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Old 11-13-10, 12:24 PM   #1
john426
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Adjusatable stem for off road use?

I have a problem and I am not sure where to post this on the Forum. I have a Diamondback Outback mountain bike that I want to convert to a touring bicycle and occasionally use off road. The problem is that the present handlebars are too low and too far forward to be comfortable. My wrists start to hurt after more than an hour of riding. I saw an adjustable stem on an internet bike parts site, but I have been warned that you can not put an adjustable stem and use the bicycle off road. This stem is sold as a mountain bike stem. I plan on doing a camping tour that will be off road so I need to know if this is true or just a lot of hot air. I went to my local bike shop and they foretold of doom and gloom while using an adjustable stem. They suggest a riser which will bring the stem up, but not necessarily closer to my seat. Any suggestions?

More information: I have a 1 1/8 threadless stem.

John
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Old 11-13-10, 04:52 PM   #2
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I've used an adjustable stem (in my case, a Nashbar) here and there on my mountain bikes. It's not great for offroading: the slight slop in the main pivot can really be felt when you're moving the bars around, and I'd be concerned about the long term durability of this pivot. For casual off roading or dirt roads, I think it would be OK.
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Old 11-13-10, 11:13 PM   #3
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I've had adjustable stems on a hybrid(ride the hybrid on bumpy Texas oil roads)and on my touring bike for a long time. Never a bit of trouble. Long as you're not running technical, ought to be just fine.
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Old 11-13-10, 11:26 PM   #4
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I used an ITM adjustable stem for a while on my cyclocross bike on trail rides. 120mm stem with road bars. No real jumps or any big drop offs, but some seriously bumpy stuff and it never slipped. It did squeak a lot though.
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Old 11-13-10, 11:47 PM   #5
AsanaCycles
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try a short stem, with rise (i.e. 80mm with 15deg of rise)
and use
a Titec H Bar, or J Bar
Ergon grips

Last edited by AsanaCycles; 11-13-10 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 11-13-10, 11:49 PM   #6
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I wouldn't have much faith in an adjustable stem
instead pick a setup that allows you adjust your body position(s) while riding.
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Old 11-13-10, 11:53 PM   #7
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Specific stems? I have an ITM CNC adjustable threadless, the angle clamping force
is done with a very solid engagement .
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Old 11-14-10, 12:43 PM   #8
john426
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Thanks for all of the replies. I will look for a solid stem with a higher angleand failing that get the adjustable stem. I have a hybrid bike that is very comfortable to ride and I will use that as a template for my touring mountain bike. Thanks for the info.

John
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Old 11-14-10, 01:12 PM   #9
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Check out the adjustable stems made by Specialized. They use eccentric shims to change the angle of the stem. They're relatively inexpensive, have very little weight penalty, and are rock solid. Specialized uses them on just about every road and mountain bike. The only downside is that you're limited to a fixed number of angles (usually 10 or 12, IIRC) rather than an infinite number. Good Stuff!
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