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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

Riding Position

Old 01-22-12, 12:21 PM
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rkelley23
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Riding Position

So I've been ridding for about 3 years now, When i got my first bike (trek1.1) I was not very flexible and had no experience so the saddle to bar drop was minimal. The past year i bought a CAAD 10 and love it and the more aggressive ridding position but having been on it for a while I'm feeling a bit too upright. There are a fair amount of spacers underneath the stem so how do I go about removing them and lowering my stem?
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Old 01-22-12, 12:27 PM
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triumph.1
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easy method: unscrew top cap pull off bars and remove spacers from bottom and put the spacers on top of bars and then replace top cap or difficult method: you could probably cut the fork tube down if you are really confident. I chose the easy method.

Last edited by triumph.1; 01-22-12 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:32 PM
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I would go easy about it. First, just move one spacer from below the stem to above the stem. Ride it for a few weeks and see how you like it. If you're still feeling too upright, move another spacer to the top and try that for awhile.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:38 PM
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Thanks guys, I figured I wouldn't cut the steerer until i was uber confident in the position.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:53 PM
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As mentioned above, take it in increments as opposed to all at once - keep it mind that it'll change the handling and feel.

Also, when you're putting it back together, remember that you're going to tighten your stem to the steerer LAST. You need to snug the top cap to load the fork/steerer first, so that there's no play, then tighten the stem.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Also, when you're putting it back together, remember that you're going to tighten your stem to the steerer LAST. You need to snug the top cap to load the fork/steerer first, so that there's no play, then tighten the stem.
+1. I did the opposite the first time and for the life of me couldnt figure out the play when I applied the front break and moved the bike back and forth.
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Old 01-22-12, 01:06 PM
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It's "brake," unless it broke.
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Old 01-22-12, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
It's "brake," unless it broke.
Doh! Im usually good about that.
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Old 01-22-12, 02:07 PM
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I'm in a similar position. I've got significantly more drop than what I used to (still not much compared to some), and I've found that taking it slow helps. My spacers are all 5mm, and when I first started experimenting with removing them for more drop, I just moved one at a time and then rode it for a week or so to see how I liked it. If I wanted more, I'd move another one. I feel pretty comfortable with where it is now, though I could still drop it more if I wanted.

For me, though, I'm not going to cut the steerer tube in the forceable future, though I definitely could. The amount of drop I have now is comfortable for my average ride (2 - 3 hours), but this summer I'm riding across the country, and I want to be able to bump the handlebars up if 5-8 hours in the saddle every day proves to be a bit too much.

All that to say, I'd leave a little extra room just incase. It's easy enough to move the spacers, so long as you tighten the cap before the stem, like everyone has said. Unless you have an ungodly amount of tube above the stem, you're OCD, or you're racing, I say leave as much as you can.
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Old 01-22-12, 02:10 PM
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This is inspiring me to finally remove the rest of the periscope on my bike.
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Old 01-22-12, 04:22 PM
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I've always used a lot of drop, but around age 55, I decided to try increasing my drop from 9cm to 11cm, all at once. I changed from an 84 degree stem to a 73, since I had no spacers to remove. Didn't take long at all to get used to it.

Increasing my reach is another story. With a short torso, I use about all the reach I can tolerate, to maintain knee to arm clearance, when pedaling with hands in the hooks. Even a 5mm increase in reach can bring on some discomfort in the shoulder area.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 01-22-12 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 01-22-12, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I've always used a lot of drop, but around age 55, I decided to try increasing my drop from 9cm to 11cm, all at once. I changed from an 84 degree stem to a 73, since I had no spacers to remove. Didn't take long at all to get used to it.

Increasing my reach is another story. With a short torso, I use about all the reach I can tolerate, to maintain knee to arm clearance, when pedaling with hands in the hooks. Even a 5mm increase in reach can bring on some discomfort in the shoulder area.
What is this knee to arm clearance requirement for riding in the drops?
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