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Shorter Stems(7 posts)

Shorter StemsGinz
May 30, 2002 8:14 AM
I'm planning on going from my 90mm stem to a shorter model, perhaps 70mm. I realize that 90mm is generally pretty short. What am I risking by going shorter?
knees & elbows...C-40
May 30, 2002 9:02 AM
I don't like my knees and elbows overlapping when I'm riding in the drops. That's my functional test for minimum stem length.

Steering response also gets a little quicker as you shorten the stem.

Someone will undoubtedly warn about the change in weight balance. This is baloney. If you only place a small amount of weight on the hands (like you should) the change in weight balance from shortening the stem in negligible. Saddle position changes weight balance more than anything.

If you want a more upright riding position, perhaps a stem that has more rise, rather than a shorter length is the answer.
Small change; I doubt you'll have troubleretro
May 30, 2002 9:30 AM
The knee-elbow interface problem is a possibility, but you should be able to tell by looking at your existing position if it's going to cause trouble. When I turned my old MB into a commuter, I went from a 150mm stem to a taller 80mm one. I can MAKE my knees and elbows touch, but they don't do it normally--the knees go up and down inside the arms. And any change in steering response is going to take you about 10 feet to get used to. You won't suddenly veer off the road because of it.
Knee's hitting barsJS
May 30, 2002 2:15 PM
when you stand to climb is a potential problem.
Why are youAFred
May 30, 2002 9:47 AM
going to shorten your stem by 2 cm? 9 cm is pretty short for a road bike. Is reach/flexibility a problem? Are you riding the correct frame size? You might want to consider more of a rise than going shorter. Depending on the geomtery of your bike, steering could get twitchy
Here's why...Ginz
May 31, 2002 6:34 AM
This bike is a road bike I've built up as a fixed gear. I ride it for fun and that's all. I'm 5'4" and standover was a big issue, especially when buying a fixie. So, perhaps the frame is already smaller than normal, but the top tube is still to long. For an upright riding position, wouldn't I want an even LARGER frame? I guess I have really short arms. My current position is probably ok for racing, but I want to be more upright and comfortable on this thing.
this might help ...tarwheel
May 31, 2002 7:43 AM
I have an older Bianchi frame that I've had for 16 years. After many years, I realized I was just too stretched out and changed from an 11 cm to 8 cm stem. The bike still rides fine, but the steering is definitely quicker. You have to be a little more vigilant riding in packs, that's all. Another route you might consider is a taller stem. As you raise the stem, it moves the bar toward you -- effectively shortening the reach. This might be a better option as it would not affect the handling as much as a shorter stem and would probably be more comfortable as well. Nitto makes some stems with long insertion tubes. The Profile H2O has a fairly long insertion tube with 90-degree angle, allowing you to raise bars quite a bit, and it also has a removable facecap -- which is a real plus.