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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Question about stem length

    I'm really sorry about posting many threads.
    But I have no one to ask about track bike in my town.
    So my question is
    I have two stems(90mm and 110mm)
    If i use 110, i feel like I'm reaching too far, and cannot stay long on drop bar.
    But if I use 90, it's comfortable, and I don't feel like i'm reaching far.
    But i think 90 stem is too short for me, because I can see my front hub is way front of my handle bar.
    I know this is wrong way to measure for track bike or other bike
    But my local bike shop told me that choose what i'm comfortable with.
    So can you guys tell me about right way to choose stem.
    I'm planning to do basic bike fit.
    Do you think that basic bike is worth it($75)?
    I think I am the only one who rides track bike in my town(Delaware)
    Also I think local shops do not have experices with track bike fit(they think like road bike fit)

    Thank you so much for your help
    Also sorry about bad english......

  2. #2
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    Are you riding on a track or on the road? I have never ridden the track. It is different from the road and there may be reasons for a different fit than on the road, but if you are riding a track bike on the road, you want that bike to fit for road riding.

    Good fit is a big question. It starts with having the seat in the right place so your hips are the right distance both above and behind the pedals. This MUST be right before you even think about the handlebars. Next you want to establish the lean forward you want. This varies a lot from one person to the next (and for the same person as he goes from beginner to a trained rider or young to old). Now you want to place the handlebars in a location to achieve that bend. (Note I said "a" location, not "the" location. I find I can place my handlebars on a line that rises as it goes forward; that anywhere along that line for about 4" will work with each location being a little different but all being similar in terms of aerodynamics, comfort and power.)

    If you can vary your stem height, you can probably adjust the stem height to bring your handlebars to a position that intersects that line. Cool. Bike fits!

    The services of a fitter can be invaluable in finding the seat location to start from and a handlebar position (and therefor a point on that line). Having a bike that is a sweet ride can also provide that information.

    You can see that the line between your eyes and the hub will intersect the line I have been talking about that runs from somewhere close to the furthest forward and up position it is possible to get you knees when out of the saddle (this may be along the top tube behind the head tube) to the height of the seat and forward of the front wheel. (You want to be on a short portion of that line roughly in the middle.) So that rule of thumb (eye to hub) isn't worthless, but it gives you "a" point and no more. And obviously, if you play with the bike's front end geometry (head tube angle and fork rake, you are going to move that point even though your body and eye location hasn't changed.

    To get back to your questoin regarding the 90 and 110 cm stems. If that line I described is for you as it is for me, the 90 and 110 mm stems can give you nearly identical positions if you set the 110 1 cm higher than you would set the 90. (For me, 2 cm more horizontal reach has almost exactly the same effect as 1 cm lower stem. VERY convenient!)

    If through a fitter or any other means, you can locate 1) your ideal forward lean and shoulder location and 2) the best bend of your elbow you can locate that line. Get a photo or draw a picture of you in that positon, looking from the side. Take a drafting compass and set it's radius at the distance from shoulder pivot to handlebar in your hand. Draw a circle or arc with the compass using the pivot of your shoulder as the center. Now you will see that for a short distance, you can draw a line along that arc. Put your handlebars on that line. Done!

    Sorry, that was a long answer. But your question was not a simple question. Some of us spend a lifetime trying to get it right.

    Ben

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Thank you so much for your specific advice.
    I'm trying to fit my bike for track.
    But I usually practice on road(I live far away from a velodrome)

    I should try that process that you told me.
    Also I think my saddle is on right position(I used string and weight to find a perfect spot)

    Thank you agian for your help👍👍👍

  4. #4
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    1) In addition to the above, you can also take a video of yourself riding on rollers, and post it here for comments. Lots of experienced eyes on this forum.

    2) this question could also go into "ask your small, random, track related questions here", instead of starting a new thread.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Thank you
    I will try to post with video next time.
    Also I did not know about #2 . So Next time I will post on "ask your small, random, track related questions here"
    Sorry about this problems

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