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Handlebar Reach & Drop(3 posts)

Handlebar Reach & DropJBF
Nov 12, 2003 9:38 AM
I am building a new bike and was looking at some bars with a larger drop and reach than what I have been using. All other things being equal (i.e. top tube and seat/head angles), will this effect my stem length?

In other words, if I go to a handlebar reach which is +10mm from my old bars, should I get a stem 10mm shorter? Does the bend effect these dimensions in any way?

I do not see much discussion on this topic so I assume it does not matter much, but all input is appreciated.
my experience.....C-40
Nov 12, 2003 10:20 AM
In theory, a bar with 10mm more reach will require a 10mm shorter stem to maintain the same reach. Depending on the reach specification to compare bars is not always 100%reliable, due to differences in the bend, which can alter the placement of the brake hoods.

The smart thing to do is take a measurement from the tip of the saddle to an easily repeated spot on the brake hoods, with wheel pointed straight ahead. Measure both sides to be sure that the measurements are the same.

When you mount the new bars, take the measurement again, after you're sure that you have the brake hoods where you want them.

I did just the opposite recently. Installed Salsa Poco short reach bars on both of my bikes to avoid using a shorter stem. The advertised reach dimension was fairly consistent with the Easton and Deda bars that they replaced. The reduction in reach was in the 10-15mm range. The Deda bars have an advertised reach of 86mm, while the Salsa was 70mm.
chances arecyclopathic
Nov 12, 2003 12:48 PM
due to new frame your position/weight distribution would be skewed anyways, esp with deeper drop bars. I'd just start with same stem and then swapped if need it. Some bike shops let you do it or get cheap stem and then get the right one. And who knows, you might actually like new position.