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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-24-08, 03:27 AM   #1
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TRACK specific question: Nitto drops and stem length sizing

FIRST QUESTION

What to people have to say about the difference in Nitto's multiple track drops? is it depth or curve or just materials and trivial stuff?

SECOND QUESTION

Does anyone know specifically how to select the best length of your stem? I'm sure it has a lot to do with your frame size, fit, arms, and torso lengths but is there a general rule?

!!!THIRD QUESTION!!!

I've looked around a lot but have had trouble finding a good thread-less track stem that has the same angle as many people use with their track drops (the steep angle) Any suggestions of where to find some options?
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Old 01-24-08, 08:56 AM   #2
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you're probably gonna have a hard time finding a 1/8" threadless track stem. i use a nitto ui5gx cause it's elegant. nitto makes a more aggressive ui stem, threadless 1".
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Old 01-24-08, 09:06 AM   #3
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with materials, nitto steel drops are literally twice as heavy as their aluminum versions

123s are deep, 125s are not as deep. if you are tall go 123
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Old 01-24-08, 10:13 AM   #4
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Check out Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator to find the right drop/reach/length for your cockpit.

Deda, CKT, and Woodman all make deep drop threadless stems (<-17). Then there's always the Look Ergostem or one of those Dimension adjustable stems. Alternatively, you could get a high rise stem and flip it. But really, you probably don't want to go much deeper than -10 if you're worried about fit.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:25 AM   #5
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We have a track racing forum you know...
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Old 01-24-08, 01:29 PM   #6
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1) Yes. The curve varies, and the material. Steel is heavier, but stiffer. Heat treated aluminum is quite stiff and lighter but costs more. What curve is best for you depends on the size of you, your bikes geometry and personal preference.

2) Check the fit calculator already posted to get a general idea, but it really comes down to your preference. Maybe borrow some stems from a friend, or maybe a coop near you would let you buy a bunch and test them around the block then buy the one that suits you.

3) No specific place. I think Deda Newtons have a good variety of angles and sizes and are known to be pretty quality.

And as mentioned above, look a couple categories down and maybe move or repost this in 'Track Cycling'.

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-08, 01:44 PM   #7
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IMHO, the Nitto B123s are ridiculous for street riding. If you're set on track drops, go with the 125s.

It's an upper body fit that depends on your top tube length. Easy way for you: take the IRO top tube length + stem length. Subtract the BK top tube from this and get your stem length. But a head's up: those 60 and 70 mm stems you have make for (in general) really twitchy handling, especially with drops.

You probably don't want a track stem unless you like your hands below the front wheel. Get a nice Thomson or Nitto road stem, and don't cut your steer tube too short.
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Old 01-24-08, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Steel is heavier, but stiffer.
Nope, just heavier. It's better at absorbing road vibrations because it's less stiff.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:04 PM   #9
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Nope, just heavier. It's better at absorbing road vibrations because it's less stiff.
Hm. Yeah, I guess if there is any truth in it in frames it would be the same with bars. Though I thought sprinters on track preferred steel bars for it stiffness, maybe this conception is wrong.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:37 PM   #10
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Steel stems, alloy bars. Or at least that's what I remember reading.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:06 PM   #11
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the material is less stiff, but most people find steel track drops stiffer than their alloy counterparts. one alternative to shallow drops and a negative rise stem is a shallow rise stem and deep drop bars— it'll place your hands in a similar position when sprinting, but give you a more upright/relaxed position atop the bars.
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Old 01-24-08, 04:21 PM   #12
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Your bar's drops NEED to be on center with your Top Tube... *or as close to it
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Old 01-24-08, 04:34 PM   #13
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hey velolove did you get my pm?
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Old 01-24-08, 05:04 PM   #14
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prolly— do you mean the centre point of the bend, or the actual drop section?
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Old 01-25-08, 10:01 AM   #15
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alum 123s w/ road stem here

chea!
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Old 01-25-08, 10:50 AM   #16
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Sorry, duplicate....

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Old 01-25-08, 10:51 AM   #17
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Before I ordered my 123s, I took a tape measure and tried to get a more accurate feel for the sizes/shapes available. I did end up with the 123s not the 125s (I'm pretty tall, and the bike is reasonably large--they are nice to ride in while coming up to speed with traffic or when it's really windy), and I got the narrowest ones (36 I think?).

As with any matter of bike fit, there are guidelines to follow, but in the end it all boils down to what's comfortable for you.
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Old 01-25-08, 11:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
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prolly— do you mean the centre point of the bend, or the actual drop section?
the bar end [where the bartape plug goes] - yes bartape people - needs to be on center with your TT.

Look at proper track racers. Professional racers. [Not JP Kieran] - all their arms are loosely bent to ensure proper breathing.
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