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How to decide what stem to get

Old 11-24-20, 05:22 PM
  #1  
Awesomeguy
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How to decide what stem to get

I have had my bike for a little over a month and while I enjoy it very much , I want to get a different stem so I am little more upright and my weight is more in the saddle , currently with the reach that it is I should be further out or little more upright for my back , the current angle just doesnít seem correct
so I would chose to be more upright.

the challenge is what rise and length should I get on the stem?
I have a trek fx 3 size large , the default stem is 100 mm in length and 7 degree rise ..
trek has one that is 17 degree rise and 90mm but not sure if it will be better enough ?

would shops let me try different ones , prior to purchasing one ?
( I would let the shop set them up , Iím not handy or want to be in this matter)

I donít want to spend money on a bike fit Bc I only ride 45-60 min for exercise typically

Last edited by Awesomeguy; 11-24-20 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 11-24-20, 05:28 PM
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Have you considered an adjustable stem?
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Old 11-24-20, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
Have you considered an adjustable stem?
I have not , I just feel a permanent stem is more robust , would adjustable one be better you think?
I prefer solid non adjustable one tbh
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Old 11-24-20, 06:00 PM
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Going from a 7 deg rise to a 17 deg rise (without changing the length) will shorten the reach as well as raise the bars. Going with a 90 will shorten it more.

Take a look at this stem fit chart: https://www.habcycles.com/fitting.html
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Old 11-24-20, 06:02 PM
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I've tried both of these:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072BYZM4T?...p_mob_ap_share

This one was my favorite because you can angle it up by 60 degrees.

Take a look at this one in the 32mm length. You'll like the more comfortable reach and faster handling:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07HHY8R4H?...p_mob_ap_share

Personally I preferred the adjustable one because this 32mm stem still wasn't enough to compensate for the absurdly long reach on my old XC bike.
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Old 11-24-20, 06:06 PM
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Trigonometry is your friend.
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Old 11-24-20, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Trigonometry is your friend.
A true friend does the the trig for you :-)
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Old 11-24-20, 07:38 PM
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Have you thought about a stem riser? Although bike shops might not let you swap out brand new stems out of their boxes for you to try without buying, you can probably ask to sit on other bikes with higher bars and use them to measure how tall they are and close to the seat. You can also move the seat forward if you haven't done that already.
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Old 11-24-20, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ft3safety View Post
Have you thought about a stem riser? Although bike shops might not let you swap out brand new stems out of their boxes for you to try without buying, you can probably ask to sit on other bikes with higher bars and use them to measure how tall they are and close to the seat. You can also move the seat forward if you haven't done that already.
A shop probably has a collection of stems in their parts bin, and will let the OP try a couple until he finds the right length and angle. Then he can fork over some money.
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Old 11-24-20, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
I have had my bike for a little over a month and while I enjoy it very much , I want to get a different stem so I am little more upright and my weight is more in the saddle , currently with the reach that it is I should be further out or little more upright for my back , the current angle just doesn’t seem correct
so I would chose to be more upright.

the challenge is what rise and length should I get on the stem?
I have a trek fx 3 size large , the default stem is 100 mm in length and 7 degree rise ..
trek has one that is 17 degree rise and 90mm but not sure if it will be better enough ?
I have a 110mm adjustable stem, 60-degree maximum, that is brand new, for 25.4mm handlebars. You're welcome to it otherwise it'll just go on Ebay eventually if I get around to it.

EDIT: I checked Trek's website. Your handlebar is probably 31.8mm.

Last edited by Reflector Guy; 11-25-20 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 11-24-20, 08:18 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A true friend does the the trig for you :-)
I don't remember how to do it. I just remember what it's for.
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Old 11-24-20, 10:59 PM
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Get a bike fit (and yes I saw your comment) seriously. It is not about racing or being a professional cyclist at all. It is purely about getting you more comfortable on your bike and if that is not appealing to you, there is no stem that will magically help. You could have a whole host of other issues on the bike and maybe the stem isn't one of them maybe your saddle position is off on the seatpost or the seatpost is off as well or something else and rather than guessing be accurate. Trust me I am not a professional cyclist and I don't really ride nearly as much as I should but I cannot recommend getting a proper dynamic fit enough. It really made me more comfortable on my bikes and dialed everything in properly. No more knee pain for me and a lot less foot pain and more comfortable position. Granted I set up my bikes initially so back pain isn't so much of an issue and neither is neck pain but I do suffer from chronic back pain normally.

The only people I might not recommend getting a bike fit are those who literally ride a few times a year and not because of any pain or improper fitting of the bike. If you are riding regularly it can improve things greatly and plus a stem is $40-300, a fit is around $200 average. It is decent money if you look at it once but if you say ride twice week for 32 weeks and have the bike for 3 years that is about $1 per ride. Imagine if I asked you "would you pay $1 per ride to be more comfortable on your bike?" would you do it and if I also said "that you could be comfortable on your next bike and any other bikes you might own without more cost necessarily" would that make it easier?

We tend to think of things as a one time cost and if that one time cost is high we will scoff but if it allows us to use an item better or get more enjoyment out of life and is not just a one time use thing and will not provide lasting memories we should better embrace it. Obviously there are limits if you truly don't have the money and couldn't save the money or shouldn't save the money because you are in a dire financial strait or coming into one, then yeah maybe don't get a bike fit. However if you regularly go to a coffee place and get more pricey coffee drinks or drive a less efficient automobile a lot for pleasurable trips or eat out at restaurants or take out, surely you could save up a few bucks here and there and get a fit pretty easily. Trust when you do save that money you will be happy you did. A proper professional dynamic fit can really be a game changer.
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Old 11-25-20, 02:02 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Get a bike fit (and yes I saw your comment) seriously. It is not about racing or being a professional cyclist at all. It is purely about getting you more comfortable on your bike and if that is not appealing to you, there is no stem that will magically help. You could have a whole host of other issues on the bike and maybe the stem isn't one of them maybe your saddle position is off on the seatpost or the seatpost is off as well or something else and rather than guessing be accurate. Trust me I am not a professional cyclist and I don't really ride nearly as much as I should but I cannot recommend getting a proper dynamic fit enough. It really made me more comfortable on my bikes and dialed everything in properly. No more knee pain for me and a lot less foot pain and more comfortable position. Granted I set up my bikes initially so back pain isn't so much of an issue and neither is neck pain but I do suffer from chronic back pain normally.

The only people I might not recommend getting a bike fit are those who literally ride a few times a year and not because of any pain or improper fitting of the bike. If you are riding regularly it can improve things greatly and plus a stem is $40-300, a fit is around $200 average. It is decent money if you look at it once but if you say ride twice week for 32 weeks and have the bike for 3 years that is about $1 per ride. Imagine if I asked you "would you pay $1 per ride to be more comfortable on your bike?" would you do it and if I also said "that you could be comfortable on your next bike and any other bikes you might own without more cost necessarily" would that make it easier?

We tend to think of things as a one time cost and if that one time cost is high we will scoff but if it allows us to use an item better or get more enjoyment out of life and is not just a one time use thing and will not provide lasting memories we should better embrace it. Obviously there are limits if you truly don't have the money and couldn't save the money or shouldn't save the money because you are in a dire financial strait or coming into one, then yeah maybe don't get a bike fit. However if you regularly go to a coffee place and get more pricey coffee drinks or drive a less efficient automobile a lot for pleasurable trips or eat out at restaurants or take out, surely you could save up a few bucks here and there and get a fit pretty easily. Trust when you do save that money you will be happy you did. A proper professional dynamic fit can really be a game changer.
1. so when you get a bike fit , is the fit specific to your bike , or will the cyclist get measurements such that I will know all the measurements for any future bikes I may get and not have to get a bike fit for each bike I may purchase ?

2. if the bike fit will provide me measurements for any future purchases , does it carry over to any type of bike I may get, (I.e road bike, hybrid , mountain etc ?

3. does the bike fit have to happen for each bike I get?

4. is it better to get a bike fit prior to purchasing a bike ?

5. I want to find a bike fitter that is also a physical therapist , what would they charge?

also I ride about 40 miles a week, 10 miles per session
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Old 11-25-20, 05:45 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
1. so when you get a bike fit , is the fit specific to your bike , or will the cyclist get measurements such that I will know all the measurements for any future bikes I may get and not have to get a bike fit for each bike I may purchase ?

2. if the bike fit will provide me measurements for any future purchases , does it carry over to any type of bike I may get, (I.e road bike, hybrid , mountain etc ?

3. does the bike fit have to happen for each bike I get?

4. is it better to get a bike fit prior to purchasing a bike ?

5. I want to find a bike fitter that is also a physical therapist , what would they charge?

also I ride about 40 miles a week, 10 miles per session
You can always carry over your fit to a new bike. One way to do this is taking pictures of your fitted bike and using photoshop to superimpose image of new bike to see what adjustments you're going to make to the new bike.

You'll also need to use exactly the same saddle of your fitted bike to the new bike.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
You can always carry over your fit to a new bike. One way to do this is taking pictures of your fitted bike and using photoshop to superimpose image of new bike to see what adjustments you're going to make to the new bike.

You'll also need to use exactly the same saddle of your fitted bike to the new bike.
sounds like a new fit on each bike .
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Old 11-25-20, 07:50 AM
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Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net

I have used this site to check stem changes.

I do not math good.
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Old 11-25-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A true friend does the the trig for you :-)
Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day...
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Old 11-25-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
1. so when you get a bike fit , is the fit specific to your bike , or will the cyclist get measurements such that I will know all the measurements for any future bikes I may get and not have to get a bike fit for each bike I may purchase ?

2. if the bike fit will provide me measurements for any future purchases , does it carry over to any type of bike I may get, (I.e road bike, hybrid , mountain etc ?

3. does the bike fit have to happen for each bike I get?

4. is it better to get a bike fit prior to purchasing a bike ?

5. I want to find a bike fitter that is also a physical therapist , what would they charge?

also I ride about 40 miles a week, 10 miles per session
A good fit will generally transfer well from one bike to the next of the same type of bike and the same type of riding. Once you have your fit numbers/measurements, there is information out there as to how to estimate how a given frame will fit, what combo of stem/spacers/bar will get you to your best fit on a given bike, and how to measure to check.

Going from drop bar road/gravel bikes to flat bar hybrids and street bikes, the fit will be pretty much the same as far as the saddle position, but the bar position will be a little different, obviously. A good fitter should give you recs for both, IMO (mine did).

Where it breaks down some in going from Road (or flat bar hybrids) to Mountain Bikes. If you are just using your rigid or hardtail MTB for riding on the street and bike paths, or as a commuter... sure, the fit is pretty much the same (or will work at the very least). But for actual "mountain biking" on technical singletrack it will likely not be. This is something for which the conventional wisdom has changed a LOT over the past 20 years, and especially in the past 5 years. 25 years ago, it was typical for folks to pretty closely re-create their road bike fit on their MTB. . Currently, the only aspect anything close to universally consistent is the saddle to pedal distance (leg extension). But you can cross that bridge when you get there. If you are not riding technical single-track, I would not worry about this.
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Old 11-25-20, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
sounds like a new fit on each bike .
The difference is you're doing it yourself and not paying anybody else to do it, if that matters.
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Old 11-25-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
sounds like a new fit on each bike .
No
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Old 11-25-20, 09:25 AM
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The OP is hesitant to drop $20 trying a different stem and you guys are trying to talk him into paying for a bike fit?

The new stem you are looking at won't make much of a difference in how the bike feels. I would go shorter and higher rise. I put this stem on two different bikes for the exact same reason you are.

https://www.performancebike.com/ritc...8837?v=1000842

No math.
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Old 11-25-20, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
I have not , I just feel a permanent stem is more robust , would adjustable one be better you think?
I prefer solid non adjustable one tbh
You would use the adjustable to find your best fit. Then purchase a fixed stem.
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Old 11-25-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
You would use the adjustable to find your best fit. Then purchase a fixed stem.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
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Old 11-25-20, 09:44 AM
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The stem the OP is considering will raise the bar about 1cm and shorten the reach about 1.5cm.

Getting a fit is fine, but it only costs about $25 to try a different stem.
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Old 11-25-20, 09:59 AM
  #25  
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Take your bike to the store where you got it, tell them that you are not comfortable on it, and ask if they can help you. Most will not charge you for a "bike fit" (at least I've never had one say there would be a charge). They will charge you for parts, and maybe (but not too often) labor. Most are just glad to have a customer, and helping that customer brings them back in the store.

If you bought the bike used, take it to the Trek store and ask them if they can help you get comfortable on it. Try to go when it is not busy - Tuesday morning or something. Most will still be glad to help you hoping that you will buy some gear, parts, or someday a new bike.

Unless you are investing to be competitive at some level, the notion of paying for a bike fit is rubbish. Most places aren't going to have the motion capture equipment and software or other tools to do a really analytical bike fit, but are just going to have you sit on the bike, check your leg bend and knee position at various positions, and so forth. With all of the information available online, there is no reason why you can't get the thing close enough if not perfect for you.

Emma Pooley never had a "bike fit" and did alright for herself and better than virtually any of us will ever do.
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