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positive-rise stems(7 posts)

positive-rise stemsPS
Dec 3, 2003 3:11 PM
Hi all--

I've had many people tell me that my seat is far too high above my handlebars, although I'm pretty comfortable on the bike (a Giant compact frame). The saddle is about 8" higher than the bars.

I've dropped the saddle a bit, but I'd have to switch to a positive-rise stem (or flip the current stem over to achieve a positive rise) to really lessen the height difference between saddle and handlebars.

To my mind, a posi-rise stem totally messes up the linear beauty of a road bike, yet it seems that I see more people doing that lately.

If I were uncomfortable on the bike, I'd use a positive-rise stem without hesitation, but my lack of discomfort makes me wonder what to do. I'm just not sure if I'm causing long-term knee damage or something with such a height differential.

What say you all?

Peter Serratore
Fairfield, CT
To each his ownhudsonite
Dec 3, 2003 3:45 PM
The drop from saddle to bar depends on so many things. Including, but not limited to:

1) Your flexibility
2) The length of your arms
3) The length of your torso
4) Your strength of your neck
5) Your age
6) The type of riding you do.

If I am on a smaller frame, I like a bigger drop than when I am on a bigger frame. For very long distance riding, many people prefer a smaller drop and some, no drop at all.

Some racers, including LA, prefer to keep the drop to less than three inches. A shorter drops reduces stress and pressure in the 'bass' region.

If you are comfortable with the drop you have, stay with it. Other peoples opinions are just that, opinions. Do what feels good to you. If you don't like the fit or the way it feels, talk to a fit expert or do your own research and try differnt setups.

These days my preference is about a two inch drop. It allows me to ride in the drops for long periods of time without a problem. If the bar is much lower, riding in the drops becomes a problem for me.

And you are right, a flipped stem locks like sheite. But it is better to look bad and be comfortable than have a great looking bike that you cannot use!

Every one has their own opinion and saddle/bar drop, to each his own....
re: positive-rise stemsRusty Coggs
Dec 3, 2003 3:47 PM
If it does not hurt,what is the problem? Why drop the seat if it's the right height to begin with? Does it really matter what other people tell you? Everyone is different,and some really do ride will and do well with some left of center setups.
Try it and seeContinental
Dec 3, 2003 3:54 PM
If you can flip your stem without new cables it will take about 5 minutes and cost nothing. It could make a dramatic improvement or you might hate it, but I'm betting you'll like it.
sure about that?C-40
Dec 3, 2003 4:15 PM
Measure from the floor to the top of the saddle and from the floor to the top of the bars, then take the difference.

8 inches would be a vey extreme difference, indicating that you have the wrong size frame. A 4inch height difference, or 10cm is a lot more common. This can be achieved with a properly sized frame, no steerin tube spacers and a stem angle of only 80-84 degrees.
just suck it up and get the high riseColnagoFE
Dec 4, 2003 8:34 AM
If it works then why worry about it? Not using a high rise stem if you need it is like riding an uncomfortable saddle just because it looks cool. Fashion be damned. Just get one.
Why would the saddle to bar drop have anything to do withdjg
Dec 5, 2003 7:14 AM
your knees?

I suppose that you might think that a huge differential is some sort of signal that your saddle is too high--and I have no idea whether it is or isn't--but most folks find their ideal saddle position first (relative to the bottom bracket) and then, having set the saddle, look to other fit issues.

That is an unusual amount of drop. You may be riding a too-small frame or you may have a combination of preturnaturally long arms and very good flexibility. If you're comfortable--including comfortable on long rides and hard rides--you're comfortable. I wouldn't start messing with a comfortable setup unless I had a clear idea why. I gather that's what you're looking for here but I'm not sure that even knowledgeable fitters (and I'm not selling myself as such) could make good assesments blind, over the internet. One thing I would not do is move my saddle--either up and down or fore and aft--just to make the drop to the bars look more normal.