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What length stem should I choose, everything remaining equal?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

What length stem should I choose, everything remaining equal?

Old 01-08-21, 12:58 AM
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Jockie
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What length stem should I choose, everything remaining equal?

I have ordered a Lynskey gr300 LARGE gravel frame and I am ordering a Lynskey stem to go with it.
Based on the stem I ride on my current bike, I want to estimate what size Lynskey stem I should order.

The road bike dimensions are pretty similar to the Lynskey. Here are some facts:
- Road bike has an effective top-tube length of 58.2cm
Lynskey has an effective top-tube length of 58cm
- Road bike head-angle is 73.5degrees
Lynskey head-angle is 71degrees
- Road bike has a seat-tube (c-t) of 54cm
Lynskey has a seat-tube (c-t) of 53cm
- Road bike has a stack of 61cm
Lynskey has a stack of 61.5cm

I use a 100mm stem on the road bike. I wonder whether a rule of thumb for such a situation would be to go 10mm shorter on a stem for the gravel bike. Am I right?
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Old 01-08-21, 09:02 AM
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Use an online tool like www.bikeinsights.com to get dialed in.
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Old 01-08-21, 09:09 AM
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I for sure havent read that gravel should have a shorter stem just because its a different category.
Personally, I use whatever stem length and angle needed to get me comfortable. My gravel bike is a road bike that I use on unpaved roads- so I have the reach to my hoods basically the same as my road bikes, relative to my saddle height too.

Also, stem length depends on handlebar and brake hood geometry. Handlebars have different reach, and new hydraulic hoods are longer than cable road hoods. These both need to be considered when looking at overall bike fit. And if you have the bars and levers you want, then the only component available to adjust to get the fit you want is your stem. Maybe it needs to be 70mm or 110mm.
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Old 01-08-21, 04:21 PM
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Definitely use an online calculator to get an idea for the equivalent stem you'd need for the same reach. And, yes, I too find myself creating a slightly higher and shorter stack/reach for my dedicated gravel bike vs. my road bike.
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Old 01-08-21, 04:40 PM
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We need one more fact. Seat tube angles. (Head tube angle makes no difference here).

What I can see from your specs is that the Lynsky has the top of its headtube 1/2 cm higher. That the top tubes are 2 mm different ie the same. But,those top tubes start at the seat tube. Where that is depends on the seat tube angle.

Now, in jest - the answer is 120 mm -17 degrees. Because both Eddy Merckx and God rode those stems. When I was racing we all knew that.
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Old 01-08-21, 07:27 PM
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One more fact then:
- Road bike has a seat-tube angle of 73degrees
Lynskey has a seat-tube angle of 73degrees, too.

I tried the bikeinsights calculator but without much luck. I should probably take a second look at it.

My Kestrel 200SCI (58cm c-t) has a 120mm stem like Eddy Merckx and God, alas it is only 80degrees (-10degrees?).
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Old 01-08-21, 09:10 PM
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After a second look at bikeinsights calculator I've got the road bike frame from my original post superimposed on the Lynskey gr300 frame.
What exactly should I be looking for to guide my stem length choice?
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Old 01-08-21, 09:47 PM
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If you don't have a drawer full of stems yet, you might as well get started; all the calculations in the world are no substitute for trying them. I've got 60mm -100mm in at least two rises of each. I generally choose shorter and taller for gravel.
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Old 01-09-21, 05:54 PM
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stem are so cheap get one of every size, once you are dialed in go for the the $200 Extralite
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Old 01-15-21, 09:43 AM
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Of if you're getting the bike from a good shop, they should let you swap. I got a Moots RSL. Tried a 110 and immediately told them it was too long, they swapped for 100mm and that was perfect. No charge to swap (enve stem).
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Old 01-15-21, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion 'xseal'. In fact, Lynskey have said that if the 90mm stem I have ordered is not the correct size, then I can return it and swap if for a better fitting one.
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Old 01-16-21, 05:11 PM
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We use this tool at our shop to compare two different stems. Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net Very simple and can compare reqch an height change quickiy.
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Old 01-16-21, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
We use this tool at our shop to compare two different stems. Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net Very simple and can compare reqch an height change quickiy.
Can it compare 2 bikes with different HTAs?
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Old 01-16-21, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Can it compare 2 bikes with different HTAs?
Take a look; you can figure it out in less than a minute. Basically for a given bike you can compare rise and reach of 2 different stems to compare before and after. If you write down a few things you could change the HTA for a different bike and put in different stem dimensions to get net bar position you want.

The link above did not work for some reason for me.
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