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Stem police: which is less uncool?(17 posts)

Stem police: which is less uncool?OffTheBack
Sep 14, 2002 5:44 AM
Riser stem with no spacers, or horizontal stem with spacers?
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?divve
Sep 14, 2002 5:59 AM
Riser is the most "uncool"...unless you're planning on 2" of spacers with a near horizontal stem. Alternatively, you can tray something in between that probably looks quite "normal". For instance a 3T 80 deg. Zepp + 1" spacers. If that doesn't work you can flip it over and use it as a riser.
Riser stem is definitely less cool........bent_spoke
Sep 14, 2002 6:17 AM
but so what! It's comfort that matters.

I went thru the same dilema with my bike last year & like you, I wrestled with how things would look, etc. In the end I got a stem with I got a 5' rise & it really doesn't look that bad & I know it was the right choice. I rarely get into the drops, but I still don't feel that good in them any way. My neck and shoulds don't allow the flexibilty to pull this off. I do isometric exercises early in the season to help with the stiffness.

I was also surprised to see a Festina rider in last year's TDF riding on a bike with a pretty decent rise. It was more noticeable than what I have. I imagine that he gets razzed a bit, but what the yeck....

If you are getting a new bike, adding spacers will get you a more comfortable riding position & not look so bad. Adding 3cm of spacers will not be so noticeable.
quill stem with no rise most coolDaveG
Sep 14, 2002 6:42 AM
I know that was not your question, but these issues never arose back in ancient times (5 years ago) when road bikes had quill stems. For threadless systems, I opted for the limited spacers/slight rise stem option. I find spacers uglier than stems with rise.
I'd go with using more spacers.Spoke Wrench
Sep 14, 2002 7:16 AM
I've talked with lots of folks who at some point in time wished their forks were a little longer. I've cut some that in retrospect I wshed were a a little bit longer myself. My beater bike right now has a fork that I wish was a little longer. Once it's cut, it's cut and more than about 95 degrees of stem rise on a road bike starts to look a little strange. Cutting the fork to use spacers and a 75 or 80 degree stem leaves room for options down the road.
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?desmo
Sep 14, 2002 8:32 AM
to me nothing ruins the classic look of a road bike more than a riser stem. with that said, you can't see it while you're riding and it's more important to be comfortable. A good compromise is a minus 10 degree with about 3/4 to 1 " stack of spacers. still pointed upwards a bit but not too offensive. besides if yer really cool you'll already have at least one bike around with a polished 3T minus 17 quill stem to satisfy the esthetic side of cycling.
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?filtersweep
Sep 14, 2002 12:37 PM
to me nothing ruins the ride of a roadbike more than an uncomfortable classic look ;) (OK, an articulated ergo stem is a bit extreme....)

Rising stems are even used in the pro pelotons these days- FWIW... purists be damned !
What material is your steerer?peloton
Sep 14, 2002 1:34 PM
I personally prefer the zero rise stem with a few spacers look, but rise stems do have a very good purpose. If you are running a carbon steerer tube in your forks, than you might need a riser stem to get the position you desire. A lot of pros are running risers now for this reason. A carbon steerer can only use a couple centimeters of spacers. Too many more spacers can flex the steerer enough to predispose it to failure. If the couple centimeters of spacers don't give you the rise you are looking for than you may need a riser stem for your best fit.

So, if you were running a riser stem on a carbon steerer those in the know will understand the rational even if the purists scoff. If you don't need the rise for that reason, I still like the old zero rise look though.
Carbonfiltersweep
Sep 14, 2002 3:05 PM
I was a bit carried away- carbon steerer, carbon stem, carbon bars. I really don't have any rise, but I'd need to go negative since the headtube angle gives the illusion of rise.

At least a normal headset gives about an extra cm of "rise". Some of these new framesets with integrated headsets don't even have that, and headtube length has shrunk to about as little as reasonably possible these days.

It is quite radical compared to my old threaded setup that had a "mountain of chrome" on top of the tube... but the net result of the geometry and setup is ironically identical.

Seriously- what are the options? With a threadless setup, this really wasn't an issue: my bars- as low as they could go on a threaded setup would require either spacers or a slight rise to achieve the same height on my new threadless bike- so what is the fuss about the aesthetics?
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?desmo
Sep 14, 2002 5:07 PM
hey wait a minute, you're not the stem police. you're just some no style comfortable guy with a bike that fits right. stay out of it! some of us are working our asses off out here, straining our necks and hurting our backs to look cool while you just spin along with you're split seats, sky high stems, and double wrap bar tape. heck I bet you're riding one of those damn compact geometry frames (just like the pro peleton). you make me sick!
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?RCole
Sep 14, 2002 8:52 AM
I just went through the same thing with my new ride. I ended up going with more spacers. I just couldn't get over the "look" of a riser stem.
re: Stem police: which is less uncool?peter in NVA
Sep 14, 2002 4:59 PM
Same thoughts yesterday while "admiring" my old quill equipped road bike against my riser bar, two spacer, aheadset cross bike. How clunky the cross looked with the bars level with the saddle...and how much better it felt to ride.
Ignore everything said here! Get what fits/works/comfortableNMSpunout
Sep 14, 2002 9:58 AM
...but I have a desperate, neurotic need for acceptance ;-)OffTheBack
Sep 14, 2002 4:23 PM
You can have as many spacers as you want if they're carbon fiberLeisure
Sep 15, 2002 1:09 AM
=-b
No one will see the steerer if you are in front. nmMXL02
Sep 15, 2002 2:12 AM
...there ya go, just like that Fred, Lance.Spunout
Sep 15, 2002 4:31 AM
I didn't have much of a choice on my Lemond, my seat is high on the frame, and due to my body type, I can only stand the bars 10-12 cm below the seat. Steer tube was already cut down. I use no spacers, but a Thomson +5* stem. It can be -5* if I feel my back can stand it. No problems.