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MTB drop bar stem options

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MTB drop bar stem options

Old 01-05-20, 09:33 AM
  #1  
MrStroker
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MTB drop bar stem options

Hi all,

I'm putting together what I believe is a 1993 Specialized Hardrock sport. I'm looking at Salsa cowchipper or a similar flared drop bar. The problem is what to do for a stem. All the new bars I'm looking at are 31.8 at the clamp. I'm getting wheels and tires tomorrow so I can try to get an idea of how it fits my wife.

I don't like the look of quill stem adapters and I'm sure it adds a little weight. Nitto makes a nice dirt drop quill stem but it's for 25.4 bars. Nitto also makes the ui-12 with a 31.8 but it's a drop quill stem. Origin8 also makes a riser 31.8 quill stem but I'm not sure if it's going to give me the fit I want.

So without buying multiple stems how should I pick one out. Where should the drops be in relation to the front wheel and what's generally considered a comfortable height?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-05-20, 11:08 AM
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I hate the way the adapters look too, but I would think about finding the "least ugly" adapter, and then using it. ( I do not know what is the least ugly).
Then, you will be able to quickly swap and trade stems, add or subtract spacers, etc. without a huge hassle.
When you swittch MTB to drop bars, you are so far away from where the rabbits live (the rabbits you are hunting), it is going to take quite a few steps to "find the rabbit". With a more modern setup, I can put a handful of spacers and an allen in my pocket, and go for a ride. I have even carried another stem in my pocket, and swapped out on the side of the gravel.

If you then get everything set exactly where you want, then you can save money when buying only one perfect, but much more expensive, quill / drop bar conversion stem, and saving the adapter for another build.
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Old 01-05-20, 11:17 AM
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Added info: For your wife, I would seriously consider having the top of the stem at least as high as the seat.
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Old 01-05-20, 11:28 AM
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You might consider the VO Cigne. You will have to buy an adapter to go with it but it is covered by the stem so you can't tell. https://velo-orange.com/collections/...cts/cigne-stem
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Old 01-05-20, 11:29 AM
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I stick with 25.4 bars and use vintage MTB riser stems. The closer the height of the bars are to the saddle height, the more comfortable the recreational rider will be. I mimic the distance from saddle nose to handlebars on all of my bikes. So you will find the same distance on my Cimarron LE as you will find on my Prologue race bike.
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Old 01-05-20, 11:35 AM
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SOMA Portola. 26 mm clamp. Get these with a Nitto dirt drop stem and you're golden.

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Old 01-05-20, 01:06 PM
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I prefer the Origin8 Gary II bar with a Specialized MTB riser quill stem. This combo has typically put the bar just about an inch above the saddle.
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Old 01-05-20, 01:25 PM
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Before you buy anything make sure you know what size the quill you need is. A lot of 1990's mountain bikes had 25.4 quills as opposed to 22.2.
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Old 01-05-20, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
I hate the way the adapters look too, but I would think about finding the "least ugly" adapter, and then using it. ( I do not know what is the least ugly).
Then, you will be able to quickly swap and trade stems, add or subtract spacers, etc. without a huge hassle.
When you swittch MTB to drop bars, you are so far away from where the rabbits live (the rabbits you are hunting), it is going to take quite a few steps to "find the rabbit". With a more modern setup, I can put a handful of spacers and an allen in my pocket, and go for a ride. I have even carried another stem in my pocket, and swapped out on the side of the gravel.

If you then get everything set exactly where you want, then you can save money when buying only one perfect, but much more expensive, quill / drop bar conversion stem, and saving the adapter for another build.
Much wisdom here. Do this.
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