Old 03-20-08, 08:04 PM
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The shorter the stem, the less leverage you have on the handlebars to move the front wheel left and right. It might not seem an issue in normal riding, but if you fit a large handlebar bag with some heavier stuff in it, and have a front rack with loaded panniers as well, this becomes a significant issue in close-quarters maneouvring, especially in town and city traffic.

Personally, I wouldn't think of riding anything shorter than around 80mm. 50mm would be far too short in my estimation. My preference is for between 100 and 110mm.

The need for a short stem means the bike overall doesn't fit you properly. The top tube is too long, especially if the seat has to be moved forward on the mount. I would suggest you consider expanding your search for other bikes with similar dimensions but with a shorter top tube. Or, ask Surly if they can build a frame with the shorter TT without compromising the other dimensions too much.
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