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can you go to a shorter stem and not have a steering problem(7 posts)

can you go to a shorter stem and not have a steering problemewit
Oct 2, 2001 2:30 AM
Oct 2, 2001 4:45 AM
Unles you are on a MTB, stem lenght has very very little to no effect on steering.
maybe not steering, but definitely handlingmr_spin
Oct 2, 2001 9:00 AM
Messing with the stem will always have some effect on handling.
maybe not steering, but definitely handlingmackgoo
Oct 2, 2001 9:48 AM
Yes it could make it better.
Changed all kindsa stems; never a problem of any kindcory
Oct 2, 2001 9:29 PM
I have a couple of bikes I've owned for nearly 20 years--long enough that I put flat bars and 27x1 3/8 tires on one back when mountain bikes were new, to see if I could turn it into one. Both of them have had every kind of stem there is, I think, from tall ones with 30mm of extension to low-down 150s. It's never caused me any trouble at all--takes about 10 feet to get used to it, if that, and you never think of it again.
If it feels right go for it.Leisure
Oct 2, 2001 11:58 PM
The lateral G's you'll be pulling will be the same, but a shorter stem can change how the handling feels. My experience is mostly going from shorter to longer stems to alleviate perceived twitchiness in mtbs. I think the longer stem accomplishes this primarily by 1. increasing the leverage your passive body weight imposes on "auto-centering" the handlebar and 2. increasing the absolute distance your hands move to achieve the same steering angle. To me, it ends up having a more intuitive and predictable feel, and if that's the difference between wrecking it or riding it out then it's worth it.
Presumably, getting a shorter stem would give you the opposite effect, but I think it will be less dramatic on a road bike because the road-style handlebar places your hands low and forward of the headset to begin with. Experiment and see if it feels right. Are you thinking of changing the stem purely for handling reasons or is it a static fitting issue?
Puts your center of gravity further back too. . .js5280
Oct 5, 2001 1:05 PM
Not as important for road bike, but MTBers like that because it puts more weight toward the back wheel, hence more traction. It's one of the selling points for Gary Fisher Genisis geometry. Stem length changes are common to get the proper fit. A shorter stem will make the steering more responsive (less movement to achieve the same steering angle) as mentioned above.