Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Need suggestions on new stem

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Need suggestions on new stem

Reply

Old 01-02-19, 12:45 PM
  #1  
luevelvet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Need suggestions on new stem

Hey Everyone,

Happy holidays and all of that jazz.

My wife and I both purchased new Fuji bikes on sale at Performance a few months back and while we've become obsessed with riding lately, we're starting to notice little things we can tweak to get our rides a bit more comfortable. One thing is the stem on my wife's bike. When she reaches down on the drops her arms are fully extended and locked and it's really not the most comfortable position for her. So I thought that we could maybe change the stem out for something a little shorter to maybe help with the reach issue. Shorter also means a bit lower if we keep the same angle so I need some advice on how to work this out...

Currently she has a 100mm -/+ 7°. I was thinking 80-90mm but if we drop down that far it will lower her reach a bit. We're not looking for super aero positioning here, rather, just something a bit more comfortable. Maybe something like 85-90mm -/+ 8-10°. Where should we be looking for options? I did some googling and the options seem overwhelming when it comes to brands, sizes etc and I'm just not sure where to look. I even checked out the Performance site (local place to us) but their options are very limited and truth be told, they're in such disarray due to their closeouts that it's a little bit of a mess to expect much.

So where would you look for the most options in regards to stems? Ebay? Any brands I should avoid or try to stick with? I'm thinking weight shouldn't be an issue really so there's no need to go nuts looking for carbon blah blah blahs.

Thanks in advance!
luevelvet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 01:15 PM
  #2  
nfmisso
Nigel
 
nfmisso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,969

Bikes: 1980s and 1990s steel: CyclePro, Nishiki, Schwinn, SR, Trek........

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Amazon is where I go for most stuff.

It is critical to match the steerer and handle bar diameter dimensions. A $20- stem will work fine.

I strongly recommend avoiding adjustable stems, except for maybe fitting to determine the comfortable set up, then replace with a fixed stem.

Adjustable stems have a tendency to rattle and become loose.
nfmisso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 01:43 PM
  #3  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 37,388

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1552 Post(s)
I bought a few inexpensive Control Tech stems from Amazon in order to fit a new frameset, thinking I'd replace with a lighter, fancier stem once I got my fitment dialed in. I kept the inexpensive Control Tech stem. They work great: they hold your bars. You could spend a lot of money on stems but all you'll do is save a few grams, mostly in your wallet.
caloso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 01:45 PM
  #4  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 10,992

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1546 Post(s)
Can she reach the tops of the lever hoods comfortably? How about then also operating bthe brake and shift controls. If she is of small hands or doesn't have strong hands/wrists a bit shorter is better then a tad long. IME I would be surprised if only 10mm of reach decrease would make that big a difference. Also I would look at if a slightly higher bar location would be better. Sight un seen I would think a 7omm x 30* (up) or so would be more likely to make her happier. Remember that when shortening or raising the bars there's a saddle aspect that has also changed.

This is one of the values of working with a LBS who knows about this stuff. Most shops that place a value on happy customers have the ability to do some (at least) basic fitting and often will exchange stems (of equal value) for a period of time after the purchase. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 02:26 PM
  #5  
aggiegrads
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sherwood, OR
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
I agree with Andy - You should work with a bike shop on this.

I had some difficulty with fit that had me throwing all sorts of money at my cockpit trying to take weight off my hands. It turns out that the solution was to get a set-back seat post so I could get my hips further back and balance myself better on the saddle.

It is possible that your wife is having a similar problem - is she locking her elbows to bear weight or to extend reach? The answer makes a big difference in what solution you pursue.
aggiegrads is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 02:33 PM
  #6  
luevelvet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Thank you all for the input!

I will inquire with the LBS to see if they're willing to work with us on this. We just purchased both of our bikes from a local Performance shop but being that they're closing everything was in such disarray I thought I could handle the swap myself. Maybe we can get her in there with the bike and see if they have time to help (it's mad house in there the last few times we went).
luevelvet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 05:06 PM
  #7  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 38,228

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 151 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5836 Post(s)
Short Ramp bars on the bike already? that will help get the brifters closer.. mount them angled up a bit on the drop bend?

You may not be surprised to find a lot of badges applied to stems from a common source.....

yea go to s Shop , options angle up and length

Salsa , QBP , makes a Size o Matic stem ... a shop tool to adjust angle and extension to find what feels right, then you get that dimension of stem ..

https://salsacycles.com/components/c...ize-o-matic_ii

fietsbob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 07:41 AM
  #8  
hermanchauw
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 383

Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Linus Libertine

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
1. Firstly i assume you have a threadless stem because it is a new bike, which makes it easy(er) as there are many different stem geometries available ofr threadless. Any brand is good, even brandless. Not doing aggressive mtbing so anything should hold up fine.

2. For most choices, go to taobao. All kinds of stems i have seen there: 7 degrees, 17 degrees, 25 degrees, 35 degrees, 45 degrees. Most unusual i have seen is 31.8x150mm.

3. Other than length and angle, if you have spacer(s) on top of your stem, you can put them under the stem to increase the height/decrease reach.

4. If there isn't enough space on top of your stem, and the simplest (but not the most elegant) solution would be to buy a steerer extender. This way you don't have to have an specific stem angle but simply adjust the height once you get the length.
hermanchauw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 02:56 PM
  #9  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,186

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1029 Post(s)
If she is too stretched out on the drops, there are "compact" handlebars with shorter reach and drop dimensions.
HillRider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-19, 06:01 PM
  #10  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,908

Bikes: Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel, Centurion Ironman Expert

Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2331 Post(s)
Keep in mind that bike fit changes as the body changes. So go with the flow and make modifications to suit the rider at that level of flexibility and conditioning. When I resumed cycling in 2015 after a 30+ year hiatus I started on a heavy comfort hybrid with long wheelbase, simple spring suspension, padded and springy saddle and upright riding position. And that was perfect... then. Each year after that I got a different used bike, a little more aggressive in riding position, a little lighter, to suit my improving fitness. It took three years of physical therapy to be able to handle a drop bar road bike again.

There are zillions of bike fit videos and tutorials, but this one nails the basics for a comfortable and efficient stem/handlebar fit in 5 minutes, no techie stuff or measurements. It's been more useful to me than any other bike fit video because it covers my specific issues -- permanently damaged C2 from an old neck injury, and shoulder pain from being hit by a car last May.


Last year an experienced cyclist/racer close to my age said I looked too stretched out and uncomfortable on my old school steel road bike. The bike fit me *technically*. But I *felt* too stretched out and uncomfortable on longer rides. I figured it was just up to me to get in better shape and fit my body to the bike.

But, nah. I'm 60 with neck and shoulder injuries, riding a bike set up for a man in his late teens to 30s, prime conditioning and relatively free of injuries.

I swapped out the original stem (125-130mm, if I'm recalling correctly) for a 90mm stem. Huge difference in comfort. I'm 5'11" with long arms so I was surprised how much difference the shorter stem made. But my old school bike with early style aero brake hoods wasn't nearly as comfortable as something like the Specialized Tarmac I test rode last summer. Even with the lower bar, relative to saddle height, the Tarmac was far superior ergonomically.

Eventually I put the longer stem on my old Univega hybrid, which had a longer than normal top tube and, now, a Nitto albatross handlebar. The slightly longer, lower stem was perfect for that setup.

The shorter stem did change the road bike's handling. It's a bit twitchier now on fast, bumpy curves so I need to be very alert. But it's fine on fast downhills on reasonably good pavement, no twitchiness or death-shake at speeds up to 40 mph. Ditto when I stand to pedal for sprints and climbs -- feels stable, not like I'm too far forward.

And I recently changed the fit again, to suit my current needs and different saddle. I moved the saddle forward and up just a bit. But I'll need a longer road ride this weekend to be sure it's right.
canklecat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-19, 07:12 PM
  #11  
02Giant 
Home School Valedictorian
 
02Giant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,571

Bikes: 13 Orbea Orca 02 Giant Cypress 88 Mongoose ATB

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 694 Post(s)
Originally Posted by luevelvet View Post
Hey Everyone,
Currently she has a 100mm -/+ 7°. I was thinking 80-90mm but if we drop down that far it will lower her reach a bit. We're not looking for super aero positioning here, rather, just something a bit more comfortable. Maybe something like 85-90mm -/+ 8-10°. Where should we be looking for options? I did some googling and the options seem overwhelming when it comes to brands, sizes etc and I'm just not sure where to look. I even checked out the Performance site (local place to us) but their options are very limited and truth be told, they're in such disarray due to their closeouts that it's a little bit of a mess to expect much.
Thanks in advance!
The bolded piece confuses me a bit. If you swap a 100 mm 7 degree stem for a 85-90mm 7 degree stem, you are not lowering the reach. The 100mm of your current stem is the distance from the center of the attachment at the head tube to the center of the bar mount. You would reduce the drop slightly going to the 85-90mm length stem in the same degree drop.
If she likes the current drop but the reach is too long, as you suggest go with a shorter reach stem.
__________________
Excuse me if I, have some place in my mind,
Where I go time to time
02Giant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-19, 01:45 PM
  #12  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 3,902
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 904 Post(s)
The difference in height between a 100mm 7˚ stem and a 90mm 7˚ stem is about 1mm- not much of a factor.

You should be able to get much more height adjustment by moving spacers on the steerer tube, so the stem angle is not that important, especially for short stems.
woodcraft is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-19, 02:01 PM
  #13  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 38,228

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 151 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5836 Post(s)
Adjustable angle stems tend to be longer ,, this is 9.5cm

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/stems/mo...mp-black-95mm/
fietsbob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-19, 04:18 PM
  #14  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,908

Bikes: Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel, Centurion Ironman Expert

Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2331 Post(s)
Whether the difference between a 100mm and 90mm stem is significant can be a very individual thing. Due to an old neck injury and permanent C2 damage, it doesn't take much of an adjustment to make the difference between comfort and agony. I make lots of very minor fit adjustments to suit how I feel, or as my flexibility improves (or, in some cases, deteriorates due to inactivity caused by illness and injury).

A stem with reduced reach could also be more aero and still comfortable by lowering the stem/bar a bit. I was able to do that by switching from a long stem to shorter stem and lowering the bar.

But that gets into a whole nuther realm of marginal gains, as Team Sky described it. I'd go for comfort first. That alone can improve speed or endurance over distance just by reducing factors that cause fatigue.
canklecat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-19, 08:32 AM
  #15  
luevelvet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I was at the local Performance Cycle that’s soon closing checking out their clearance stuff and found a 90mm adjustable stem for cheap (20ish). I’m sure I could have spent a few $ less online but it was easy and convenient at the time so I picked it up to use as a gauge. This way we can change up the angel a bit and play with hood height to dial in the right angle. So far she was a little happier at a 30* angle but we took a 10 mile gravel ride which is hardly equivalent to a long road ride. Once we find that sweet spot I’ll pick up a fixed stem and swap it out.

Thanks for the continued comments! I really do enjoy and appreciate everyone’s input. I’ll check out some YT videos as well.

Cheers!

Luis
luevelvet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-19, 01:39 PM
  #16  
luevelvet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
So I called up Performance to see if they would help with other issues we’re having with my wife’s bike (shifting is rough when in the larger chain ring) and it appears they’re no longer helping their customers out. What sucks is the bikes are only 2-3 months old and barely have any miles on them but nope, they no longer care I guess. Looks like an opportunity to learn more about this stuff!
luevelvet is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service