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What's the shortest acceptable stem length ?(compact frame)(8 posts)

What's the shortest acceptable stem length ?(compact frame)mbr320
Dec 7, 2003 5:26 PM
Fit kit at LBS recommends 65 cm combined TT length and stem.
On a med TCR carbon, this would require a 95mm stem.(good luck finding one of those)I'd probably have to compromise and get a 90mm stem.

Is this getting a little too short?

Should I be considering a different frame?

Help !

re: What's the shortest acceptable stem length ?(compact frame)swvegg
Dec 7, 2003 5:44 PM
Could just get a small and get a 110 stem. Since it seems like you're looking at something you can get at a LBS, a C'dale 53 or 54 would work with a 110 or 105 stem or a Specialized Tarmac 54 cm would work with a 100 stem.
Difference easily made up with handle bar reach.Dave Hickey
Dec 7, 2003 5:45 PM
Handle bars have different reach. If your worried about a 90mm stem not being long enough, find a bar that has 5mm longer reach. That being said, I really doubt you'll notice a big difference between a 90mm and a 95 mm stem unless you've ridden a lot of miles on one size or the other. FYI, I ride a 90mm stem just fine
Agree with DHAFred
Dec 8, 2003 6:38 AM
There's almost no discernable difference in 5mm of stem length. You can easily make up for it and truly dial in your fit by trying different bars. In my experience, 3T bars have a short reach whereas Deda and ITM provide a bit more distance to the hoods. I use a 90mm stem with Deda Magic bars on one bike and 100mm with 3T Prima's on another for identical reach. Good luck.
I'd look at a smaller frametorquecal
Dec 7, 2003 5:47 PM
I've tried 90mm, 85mm and 80mm stems in fit attempts. The 85 and 80 are noticably more 'twitchy' in handling. I'd aim for a frame that gets you in the 90 - 110 stem length range.
re: What's the shortest acceptable stem length ?(compact frame)mbr320
Dec 7, 2003 6:27 PM
Thanks guys,

The small TCR would be too small so the only choice is med w/relatively short stem. I was just wondering if 90cm was getting into desperation sizing.

The 54cm C'dale is a pretty good fit...may be the best way to go for off the shelf.
don't believe the fit kit...C-40
Dec 7, 2003 8:06 PM
If you're a beginner and never owned a bike before, the fit kit is a rough starting point, but only that. It certainly cannot predict stem length down to 5mm. There is no way that a fit kit can determine your optimum saddle position, which directly affects the total reach.

That said, stem length is frequently an issue with comapct frames that only come in a few limited sizes. You may indeed need to look at a frame that has a better size selection.

As others mentioned, handlebar selection can make a significant difference in the reach to the brake hoods. The 65cm "total reach" dimension does not take this into account. You should ask for the reach dimension of the handlebar that was used in the fitting.

There are not many handlebars out there with a significantly shorter reach, but the Salsa Poco is a good one. The Poco bar will reduce the reach to the brakes hood by about 1.5cm, compared to popular bars like the Deda 215 and Exaston EC-90. After moving by saddle back nearly 2cm for climbing, I installed the Salsa Poco handle bar on both of my bikes to avoid installing a 90mm stem and to try what looked like a more comfortable bar (it is). There is nothing "wrong" with using a 90mm stem, however.
Easy question, tough to answer...Alexx
Dec 8, 2003 2:54 PM
Personally, I've alwys found that ~90mm works well, but it really depends on the bars. Assuming that the bike actually fits you, that is...
On my fixie, I run bullhorn bars with a 60mm stem. Works well, because I'm usually holding the bars out further than I would be with a 'normal' bar.