Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Why slammed stems?

Old 04-13-19, 09:52 AM
  #1  
jade408
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,360

Bikes: Working on replacing my stolen Soma Buena Vista Mixte

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Why slammed stems?

So I was looking at another forum, and someone posted a great vintage bike. Setup pretty typically for that era - in terms of saddle height vs handlebar height.

And one of the first comments was “that position looks weird, can you slam the stem?”

And my brain was like
A: slamming a quill stem looks unbalanced.
B: slammed threadless stems look weird
C: does anyone intentionally get a bike that fits perfectly with a slammed stem and eliminate all future adjustments
D: why is this a trend for regular people

What do you think about the slammed threads?

jade408 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 09:57 AM
  #2  
onre
Junior Member
 
onre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Akaa, Finland
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I don't know whether I'm just a particularly disproportional human being, but for me a slammed stem with a correctly-sized classic frame would require straight or riser handlebars instead of drops.
onre is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:10 AM
  #3  
phenry24 
Senior Member
 
phenry24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
A: absolutely agree
B: I think they look good if the stem is long enough and has an angle between -17 and 0 degrees. A short slammed stem or one that has a positive rise just looks weird.
C: I've gotten more flexible since I bought my CAAD to where a slammed 120 mm -6* stem works great with my handlebars. Other bikes have spacers under the stem because I'd rather have a good fit than a good look, but if I can have both
D: most of us are fashion victims one way or another
phenry24 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:13 AM
  #4  
ThermionicScott 
hungry
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,913

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1806 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
So I was looking at another forum, and someone posted a great vintage bike. Setup pretty typically for that era - in terms of saddle height vs handlebar height.

And one of the first comments was “that position looks weird, can you slam the stem?”

And my brain was like
A: slamming a quill stem looks unbalanced.
B: slammed threadless stems look weird
C: does anyone intentionally get a bike that fits perfectly with a slammed stem and eliminate all future adjustments
D: why is this a trend for regular people

What do you think about the slammed threads?

"Slam that stem" is an in-joke among roadies, some of whom think a bike looks more "pro" when the stem is lowered as far as it can go. I wouldn't concern myself with it.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498

Last edited by ThermionicScott; 04-13-19 at 10:18 AM.
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:26 AM
  #5  
crank_addict
Senior Member
 
crank_addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,340
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1027 Post(s)
Its about going faster.

1- Making ones body a more efficient push through the air.

2- Affects handling, weight distribution and center of gravity.

Unless one is racing, it really doesn't matter to 99.9 percent of cyclist. Most seek a balance of comfort and aero.

Funny thought. There's a video of cycling blokes testing a fat gut vs being trim and affect on aerodynamics.
crank_addict is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:30 AM
  #6  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,178

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1629 Post(s)


These are 2 with stem lower than most of my others. Are these stems ‘slammed?

Depends on frame size and mostly headtube length, doesn’t it?

On a 58cm frame with shorter headtube , I get this look.





__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello SuperRecord/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser

Last edited by Wildwood; 04-13-19 at 10:39 AM.
Wildwood is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:35 AM
  #7  
Last ride 76 
Senior Member
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Just moved...1 km S. Now above the "Bike Path" ( River Road, Piermont, NY)
Posts: 537

Bikes: Old Bikes: '74 Ron Cooper, Crashed and repaired '76, restored 2015!!! need restoration '74 Witcomb track bike (bought in '75) '75 Carlsbad Masi, bought in '76 New bikes: 84-85 Gios torino "Professional" '76 Olmo Competition C Titiano

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Was Eddy"s stem "slammed"?
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:38 AM
  #8  
phenry24 
Senior Member
 
phenry24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
These are 2 with stem lower than most of my others. Are these stems ‘slammed?
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)

The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.
phenry24 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:41 AM
  #9  
Last ride 76 
Senior Member
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Just moved...1 km S. Now above the "Bike Path" ( River Road, Piermont, NY)
Posts: 537

Bikes: Old Bikes: '74 Ron Cooper, Crashed and repaired '76, restored 2015!!! need restoration '74 Witcomb track bike (bought in '75) '75 Carlsbad Masi, bought in '76 New bikes: 84-85 Gios torino "Professional" '76 Olmo Competition C Titiano

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Slammed?

Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post


These are 2 with stem lower than most of my others. Are these stems ‘slammed?

Depends on frame size and headtube length, doesn’t it?

No, they are fine.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:42 AM
  #10  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,693

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
Was Eddy"s stem "slammed"?
Nope. And I hear he was pretty fast.

People really did not slam stems during the level top tube era, at least not all the way. If you wanted a more aggressive position, you went for a longer stem, a smaller frame, or deep drop bars, or all three.

Or maybe you moved your levers slightly below the plane of the drops, like some Italian pros.

Wildwood's examples are about as low as anyone went.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:43 AM
  #11  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,178

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1629 Post(s)
Originally Posted by phenry24 View Post
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)

The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.
i usually cannot get a quill to ‘slam’ because it won’t insert any further. I agree with poster who said it’s mostly a phrase ‘Slam that stem’. I thought it only applied to threadless set-ups - until this thread.

__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello SuperRecord/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser
Wildwood is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:45 AM
  #12  
Fahrenheit531 
Nevermind. Wait, what?
 
Fahrenheit531's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,268

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount ('71) and Volare ('78); Raleigh Competition GS ('79)

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 486 Post(s)
FTW
__________________
A race bike in any era is a highly personal choice that at its "best" balances the requirements of fit, weight, handling, durability and cost tempered by the willingness to toss it and oneself down the pavement at considerable speed. ~Bandera
Fahrenheit531 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:48 AM
  #13  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,693

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Originally Posted by phenry24 View Post
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)

The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.
That's applying modern aesthetics to vintage bikes. Nobody would have done that. If you showed up for a club ride, you'd have been laughed at, and then probably dropped on purpose out in the boonies. Think yer fast, do you?
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 10:49 AM
  #14  
jade408
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,360

Bikes: Working on replacing my stolen Soma Buena Vista Mixte

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
FTW
Obviously that bike isn’t that fast it’s blue. Needs to be red.
jade408 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 11:15 AM
  #15  
Last ride 76 
Senior Member
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Just moved...1 km S. Now above the "Bike Path" ( River Road, Piermont, NY)
Posts: 537

Bikes: Old Bikes: '74 Ron Cooper, Crashed and repaired '76, restored 2015!!! need restoration '74 Witcomb track bike (bought in '75) '75 Carlsbad Masi, bought in '76 New bikes: 84-85 Gios torino "Professional" '76 Olmo Competition C Titiano

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Originally Posted by phenry24 View Post
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)
e
The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.

Stem's pretty long too. Unless the rider has a very unusual morphology, the frame's probably too big and/or they're not very comfortable . Need a pic that shows full bike to actually know anything.
I don't think even Greg Le was slamming his stems (before the Day Everything Changed). - But now I'm gonna have to go look...
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 11:24 AM
  #16  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,367

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 469 Post(s)
Originally Posted by phenry24 View Post
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)

The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.
That stem later (after that picture) was actually more than slammed. I first shortened the steerer, I then used a modified top nut and removed/swapped parts so that the cut steerer was flush with the top of the thin, re-worked locknut, then used grease to "seal" the area where the quill enters the steerer.

But that's not all! I further added an inside radius to the end of the steerer, only toward the front, just enough to allow a few mm further lowering without the steerer or nut notching into the stem.

The photo above is actually the BEFORE photo, I took another couple of photos after the completed modifications, and shown below.

Not sure why I went to all of the trouble, just that I really wanted to go out and do some hard riding on that bike. I guess that last-gen Shimano New 600EX friction-shift drivetrain seemed too good to just flip onto the market, it was the most current/advanced friction setup to be released prior to the arrival of SIS, and remained in the lineup even after 600 SIS was brought out.

So ironic, the original stem is a full-length Technomic, I haven't even re-wrapped the bars so it's still on there!

The work was mostly a success, the fit on the bike is pretty good but the bike does have a somewhat high front-center distance from the bb to the front axle, meaning that drafting a lead rider has the tire a little closer to the lead rider's tire.

I've added pictures for clarity.

New hardware, before cutting:


New vs. old hardware:


After cutting and reassembly:




Last edited by dddd; 04-13-19 at 11:47 AM.
dddd is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 11:25 AM
  #17  
SurferRosa
Senior Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 581

Bikes: vintage 531 & campy

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
What do you think about the slammed threads?
I dunno. Slam this one and let's see what it looks like.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 11:27 AM
  #18  
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,588
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
FTW
that was a "thing" for a while.
Was it before aero bars showed up? I don't recall...
It certainly made for some radical bikes, though, as evidenced by the Schwinn Paramount track bike featured in Bicycle Guide back in the early(?) 90's....



Steve in Peoria
steelbikeguy is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 02:01 PM
  #19  
Chombi1 
Senior Member
 
Chombi1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,678
Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 931 Post(s)

My stems are quite low, but never slammed. All from getting used to laid out, flat back position riding I developed, emulating (at least, tried to.....) the Guimard's Gitane pro team in the 80's
I've been always surprised though, that even at this low stem position, how I'm not that far from the minimum insertion line with most of my stems...

Last edited by Chombi1; 04-13-19 at 02:08 PM.
Chombi1 is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 02:27 PM
  #20  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,178

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1629 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
That stem later (after that picture) was actually more than slammed. I first shortened the steerer, I then used a modified top nut …….. But that's not all! I further added an inside radius to the end of the steerer, only toward the front, just enough to allow a few mm further lowering without the steerer or nut notching into the stem.

The photo above is actually the BEFORE photo, I took another couple of photos after the completed modifications, and shown below.
I can totally understand slamming a stem on a large frame that is comfortable, but has a tall headtube when a lower position is desired.

That was my situation with a big '72 Raleigh SuperCourse (25"?) with a headtube above 20cm. Could have benefitted my aero position, even with a 14cm stem.
__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello SuperRecord/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser
Wildwood is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 07:10 PM
  #21  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,421

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

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2548 Post(s)
Originally Posted by phenry24 View Post
They're definitely low, but for a quill stem I think this is 'slammed': (not my pic by the way)

The only way to go lower would be a more negative angle on the stem.
Yikes. Do that on a tapered headset with most quill stems and the wedge won't grip properly.

Ah, I missed the followup post where @dddd explained that setup.
canklecat is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 07:19 PM
  #22  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,421

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

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2548 Post(s)
Classic steel road bikes were set up differently. In some photos of Jacques Anquetil you can see he's riding a frame slightly too large for him. He's more stretched out but with relatively little handlebar drop from the saddle. Suited his strength as a time trialist. And it suited his toe-down pedaling style, although he must have needed to sit more heavily in the saddle to manage that unique pedaling style. Reportedly he experimented with lots of crank arm lengths, from much shorter to much longer than average.

My Ironman and Univega are just on the upper margin of being my size. I can straddle them but just barely -- especially the Univega with fatter tires. But I like 'em that way. I'm a little stretched out but don't need much bar drop.

The new-to-me Trek 5900 is a little smaller than the Centurion, and even with a long stem it has a comfortable reach. But it has a lot more handlebar-saddle drop, although it's not quite slammed and probably never will be. It's comfortable enough right now. It's just different, not better or worse. I'd need to be a lot stronger and faster to see any real difference in my average times/speeds due to the aero advantage. I may have noticed some difference on a long slog into a headwind incline the other day. As @texaspandj told me, it rides like an Ironman, just lighter.

Looking back at photos and videos of Lance Armstrong on the Trek 5900 and 5500, it appeared he also preferred a slightly larger frame for a more stretched out position, without an unusually low handlebar relative to saddle height. I'm guessing this goes back to his earlier experience as a time trialist in triathlons.

I notice in watching GCN videos some cyclists, including Simon, one of the presenters, some riders of more modern bikes prefer a somewhat smaller frame and shorter top tube to reduce the reach (and weight), with much lower handlebars. They'll choose a stem to balance out the two.

Last edited by canklecat; 04-13-19 at 10:34 PM.
canklecat is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 07:28 PM
  #23  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,693

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dddd View Post

That makes sense now that I see the whole bike. Perfectly reasonable riding position, and cool customizing to get there. Sorry, I wasn't trying to dis it, just conveying the prejudices and prevailing views of 'cool' WRT the setups of years past. Various equivalents of slamming your stem certainly existed BITD too. Generally if one chose a larger frame, it was to be more comfortable and get the bars up higher. If you wanted a sort of moderate typical 'race' position like above, most would have chosen a smaller frame.


RE the OP: Slamming your stem is cool because that's what pro racers do. IMO it doesn't really make sense for a recreational rider. It certainly doesn't make sense on a vintage bike (with some exceptions, as in above). There were several things that changed in bike design that allowed "slamming" to make any sense at all. Top tubes slope up now, rather than being level, and therefore the stem doesn't need to go as high anymore to get the bars where they need to be. Secondly, brake levers have slowly migrated up almost a couple inches to be level with the tops of the bars. They used to be about halfway down to the drops. Also, dropped bars are not as dropped as they used to be. Lastly, threadless steertubes and stems have made it inconvenient to adjust bar height. It's easier for race mechanics just to cut the steer tubes all the same and maybe swap out a stem if the rider want to adjust height.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 07:48 PM
  #24  
RobbieTunes 
Old and in the way
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Very Southern Indiana
Posts: 25,328
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 330 Post(s)
Fit is everything.
Quills look funny (to me) slammed.

Modern threadless stems look OK (to me) if they're parallel to the ground and slammed,
but the bike has to fit that way, or it's just a look.

Sometimes, when converting a threaded steerer/stem to a threadless setup, there is not a lot of steerer to work with.

The "balanced" appearance really depends on the fit just happening to be right.
__________________
Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 04-13-19, 07:57 PM
  #25  
mstateglfr
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 7,813

Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '87 Schwinn Prelude, '90 Fuji Saratoga, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
I always chuckle to myself due to this issue when I scroll thru the 'hot or not' thread in the road forum.
It's an entertaining thread in a similar way to how trashy reality tv is entertaining- it's completely vain and superficial. As a result, a ton of bikes have comically slammed stems and just look uncomfortable as all get out. Its funny how I don't ever see that style of setup when riding...not even when riding amongst 10000-20000 people each day on RAGBRAI. Its as if that style really isn't comfortable, unless the frame design has a built in stack height that effectively sets the bars up to a typical position.

to each their own though. Some like bars to point at the crank and brake levers to be way up high. Some like riding frames thst are too small and use technomic stems to compensate.
Many of us have bikes set up that arent...traditional.


I really do get a kick out of seeing bikes with a slammed stem and an inch of spacers above the stem. Thats a bike that more often than not will have its bars set higher after the beauty shots are taken.
mstateglfr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.