Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Flipping the stem....

Notices
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

Flipping the stem....

Old 09-09-11, 03:34 PM
  #1  
bianchi10
King Hoternot
Thread Starter
 
bianchi10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 5,255

Bikes: 2015 Cannondale Evo Hi mod

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Flipping the stem....

I know what it means, I know why your supposed to. Asthetically, I think it looks waaaay "Gooder". I didn't flip my step (thomsen elite 4x 10 degree) because it felt comfortable with my sprinting as well as climbing. Im in Oregon and do a lot of hill climbs, but I also ride in draft lines on the flats and such. I flipped my stem today and.....this is gonna take some getting used to! I'm pretty flexible but this drops me more than I was expecting.

When you flipped your stem, did it take some getting used to and then you loved it? Or did you flip it, give it a chance and then flip it back?

are there any drawbacks to flipping your stem if you do a lot of climbing?

Last edited by bianchi10; 09-09-11 at 03:49 PM.
bianchi10 is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 03:48 PM
  #2  
ericm979
Senior Member
 
ericm979's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Posts: 6,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If it's performance rather than looks that you care about you should lower your bars 5mm or at most 10mm at a time.
ericm979 is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 03:48 PM
  #3  
HAMMER MAN
Semper Fidelis
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,000

Bikes: Tiemeyer Road Bike & Ridley Domicles

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
actually yes. brought the drop bars closer in and gave a slight rise. I don't believe it looks as well, however I had to do it due to arthritis. took about 2 rides to get use to it, otherwise no problems
HAMMER MAN is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 04:00 PM
  #4  
urbanknight
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 22,827

Bikes: Specialized Allez Elite, Raleigh Pursuit tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 104 Posts
Back in my day, there was no such thing as a flipped stem.


Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
If it's performance rather than looks that you care about you should lower your bars 5mm or at most 10mm at a time.
+1 Either add spacers under the stem that you just flipped, or keep it unflipped and use fewer spacers under it. Get used to that, then go lower.
__________________
It's like riding a bicycle
urbanknight is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 04:28 PM
  #5  
rangerdavid
Senior Member
 
rangerdavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Boone, North Carolina
Posts: 5,094

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9-6 2014 Trek Domaine 5.9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i flipped mine and it immediately felt better........ I've since lowered my bars one spacer too. i want to lower them again in the next week or so.
rangerdavid is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 04:33 PM
  #6  
neneboricua
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 183

Bikes: '09 Fuji Team Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Keep your stem flipped up while gradually lowering the stem by moving spacers from below it to above it. When you've lowered your flipped up stem to the point where the saddle-to-bar drop is the same as it would be if you flipped your stem and moved a few spacers below it, then you can "flip it" and be in pretty much the same position you've already gotten used to.

Personally, I did it all using basic geometry to figure out how many spacers I'd have to move to make it all equivalent. If math isn't your thing, trial and error (while using a ruler) will work, it will just take longer.
neneboricua is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 05:08 PM
  #7  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Flipping it down makes the reach longer as well - if you want to be lower but not longer, you might need a shorter stem, or you might do better to just move it down the spacer stack, as others have said. This makes the reach longer as well, but not as dramatically.

If it's just about looks... well, just take the picture, post it in the "What road bike do you have" thread, then flip it back to where it's comfortable.

...oh, and the word you are looking for is "better"
valygrl is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 05:17 PM
  #8  
bianchi10
King Hoternot
Thread Starter
 
bianchi10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 5,255

Bikes: 2015 Cannondale Evo Hi mod

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
...oh, and the word you are looking for is "better"
no no....its GOODER! ......it goes; ok, good, better, best, GOODER, GOODERIFIC, PIMPTASTIC!
bianchi10 is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 05:19 PM
  #9  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,879
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I think a bike with a stack of spacers and a stem flipped down looks really dorky. Remove the spacers first (some manufacturers recommend leaving one spacer). Only flip the stem down after you've run out of spacers.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:11 PM
  #10  
scirocco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Perth, W.A.
Posts: 935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
I think a bike with a stack of spacers and a stem flipped down looks really dorky.
Not as dorky as a flipped-up stem, which just screams "I haven't got good enough flexibility to ride this bike". At least with the stem down and some more spacers it looks like the traditional quill stems which were parallel to the ground.
scirocco is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:27 PM
  #11  
rufvelo
Senior Member
 
rufvelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
... it felt comfortable with my sprinting as well as climbing....
Sounds like a performance oriented rider and in such cases, flipping the stem (LOWER) will bring out the best in your performance - sprinting or centuries. I ride with a 4 inch drop, would simply not be able to do 100 miles with a level seat-post. Raising the bars is OK for comfort, especially if you already have back problems, but let's not kid ourselves and combine this with higher performance targets.
__________________
rufvelo is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:30 PM
  #12  
ErichM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
Not as dorky as a flipped-up stem, which just screams "I haven't got good enough flexibility to ride this bike". At least with the stem down and some more spacers it looks like the traditional quill stems which were parallel to the ground.
There are other factors beyond flexibility. If given the choice between a flipped up stem, or a larger frame, I think the flipped up stem is probably more ideal.
ErichM is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:31 PM
  #13  
ericm979
Senior Member
 
ericm979's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Posts: 6,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
I think a bike with a stack of spacers and a stem flipped down looks really dorky.
I agree. It says poser. And it's heavier.
ericm979 is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:41 PM
  #14  
K&K_Dad
Schleckaholic
 
K&K_Dad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carteret Co., NC, USA
Posts: 1,230

Bikes: '08 Trek 1.2, Schwinn Avenue Hybrid, '11 GT Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
I flipped my stem today and.....this is gonna take some getting used to! I'm pretty flexible but this drops me more than I was expecting.
I'm assuming you compensated but since you probably didn't you should really take a look https://alex.phred.org/stemchart/Default.aspx at that to see what flipping your stem actually did to your fit. That's why it feels so quirky.
K&K_Dad is offline  
Old 09-09-11, 06:48 PM
  #15  
rufvelo
Senior Member
 
rufvelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by K&K_Dad View Post

..very nice, thanks.
__________________
rufvelo is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 06:50 AM
  #16  
bianchi10
King Hoternot
Thread Starter
 
bianchi10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 5,255

Bikes: 2015 Cannondale Evo Hi mod

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
made some other adjustments last night and went on a ride where I also found myself making minor adjustments and after I found the right seat post height again, it felt great. going on a 60 mile ride ...right now. hope it feels as good when I get home!
bianchi10 is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 07:17 AM
  #17  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by rufvelo View Post
Sounds like a performance oriented rider and in such cases, flipping the stem (LOWER) will bring out the best in your performance - sprinting or centuries. I ride with a 4 inch drop, would simply not be able to do 100 miles with a level seat-post. Raising the bars is OK for comfort, especially if you already have back problems, but let's not kid ourselves and combine this with higher performance targets.
Um...no. Flipping the stem is more of a joke on here than anything else. Stem position has to do with the geometry of the bike relative to the proportion of the rider including his fitness and flexibility. I am long legged and ride with a shortish head tube for my leg length and therefore ride with my stem flipped up.
If anybody thinks that stem down is good for everybody they are wrong.

The guy that raced the bike below in the TdF could easily drop anybody on this forum with slammed/inverted stem and 6" of drop.
Handlebar height has to match the rider's capability and stem position is just a means to putting the bars in the best place for a given rider.
A 75 year old guy who used to be a top racer may now prefer his handlebar level to his saddle. Bar height and reach is unique to each rider.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Landis Bike.jpg (50.1 KB, 113 views)
Campag4life is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 07:50 AM
  #18  
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
IMO the obsession with "flipped" and "slammed" stems is just posturing. (And some joking.)

Your bike needs to fit you, period.. You need to put your stem in a spot that works for your riding style and flexibility (which, by the way, doesn't change). If that happens to be flipped down and slammed, more power to you. If that happens to be flipped up and with a few spacers, so what? You're not going to perform better if your position is uncomfortable or unsuitable.

Get a fit and put your stem in the optimal spot for you.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 07:55 AM
  #19  
rufvelo
Senior Member
 
rufvelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
...
The guy that raced the bike below in the TdF could easily drop anybody on this forum with slammed/inverted stem and 6" of drop. ...
He was confronted with 2 choices, flip step OR up the meds..., should have flipped stem.
__________________
rufvelo is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 08:41 AM
  #20  
jdon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,243
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 326 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
no no....its GOODER! ......it goes; ok, good, better, best, GOODER, GOODERIFIC, PIMPTASTIC!
You need to get that approved by the grammar dorks in the "brake melting thread."
jdon is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 08:57 AM
  #21  
AndyK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern N.J.
Posts: 1,980

Bikes: '08 Roubaix SL '03 De Rosa Planet, '77 Cinelli Supercorsa, '79 Paris Sport (Moulton)

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
Not as dorky as a flipped-up stem, which just screams "I haven't got good enough flexibility to ride this bike". At least with the stem down and some more spacers it looks like the traditional quill stems which were parallel to the ground.
I agree. My stem is flipped down, because I need the length, but with spacers, to get the bars up higher. This is how my bike fits me best. Nothing to do with looking cool, it just fits this way - like a quill stem geometry-wise.
AndyK is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 09:12 AM
  #22  
ErichM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
I agree. My stem is flipped down, because I need the length, but with spacers, to get the bars up higher. This is how my bike fits me best. Nothing to do with looking cool, it just fits this way - like a quill stem geometry-wise.
EDIT: Removed bad information.

Last edited by ErichM; 09-10-11 at 11:34 AM.
ErichM is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 09:50 AM
  #23  
nhluhr
John Wayne Toilet Paper
 
nhluhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Roanoke
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: BH carbon, Ritchey steel, Kona aluminum

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neneboricua View Post
Keep your stem flipped up while gradually lowering the stem by moving spacers from below it to above it. When you've lowered your flipped up stem to the point where the saddle-to-bar drop is the same as it would be if you flipped your stem and moved a few spacers below it, then you can "flip it" and be in pretty much the same position you've already gotten used to.

Personally, I did it all using basic geometry to figure out how many spacers I'd have to move to make it all equivalent. If math isn't your thing, trial and error (while using a ruler) will work, it will just take longer.
for a 120mm stem at 6 degrees, flipping changes it by 25mm. I used basic trigonometry to figure it out. I'd like to flip my stem back up and get rid of excess spacer/steerer but I don't have 25mm of spacer below the stem to lose.
nhluhr is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 09:55 AM
  #24  
nhluhr
John Wayne Toilet Paper
 
nhluhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Roanoke
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: BH carbon, Ritchey steel, Kona aluminum

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ErichM View Post
Horizontal reach is very minimally (a millimeter or two) impacted by stem angle.
This is just plain ass wrong. Why would you make a claim like this which you obviously haven't verified in any way?

The shallower your angle is (like on a small cyclocross frame), the more reach will be affected by flipping. The steeper it is (like on a tall road race bike), the less reach will be affected.

But just for sake of numbers, lets do the math for a shallow 71.5 head tube all the way to a steep 73.5 headtube (numbers are for a 120mm 6 degree stem):

shallow:
flipped: 120*cos12.5 = 117.16 not flipped: 120*cos24.5 = 109.20mm (diff is 7.96mm)

steep:
flipped: 120*cos10.5 = 118.00 not flipped: 120*cos22.5 = 110.87mm (diff is 7.13mm)

So you might say for all typical bikes, flipping a 120mm 6 degree stem will give you a 7 to 8 mm reach difference. That's pretty damn significant.
nhluhr is offline  
Old 09-10-11, 10:42 AM
  #25  
AndyK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern N.J.
Posts: 1,980

Bikes: '08 Roubaix SL '03 De Rosa Planet, '77 Cinelli Supercorsa, '79 Paris Sport (Moulton)

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
shallow:
flipped: 120*cos12.5 = 117.16 not flipped: 120*cos24.5 = 109.20mm (diff is 7.96mm)

steep:
flipped: 120*cos10.5 = 118.00 not flipped: 120*cos22.5 = 110.87mm (diff is 7.13mm)

So you might say for all typical bikes, flipping a 120mm 6 degree stem will give you a 7 to 8 mm reach difference. That's pretty damn significant.
Yup! I got about half a centimeter by flipping my 100mm stem down, which helps. The spacers I need under the stem to raise the bars enough to not hurt my back reduced my reach, and the extra 5mm or so increased it back again. Math is cool!
AndyK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.