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Stem too long or too short?(12 posts)

Stem too long or too short?cyclejim
Jul 2, 2002 8:53 PM
This may be a hard one to answer but when riding with my hands on the tops, I have a tendancy to pivot my wrists in such a way that my index fingers are more pointing toward each other, or towards the bike if you will. This happens more or less naturally due to my position & reach to the bars.

The stem I am using is a 120mm. I am wondering if a shorter or a longer stem would tend to prevent my wrists from pivoting like they are, so that they stay more or less straight.

thanks in advance
Here's a formula that helped me.Ken of Fresno
Jul 2, 2002 9:59 PM
This was in a response to a question that I had a while back regarding propper stem and top tube length.

Top tube + stem lenght = torso length + arm lenght divided by 2 + 4cm.

It seems odd, but it worked perfectly for me. Riding position would vary depending on the reach of the bars of course. My Easton carbon bars really stretch out my upper body while in the drops or on the hoods. Don't know what to tell you about all that finger pointing business.

Best of luck,
How do you measure ?Psychler
Jul 3, 2002 4:09 AM
Where do you start/ end with torso, arm measurments? Under arm? shoulder? waist? hip????
Torso MeasurementPsyDoc
Jul 3, 2002 5:09 AM
The torso is measured from the crotch to your sternal notch. If you go to, they have diagrams that show you how to measure it.
Something seems very wrong with this formulaPecos
Jul 3, 2002 6:19 AM
My Specs:

54cm + X = 58cm + 58.5cm/2 + 4cm
54xm + X = 58cm + 26cm + 4cm
54cm + X = 88cm
X = 34cm ?

Where did I go wrong? I think my math is correct ( at least I hope so - this is high school algebra isn't it? )
two thingsET
Jul 3, 2002 6:41 AM
First, your messed up on your H.S. algebra: 58.5/2 is 29.25, not 26. More importantly, maybe he meant that both the first and second numbers on the right hand side (58 and 58.5) should be divided by 2 (and then should have put parentheses around them). If so, that would give X = 8.25.
two thingsPecos
Jul 3, 2002 7:03 AM
Yup I guess I was a little dislexic this morning. I have that on my work pad, but transposed it to 26 rather than 29. I need another cup of coffee :o)

Let's try this again:

54 + X = (57 + 58.5) /2 + 4
54 + X = 115.5 /2 + 4
54 + X = 57.75 + 4
X = 61.75 - 54
X = 7.75

Where did you get 8.25?
now you're changing your own numbersET
Jul 3, 2002 7:29 AM
Look at your original post. Make that a cappuccino. :-)
Jul 3, 2002 7:32 AM
re: Stem too long or too short?Paul
Jul 3, 2002 3:11 AM
Why are you so concern about how your fingers point? Are you comfortable? do you get pain in certain areas.

A rule of thumb measurement is to place your elbow at the nose of the saddle, and with your fingers fully extended, you should be 1" from the center of the handlebar. Now, this is for a general riding position, racers prefer a longer reeach for aero positions. I like 1 3/4 inches. Sounds like your top tube/stem is too short, and you pivot your hands so that you extend your torso. Ideally, your back should be at a 45 deg. angle when your hands are on the top of the bar. Have a friend help you out with your riding position to see how you sit.
you must have a large thumb :-)ET
Jul 3, 2002 6:48 AM
Actually, the rule of thumb is elbow against nose of saddle, fingers extended (vertically), AND other hand placed at knuckles horizontal to first hand, and then pinky of second hand splits the bar. This means you're on the short side of reach (the distance from the middle of my pinky to the end of the first finger is 2.7 inches).
I like my thumb betterPaul
Jul 3, 2002 10:12 AM
Yeah, I've seen elbow against nose of saddle, problem is, where on the nose. People will have it moving up and down the nose, like the elbow better, no movement. Again, rule of thumb. The second part of your measurement is beautiful.