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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 10-17-08, 08:13 PM   #1
Adam G.
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I think I have ape arms.

My bike came with a stock stem of 70cm, way short. I just bought a 90cm today took a little ride and somewhat see a slight little difference. Maybe I should go for a 100cm or longer, I ride with bullhorns now and feel I can stretch out more, I am switching to drops soon. I am 5'11" anyone else with long arms I would like to hear some suggestions or what stem length you ride.

Last edited by Adam G.; 10-17-08 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-17-08, 08:31 PM   #2
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I ride a 110mm stem on both my bikes, road and single speed, and this works nicely. Both are 55cm bikes and fit me perfectly.
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Old 10-17-08, 08:54 PM   #3
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My bike came with a stock stem of 70cm, way short. I just bought a 90cm today took a little ride and somewhat see a slight little difference. Maybe I should go for a 100cm or longer, I ride with bullhorns now and feel I can stretch out more, I am switching to drops soon. I am 5'11" anyone else with long arms I would like to hear some suggestions or what stem length you ride.
I think you mean cm, not mm.

Edit: wait, switch that.

Last edited by middy; 10-17-08 at 09:54 PM. Reason: I'm dum
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Old 10-17-08, 08:56 PM   #4
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well, the top tube definitely comes into play here.
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Old 10-17-08, 08:57 PM   #5
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I think you mean cm, not mm.
um...dude...
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Old 10-17-08, 09:51 PM   #6
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um...dude...
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Old 10-17-08, 09:52 PM   #7
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this really doesn't help your situation bike-wise, but if you want to know if it's really your arms or if it's all in your head, in rock climbing we have the term "ape index." your ape index is the distance of your outstretched arms, fingertip to fingertip, in relation to your height. if you are 5'10" and your arms are 6'0" then your ape index is +2. if you are 5'11" and your arms are 5'10" then you are -1. a "normal" person is within an inch. a large ape index (which can be highly beneficial in climbing) is usually anything over +2.

i, sadly, am -1.5
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Old 10-17-08, 10:00 PM   #8
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Yeah, but isn't it nice to know that someone's actually paying attention to what you write?
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Old 10-17-08, 10:20 PM   #9
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Yeah, but isn't it nice to know that someone's actually paying attention to what you write?
Somebody better be, cause Lord knows I ain't.
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Old 10-17-08, 11:11 PM   #10
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lol @ a 90cm stem (thats like 3 feet)!! if thats not long enough i dunno if a bike is such a great idea!
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Old 10-18-08, 07:30 AM   #11
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Back on topic, you can't really guage someone by their height alone what size stem they should have on their bike. I have extremely long legs relative to my torso, so I have to ride a shorter stem / TT or I'll be too stretched out. My friend races cat1 and uses a 130mm stem, so keep going until you're comfortable. Also, are you using a 0 setback seatpost? What size frame are you riding? Does it have compact geometry / sloping TT?
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Old 10-18-08, 07:45 AM   #12
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Back on topic, you can't really guage someone by their height alone what size stem they should have on their bike. I have extremely long legs relative to my torso, so I have to ride a shorter stem / TT or I'll be too stretched out. My friend races cat1 and uses a 130mm stem, so keep going until you're comfortable. Also, are you using a 0 setback seatpost? What size frame are you riding? Does it have compact geometry / sloping TT?
I ride a 56 frame, it is an SE Lager so the geometry is not to compact. Not sure what you mean about a 0 setback seatpost, but I would like to know, but I am assuming if I have my seat moved forward or back? I am going to move up to a 100mm steam, I think that would be a perfect fit.
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Old 10-18-08, 07:54 AM   #13
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I ride a 56 frame, it is an SE Lager so the geometry is not to compact. Not sure what you mean about a 0 setback seatpost, but I would like to know, but I am assuming if I have my seat moved forward or back? I am going to move up to a 100mm steam, I think that would be a perfect fit.
A 0 setback post is one like most of the Thomson seatposts you see (Thomson does make a setback post though), the rails are directly above the seatpost rather than setback about 2cm.

On a 56cm, most people will ride a 10cm stem. You can always do the old-quick way of fitting, by seating yourself on the bike (and grabbing the bars) and looking straight down - if the hub is blocked out by the bars/stem then the length is right. This doesn't always hold by necessity though. Also, I ride a shorter stem with my bullhorns because I find my arms are stretched out a tad further than on drops with hoods (syntace stratos).
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Old 10-18-08, 01:08 PM   #14
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I have 120 on my road bike and 100 on my touring bike (shorter for long days with a load). I think you will find that most low or mid priced bikes come with a short stem because beginners prefer an upright position, so you shouldn't be surprised that after riding a while you find you need to stretch out more.

The old guideline is that when riding in the drops, your handlebar should hide your view of the front hub - that's not a hard and fast rule (so no flames please), but gives a rough assunance that your balanced properly front to rear.
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