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Felt's angled (wedge) Stem Shim with non Felt stems?

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Felt's angled (wedge) Stem Shim with non Felt stems?

Old 02-25-13, 05:46 PM
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timtak
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Felt's angled (wedge) Stem Shim with non Felt stems?

I have bought a Felt Z5. I really like the angle of the seat post but but the front is a bit too relaxed. I have taken out the spacers, and I would like a longer stem (currently 90mm, I will try 120mm).

What seems a shame though is that the current felt stem has a cool custom made angled shim with a wedge which allows us to change the angle +/- 8 degrees (in addition to to the angle of the stem itself), and I don't think I'll be able to use it with another stem.

Here is a similar product
https://2011.feltracing.com/USA/2011/...LE%20STEM.aspx

Normally stems are 1 and 1/8 of an inch (28.6mm) at the headset end. Does anyone know the internal dimensions of the felt stem, or whether it can be used with other stems? I know I should take it off and measure it. I don't think I'd be able to do it accurately.
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Old 02-25-13, 06:47 PM
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I think the felt stem is bigger to accommodate the shim. If you do replace the stem, take into account the extra few mm's the stem wedge adds. I needed a small spacer on mine.
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Old 02-25-13, 06:52 PM
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I was wondering about the other way around (it is the shim that I like). A clever piece of design on Felt's part.
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Old 02-25-13, 07:01 PM
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Why not buy another Felt stem?

Specialized has a similar system, BTW. I agree that it's nice.
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Old 02-25-13, 07:15 PM
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Just tried it and I dont think it will work naturally It is a nice set up with the shim

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Old 02-26-13, 06:33 AM
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Thank you for trying that out. So it is the stem and not the headset. Damn good stem.

Yes, I could buy another Felt stem because the are very nice/adjustable but, I was aiming for cheaper stuff on ebay (or equivalent), and it seems that the FELT stems are, while very reasonably priced (only 40USD plus postage) only go up to 120mm, and I think I need 130 or 140mm(!) because I bought a frame too small for me.


(FELT Z5 frames, with their more upright seat post result in a shorter cyclist to handlebar distance with the post up high.)


(Perhaps I should support my LBS, even just out of self-interest. It always *seems* 50% cheaper to buy from ebay but then I keep making mistakes. I think that the problem is that I would never take the plunge to purchase the right thing at 50% more at an LBS, but if I buy the wrong thing, and loads of after-parts, then the purchase process is gradual. Additionally, I am getting better at knowing my size(s) so soon, I will not need the fitting expertise, or after-parts.)
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Old 02-26-13, 09:11 AM
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FWIW, I have a 10 year old Specialized stem that has an angled shim like that, and I'm pretty sure the idea predates that. The stem and shim are designed to work as a unit. I'll have to go check and see what size steerer it fits.
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Old 02-26-13, 12:43 PM
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I have a new Roubaix with Specialized's version of this. I've seen people running non-Specialized stems on their Specialized bikes. How are they doing it? My theory is that with the zero degree shim installed maybe you can use any old stem?
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Old 02-26-13, 12:55 PM
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I didn't look that close before I started the fit process on my Z85, but I think the original stem that came on mine had a shim like that. But we changed to a shorter Bontrager stem and it fits fine. I do notice that the Felt headset top cap overhangs the edges of the Bontrager stem just a bit, probably because the Felt stem was slightly larger to accommodate that shim.

In short any standard 1-1/8" steerer stem should work perfectly.
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Old 02-26-13, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I have a new Roubaix with Specialized's version of this. I've seen people running non-Specialized stems on their Specialized bikes. How are they doing it? My theory is that with the zero degree shim installed maybe you can use any old stem?
Actually, the shim of the Specialized stem has a standard inner diameter for a 1-1/8" steerer. The stem itself has a larger inner diameter to accommodate the shim. If you remove the stem and shim, it is no problem to use a "normal" stem on a bike designed for one of these multi-angle stems. You just lose the adjustability.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I didn't look that close before I started the fit process on my Z85, but I think the original stem that came on mine had a shim like that. But we changed to a shorter Bontrager stem and it fits fine. I do notice that the Felt headset top cap overhangs the edges of the Bontrager stem just a bit, probably because the Felt stem was slightly larger to accommodate that shim.

In short any standard 1-1/8" steerer stem should work perfectly.
Yeah, the top cap on these adjustable stems have a larger diameter to match the stem's larger diameter. If you switch to a standard stem, you should probably also get a standard top cap to match, though I guess it doesn't matter as much if your top cap is too big rather than too small.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:57 PM
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The larger cap does feel a bit odd, but I like the Felt logo on it.
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Old 02-26-13, 02:33 PM
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Wait a minute OP. You currently have a 90mm, are looking for a 120mm, but really think you need a 130mm or 140mm?
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Old 02-26-13, 04:52 PM
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Yes. My frame is too small for me. For my hubs to be hidden by my handlebars I think that I need 140mm or 150mm stem (the latter may not exist) but maybe I can put the saddle further back.

At the moment I have the saddle set forward a bit. It seems more comfortable that way. I have the seat post up to its highest position.

(I span the seat post 180 degrees and took off a little bit of aluminium that prevented the saddle angle from adjusting to set forward angles with an angle grinder!)

I have been reading stem length threads all over the web. I can't find the reasons against having a long stem.
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Old 02-26-13, 05:05 PM
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1) I think you need a fitting at the LBS.
2) You shouldn't fix reach issues by adjusting the position of the saddle (read up on KOPS).
3) If you really need a 140mm or 150mm, you likely need a different frame. But you may be surprized at what a difference 3cm (the 120mm) could do for you.
4) Sounds like you are sporting a near-TT set-up. (You turned the seatpost 180 degrees?)
5) I think you need a fitting at the LBS.
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Old 02-26-13, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
Yes. My frame is too small for me. For my hubs to be hidden by my handlebars I think that I need 140mm or 150mm stem (the latter may not exist) but maybe I can put the saddle further back.
That's not how you determine what reach you need.

Regarding your saddle-seatpost setup, it seems you're a novice rider trying to get your legs as close to a standard walking position as you can (knee fully extended, leg vertical when on the lowest part of the stroke). Pedaling is not walking, that's not how you should sit on a bicycle.
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Old 02-26-13, 05:58 PM
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[Preamble Oh LBS schmellBS I can't afford LBS prices. I would never be a road biker but for my carbon frame. I would never have got a carbon frame at 2000 USD plus prices offered by LBS. I think that the cheapest they offered was about 2400 USD or more three 1/2 years ago. On the other hand I can get carbon road bike for 1400 on ebay (or Japanese equivalent). My new Z5 was 1400 USD including postage. Maybe if I were in a bigger city then there would be some cheaper LBS but in provincial Japan local bike stores are out of my price range.

I bought my Z5 at the same nominal size (54cm) as my Azzurri Primo but the Primo has a more backward sloping seat post. I have my seat post up very high with the saddle rails up 28cm above the cross bar. I use a full 4cm of set forward (a *reversed* i.e. set forward British USE sumo) to get over my pedals . I got the Azzurri Primo direct from Taiwan for 1600 USD. That is another reason why LBS are expensive here - because we are near Taiwan, where the bikes are made and can be bought online really cheaply, especially in Asian (i.e. slightly smaller) sizes.

Also, before that I did buy an aluminium bike from my LBS and the fit felt bad the bike was not at all to my liking. I was unhappy with their advice. I love my Primo and I am getting to like my z5 even more. End of Local Bike Shop story.]


I have just checked my KOPS (thanks for that) and find that on my Z5 my knee is still a little behind my pedals. Drat. (Sheldon Brown's page on KOPS explains it, even though he did not entirely agree. ).

I don't think that I can get a longer than 140mm stem so I will get one. There is a +- 6degree Carbon Microtech and a +-10 degree Aluminium Shimano stem both at about 50USD on auction.

But I am still not sure of the angle to get. That is why I would like to be able to use that clever FELT angled shim.

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Old 02-26-13, 06:10 PM
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I'm sure if you continue to throw $50's at the problem you'll eventually figure something out...good luck.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:11 PM
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Regarding your saddle-seatpost setup, it seems you're a novice rider trying to get your legs as close to a standard walking position as you can (knee fully extended, leg vertical when on the lowest part of the stroke). Pedaling is not walking, that's not how you should sit on a bicycle.
Thank you. I never knew that. (I mean that without any sarcasm at all). Thank you for looking back over my posts, I presume, to find that out.

I have been riding for a long time on and off for the past 31 years since I was 16 but I ride alone so I may well be a complete novice. I do, as you say, have legs at full extension when on the lowest part of the stroke. This is not something I have really thought about before, other than to realise that I just seem to like it. I am not sure why. It seems I go faster when I am up high. What do other people do?

When that British guy died at the top of a mountain in France during the Tour de France his last words were reported to be something like "Put me back on my bike." The relevance of this is that as far as I am aware, pro riders have their seats up so high that it is difficult for them to get on their bike unassisted.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:27 PM
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Dear dtrain

I did not spend much on my Primo (a USE seatpost and a Selle SMP saddle) both required because the fit was not right but now it is okay.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:54 PM
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I looked at the pic and think that Primo is way too small for you. The Felt is similar? I just think you've done some very odd things in self fitting and I stand behind my #1-5 above. Unfortunately I'd predict they'll just tell you to start over with a larger frame.
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Old 02-26-13, 07:02 PM
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Thank you Dtrain. The Felt is a similar size (all so called "54cm").

Thanks to you, my next frame will be a bigger one, but it will still be a Taiwan or otherwise Internet import because I can not afford to pay 50% more at the LBS. That is 700USD more. That buys a lot of Chinese 50USD after-parts (check out this saddle!).

I may get a longer stem for my Primo too. When I am on the hoods I am not hunched like that. I wondered why I don't use the drops.

Thanks to kind members I will be advised by K.O.P.S plus front bars over hubs. I will be able to get there even on these small frames, which are by the way, meant to work with my height. The Primo needs another 3cm (or 130mm) of stem too.

I am still wondering about the angle. Sicne there is no way of using the cool FELT shim, I may remove the "cone shaped" spacer in the headset of the Felt as recommended by this esteemed Z5 review. Does anyone know how to remove the cone shaped spacer?

By the way, "the older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow," is true. One of them is thou shalt use an LBS though they be beyond your price range. However, if you go your own way, and "do some very odd things in self fitting," you can keep livin.

Last edited by timtak; 02-26-13 at 07:36 PM. Reason: to ask about the cone shaped spacer
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Old 02-26-13, 07:14 PM
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Do some research on online fit calculators. Best of luck.
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Old 02-26-13, 07:34 PM
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I am okay with the basic fit now (thanks to the kind advice received and will purchase a 140mm stem from China) but I think that angle of the stem and the height of my bars will be a personal thing (how supple I am, how much I am prepared to go down low to achieve aerodynamic form).

So I want to try various different angles. I can't use that shim (unless I can find another stem it it fits). I did look into a variable angle stem but I am not seeing them in 140mm in my price range. Another way is to vary the spacers. I have already moved two of them above the bars (strange how I can't get rid of them completely), and I am wondering what to do about the cone shaped spacer, which if removed would be another way of achieving lower handlebars.

Or does angle as opposed to height make a difference?

By the way I would still be very interested to hear of the disadvantages of having my saddle so high and my legs extended at the full thrust of my pedals.

Last edited by timtak; 02-26-13 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Add the product I chose
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Old 02-26-13, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
Thank you for looking back over my posts, I presume, to find that out.
Your fit is quite unconventional.

Most people find that their hips rock when their knees extend that much, causing chafing and making it very difficult to pedal smoothly and quickly. Since you really are fully extending your knees, you can disregard the entire concept of KOPS because you won't achieve it unless you have a 90 degree seatpost.

I would suggest that you would find a time trial bike to be much more comfortable and suitable to your preferred riding position.
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