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

Correct stem angle?

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

Correct stem angle?

Old 06-27-13, 06:57 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: On yer left
Posts: 1,646
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Correct stem angle?

What is the "correct" stem angle for a road bike? Is it supposed to be parallel to the top tube or to the ground?
Mine is pointed up to provide a more relaxed fit. If I flip it, will I get more aero, and hence, faster?
kenji666 is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 07:02 PM
  #2  
1337
 
FPSDavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 858

Bikes: CAAD10

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes.
FPSDavid is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 07:04 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
YOJiMBO20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,415

Bikes: 2010 Litespeed Icon, 1987 Nishiki Olympic 12

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mine is parallel to the top tube, if I were to flip it, it would point up, making me less aero and slower.
YOJiMBO20 is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 07:11 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,841

Bikes: More than 1, but, less than S-1

Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The correct angle and length is the one that places the bars where you want or need them.
__________________
Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

Last edited by bigfred; 06-27-13 at 08:55 PM.
bigfred is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 07:37 PM
  #5  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
As Fred correctly stated. To give an example OP. Contrast two different frame geometries OP...a Tarmac vs. Roubalx. A Roubaix on average size to size has a 20mm taller head tube than a Tarmac. A rider may start out on a Tarmac being a bit out of shape with a flat stem angle and find his neck and back hurts. He places a riser stem on the Tarmac which basically replicates the position had he bought a Roubaix fitted with flat stem. Two different frames, two stem angles and the same position on both bike. That said, most prefer the aesthetic of a flat stem...a throw back to road bikes of years past and in general a lower front end on a bike looks sleeker. But make no mistake. Not everybody can ride a slammed race geometry comfortably. There is no right or wrong when it comes to stem angle but most of us have our preference.
PS: Pros who are extraordinary...want to generally ride the smallest aka shortest frames with slammed flat or negative angle stems (long) because they want be as aero as possible. Recreational riders...generally find this position too aggressive but not necessarily amateur racers.

Last edited by Campag4life; 06-27-13 at 07:46 PM.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 08:13 PM
  #6  
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 31,408

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Liked 822 Times in 425 Posts
Originally Posted by bigfred
The correct angle and length is the one places the bars where you want or need them.
Originally Posted by Campag4life
As Fred correctly stated. .
well, that's an oxymoron.

Of course, Fred is going to give a Fred answer. The only correct answer is parallel to the ground. Sheesh.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 08:15 PM
  #7  
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,346

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
On compact geo frames, I think -17 looks a bit off... -10 tends to look visually more appealing. On a more standard frame -17 is the way to go. Comfort be damned!
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 08:55 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,841

Bikes: More than 1, but, less than S-1

Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
well, that's an oxymoron.

Of course, Fred is going to give a Fred answer. The only correct answer is parallel to the ground. Sheesh.
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
On compact geo frames, I think -17 looks a bit off... -10 tends to look visually more appealing. On a more standard frame -17 is the way to go. Comfort be damned!
There we go! That should keep MXL happy.

OP, you could just go to the "Hot or Not" thread and take a look there. I'm sure they're all set up correctly.
__________________
Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.
bigfred is offline  
Old 06-27-13, 08:58 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,841

Bikes: More than 1, but, less than S-1

Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
well, that's an oxymoron.

Of course, Fred is going to give a Fred answer. The only correct answer is parallel to the ground. Sheesh.
Hey now. Depending upon your definition or which version of "Fred" we're talking about, Fred's might actually have it right more oftern than not.
__________________
Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.
bigfred is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 06:01 AM
  #10  
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 31,408

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Liked 822 Times in 425 Posts
^ of course your original answer was correct. However, it's completely contrary to 41 style orthodoxy
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 10:24 AM
  #11  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
^ of course your original answer was correct. However, it's completely contrary to 41 style orthodoxy
A footnote to the notion of 41 style orthodoxy. There probably isn't one. Reason why I say that is because there is such a difference in opinion relative to style which is common anywhere...and including whether orthodoxy would include practicality aka rider comfort trumping style. I know for may it doesn't and many ride in a borderline uncomfortable position because it looks cool. But there are the proud stem risers out there as well that don't give a rip about riding slammed because it hurts. Women wear stilettos for the same reason
Campag4life is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 12:52 PM
  #12  
commu*ist spy
 
spectastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: oregon
Posts: 4,459
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
if I switch from a -5 deg 110 to a -17 deg stem, do I need to get the 100 mm due to the slight stretching?

ok maybe not https://www.habcycles.com/stemfit.jpg

I actually need to get lower, because my 58 frame is 180 mm head tube rather than 160.

Last edited by spectastic; 06-28-13 at 01:00 PM.
spectastic is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 01:11 PM
  #13  
ka maté ka maté ka ora
 
pdedes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: wessex
Posts: 4,423

Bikes: breezer venturi - red novo bosberg - red, pedal force cg1 - red, neuvation f-100 - da, devinci phantom - xt, miele piste - miche/campy, bianchi reparto corse sbx, concorde squadra tsx - da, miele team issue sl - ultegra

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by spectastic
if I switch from a -5 deg 110 to a -17 deg stem, do I need to get the 100 mm due to the slight stretching?

ok maybe not https://www.habcycles.com/stemfit.jpg

I actually need to get lower, because my 58 frame is 180 mm head tube rather than 160.
now is a great time for you to practise your trigonometry
pdedes is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 01:22 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,050
Liked 796 Times in 462 Posts
The correct stem angle (along with length) is the one that puts the hbar where it needs to be. But this is the 41 so flip and slam and bare it...
wheelreason is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 10:01 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Merry Land
Posts: 433

Bikes: Guru Evolo R, Colnago Pista, Look AL 464P SS, various frankenbikes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Campag4life
A footnote to the notion of 41 style orthodoxy. There probably isn't one. But there are the proud stem risers out there as well that don't give a rip about riding slammed because it hurts.
Exactly. Forty one, shmorty one. And I'm one of those +17'ers who ride it with pride! I'm still pretty strong, but alas, age has not been particularly kind when it comes to my neck and back, so it's high head tubes and risers for me these days. A small sacrifice in the name of comfort I say.
stilltooslow is offline  
Old 06-28-13, 10:15 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,159
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
no, if it compromises your fit then messing with it is useless, function over style. I know blasphemer. Bite me.

also, you will gain very little to no speed
darb85 is offline  
Old 06-29-13, 06:11 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Menel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: GA
Posts: 1,155

Bikes: Helix, HonkyTonk, NailTrail

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by trojanhorse
on compact geo frames, i think -17 looks a bit off... -10 tends to look visually more appealing. On a more standard frame -17 is the way to go. Comfort be damned!
:/
Menel is offline  
Old 06-29-13, 07:14 AM
  #18  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by stilltooslow
Exactly. Forty one, shmorty one. And I'm one of those +17'ers who ride it with pride! I'm still pretty strong, but alas, age has not been particularly kind when it comes to my neck and back, so it's high head tubes and risers for me these days. A small sacrifice in the name of comfort I say.
Completely agree.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 06-29-13, 07:18 AM
  #19  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by darb85
no, if it compromises your fit then messing with it is useless, function over style. I know blasphemer. Bite me.

also, you will gain very little to no speed
Actually, an inflexible rider will be slower on a slammed bike. This is my experience. And all of us deal with our flexibility at some level. Very few can ride in a pro's position for a hundred miles like they can and do it again the next day. This includes all the guys that never use their drops because they are too low for their flexibility. Part of what makes a pro is their ability to cheat the wind and ride aero.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 06-30-13, 08:57 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,159
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Campag4life
Actually, an inflexible rider will be slower on a slammed bike. This is my experience. And all of us deal with our flexibility at some level. Very few can ride in a pro's position for a hundred miles like they can and do it again the next day. This includes all the guys that never use their drops because they are too low for their flexibility. Part of what makes a pro is their ability to cheat the wind and ride aero.

This is in effect, what I was saying, though with 1/8th of the elegance. I agree sir
darb85 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Divebrian
Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area
26
07-16-17 07:16 AM
kenshireen
Road Cycling
5
04-14-16 05:49 PM
Eyedrop
General Cycling Discussion
11
07-08-15 07:12 PM
ricefarmerr
Fitting Your Bike
8
06-04-14 09:08 AM
Gramercy
Road Cycling
18
03-04-14 11:04 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.