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Stem length suggestion

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Stem length suggestion

Old 07-29-19, 01:47 PM
  #1  
filipw1990
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Stem length suggestion

Hi,


At beginning few numbers:


My height: 174 cm/ 5,85'

Inseam: 82 cm


Effective Top Tube: 545 mm

Reach: 382 mm

Head Tube: 125 mm + 20 mm Spacers

Handlebar: 42 cm; 75 Reach; 128 Drop

Stem: 90 mm; -10


After this season I will probably remove another 10 or 15 mm of spacers and change handlebar to 40 cm ( same model as current one but narrower)


Problem is that I think my stem is little bit too short. On corners I can feel that bike is too "nervous" and steering is too fast.


I am thinking about changing stem to 100 or 110 mm but I do not know which one will be better. I know it is very individual case, but I need your suggestions which one I should choose. I do not have time ( and stems) to try them in practice. I will change to new one after season.


After removing spacers, "effective reach" will change about 5 mm. I am thinking about 110 mm stem, but in this situation, whole reach will increase about 25 mm ( current stem has 90 mm + 5 mm after removing spacers). It sounds like quite big change, but I am afraid that 100 mm stem will not change steering as much as I want.


I like very agressive and low position. Currently in my "natural" position on hoods my elbows are bent quite significantly, and I can see Hub in about 10- 15 mm in front of my Bar.


My rides are not longer than 100 km, mainly about 50- 80 km, so about 3 to 4h.


What do you think? What stem length do you have on your bike?
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Old 07-29-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by filipw1990 View Post
I know it is very individual case ....What stem length do you have on your bike?
A road bike that fits will have 90mm at the short extreme, 110mm at the long extreme. Since it's a WAG why not try the 100mm "right in the middle?" And yes, there are freaks of nature and ill fitting bikes and other "special" circumstances that lead to usage of stems outside this range.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:09 PM
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Dean V
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
A road bike that fits will have 90mm at the short extreme, 110mm at the long extreme. Since it's a WAG why not try the 100mm "right in the middle?" And yes, there are freaks of nature and ill fitting bikes and other "special" circumstances that lead to usage of stems outside this range.
I wouldn't say 110mm is long.
More like 100-120 as normal with 90 and 130 getting a bit short/long but still ok.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:13 PM
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It's quite common for shops to have a number of stems, in varying lengths, just hanging around, waiting to be tried on for size. Why not visit or call some shops in the area and take advantage of them?
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Old 07-29-19, 03:33 PM
  #5  
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Something to consider; going to a bar that is narrower than your current set up will raise tour position on the bike. Bringing the bar to get a similar position to what you currently are riding might require a longer stem and lowering the bar.
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Old 07-29-19, 06:27 PM
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dmanthree
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Don't guess, get a fitting done. I rode a Trek Madone for five years with a really short stem, but it fit.
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Old 07-29-19, 06:40 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by filipw1990 View Post
Hi,


At beginning few numbers:


My height: 174 cm/ 5,85'

Inseam: 82 cm


Effective Top Tube: 545 mm

Reach: 382 mm

Head Tube: 125 mm + 20 mm Spacers

Handlebar: 42 cm; 75 Reach; 128 Drop

Stem: 90 mm; -10


After this season I will probably remove another 10 or 15 mm of spacers and change handlebar to 40 cm ( same model as current one but narrower)


Problem is that I think my stem is little bit too short. On corners I can feel that bike is too "nervous" and steering is too fast.


I am thinking about changing stem to 100 or 110 mm but I do not know which one will be better. I know it is very individual case, but I need your suggestions which one I should choose. I do not have time ( and stems) to try them in practice. I will change to new one after season.


After removing spacers, "effective reach" will change about 5 mm. I am thinking about 110 mm stem, but in this situation, whole reach will increase about 25 mm ( current stem has 90 mm + 5 mm after removing spacers). It sounds like quite big change, but I am afraid that 100 mm stem will not change steering as much as I want.


I like very agressive and low position. Currently in my "natural" position on hoods my elbows are bent quite significantly, and I can see Hub in about 10- 15 mm in front of my Bar.


My rides are not longer than 100 km, mainly about 50- 80 km, so about 3 to 4h.


What do you think? What stem length do you have on your bike?
I consider a "neutral" stem fit to be where I'm down in the drops, positioned in the saddle as if riding, and having the handlebars perfectly block out the front axle when I look down. For me, anything shorter than that would cause problems for me, YMMV.

As I've worked on flattening out my back in the drops, the bar tops on all of my road bikes extend well beyond the front axles of my various bikes.

So yeah, I would go with the 110 and see how you like it. Might take a week or so to adjust. I'm, 5-10" and run 120's and 130's on all my bikes. I find short stems extremely irritating.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:28 PM
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seau grateau
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Get a cheapie 100 and 110, try em both.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:32 PM
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Definitely try out more than one new length. My bike (55cm Orca) came with a 100mm or 110mm stem, can't recall exactly. The reach was too short as the frame is a tad undersized for me, so I stuck a 130mm -6 degree stem on there (it actually measures closer to 125mm). The handling improved immediately and I was more comfortable. In search of a lower and longer position, I recently put a 140mm -17 stem on it to see how far I could go. The angle caused the saddle-to-bar drop to increase even more than the reach did. So far I like it, but I may try to fine tune it once more with something like a 130mm -10 stem. It's not quite goldilocks yet.

My point is that even small changes in your cockpit can have a noticeable impact, so don't settle for "close enough." Also take my words with a grain of salt as I am taller (185cm) and prefer longer stems than most riders.
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Old 08-16-19, 12:11 AM
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I'm on a 90 for fit reasons but also because I like quick handling.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by McNamara View Post
The reach was too short as the frame is a tad undersized for me, so I stuck a 130mm -6 degree stem on there (it actually measures closer to 125mm).
No question that outlier stem sizes can help make an incorrectly sized frame more usable. Hopefully OP has a frame that is correctly sized for him!
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Old 08-16-19, 06:26 AM
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Lots of pros will deliberately ride a too-small frame, but until you get to that level, it's probably best to stick with traditional sizing formulas.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:42 AM
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If it were me.. I'd remove half the spacers you're considering removing, get a 100mm stem, and not sure about going to a narrower handlebar as that seems would work counter to you already thinking the handling is twitchy.

throw in another option.. try a fork with less rake? eg. if you have 45mm, try 43mm?
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Old 08-16-19, 09:50 AM
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The reach of your frame is a little short for your height and inseam. The head tube is also on the short side. Adding 20mm of spacer further shortens the reach. I'd expect at least a 110mm stem, but handlebar reach and choice of brake/shift levers also makes a difference.

I'm 167cm tall with the same 83cm inseam. With that HT length, I have 10mm of spacer and use a 110mm, -17 degree stem. I also use short reach bars and Campy 12 speed that has the shortest reach brake hoods.
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Old 08-16-19, 12:50 PM
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Iím certain this is apocryphal, but I read somewhere on the interwebz that Eddy Merckx said that a properly designed/fit bike should have a 110mm stem.

Of my two primary bikes, one has a 90mm, one has 110. Both fit and ride just right.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
No question that outlier stem sizes can help make an incorrectly sized frame more usable. Hopefully OP has a frame that is correctly sized for him!
My 55cm frame isn't incorrectly sized for me per se, it's just that I'm in between sizes. The 57cm would be too big for me. You can't fix a too-big frame, but you can make accommodations (as mentioned, many pros do) for a smaller frame.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
A road bike that fits will have 90mm at the short extreme, 110mm at the long extreme. Since it's a WAG why not try the 100mm "right in the middle?" And yes, there are freaks of nature and ill fitting bikes and other "special" circumstances that lead to usage of stems outside this range.
You do realize that many pros use 130mm even 140 mm stems.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:46 PM
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To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a manís legs should be long enough to reach the ground.

A riderís stem should be long enough to balance that rider on the bike.

whether thatís 80 mm or 140 mm or in between depends on the frame and the rider.

beyond that, opining about the corrrect length of the OPís stem is nonsense
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Old 08-16-19, 08:12 PM
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I'm 6'4" with a long torso and 36" arms. I ride a 62 cm Domane. My stem is 120mm. Perfect for me.
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Old 08-18-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Iím certain this is apocryphal, but I read somewhere on the interwebz that Eddy Merckx said that a properly designed/fit bike should have a 110mm stem.

Of my two primary bikes, one has a 90mm, one has 110. Both fit and ride just right.
This was true when people rode custom built steel bikes and Mike Burrows hasn't introduce the world to slopping top tubes and cutting number of available frames sizes in half.
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Old 08-18-19, 08:30 AM
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My height and inseam are almost exactly like yours. FWIW, I am 73 years old. I have two road bikes that fit me perfectly. They are both a measured 54 frame w/54-55 TT and I use a 100mm stem. My saddle height, as measured from saddle to center of pedal axle is 92 cm. I find this very comfortable and I seem to ride efficiently and smoothly.
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