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Has anyone turned their handlebar stem upside down?(8 posts)

Has anyone turned their handlebar stem upside down?Brian C.
Sep 28, 2001 11:26 AM
What did this accomplish?
How did it affect the ride?
Only in So. Hemispheregrzy
Sep 28, 2001 11:34 AM
Turning the stem upside down is one way to vary handle bar height. changing handle bar height has an affect on your riding position - having the writing on your stem upside down doesn't matter and in fact some stems are purposely designed to look right either way. Course this is all assuming a threadless setup....

Some one will undoubtedly suggest that you've changed the location of the CG of the bike and that it's a huge change.
Only in So. HemisphereLeisure
Sep 30, 2001 5:50 AM
Just flip it yourself and go for a ride. It's not like you're going to pedal out of your driveway and magically die of traumatic head injury (give me enough time and I might find a way). For many it feels more mellow on the back and neck; I even feel a bit more confident on steep descents, but that's mostly just having my head farther away and behind the front wheel. Some people feel the complete opposite. I think most people just "settle-in" to something that feels comfortable and therefore distracts less from the ride. What YOUR body feels on YOUR bike is what counts most.
But it's certainly not going to irreparably damage your bike or your ability to ride just trying it. Well, other than egriegiously mutilating your center of gravity, which will imprint itself subliminally on your sense of balance and karma, irreparably destroying any aspirations you've ever had to be a proficient road-cyclist, and dooming you a lifetime of dissappointment and mediocrity. (Sorry Grzy, it was too tempting.)
Just do what feels right to you.
Only in So. Hemispheregrzy
Oct 1, 2001 8:46 AM
Yeah, that's whaty I was thinking - doomed to a life of mediocrity..... ;-)
Assuming you have a threadless stem ...bianchi boy
Sep 28, 2001 11:58 AM
Turning it upside down will change the height of the handlebars and your reach. For instance, reversing a -17 degree stem will raise your handlebars several centimeters and shorten the reach by 1-2 cms. Like grzy mentioned, some stems are designed to do this and have double logos that look OK turned either way -- examples include Ritchey Pro, TTT Forgie. With threadless stems and forks, you cannot change the height of the handlebar once you have cut the steerer tube merely by raising the stem like you can with a threaded (or quill) system. Using a reversible or positive rise stem also allows someone with a threadless system to raise their bars to a reasonable height without using a lot of spacers between the stem and the headset. Using lots of spacers looks awkward to some people, and is strongly recommended against if you have a carbon-fiber fork with a carbon steerer tube. When setting up my newest bike, I experimented with several stems with different rises (eg, Forgie, +/- 10, Ritchey, +/- 17, Salsa, +15) before settling on a combination that worked best for me.
I have...and it worked well...PdxMark
Sep 28, 2001 12:11 PM
I have a Deda Magic bar & stem (-17 degree). I wanted to raise the bar 1 cm for better fit (as suggested by a fitter). A 90 degree stem would have about done it, but the oversize bar clamp eliminated stem swap-out options for me.

I flipped the stem (now my stem graphics are upside-down). But, the flip alone would raise the bar 2.5 or 3 cm (I forget now - it was an easy trig calculation), so I lowered the stem on the steerer to get the right result. I am surprised how much difference the one cm made.

I also had checked with Deda that there was no structural reason not to flip the stem. Deda said it was OK to flip, "but it would not be a conventional look." I guess I'm not a fashion slave.
Throw off those fashion shakles! (nm)grzy
Sep 28, 2001 1:36 PM
Did on my C'dale.Highgear
Sep 28, 2001 5:06 PM
I had to due to the short steerer tube. It worked fine. I actually think it's structurlly stronger than to use spacers. I think you'll see more pros doing it soon.