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How does one determine length of stem?(6 posts)

How does one determine length of stem?PwAg
Oct 23, 2001 9:58 PM
Looking to replace ICON graphite stem/handle bars with 3T Zepp XL bars and matching Zepp XL stem. But I'm not sure how to determine the length of the stem. Is it from center to center of holes? It's a 2001 Trek 62cm OCLV...does anyone know what the stock length stem is for this size frame from Trek? And how do I know what length stem is right for me? The current ICON stem seems to be an ok length, but I really don't have a comparison to make.

Also, I currently have a 46cm handlebar...I'm 6'4/200lbs...and feel comfortable at this width...but is it better to cram into a smaller width (44cm) for aero purposes? I'm thinking "not" since I'm about 60cm wide at the shoulders.

If you have any comments, let em rip! Thanks
Center to center I believe....TrekMan
Oct 24, 2001 4:37 AM
Stems are "normally" measured from the center of one hole to the center of the other, just check with a ruler to be on the safe side. To figure out if the stem is the right size get on the bike and get comfortable on the saddle and lean forward and feel if you are being squashed up, or stretched out too much when you grab the bars. If you can do this in the shop all the better because they should be able to tell you if you need a different length stem.

The aero difference with 44 and 46cm bars doesn't make much of an impact. The bars should be the width of you shoulder joints to allow good breathing. If you're looking for any aero advantage try aerobars!

Hope this has been some use to you. And enjoy the bike!
re: How does one determine length of stem?Birddog
Oct 24, 2001 5:34 AM
Many if not most stems are measured from the center of the clamp at the handlebar to the center of shaft or center of the fork clamp. If you measure across the top, you will no doubt get an odd measurement because this is incorrect in most cases. Measure from the center of handlebar to center of shaft using the shortest line possible. This will no doubt get you an even number ie (90, 100, 110,etc) that corresponds to common stem lengths.

If you are comfortable now, why change sizes?
2 more thingsjagiger
Oct 24, 2001 7:12 AM
I went to the lbs & for $20 had the size done by them, which helped eliminate the guess work as they have an adjustable stem. You get to try various sizes & stem elevations. They also check my saddle position & knee placement on peddles.

FYI, 1 inch = 2.54mm
oops! - I'm sure you meant 2.54CMCrankist
Oct 24, 2001 8:42 AM
oops! - I'm sure you meant 2.54CMPwAg
Oct 24, 2001 10:31 AM
Thanks for the info guys. It helps much.