is, how do I find out the size of my handlebars? Soft tape measure? around which part of the bars?
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Old 03-31-06, 01:10 AM   #13
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ARound the part where the stem would clamp...?
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Old 03-31-06, 01:14 AM   #14
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The diameter is probably the standard (26 right?). If you want the bar width, that's measured C-C if I recall correctly.
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Old 04-02-06, 07:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baj32161
I just swapped out my stock 120mm stem for a shorter (110mm) stem after a year of riding. I couldn't believe the difference I felt immediately. It is almost inconceiveable that it took me this long to realize that my stem was too long....it felt so good when I bought the bike, but now it is so much more comfortable and doesn't leave me with stiff shoulders. The main issue for me was the length of the stem and not necessarily the rise, but they even managed to maintain the same rise. Props to my bike shop for replacing a year old stem and swapping it with a brand new one for nothing.

Cheers,

Brian
Ahh, you found the same secret I did. I suspected my stem was too long (120mm) and after posting a photo here on BF most people agreed. I ended up getting a 100mm stem (which is slightly long going by the handlebar obscurs front hub) and I've never been more comfortable.

I also just got wider handlebars after ruining my older one (and the bike shop swapped for free!!)

I love my LBS
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Old 04-02-06, 10:13 AM   #16
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I went from 120mm with 7 degrees to 90mm with 25 degrees and it made a huge difference in my comfort. I knew the 120mm was too long as I pretty locked out my elbows to ride on the hoods.

I also went from 42cm C-C bars to 44cm C-C bars at the same time. The combination of the stem and bards has made a big difference not only in comfort but in control.
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Old 04-02-06, 04:08 PM   #17
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The shorter stem will make the bike twitchier.
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Old 04-02-06, 04:17 PM   #18
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Try the Nitto quill stem available from Rivendell. They have a regular length and a extra long. I got the extra long so I can get bars at same height as saddle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Let me know if you find a decent 90mm quill stem.
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Old 04-11-06, 11:52 AM   #19
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check out the stem on this bad boy:


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Old 04-11-06, 11:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
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check out the stem on this bad boy:
Ok I have to ask...what the hell is that?
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Old 04-11-06, 12:11 PM   #21
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LOL, haven't seen a Kuwahara in years...let alone that one.
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Old 04-11-06, 12:22 PM   #22
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yeah, it's worth trying a few stems out to see what's right. you can get stems for pretty cheap anyway.
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Old 04-11-06, 12:24 PM   #23
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Whew, wasnt sure if this was "safe for work".
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Old 04-11-06, 01:01 PM   #24
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Yeah, I hate that stretched out feeling. My Lemond came with a 110mm and that made my fingers tingle on my first 20mi ride. I soon dropped down a a 100mm and eventually a 90mm. I now have a new frame 15mm shorter than the Lemond. It looks like 100mm with the new frame will be ok, but it has shorter headset, so I'll need some road time. I now a have a stems from 80mm to 110 mm to work with .
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Old 04-11-06, 01:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Dang, you're right. Somehow I always forget eBay as an option (and I sell there too, go figure). So my question is, how do I find out the size of my handlebars? Soft tape measure? around which part of the bars?
Calipers are the best way to measure the diameter of the bars where you clamp. MOST bars are 26.0 mm, but some Cinelli's (like the one I have) are 26.4. I also have a bike with Nitto bars that are 25.4 mm. You can use a piece of 10/1000ths brass shim stock with 25.4 mm Nitto bars and a 26.0mm stem to get a good grab. The shim stock goes between the bars and the stem, of course. Somebody makes a similar item out of stainless specifically for that purpose, but I can't remember who sells it.
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