So, every rider should know, not what stem length and angle they like. They should take note of how far they like their hands behind the front axle. That is where steering happens.
While this sounds like a much easier way to measure, I always thought that it was more a measurement from the bottom bracket to the saddle to get proper leg position, then from the saddle to the bars to get basic bar position. The axle would only be a good spot to measure from once you have figured out the first part, by itself it does no good. And movement from one bike to another causes this process to start over unless the frames have the same specs. However, I would agree that hand position relative to axle is important for handling and is a driver for getting a proper frame fit and is the reason that you should really pay attention to top tube length so that your hands are in the best position relative to the axle. With standard size bars and frame angles along with proper frame fit this almost always means a 10-12 stem for the typical racer and you are set to go.
I understand your thoughts that it doesn't matter how long the stem is, it is all about hand placement so a 13/14 stem with a short bar is the same as a 10/11 stem with a long bar. I am going to be very relieved when I just get over this hurdle and can go ride my bike. Thanks for the extra info to ponder as I figure out my new bars. I will post a pic in the bike section when all done ... hopefully in action.
Marin Stelvio, Pogliaghi road, Panasonic track, Dolan DF3
I'm not a Scatto owner, but I will add that for a lot of more normally sized riders (I'm 5'10" with typical arm/leg/torso lengths) the currently in vogue lo-pro frames with a big-reach/drop sprint bar yields a shortish stem and a lot of spacers. On my road bike I ride a slammed 120mm stem with Pro Vibe 7S bars, but on my Dolan it's 100mm flipped upside down stem on top of 25mm of spacers to my Easton EC90. So a Scatto would actually make sense in my case. Anybody wanna donate theirs?