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Is this the "correct" stem length(6 posts)

Is this the "correct" stem length03Vortex
Aug 5, 2003 8:07 AM
While I know there are several variables that go into correct stem length selection, I still would like some opinions and/or thoughts. Will be going with a Deda OS Newton stem and bars on an '03 LS Vortex (size 55) which has a TT length of 55.5. My flexibility level is an "8" as in what appears in the wrenchscience website. My arm length is 56cm; I am 5'9" (175cm) with a sternum notch length of 142cm.

I am looking at a 110 length. Thoughts/opinions??
now way to know....C-40
Aug 5, 2003 9:28 AM
The thing that we don't know is where your saddle will be located. Most seatposts have 3-4cm of adjustment, and depending on where you place the saddle, you could use easily use a 100, 110 or 120 stem.

About all you can do is buy the 110 and try it, unless you have known dimensions from another bike that would help you set up the new one. I'm 2.5 inches shorter than you and used a 110 stem on a 55cm Litespeed, so it's unlikely that it would be too long. As long as your knees and elbows don't hit when you're riding in the drops, then its long enough.

I've used a 100, 110 and 120 stems on my Colnago as I experimented with saddle position. One of the common mistakes when evaluating saddle position is failure to adjust stem length. If you move the saddle back 10mm and don't use a shorter stem, then you're changing both the saddle position and the reach to the bars. An overly long reach to the bars may make the bike uncomfortable.
now way to know....03Vortex
Aug 5, 2003 9:47 AM
Forgot to add that earlier. I am basically adjusting the saddle to about dead on (maybe a cm behind) the spindle. While in the drops, my knee does not hit my elbow at the top of my stroke but of course my knee at the top stroke is "inside" the width of my arms so i can't tell. I don't know this to be the case (and will eyeball when i ride next), but what if at the top of the stroke my knee overlaps my elbow while inside the width of my arms. Hope I am making sense and not being too anal. This is the one and only piece of the puzzle that I remain uncertain about. May also need someone to eyeball me in the drops to see if I appear to have a hunched back or not.

Thx C-40 for your expertise
110 mm is about rightNessism
Aug 5, 2003 12:11 PM
I say go for the 110 mm stem. I'm almost your exact same size and ride a 55 cm Tuscany with a 110 mm stem.

The only possible down side is you will need to buy a second stem if the first is the wrong size. Considering the cost of your frame, the stem cost is insignificant.

Regarding the overlap thing again, try to hit your knees on your elbows. Don't worry about where the knees track relative to your upper arms. If you have hard contact between the knees and elbows, you may want to try a longer stem.

Good luck.

stem length vs handling?WOY
Aug 5, 2003 6:34 PM
Ok from what I have read here and on other road bike specific article, the stem length is always solely decided on the "bike fit" factor. How does a shorter/longer stem affect the handling of a bike? A shorter stem is suppose to give a quicker steering response and how would that affect say sprinting in the drop or in climbs. I know in a MTB stem lengths can have a large effect on the handling of the bike how about on a roadie?

not that much....C-40
Aug 5, 2003 7:23 PM
The effect on the steering is determined by the length of the steering arm, a sraight line from the point of contact with to the bars to the center of the steerer. Changing from an 80 to a 120 stem only increases the steering arm length by 15%. It's not a big deal and you quickly become accustomed to whatever length you're using.