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  1. #1
    I'm one of the freaks. hujev's Avatar
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    advice on handlebar stem reach on touring bike

    hi - i'm building up a touring bike, and have not had to think about stem reach / extension in a long time - anybody have some good advice, or websites that discuss this?

    to get an idea of what i'm wondering about (not a mountain bike, not a cross, etc.) - i'll be using, most likely, a 58cm surly LHT (with 700c wheels), randonneur bars, and this:
    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/handl...ape/16132.html
    stem.

    since i can't test the different lengths, just wat to take all consideration before buying! of course, this is not a request for somebody to tell me what reach i need; i'm just looking for info on what i should take into consideration when i do it myself, or what others have based their decisions upon!

    ... haven't been able to find any websites that discuss stem length in any depth...

    any advice?
    robert
    http://rjl.su

  2. #2
    Year-round cyclist
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    Peter White also has a good article on the subject.

    If you have another bike to compare from, you should be OK if you take those measurements for a start. Just don't cut that steerer until you are totally sure about your height!
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
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    I am currently going through the process of fitting a custom touring bike and this is one of the issues that's come up. The best advice I've heard is to visit your LBS that stocks touring bikes, be up front about wanting to try one in your size to compare stems on, and then do just that. A good LBS will let you try a bike in your size and change out the stems until you find one that you're happy with.

    Buy the stem from them.

  4. #4
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    You start off with an adjustable stem then convert to a stronger, lighter fixed of the correct size.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    There is an awesome webpage with a graphic that shows equivalent stem lengths per angle. For example, let's say you used to ride a 12cm stem with a -17 degree rise and you wanted to get a new stem with an 84 degree rise, but didn't know what length to get to get the equivalent reach of your old stem. Well, this webpage had a graphic on there that allowed to to figure that out. It's awesome! Bad news though. I thought I had it bookmarked, but I didn't. Now, I can't find it anywhere.

  6. #6
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    You can use the Stem Angle Calculator on the Zinn Cycles website:

    http://www.zinncycles.com/stemFit.aspx

    It will tell you the reach and rise of a stem based on it's length and angle. You can put in different numbers and compare the answers yourself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hujev
    hi - i'm building up a touring bike, and have not had to think about stem reach / extension in a long time - anybody have some good advice, or websites that discuss this?

    to get an idea of what i'm wondering about (not a mountain bike, not a cross, etc.) - i'll be using, most likely, a 58cm surly LHT (with 700c wheels), randonneur bars, and this:
    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/handl...ape/16132.html
    stem.

    since i can't test the different lengths, just wat to take all consideration before buying! of course, this is not a request for somebody to tell me what reach i need; i'm just looking for info on what i should take into consideration when i do it myself, or what others have based their decisions upon!

    ... haven't been able to find any websites that discuss stem length in any depth...

    any advice?

    I'm in the exact same boat(bike) as you. I'm building up an old Japaneese roadie with a 1" quill stem, 26mm clamp to fit with moustache bars. What would be best:... LBS rented Look Ergo stems, you could ride with them, then swap 'em out. My advice (probably what I will do) is to look on ebay for a Look Ergo, buy it(there's 3 right now), then sell it when you figure what you need. It will take a few hour of riding and adjusting to come to the perfect fit. Make sure you know the clamp size, diameter of your stem, threaded/unthreaded before you buy one. If you need a 1" quill, threaded and a 26mm clamp let me know. We might be able to buy one together. Good luck, Charlie

  8. #8
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandregg
    You can use the Stem Angle Calculator on the Zinn Cycles website:

    http://www.zinncycles.com/stemFit.aspx

    It will tell you the reach and rise of a stem based on it's length and angle. You can put in different numbers and compare the answers yourself.

    The Zinn stem calculator doesn't work. For sake of a clear example, let's say I have a bike with a normal 73 degree head tube.

    Ex: Now, let's say that I'm an old timer who used to ride a 12cm stem that has a -17 degree rise with a 73 degree headtube. Now, I'm interested in getting a new Deda stem that has an 80 degree rise. What stem should length I get? The Zinn calculator doesn't answer that question.

  9. #9
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    The Zinn calculator works just fine for what it was intended to do, which is tell you the rise and reach of a given stem. I put in the following numbers,

    Clamp Height: 35mm
    Stem length: 120mm
    Head Tube Angle: 73
    Stem Angle: -17

    This gave me: rise 17.5, reach 120

    Now I replace Stem Angle with 80.

    This gave me: rise 79.08, reach 102.99

    It took me six tries at entering different Stem Lengths to get to 140, which yields a reach of 120.16. That took me under ten seconds.

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    if you want a fairly upright touring position, then touch your
    elbow to the nose of your saddle. Your fingertips are how far it should be to your handlebar. Add a couple inches if you want a roughly 45 degree angle. This assumes your current saddle doesn't have a really long nose, of course.

    The saddle is usually even with the bars on touring bikes. My bars are higher than that.

  11. #11
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Why not just get a Nitto Technomic Long stem and crank it up?
    (hmm... assumes a threadless headset... sorry)

  12. #12
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    Earlier this season I found myself a Softride suspension stem- 1" quill, 120mm version (shortest one I think they made) on Ebay. Added to my good old Japanses Kuwahara Caravan touring bike.
    What a great addition. Much less hand/arm/shoulder/neck pain. Much less fatigue after 8 hrs. And the Softride design provides no compromise in stability and control even when I'm yarding on the bars.
    Also since it's a parallelogram design, the bars stay level at all points in the suspension travel.
    One of the best touring equipment additions I've made to the bike. If you can find one, I highly recommend it.

    Good riding.
    Lou

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