Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Difference in stems?

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Old 05-01-03, 10:26 AM
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Roadlearner
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Difference in stems?

I have a Raleigh R600, and the bike fits really well, but it seems the bars are just about an inch too far out. . After putting 700 miles on the bike I've reached that conclusion. lol

This is my exact bike, notice how the stem is pretty much parallel to the ground.



I switched it out with a stem much like this one. . it is much more comfortable now, and I don't feel like I'm crushing my boys when I'm in the drops (for lack of a better way to put it lol).



So, my question is what is the real difference between the stems. . does one have an advantage over the other? Honestly, I think my first stem looked better, but it's just too uncomfortable.
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Old 05-01-03, 10:31 AM
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Hi,
my LBS has a box full of brand new stems that came with bikes. He replaces them automatically; knowing that most customers will want a shorter, steeper stem. Bikes are made too 'racy' these days; so you wind up getting a short stem to be comfy.
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Old 05-01-03, 11:36 AM
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So basically I'm creating more drag and going slower, just more comfortable. . lol
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Old 05-01-03, 11:41 AM
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That boy crunching you mentioned could (I stress, COULD) have been due to your saddle not being set up right. That said, a shorter stem works better for most folks.
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Old 05-01-03, 11:49 AM
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I've read that your stem is @ the correct position when your front hub is blocked from your view by the top of the bars. However, I don't know if this view is with your hands on the drops, the hoods or the tops.

Does anyone know the answer?? ThanX!!
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Old 05-01-03, 12:46 PM
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I beleive the answer is when you can't see the front hub in the drops. I think most complete bikes come with the steerer tubes cut too short. The shop should be able to cut it to the individuals preference. Then they could choose what they like better; riser stem or lots of spacers. Of course could frame size or lack of flexability be the issue?
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Old 05-01-03, 12:53 PM
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Bike fitting 101: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

What ever works for you is what's best.
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Old 05-01-03, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by bac
I've read that your stem is @ the correct position when your front hub is blocked from your view by the top of the bars. However, I don't know if this view is with your hands on the drops, the hoods or the tops.

Does anyone know the answer?? ThanX!!
I've always used when viewed with your hands on the hoods. When I had a mechanic check my fit on my K2 he used the same method.

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Old 05-01-03, 01:37 PM
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Technically, it should have been setup perfect the first time b/c the handlebars did block the hub. I don't know, it certainly feels better now, so I'll ride this way for a while and see. I just didn't know what the basic concept is behind one stem rising, and one not.

thanks for the link and info!
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Old 05-01-03, 01:40 PM
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Bac - With hands on drops.

But that is personal preference. I tell all my customers that if they are happy and comfortable with fit, do not mess with it. Too many follow advice from stragers that may not know anything and they end upspending money and going back to where they were comfortable.

Bottom line for recreational riders there is no secret. If oyu like it and are comfortable, great!
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Old 05-01-03, 01:44 PM
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I put a Delta stem extension on mine! It is more comfortable to ride now and I have suffered no loss of average time! The drops are much more comfortable to use than before and it's easier to stay in the drops when you have the wind in your face!
Flexablity? I can stand with my feet the with of my shoulders apart and put the palms of my hands on the floor but the best thing I ever did was raise my bars!
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Old 05-01-03, 01:45 PM
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Which is really your bike?
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Old 05-01-03, 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Roadlearner
Technically, it should have been setup perfect the first time b/c the handlebars did block the hub. I don't know, it certainly feels better now, so I'll ride this way for a while and see. I just didn't know what the basic concept is behind one stem rising, and one not.
The rule of thumb about the bar blocking the view of the hub is just that -- a rule of thumb that may not work perfectly for everybody. Besides, that only deals with the reach (the distance from the seat to the bars) and doesn't address the height of the bars relative to the seat which is also important. For a more comfortable and less aggressive setup your bars should be pretty much level with the seat, or maybe even up a little from that. As for the rise of the stem, you can get that from a lot of stems by flipping them over -- you could flip the stem on the bike in the first picture and it would look just like the second one. Many stems have a slight angle where they clamp to the steerer, and turned one way that angle subtracts from the headtube angle and puts the stem almost parallel to the ground and turned the other way it adds to the headtube angle and sticks the bar up.

Anyway, listen to your body and how you feel after long rides -- that's the only way to know when you've got it right.
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Old 05-02-03, 07:49 AM
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A related question that I have is ... when you are in the drops at your most comfortable position, can you still comfortably reach the brake levers? I find that I cannot and this bothers me. Does this mean I'm not set up right, or is this true for most people out there?
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Old 05-02-03, 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by jonny texas
A related question that I have is ... when you are in the drops at your most comfortable position, can you still comfortably reach the brake levers? I find that I cannot and this bothers me. Does this mean I'm not set up right, or is this true for most people out there?
I cannot either. I'm still searching for a good solution. One thought is the following:

TTT Morpheus (scroll down to bottom of page)
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Old 05-02-03, 08:36 AM
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Hi,
Shimano gear gives you the option of installing a 2nd set of brake levers. I have Pauls Love Levers on the top of my drop bars. I love the arrangement.
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Old 05-02-03, 09:28 AM
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late: Could you tell me more about the 2nd brake lever arrangement. Can this be done with all Shimano levels, specifically Sora? Donna may want something like this for her bike.

Any links for further investigation would be appreciated.

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Old 05-02-03, 09:53 AM
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Originally posted by shokhead
Which is really your bike?
The R600 is mine.
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Old 05-02-03, 05:51 PM
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Hi,
here's a pic.....

http://www.paulcomp.com/frmbk.html

They plug into the Shimano levers, and they work well. I don't know if they work with all of them. Prob your LBS can tell you that.

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