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How to select stem length?(3 posts)

How to select stem length?timwat
Jul 28, 2003 10:59 AM
Is there a general rule of thumb for determining stem length? I'm extremely uncomfortable when riding in the drops(quads seem too close to torso). The only time I use them is during descents, after which my neck feels broken. I've noticed most of the Tour riders ride in the drops quite a bit. Is this just something you get used to or do I need a shorter stem?

Thanks in advance,
re: How to select stem length?03Vortex
Jul 28, 2003 11:16 AM
A number of variables come into play when selecting stem length. Its not only body measurements (torso and arm length) but fitness level; flexibility and core body conditioning allowing you to be able to support a more stretched out position (or longer stem length)or not. Most importantly do not play around with saddle fore/aft position once it is dialed in to be about KOP. can have some variation to this though.

In answer to your question, a "rule of thumb" should be back of arm about one inch from knee when in the drops (it should not touch) and/or the hub test says that while in your drops the front hub should be obscured from vision.

There are multiple websites that can help you as well. Try;; etc. Experiment to get good fit.
If you're new to this, give yourself some time to adjust.dzrider
Jul 28, 2003 12:41 PM
It does take a while and people who start changing things around right away seem to have more trouble finding an efficient and comfortable riding position. You could make lots of different adjustments to change the angle at your hips - stem height, seat height, set setback, stem length. If you don't start feeling more at ease, try the cheap and easy fixes first.