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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 01-16-11, 11:11 AM   #1
Logan344
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90mm vs 100mm Stem Length

I've used a 100mm stem in the past with straight(flat) bars as well as risers and the stem reach felt fine . I'll be switching over to deda pista drops soon and was deciding between a 90mm or 100mm stem. Which of these stems would be more comfortable with drops. Is the difference even noticeable?

My bike size is 56 by the way.

Thanks
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Old 01-16-11, 11:17 AM   #2
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You should use whatever stem gives you the proper reach.
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Old 01-16-11, 11:23 AM   #3
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A 100mm stem gives me the proper reach with risers/flat bars. I wanted to know if the same would apply to drops as well.

Edit: Is there any way to change the thread title? I just realized I made a huge error by typing 10mm rather than 100mm

Last edited by Logan344; 01-16-11 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-16-11, 11:35 AM   #4
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10mm is barely a difference
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Old 01-16-11, 11:36 AM   #5
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I changed the title.

There really isn't a way any of us would be able to give you an answer because no two bodies are alike and different things are comfortable to different people. Try it with your existing stem. If you need a shorter one, you'll know.
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Old 01-16-11, 11:57 AM   #6
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It depends entirely on where on the bars you will be riding most of the time. If you are on the drops most of the time, then you will be reaching farther than you would on flat bars or risers. The same issue comes up when you switch from flat / risers to bullhorns. Since the difference in reach from flats / risers to drops will undoubtedly be more than 10mm, it stands to reason that you will require a greater change in stem length to maintain the same riding position. When I size a stem, I consider the totality of the setup, including bar reach and drop, bar width, bar rise / drop, hand orientation (palms down horizontal, palms in vertical etc). Personally, I don't like using track drops on the road, since they don't offer a comfortable position on the tops, and riding the drops for extended periods is tiring unless you set the bars up very high.
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Old 01-16-11, 01:42 PM   #7
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Try it with your existing stem. If you need a shorter one, you'll know.
^^^This.

Another thing to take into account is that Deda pista bars have a pretty deep drop from the top, much deeper than standard road bars. I found them to be pretty uncomfortable over long periods of time on the street. You should try experimenting with flipping your stem up and down to see how that affects fit too. A little extra height will make those deep drops more comfy on the street.
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Old 01-16-11, 02:27 PM   #8
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100mm is always better, 90mm will cause your hubs to turn into peanut butter sandwiches.
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Old 01-16-11, 08:54 PM   #9
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if you ride primarily on the tops, the reach will be identical and your stem should not change. if you think you will be riding on hoods or in the drops, the reach will increase significantly.

i had a set of road drops (deda newton) on my sputnik for many, many miles. got some track bars (deda pista) to look the part, and absolutely hated them on the same stem. the reach was *way* longer than the road drops, and they didn't transition very well into the brake levers (surprise). i quickly sold them off and went back to road drops (this time 3ttt rotundos). had the lever blending not been such an issue i might have tried a shorter stem, but as has already been said, i found them less than ideal for any real road miles.
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Old 01-16-11, 09:04 PM   #10
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100mm is always better, 90mm will cause your hubs to turn into peanut butter sandwiches.
I knew my hubs were feeling a little squishy!
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Old 01-16-11, 09:08 PM   #11
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This is where a bike shop or a friend with a bunch of stems comes in handy.

If you ask a shop for help, it's only right to buy the stem from them.
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Old 01-17-11, 05:54 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the helpful responses everyone.

Even though 100mm is the right fit for risers/flats, I'm leaning toward the 90mm due to the extra reach of the drops I'll be using.
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Old 01-17-11, 06:46 PM   #13
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If you don't want to guess about the actual reach of the stem, use this cool online stem calculator. http://www.brightspoke.com/t/bike-stem-calculator.html

The angle of the stem in relation to your head tube angle will determine how much reach a stem really is.

Looks like it is made for threadless stems though, not sure if that will help you out.

You should find out the exact reach of your handlebar too.

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Old 01-17-11, 07:23 PM   #14
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This is where a bike shop or a friend with a bunch of stems comes in handy.

If you ask a shop for help, it's only right to buy the stem from them.
One more reason I support my shop whenever I can afford to. You're not only purchasing a product, you're building a relationship which leads to proper advice, free repairs, etc
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Old 01-17-11, 07:34 PM   #15
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Most of my riding is done on the hoods or just in front of them. That would be a bit further reach than if I had riser bars so the 90mm is not a bad idea. You might even consider getting a stem with a bit more rise to bring the bars towards you. I'd ask the LBS if you could try a 90mm before you buy.
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Old 01-17-11, 09:47 PM   #16
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FWIW it's commonly said that a bike with a 90mm stem is too big. It tends to make the bike twitchy.
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Old 01-17-11, 10:51 PM   #17
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Old 01-18-11, 07:26 AM   #18
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I used to have a 100mm stem. I switched to a 70mm stem and the bike got less twitchy for me. Why? I have a short torso and a twice dislocated shoulder that does not like to extend for long periods of time. The bike fits better now, and my arms are in a more comfortable position to steer.
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Old 01-18-11, 04:01 PM   #19
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FWIW it's commonly said that a bike with a 90mm stem is too big. It tends to make the bike twitchy.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:02 PM   #20
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FWIW it's commonly said that a bike with a 90mm stem is too big. It tends to make the bike twitchy.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:19 PM   #21
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Old 01-18-11, 09:34 PM   #22
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