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Taller Stem Needed

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Taller Stem Needed

Old 12-13-17, 02:15 PM
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Taller Stem Needed

This is my 1st bike with drops and I feel like the stem is too short at 75mm between the minimum insertion line and the top.

I have heard a lot of people are comfy with the bars even with the saddle, as you can see, I am a bit south of that. I can definitely feel increased weight on my wrists when I am on the hoods and the bike feels "darty"

Thinking raise the bar height and go from there? as you can see the stem reach is already pretty short at around 6omm

Thanks - I did look through this forum and read a lot about stem LENGTH but not height... thanks!
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Old 12-13-17, 02:21 PM
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The seat is adjusted very high and it looks like that frame is too small for the rider. I'd guess that frame is sized for someone around 5'4" and the rider is around 5'10". If that's the case then the fix is a larger frame.
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Old 12-13-17, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 9volt
The seat is adjusted very high and it looks like that frame is too small for the rider. I'd guess that frame is sized for someone around 5'4" and the rider is around 5'10". If that's the case then the fix is a larger frame.
I am 5'8"

Wouldn't a larger frame have a longer top tube which would exacerbate my existing condition of having the reach feel too long?

I haven't measured the bike pictured but the frame feels about the same step-over height of my Specialized Langster which I know to be 54cm; which is a consensus good size (based on several sizing charts/etc) for someone of my height/32" inseam

I am open to selling this bike and getting a different size frame but I do prefer to err on a shorter frame because I ride in the city where you're on and off the pedals frequently so lower stand over is a little more comfy... if that makes ANY sense....

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Old 12-13-17, 04:54 PM
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Top tubes can be longer, shorter, or equal in length to the seat tube. If that top tube is the right length for you then it may be possible to make that frame work.

I'm no fit expert. There may be some fit issues caused by raising the seat up so high because as the seat goes up it moves back away from the bars and away from the BB.

A good place to start with a road bike is with the bar height and seat height pretty much level, and like you said, it would take a taller stem to get there. The longer stem will push the bars back toward the seat a bit, and you may end up wanting a longer reach stem than you have now. It's kind of a cascade of adjustments.

The best bet with this bike may be to get an adjustable angle stem with a 2 bolt clamp. Then you can tweak it to figure out the (close to) ideal stem position. After that get the appropriate sized stem, hopefully with a 2 bolt clamp so you don't have to untape to install it.

Last thing - adjust the seat so it's level with the ground. Looks like the nose may be tilted down.
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Old 12-13-17, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 9volt
Top tubes can be longer, shorter, or equal in length to the seat tube. If that top tube is the right length for you then it may be possible to make that frame work.

I'm no fit expert. There may be some fit issues caused by raising the seat up so high because as the seat goes up it moves back away from the bars and away from the BB.

A good place to start with a road bike is with the bar height and seat height pretty much level, and like you said, it would take a taller stem to get there. The longer stem will push the bars back toward the seat a bit, and you may end up wanting a longer reach stem than you have now. It's kind of a cascade of adjustments.

The best bet with this bike may be to get an adjustable angle stem with a 2 bolt clamp. Then you can tweak it to figure out the (close to) ideal stem position. After that get the appropriate sized stem, hopefully with a 2 bolt clamp so you don't have to untape to install it.

Last thing - adjust the seat so it's level with the ground. Looks like the nose may be tilted down.
Will do!

thanks!

I don't think moving it up 6-7cm will move the hoods that much farther back but we'll see.... this bike does not have that intense of a rake angle... if it does, it will not hurt my feelings as I am trying to get a little more upright.

There is a guy on CL with a bunch of bike parts including adjustable stems, I will see if he'll trade me a set of wheels I have lying around for it!

I will probably just leave it on there since this bike is kind of my "proving" grounds for how I will eventually want my Langster set up when I get that on the road.

Luckily, it's a threadless fork so I do not have to untape the bars each time I want to swap out stems.
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Old 12-14-17, 08:53 AM
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My favorite discussion of stem height and reach is on the Rivendell site, www.rivbike.com ; there are other explanations and theories, but I like the one on the Rivendell site. You might want something like a Nitto Technomic.

One thing to remember is that as the stem gets higher, the bars come back, so you might need a longer reach.
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Old 12-14-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
My favorite discussion of stem height and reach is on the Rivendell site, www.rivbike.com ; there are other explanations and theories, but I like the one on the Rivendell site. You might want something like a Nitto Technomic.

One thing to remember is that as the stem gets higher, the bars come back, so you might need a longer reach.
Good call but the “rake” is pretty mild so I don’t think the delta in he reach will be that great
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Old 12-14-17, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
Good call but the “rake” is pretty mild so I don’t think the delta in he reach will be that great
The term rake refers to the fork offset. In this case the head tube angle is what you are referring to.
The head tube angle is probably about 73°. You can figure out how far a taller stem will move the bars back with a pencil, protractor and ruler .
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Old 12-14-17, 09:58 AM
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Consider a quill-to-threadless adapter. Makes it easier to muck about with different stem lengths and riser stems.
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Old 12-14-17, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac
Consider a quill-to-threadless adapter. Makes it easier to muck about with different stem lengths and riser stems.
+1 to this suggestion.
Or sell the bike and start anew.

Here's why:

The bike has a very short headtube, hence a short steerer tube. Any threaded quill stem can go no lower into the steerer tube than 80 mm from its bottom, the reason being that the steerer tube is tapered in its lower portion and the taper usually ends @ 80 mm. Attempts to reliably tighten a quill stem while its lowest portion is inside the tapered part of the steerer tube will result in misery and failure.

Your quill stem looks like it is of a 140-145 mm total height. If you are to raise the handlebar, you'd need to go to the next size up, which is 180-185 mm. Following the above paragraph, it is likely it would place the handlebars way too high, and you would be able only to raise them from that position (limited by the min. insertion line), while subtle lowering would be out of the question due to stem's bottom hitting the taper.

If you still want to use quill stems with your next bike, make sure it has a decent headtube length.
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Old 12-14-17, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IK_biker
+1 to this suggestion.
Or sell the bike and start anew.

Here's why:

The bike has a very short headtube, hence a short steerer tube. Any threaded quill stem can go no lower into the steerer tube than 80 mm from its bottom, the reason being that the steerer tube is tapered in its lower portion and the taper usually ends @ 80 mm. Attempts to reliably tighten a quill stem while its lowest portion is inside the tapered part of the steerer tube will result in misery and failure.

Your quill stem looks like it is of a 140-145 mm total height. If you are to raise the handlebar, you'd need to go to the next size up, which is 180-185 mm. Following the above paragraph, it is likely it would place the handlebars way too high, and you would be able only to raise them from that position (limited by the min. insertion line), while subtle lowering would be out of the question due to stem's bottom hitting the taper.

If you still want to use quill stems with your next bike, make sure it has a decent headtube length.
Raising the bars 40-45mm would put the bars about level with the saddle so we might be good. Gonna visit my lbs tomorrow to get some eyes it.

Next bike has a threadless headset 😂
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Old 12-14-17, 10:08 PM
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Can't really say much without photos of the rider on the bike in a few different positions. Not knowing where one is starting from makes it hard to guess at the effect of modifications.
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Old 12-14-17, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 9volt
The seat is adjusted very high and it looks like that frame is too small for the rider. I'd guess that frame is sized for someone around 5'4" and the rider is around 5'10". If that's the case then the fix is a larger frame.
We're both not crazy - It's a 49 cm frame so it IS quite small but it has a high stand over height for it's size because it has 27"x1 1/8" tires.

It feels similar to my 54cm frame with 700c x 28mm tires.
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Old 12-14-17, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Can't really say much without photos of the rider on the bike in a few different positions. Not knowing where one is starting from makes it hard to guess at the effect of modifications.
Ask and ye shall receive - sorry I am practically in my PJs!


My wife took a carpenter's square to me and I am right at 90 degrees from my arm to my trunk.


The reach still feels a little long.


The seat height I got dialed in using the LeMond formula


my kneecap is right over the spindle
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fit mid pedal.jpg (19.6 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg
fit pedal down.jpg (19.5 KB, 150 views)
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bike only.jpg (38.0 KB, 149 views)

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Old 12-15-17, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
We're both not crazy - It's a 49 cm frame so it IS quite small but it has a high stand over height for it's size because it has 27"x1 1/8" tires.

It feels similar to my 54cm frame with 700c x 28mm tires.
There would be only a four mm difference in standover height between 27x1/8 and 700x28 wheels.
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Old 12-15-17, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
There would be only a four mm difference in standover height between 27x1/8 and 700x28 wheels.
I knew 27s are taller, didn't know it was that small of a difference.
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Old 12-15-17, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
Ask and ye shall receive - sorry I am practically in my PJs!


My wife took a carpenter's square to me and I am right at 90 degrees from my arm to my trunk.


The reach still feels a little long.


The seat height I got dialed in using the LeMond formula


my kneecap is right over the spindle
That looks pretty good. Try moving your saddle back as far as it goes. That should help with the weight on your hands. Knee over pedal spindle is only a starting point, not an end point. You will probably have to raise your saddle just a hair.

Also try to roll your pelvis forward, which will straighten your back and make you more comfortable in the long run.

I don't think moving the saddle back will change your position enough to make other changes necessary, especially since straightening your back will move your shoulders forward.

I see no reason to change anything else. This is about what it's supposed to look like. Nice fit.

If you have discomfort on the bike other than a sore butt, fix it by stretching and strengthening, rather than bike adjustments. Getting stronger is better for your health.
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Old 12-15-17, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
That looks pretty good. Try moving your saddle back as far as it goes. That should help with the weight on your hands. Knee over pedal spindle is only a starting point, not an end point. You will probably have to raise your saddle just a hair.

Also try to roll your pelvis forward, which will straighten your back and make you more comfortable in the long run.

I don't think moving the saddle back will change your position enough to make other changes necessary, especially since straightening your back will move your shoulders forward.

I see no reason to change anything else. This is about what it's supposed to look like. Nice fit.

If you have discomfort on the bike other than a sore butt, fix it by stretching and strengthening, rather than bike adjustments. Getting stronger is better for your health.
Thanks!

I started this thread because I wanted to know which fit "fixes" to make and which departures from MTB geometry, which I am used to, are just going to take some time in the saddle to get used to! You have inspired me to put a few hundered miles down before I worry to much about swapping out parts.

One thing though - I have to say, if I am being honest, my biggest discomfort is the long reach. When my hands are on the hoods it feels stretched out.

I am probably MOST comfy with the hands on the straight part of the bar behind the hoods but there really isn't enough room to hold on and there's no access to the levers there.

So won't moving my saddle BACK exacerbate this problem?

Also, on the seat height, I calculated a range of seat heights using the Lemond method and the "subtract 10-10.5" method. The "subtract 10.5" method yielded the lowest height of the three calclulations, so, in theory, I can still go up as much as 5cm if need be and still be within reason. I do have small feet, that's why I decided to start w/ the lowest height. I got a long seatpost for this build so I have room to go if need be!!

I am in no way a passive guy, I have no problem putting in the work to get my body strong enough to where it needs to be too! I was riding 80+ miles/week but I have fallen off the wagon since the snow flew.
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Old 12-16-17, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
Thanks!

I started this thread because I wanted to know which fit "fixes" to make and which departures from MTB geometry, which I am used to, are just going to take some time in the saddle to get used to! You have inspired me to put a few hundered miles down before I worry to much about swapping out parts.

One thing though - I have to say, if I am being honest, my biggest discomfort is the long reach. When my hands are on the hoods it feels stretched out.

I am probably MOST comfy with the hands on the straight part of the bar behind the hoods but there really isn't enough room to hold on and there's no access to the levers there.

So won't moving my saddle BACK exacerbate this problem?

Also, on the seat height, I calculated a range of seat heights using the Lemond method and the "subtract 10-10.5" method. The "subtract 10.5" method yielded the lowest height of the three calclulations, so, in theory, I can still go up as much as 5cm if need be and still be within reason. I do have small feet, that's why I decided to start w/ the lowest height. I got a long seatpost for this build so I have room to go if need be!!

I am in no way a passive guy, I have no problem putting in the work to get my body strong enough to where it needs to be too! I was riding 80+ miles/week but I have fallen off the wagon since the snow flew.
You'll get used to it, especially if you start doing some core work. Planks are good. And stretching. I do these stretches every morning just before breakfast: IT Band pain (during ride)
Here's a more elaborate guide: https://www.realresultsfitness.com/wp...hing-guide.pdf

Leaning forward at ~45° is good for your spine. It does create a slight moment about your pelvis which must be resisted by your hands which generate an opposite moment. But since it is a moment, the further your hands are from the moment's center, the less pressure is on them. Hence a good bit of reach is a good thing.
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Old 12-16-17, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You'll get used to it, especially if you start doing some core work. Planks are good. And stretching. I do these stretches every morning just before breakfast: IT Band pain (during ride)
Here's a more elaborate guide: https://www.realresultsfitness.com/wp...hing-guide.pdf

Leaning forward at ~45° is good for your spine. It does create a slight moment about your pelvis which must be resisted by your hands which generate an opposite moment. But since it is a moment, the further your hands are from the moment's center, the less pressure is on them. Hence a good bit of reach is a good thing.
Thanks again!!😁😁😁 I should be doing more of those excercises to alieviate the pain caused by my recently-discovered scoliosis!!
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Old 12-17-17, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
Thanks again!!😁😁😁 I should be doing more of those excercises to alieviate the pain caused by my recently-discovered scoliosis!!
That's serious business. I hope you're seeing a PT who specializes in working with this. It's complicated.
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Old 12-17-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
That's serious business. I hope you're seeing a PT who specializes in working with this. It's complicated.
Thank you!

It’s caused by a “block vertebrae” (?)

Weird bur before it was diagnosed this last spring it only gave me pain while sleeping. Got it under control now.
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Old 12-17-17, 10:18 AM
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What's the difference in height from the ground to the top of the stem and the ground to the top of the level seat? The back arch and reach issue could be related to the bars being lower than the seat.
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Old 12-17-17, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by 9volt
What's the difference in height from the ground to the top of the stem and the ground to the top of the level seat? The back arch and reach issue could be related to the bars being lower than the seat.
About 5-6cm- did you read carbonfiberboys comments? Are you saying I should install a taller stem?

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Old 12-24-17, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980
Also, on the seat height, I calculated a range of seat heights using the Lemond method and the "subtract 10-10.5" method. The "subtract 10.5" method yielded the lowest height of the three calclulations, so, in theory, I can still go up as much as 5cm if need be and still be within reason. I do have small feet, that's why I decided to start w/ the lowest height. I got a long seatpost for this build so I have room to go if need be!!
In the one photo of your right leg extended it's looking pretty darn straight out. I don't see how you could possibly raise your seat up another 5cm without serious hip-rocking back and forth with each pedal stroke. Did you mean 5mm?
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