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Is there any merit to the old rule of thumb...(3 posts)

Is there any merit to the old rule of thumb...Matno
Jun 21, 2002 5:09 PM
that your bars should obscure the front axle from view when riding in the drops? Who said that and does it work? I'm having a hard time figuring out what I should do with my stem. I don't think I want it lower, but farther forward might be good since I often feel like I'm going over the front when I stand (not often - but occasionally it's fun to really crank hard). When doing that, my knees can almost touch the straight part of the bar and do occasionally whack the bar ends. When I'm riding the drops and look down, the axle looks like it's about 3 or 4 inches in front of the bar. Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here. I just don't want to have to buy several stems to experiment with (forget finding an LBS that will let me here in the Bronx), and my current stem doesn't have a removeable faceplate, so when I switch, it's going to be a pain. (Maybe I'll just cut off the old one with my trusty Dremel...)

Just to mix things up a bit more, I have aerobars as well (for long rides, not for racing). Would that change your opinion?
totally coicidental...C-40
Jun 21, 2002 6:00 PM
This is not a bad rule of thumb, but it has no functional merit whatsoever.

My rule of thumb is that your knees and elbows shouldn't overlap when riding in the drops, with fingers in reach of the brake levers and the upper back in a horizontal position. If there is any clearance between the knees and elbows, the stem is long enough. I have between 1-2cm clearance in this position.

If you crouch low enough, it's always possible for the knee to strike the back of the arm above the elbow, regradless of stem length.

Additional length is optional. Too much length will create an extreme angle between the arm and the torso which can lead to shoulder discomfort.

My other rule is to use stem height to alter the angle of the torso and rely on stem length primarily for arm positioning.
Anybody have any picsMatno
Jun 22, 2002 4:31 AM
Of riders with good form? Preferrably riders who do LONG distance rides. I'm curious about things like arm angle (mine are practically straight up and down in the drops) and back angle. Thanks for your info.