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How short is your stem?

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How short is your stem?

Old 08-27-06, 10:58 AM
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How short is your stem?

I picked up my new bike a few weeks ago.

In the store it fit me fine from what I can tell - spun on the rollers for a few minutes.

However, after getting it home and riding it some more, I feel like I'm reaching forward more than I'd like to, even with the saddle pushed forward.

I have a 100mm stem on it at the moment, but am considering a 60mm or 70mm.

My standover height seems fine. I can stand over the frame, feet flat on the ground and still be able to comfortable raise the front wheel 3 inches.

Is such a short stem normal, or should I have gotten a smaller frame size?

Maybe I have short arms...
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Old 08-27-06, 11:02 AM
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My new bike also has a 100. But for my riding style, I had to move the seat forward, and am now considering an 80 or 90 stem.

All the talk about "Proper Bike Fit" is really a myth! Everyone has a differant style and differant comfort zone. But the myth of the FIT is how LBS's get people to buy from them instead of online.
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Old 08-27-06, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by not2fast
My new bike also has a 100. But for my riding style, I had to move the seat forward, and am now considering an 80 or 90 stem.

All the talk about "Proper Bike Fit" is really a myth! Everyone has a differant style and differant comfort zone. But the myth of the FIT is how LBS's get people to buy from them instead of online.
there's some truth in what you say, but it sounds like your frame is definitely too big

Last edited by Serpico; 08-27-06 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 08-27-06, 11:27 AM
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No, frame is just fine. But I do triathlon riding on areo-bars, and like being far forward. The seat is moved forward, but I want to shorten the stem just a bit, to bring the pads more directly under my shoulders.

They took all kinds of measurements when I bought it, and then measured the bike, and set it all up. From their measurements, they even had the seat set to the height they thought it "Should" be set at.

I guess it was a good starting point. But again, a lot of the fit thing is a myth. You need to fit it your self while riding it. Carry some allen wrenches with you on your first couple rides.
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Old 08-27-06, 11:54 AM
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not2fast, this is always a problem trying to convert a standard road frme geometry to a comfortable triathlon geometry. As I understand it you will always end up with a very short stem and a really forward seat position. I have noticed that many people will tell you to try one frame size smaller than normal to get a better tri type of fit where you cn use more or less "normal" stem lengths and have the bars just a bit lower to compensate for the elbow rests.
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Old 08-27-06, 11:57 AM
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That sounds about right. I just about got it where I want it.

While most of my riding is tri-style, I didnt want to commit to an expensive tri-only bike. I like being able to reconfigure should the need arise.
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Old 08-27-06, 12:09 PM
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90mm on 57mm Bianchi Veloce.
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Old 08-27-06, 12:13 PM
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My bike came with a 110 mm stem which is pretty standard on a 58cm bike. The bike basically fit as my the handle bars were ever so slightly ahead of the front hub but basically centered with my line of vision. But I have back concerns so I swapped it out for a 90 mm stem which I feel more comfortable. The handle bars are still centered over the hub except just slightly behind it.
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Old 08-27-06, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fa63
I use an 80 mm stem, and the bike handles just like it did when it had the 110 mm stem on there.
+1
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Old 08-27-06, 01:20 PM
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My 59cm Scattante came with a 120mm stem and I am currently using a 100mm stem. It feels about right at this time.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:16 PM
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"How short is your stem?"

I haven't measured it lately, but my wife likes it just fine.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:49 PM
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^Hah..

Anyway, I have a 90mm threadless stem on my Bianchi Veloce right now. It's a 55 cm and I still feel a little stretched out, so I think I may go down to the 70 mm rather than try and find a smaller frame. I'm short on cash, short on time.
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Old 08-27-06, 03:37 PM
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120 on mine. Up from 110. I had the saddle too far back, so when I got that where it was supposed to be, I needed more stem length.
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Old 08-27-06, 03:50 PM
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My 57cm LeMond came stock with a 120mm stem. I recently ( a few months back) had a shorter (100mm) one put on there and feel so much better. I teied the 110mm first for awhile and still felt a bit stretched out.

Cheers,

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Old 08-27-06, 04:10 PM
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100mm on my LOOK and the quill stem on my LeMond is probably about the same length and I'm fine with that. Longer would be too long and shorter would probably compromise the way the bike handles.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:32 PM
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dropped from a 110 to a 90
I found that my knees like my seat back a little more than normal (about 1 inch behind KOPS)

Still handles fine, I am on a 61cm am 6'3" w/ 36.5 inseam...
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Old 08-27-06, 04:34 PM
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I fit perfectly on a 2005 52 cm Trek 1000 with an 80 mm stem (everything stock). My Scattante CFR 53 cm has almost identical frame measurements as my old Trek 52 except slightly wider bars and a 100 or 110 mm stem and I don't like it. I, too, feel like I'm reaching out too far. Hoping to replace it with a 80 mm..
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Old 08-27-06, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Serpico
there's some truth in what you say, but it sounds like your frame is definitely too big
Not necessarily 'cause everyone does not have the exact same arm length to leg length ratio. Combine that with variations in manufacturers sizing, and a short stem might very well be a perfect fit.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:39 PM
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52cm ST, 54.5 TT, 12cm stem.

seems like I read somewhere that 10-12cm was ideal as far as weight distribution over the front wheel, etc so a custom frame should work from there....never heard it again so maybe not.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Dial_tone
52cm ST, 54.5 TT, 12cm stem.

seems like I read somewhere that 10-12cm was ideal as far as weight distribution over the front wheel, etc so a custom frame should work from there....never heard it again so maybe not.
There is no ideal stem length; as long as your handlebars are somewhere around the theoretical appropriate handlebar location (see Dave Moulton's write-up on road-bike handling), the length of stem shouldn't really have an affect on bike handling characteristics.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:01 PM
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I think dial_tone was implying that with all other things about the frame, seat fore/aft, crank length being theoretically 'correct' for a given fit, the stem would come out to being 100-120 cm.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:19 PM
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...Depends on what you want. Personally I find that anything below 100 is too twitchy. When I had a 90 I felt that on heavy climbs I had to concentrate on keeping a straight aim or I'd be zig zagging a tad too much. And then above the 30mph mark I felt I had to concentrate on the same if I wanted to feel stable, especially if I was pedaling hard at those speeds.

I have a 110 now and all of that has gone away. I can pedal as hard as I want at 40mph or mash as hard as I want in a climb and I have a straighter steer. ...Never have to think about it now.

For me it's mostly about the turn arc and how it that will change the angle of your steering under otherwise identical circumstances. I doubt I'll ever go with anything below a 110 again.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:31 PM
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Going from 10cm to 6 or 7 cm is quite a bit of change in terms of the reach. Remember, if you stick with the same degree for the stem, you're not only reducing your reach, you're also lowering the bar by a corresponding percentage. You might want to change just one or two cm first. As you bought the bike recently, the LBS might be able to just swap it for you for free?
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Old 08-27-06, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by theshoemaker
Personally I find that anything below 100 is too twitchy. When I had a 90 I felt that on heavy climbs I had to concentrate on keeping a straight aim or I'd be zig zagging a tad too much. And then above the 30mph mark I felt I had to concentrate on the same if I wanted to feel stable, especially if I was pedaling hard at those speeds.
Hmm.....I think most people will quickly adapt to this 'twitchiness'. I personally don't notice any diff in steering response or twitchiness when I make stem length changes.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:52 PM
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100mm stock on a 52cm Fuji Team Pro. I swapped it for a 110mm.
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