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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 08-19-10, 09:32 PM   #1
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Anyone here uses real short stems? (50mm / 70mm)

Hello. I'm relatively new to this forum and wondering if anyone here uses real short stems such as 50mm and 70mm on their single speed / fixed gear bikes? I personally am planning to get a 50 or 70mm stem for my bike but I dont know how it would turn out looking. So if anyone uses such short stems on their single speed / fixed gear, pictures would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:35 PM   #2
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adriano
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Old 08-19-10, 09:40 PM   #3
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^^ I am not sure who that is since I just joined yesterday. I do hope he sees this thread and could show me a photo of his bike with a short stem.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:40 PM   #4
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Is this more about looks or fit/practicality?

Trick oriented fixed gears will have a BMX/DH stem.

Google will have many fixed gears with short stems.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:42 PM   #5
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70mm
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Old 08-19-10, 09:44 PM   #6
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out of all the goofy things you can do to the look of your bike, a short stem is probably the least of your worries. if anything it will look like "oh hey, they're riding a frame that's maybe a size too big for them, but they're compensating with a properly sized stem. good for them"
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Old 08-19-10, 10:01 PM   #7
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I just bought a 60mm stem for my SS. Mainly it's because my size 54 frame works well with my long legs but not my shortish torso.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:51 PM   #8
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70mm:


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Old 08-19-10, 10:56 PM   #9
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Do NOT select a stem based on looks to conform to your perceived idea of what a fixed gear should look like. Select a stem based on your fit with the bike taking into account your body proportions, whether you ride in windy conditions regularly, whether you have any physical issues you need to compensate for and so forth.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:03 PM   #10
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mucky, we needa ride. im in alameda.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:04 PM   #11
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OT - mucky: (i know it's been discussed a little bit before) but although I strongly dislike the placement of those knogs, and the brake (although iirc, the brake is just for avoiding the fuzz), and I'm not too keen on the aerospoke, I absolutely love the self-referential "tarck" sticker on the top tube, the overall very clean look of the bike, and the composition of the image. I forget what the actual technique is called, but based on the depth of field/sharpness of focus, it almost looks like your bike is a tiny mock-up inside a diorama. overall thumbs up.

now, back to stems. yeah. get whatever fits you. regardless of how weird your bike might look (it wont), you riding a poorly setup bike will look weirder, and it will probably feel worse.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:08 PM   #12
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There's nothing wrong with a short stem... I currently have a 50mm salsa moto ace stem on my commuter...

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Old 08-19-10, 11:09 PM   #13
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Do you mean tilt shift?

And the Knog on his top tube is a computer.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:10 PM   #14
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Tilt-shift. bingo.

ah. the ol "knog is really a computer" trick. gets me every time. also, is that knog lookin thing on the fork indeed a knog, or just the receiver thing for the wheelspeed indicator?

i retract my previous statement regarding the knogs. however, all else still stands, including the overall thumbs up.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Incoherentfool View Post
I just bought a 60mm stem for my SS. Mainly it's because my size 54 frame works well with my long legs but not my shortish torso.
why not get a smaller frame and use more seatpost?
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Old 08-19-10, 11:14 PM   #16
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I use 70mm fsa stem on my bike. Go find the picture of it in the kilo thread or ask vixtor nicely so he can magically retrieve it in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:30 PM   #17
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cross posting from diff thead.

I went to my lbs, they practically gave me a stem shim for free because they had one that they were going to throw out. When i came home, the t2+ bars were already delievered so I put everything together today. Few new pics with pasela tg's, fsa sizemore 70mm, t2+ clip on bar and new bar tapes.






Took it out for a test ride, lovely so far. Mucho comfortable! What do you think?
Boom.
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Old 08-20-10, 12:01 AM   #18
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Yeah, appreciate everyone who has contributed. I'm not building my bike up according to how other people's bikes look like. I'm just wondering because I really want to get a shorter stem than the average ss / fg rider. I just wanted to see how it would potentially turn out before I pick the exact size. At this point, I'm just really debating on whether to go with a 50mm or a 70mm stem, either one would be comfortable for me. I think from this thread, I've been convinced that the 70mm looks great and I personally think the 70mm looks way better than 90,100,110 or 120 stems.

muckymucky - that Bianchi looks simply stunning with a 70mm stem.

happypills - I thnk your 50mm Salsa stem looks great but I think for myself I might end up with a 70mm stem just because it looks slightly better and that I'm comfortable with either sizing.


I think now I'm narrowed down to 2 choices for my stem, either a Thomson Elite or the FSA sizemore shown above. The FSA is only 1/2 the price of the Thomson stem but I wonder value wise if it is better to just go for the Thomson in the long run.

Last edited by Thirteen.; 08-20-10 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 08-20-10, 12:26 AM   #19
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"look" count: 6
"feel"/"comfort" count: 2

jus' sayin'

with regard to either one being comfortable, pick one you're more comfortable with.

get the FSA. Thompson stuff is nice, but it only comes in "nice". FSA stuff runs the gamut between average and nice. if you're just testing out a new stem (especially if you're in between 50 and 70) don't drop the cash on nice parts til you know they're the parts you want.
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Old 08-20-10, 01:24 AM   #20
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This is a 50mm Thomson Elite stem
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Old 08-20-10, 08:37 AM   #21
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^^ Your bike looks great but I think that 50mm stem does look a bit awkward.


Appreciate all the input from everyone.
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Old 08-20-10, 08:43 AM   #22
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why not get a smaller frame and use more seatpost?
Because it's easier to get a shorter stem.
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Old 08-20-10, 10:38 AM   #23
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I use an 100mm and i still fill to upright...
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Old 08-20-10, 10:45 AM   #24
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I have a 50mm big Earl stem
Longer legs. Smaller torso.
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Old 08-20-10, 01:15 PM   #25
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weight distribution:

the frames compared are a merlin aerial 53 and a specialized roubaix 59.
both with a head tube angle of 72.5, the difference in head tube length, 10.3cm and 22.5cm, puts the stem clamp 3.7cm farther back on the larger frame.
22.5cos(72.5 degrees)-10.3cos(72.5 degrees)
the fork lengths, approximately 34.5 and 36cm, and rakes, 3.5 and 4.9cm, puts the front axle 1.8cm further forward on the larger frame.
(36cos(72.5 degrees)+4.9cos(17.5 degrees))-(34.5cos(72.5 degrees)+3.5cos(17.5 degrees))

so a 50mm stem on the smaller frame will put you in the the same position relative to the front axle as a 105mm stem on the larger frame while having a less rearward mass distribution to compensate for.

'twitchiness'

twitchiness would be based on distance of the point of steering from the axis of rotation along the plane perpendicular to the axis. for reference, the the distance to the middle of ourys on 48cm bars on a 90mm stem is about 20cm.

a setup with 42cm bars and a 50mm stem has the hoods 28cm from the top cap bolt.
a setup with 42cm bars and a 100mm stem would have the hoods 31cm away.
while this is a sizable difference, a 50% shorter stem will result in 9% not 50% faster steering. shoulder to palm and shoulder to shoulder measurements vary by a range much greater than that.

to say that using stem shorter than x mm will be twitchy is ridiculous. provided that the reach is correct, moving from a shorter top tube with longer stem to a longer top tube with a shorter stem should take a day at most to become accustomed to.

it should be noted that risers alone are quite asinine, and risers with a short stem are totally idiotic.

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