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Short Stem - Miyata 1000

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Short Stem - Miyata 1000

Old 06-15-20, 08:03 PM
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illenvillain
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Short Stem - Miyata 1000

So I just took my 81-82 Miyata 1000 on its first ride and wow, even tho I put in a hard 50km on my track bike the last 3 days. I just didnt want to get off, a short spin around the block turned into an effortless 2 hour ride. It simply soaks up the road and wants to keep going forward. The bike came with a goofy looking 60mm Nitto stem because it was too small for the owner and without thinking twice I ordered a 100mm replacement because thats what I normally ride on a frame this size. Anyway I find the more upright position Im in with this stem really comfortable and if I plan on doing long days in the saddle my lower back will definitely thank me. Im curious if a longer stem has handling benefits and is this normal because my knees are almost hitting the handle bars when Im climbing or do I stick with the granny stem to save my back?

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Old 06-15-20, 08:08 PM
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The shorter stem will quicken the steering.
A longer stem will tend to slow the steering, giving less of an effortless power-steering feel through tight corners.

This bike's geometry likely gives best steering using a somewhat shorter stem than on a race bike with steeper headtube angle.

Small changes in stem length can have a quite-noticeable effect on steering response.

Since the fit now feels good, be sure to move the saddle forward if a longer stem extension is used. Often riders will move their saddle rearward as they find themself meeting the rear edge of the saddle, but often the correct thing to do is to raise the saddle instead, so as not to stretch out the reach to the bars.

Having a rearward saddle position forces the rider to bend more sharply at the waist, and increases the time, stress and effort needed to rise off of the saddle for any steep climbs.

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Old 06-15-20, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The shorter stem will quicken the steering.
A longer stem will tend to slow the steering, giving less of an effortless power-steering feel through tight corners.

This bike's geometry likely gives best steering using a somewhat shorter stem than on a race bike with steeper headtube angle.

Small changes in stem length can have a quite-noticeable effect on steering response.
Do I go for an 80mm to split the difference?
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Old 06-16-20, 04:53 AM
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This situation recently cropped up in my life also. I learned that a shorter reach from the saddle to the bars, coupled with a longer reach to the crank center, makes for a much more comfortable ride for me. This setup allows for my saddle height to come close, in elevation, to my handlebar, hence, I do not have to assume the aggressive crouch on smaller bikes.

Now I ride alone. I never (well, take that with a grain of salt) race or push a bike to its limits. I am content to clip in, sit more upright and not have to curl my busted neck too much. The neck thing is, literally and figuratively, a pain. Were it me attempting to address the knee banging concern, I would just saw a wee bit off of the bar ends and then Bob is, indeed, your uncle.
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Old 06-16-20, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
T I would just saw a wee bit off of the bar ends and then Bob is, indeed, your uncle.
I meant my knees are almost hitting the handle bars not bar ends. Also my seat height is probably 2 inches higher than my stem and the bike feels very twitchy when riding one handed.

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Old 06-16-20, 05:58 AM
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illenvillain , what is the length of the top-tube, center of set-tube to center of head-tube?
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Old 06-16-20, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
illenvillain , what is the length of the top-tube, center of set-tube to center of head-tube?
53cm and Im 5'8 with 81-82cm inseam
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Old 06-16-20, 06:48 AM
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How about a taller 100mm stem? Start with with the bars at seat height and and work your way down.
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Old 06-16-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by illenvillain View Post
53cm and Im 5'8 with 81-82cm inseam
That seems very short for a touring frame. What is the frame size?
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Old 06-16-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
That seems very short for a touring frame. What is the frame size?
Its 53cm frame. Maybe my lower back just doesnt want to be bent over too much anymore.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by illenvillain View Post
Its 53cm frame. Maybe my lower back just doesnt want to be bent over too much anymore.
I see, my 83 Miyata catalog has the top tube at 53.5cm.

Short stem = more upright position
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Old 06-16-20, 12:49 PM
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Is 82cm your inseam or PBH?

A 55cm or larger frame would offer a more upright riding position, what with the longer headtube dimension, etc. 80s Miyatas are nice in that the top tube center-to-center measurements are generally ~2cm shorter than the seat tube (center to top). I rode 57cm frames for years before moving up to 60cm.

French Fit basics if you aren't already familiar:
-----------------------
Source: Competitive Cyclist

"This fit is so named because of its legacy in the traditions of endurance road riding such as brevet rides and randonneuring. However, the French Fit isn't merely about touring, riding long, or even sitting more upright. It is about getting the most out of a bike that fits larger and provides much more comfort to the neck, back, and saddle position.

While the Competitive Fit generally puts you on the smallest appropriate frame and the Eddy Fit sizes up a bit or raises the bars, the French Fit puts you on the largest appropriate frame. While this bucks some current conventional wisdom - and is, in fact, the least commonly used position of the three we espouse - it is still the position advocated by some of cycling's wisest and most experienced designers, who also happened to be riders who like to go fast and far with an ideal amount of comfort.

This fit features a taller front end (with a larger frame and/or head tube extension and stem), handlebar to saddle drops that are much closer to level, and favors riders who are looking to ease stress on the neck and back, ride as long and as far as they like, and are not concerned with the looking like an aggressive professional. In comparison to the Eddy Fit, the rider has even more weight rearward and a slightly more upright position such that "hands in the drops position" is close to the Competitive Fit's "hands on the hoods position." Some may say that this was not how modern race bikes were "meant" to fit but we have learned that the French Fit's size up tradition works great on the most modern bikes.

By increasing the frame size we raise the bars without radical riser stems and still create balance and proportion with respect to the important knee-to-pedal dynamic. It is important to remember that as frames get larger the top tube effectively shortens. This means that the longer top tube on a larger frame is appropriate because as the bars come "up" and the ratio of saddle to bar drop lessens, the rider achieves a "reach" from the saddle to the handlebars that is just right!

We recommend this fit for riders who really want to be comfortable and fast over longer distances. Please note that the French Fit disregards all emphasis on stand over height (standing with the bike between your legs and your shoes flat on the ground) because the French Fit school believes that this measurement has little actual value regarding fit. An ideal compromise for those who can't shed their concern regarding stand over height is the choice of a "sized up" compact design to achieve a higher relative handlebar position.

Nevertheless, a French Fit can work with traditional, non-sloping frames as well. As an example, a person who might ride a 55cm or 56cm frame to achieve the Competitive Fit, might ride as much as a 59cm or 60cm in the French Fit. While bikes in the French Fit are not the racer's fashion they tend to look elegant, well proportioned, and ride like a dream.
"
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Old 06-16-20, 02:21 PM
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The popular low-cost models of current stems seem to offered in 80 and 100, and are under $20 online.

So whichever size you pick, it won't cost much to change later. A lot of 90mm stems turn up on the used-parts market.
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Old 06-16-20, 09:04 PM
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Logged in about 3 hours on it today and Im still having some lower back pain. Not sure if it was the weight in my backpack but Im going to keep the short stem for now.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:17 PM
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Bike geometry is a weird topic...

Here is my current setup:
I initially installed a taller stem because I couldn't stand the original 120mm stem which caused discomfort, so I switched to a more upright position with the new Sunlite tall stem. Over time I realized I disliked being in the upright position and preferred the drops, but I wanted more of an extended reach and couldn't really find a stem that was comfortable enough for me since I didn't like the 120mm reach. I found an original period correct Miyata 1000 stem that was 80mm and installed it back onto my Miyata. Honestly, I dig it both in terms of comfort and ride quality. The bike feels more snappy.

I haven't done a long tour or trip with the new stem so I can't vouch for it 100%, but so far so good. I'm going to be doing a 170km day trip this weekend to Banff and back and I can post the update if you're interested.




I will note that the comfort has changed due to the change in saddle and saddle height adjustment. It's been a non stop learning process as to what my body finds comfort in. Traditionally, I'm supposed to fit a frame between 54-57cm, but my body just does not like it. I ride a 60cm frame comfortably now.

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Old 06-17-20, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by illenvillain View Post
53cm and Im 5'8 with 81-82cm inseam
This doesn't really mean much but I'm 5'8" with an 81.5cm/32" cycling inseam. I ride 54.5cm-55cm top tubes with a 120mm 0 degree stem. On the surface, it sounds like you might be riding a frame that's a little on the small side. I'd really start the fit there as opposed to stems, longer reach bars, set back seat posts & the like.

As far as the short vs long stem quicker/slower handling thing, take it with a grain of salt. I understand the science but in reality it just doesn't affect handling. Head tube angle, rake & trail do.

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Old 06-22-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
...As far as the short vs long stem quicker/slower handling thing, take it with a grain of salt. I understand the science but in reality it just doesn't affect handling. Head tube angle, rake & trail do.
Where/how did you arrive at this belief?

This being a forum where perhaps most of the bikes involved are opportunistic used-bike purchases, we'll always be dealing with cases of riders wanting to adjust stem length, as well as possibly the stem and seatpost height.
So it's important to know that stem length (and also how the handlebar itself alters the position of the rider's hands relative to the steering axis) may make or break the suitability of the bike/frame in question.
Otherwise, buyers may proceed ignorantly into setting up a combination that handles particularly bad: twitchy or with heavy out-of-saddle steering heave.
Examples, respectively, would be using a short stem on a larger-framed racing bike with more upright headtube, or using a long stem on a Schwinn Varsity.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Where/how did you arrive at this belief?

This being a forum where perhaps most of the bikes involved are opportunistic used-bike purchases, we'll always be dealing with cases of riders wanting to adjust stem length, as well as possibly the stem and seatpost height.
So it's important to know that stem length (and also how the handlebar itself alters the position of the rider's hands relative to the steering axis) may make or break the suitability of the bike/frame in question.
Otherwise, buyers may proceed ignorantly into setting up a combination that handles particularly bad: twitchy or with heavy out-of-saddle steering heave.
Examples, respectively, would be using a short stem on a larger-framed racing bike with more upright headtube, or using a long stem on a Schwinn Varsity.
Remember, you asked.

I arrived at this knowledge from the combined experience of:

*Being a former road & mountain bike racer
*Being an LAW Effective Cycling Instructor
*By developing a curriculum and testing process for public safety cyclists world wide (a lot of which is based on pure steering exercises)
*By teaching thousands of students from all over the world bicycle handling characteristics and skills (with short & long stems)
*Being a co-author of a book about cycling skills and techniques

Other than that, I can't say where I figured it out. I will say this; I'll let you try to follow me down a descent with any length stem you want while I use a 12-13cm stem. I guarantee the difference won't be the length of the stem. I get it, it's science, but so is nitrogen in your tires; it just doesn't make enough of a difference to matter (as it relates to handling). Head tube angle, rake & trail make the differences you can feel; stem length is the equivalent of how a car or motorcycle seems to run better after an oil change and new spark plugs (when it didn't really need either). If you have practical application credentials in cycling that could sway me, post them up.

Like I said, you asked how I knew and I told you. I'm not here to win the internet, I'm just here trying to help somebody not be paralyzed when buying a bike because everything isn't "just so". Some stuff matters and other stuff not so much; just ask anyone who makes their living on a road bike using 12-14cm stems.

PHOTOS BELOW

No difference in handling on multiple bikes during this and other demos. Some with stems as short as 5cm, others with 12cm stems. An engineering degree will get you to the bottom just as fast as practical, real world experience. The difference is, one hurts a lot worse than the other.






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Old 06-22-20, 09:28 PM
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I have a question?

I have a 24Ē Trek 720, Itís classic French fit for me, steering stem is about 80/90mmís.

Iíve been trying out different stems on a 57cm Miyata 1000LT, and I think Iíve got a successful combo.

I notice that having the longer stem the Miyata puts my hands ahead of the axle on the front wheel. It makes the Miyata feel super stable going downhill. While on the Trek, my hands are behind the axle, and it is less stable downhill.

Is this just the different bikes overall geometries and not related to hand placement/stem length?

The Trek is also noticeable less rigid, and a different size. I want to be able to correctly attribute handling differences to the proper variables.



24Ē Trek, (59cm)




57cm with riser stem.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I have a question?

I have a 24” Trek 720, It’s classic French fit for me, steering stem is about 80/90mm’s.

I’ve been trying out different stems on a 57cm Miyata 1000LT, and I think I’ve got a successful combo.

I notice that having the longer stem the Miyata puts my hands ahead of the axle on the front wheel. It makes the Miyata feel super stable going downhill. While on the Trek, my hands are behind the axle, and it is less stable downhill.

Is this just the different bikes overall geometries and not related to hand placement/stem length?

The Trek is also noticeable less rigid, and a different size. I want to be able to correctly attribute handling differences to the proper variables...
This is a good example of "it depends who you ask".

In the case of riders like myself, who ride a pretty huge variety of bikes from all eras, I immediately note the differences in steering response when riding different bikes.

Now for the most part, a rider can get used to any bike, even those wildly outside of the normal range. I raced a Pedersen for over 20 years, and one not only has to adapt to the steering on these but also the physical adaptations that was also part of the bargain. This might be analogous to to a rider given a team bike to race, since one is expected to use what is provided.

The issue however might be how often that one switches bikes, and how much time (and how many rides) that they might allow for to re-adapt to each different bike.
I prefer steering that is neutral to the extent that I can follow a swerving paceline as needed without over- or under-reacting with my steering input.
I don't much like riding bikes that feel excessively "busy" or twitchy when descending at speed, since this seems to force me to focus excessively on the road surface instead of the trajectory of the road ahead.
And I prefer out-of-saddle steering response that doesn't require me to re-familiarize myself with steering input corrections in response to pedaling efforts, something that can be immediately annoying.
Ok, racing the Pedersen, I had to suffer through all that, just as many racers completely adapt to and endure the quirks of their racing bikes that are perhaps adapted to a most "aero" configuration (stem-wise).

But, for those of us who like to be able to ride different bikes and not have to re-adapt our steering input habits to each one, keeping track of how different stem lengths are affecting the steering might be a good idea.
I encourage every rider to experiment in this regard, as opportunities present themselves, since those experiments that we validate on the road will be the most relevant to us as individual riders.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post

Is this just the different bikes overall geometries and not related to hand placement/stem length?

The Trek is also noticeable less rigid, and a different size. I want to be able to correctly attribute handling differences to the proper variables.



24Ē Trek, (59cm)




57cm with riser stem.

Out of curiosity, and because I also have a Trek 720, I did a visual experiment that was quite revealing.

Extending your Miyata's stem quill up to where it is similarly (to the Trek's) about at saddle height, and then measuring down and forward to your hand's position while in the drops, shows that there is a HUGE difference in combined stem/bar reach from the same-height location along the two bike's steering axes.

In my experience, where as little as 5mm can make a perceptible difference, the inches difference I am seeing would seem likely to make these two bikes ride like different animals altogether.

I am expecting that your bikes also handle quite differently in terms of steering control while riding off of the saddle(???).
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Old 06-23-20, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Out of curiosity, and because I also have a Trek 720, I did a visual experiment that was quite revealing.

Extending your Miyata's stem quill up to where it is similarly (to the Trek's) about at saddle height, and then measuring down and forward to your hand's position while in the drops, shows that there is a HUGE difference in combined stem/bar reach from the same-height location along the two bike's steering axes.

In my experience, where as little as 5mm can make a perceptible difference, the inches difference I am seeing would seem likely to make these two bikes ride like different animals altogether.

I am expecting that your bikes also handle quite differently in terms of steering control while riding off of the saddle(???).
During high effort sprinting/climbing, they are the opposite of down hilling. the Trek feels more stable when Iím pulling up in the bars to leverage the pedals. The Miyata lets me pull it off line more, when Iím pulling up and back.

Also interesting, Iíve been using Strava to track my rides recently. Iíve been in MI at my in-laws, and I have that Trek, and the Miyata was not quite assembled, so all my rides have been with the Trek.

On the same 15 mile route, I shaved ten minutes off my time on the Miyata. I gained almost one full MPH on that green bike. It felt slower, and I was very surprised by the result.

To my eye, the Miyata clearly looks one size small for me, with that big tall stem up front, and the ends of the drop bars about even with the head tube. It looks off, aesthetically. Then I came across this add for a Surly LHT.










This blew my mind. The similarity between set up of the two caught me as very striking.
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Old 06-23-20, 01:07 AM
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The first thing that I look for as to why one bike measures faster ride times than another is if there is any aspect of the bike's comfort that inhibits the motivation to exert more toward achieving speed.

For example, a bike with fenders might have you maintaining speed where a bare bike forced you to slow down for a wet stretch of road.

Or one bike absorbs rough stretches of road better.

Or my biggest beef with most road bikes, that the saddle is too hard. Nothing slows my times more than a hard saddle.

If the Trek's combined flexibility and perhaps the tall bars have it feeling twitchy, that is one thing that will probably slow your effort over part of most road segments.

My long-wheelbase Nishiki and Steyr "sport-touring" bikes are examples of bikes that I can almost always exert to my limits without instability or discomfort, and so have also performed better on tough rides than reasonably expected for such heavy bikes. Not coincidentally, I found myself putting most of my mileage on these on our tougher back-road training rides. Both bikes also have what is likely the softest saddle available with tubular titanium rails.

Oddly enough, the Steyr with it's shallower angles was the twitchier bike, likely due to it's low-trail fork.
I first tried the longer stem, which fixed the stability issue, but left the steering to wander forcefully when riding uphill off of the saddle.
I then added a slightly wider bar, which seemed to fix that issue.
One thing that I'd already learned is that a wider bar tends to work better as the stem extension length is increased, in terms of the off-saddle steering dynamics.



Last edited by dddd; 06-23-20 at 01:10 AM.
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