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Fitting a shiorter stem what does it affect?

Chris5.5Chris5.5 Posts: 154
edited April 2009 in MTB general
Got a stumpjumper FSR comp, it came with an in line seatpost and a 90mm stem, it felt like my weight was a bit far forward so I fitted a seatpost that moved the seat back a bit.

I am thinking of buying a 70mm stem to replace the 90mm stem, what affect will this have on the handling of the bike?




  • Banned!Banned! Posts: 34
    it will make the steering a little sharper and more responsive in theory. in reality, you'll have to see for yourself.
  • andyturner28andyturner28 Posts: 1,225
    It can also make the front end wander up steep climbs. I have a real hard time keeping it in a straight line sometimes, but i love it going down again so is just something i put up with. My bike wasn't exactly made for steep climbs anyway as it weighs as much as a tank!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Getting a shorter stem was one of the best things I ever did. I went from having a 70mm step to a Hope 50mm stem with 20 degree rise.

    The affect it had on my riding was HUGE. Much more precise cornering and turning and all round better handling. I do agree that it's not perfect for climbing, but this can be remedied by shifting your bodyweight forward on steep inclines to plant the front wheel.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Chris5.5 wrote:
    I am thinking of buying a 70mm stem to replace the 90mm stem, what affect will this have on the handling of the bike?

    Before you go for a shorter stem, try wider bars.

    I had a similar problem with my Giant, in that I felt that my weight was too far forward on the descents. It had a 110mm stem as standard (!) which I swapped for a 90mm. Now this helped a bit, but even with the forks slammed right down to minimum travel, I still had the problem of the front wheel feeling light when climbing.

    Enter a set of 710mm wide, 50mm rise bars to replace the stock 660mm wide, 20mm rise. Result? Less front wheel lift when climbing; better steering control (more leverage, so less input required); and easier to get weight back when descending.
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  • wings988wings988 Posts: 106
    Where is the stem length measured from and to? the Trek website doesnt specify the length of my stem fitted as OE but from sticking a tape from the centre of the headstock to the bars its about 90mm so I'm guessing I've got a 90mm stem.
  • I went from a 90mm stem on my Trance to a 60mm. Yes, it wanders a bit on some climbs but you'll learn to control that. More importantly, you'll love how it feels on the way down. Don't regret the change at all!
  • M6TTFM6TTF Posts: 602
    Trek is a 90mm stem, I'm quite happy with the length of mine and appreciate the longer cockpit on climbs. Horses for courses an all that
  • shin0rshin0r Posts: 555
    Dave my experience is similar to yours - though I moved to a 50mm stem and 710mm bars and the bike is fantastic on the downs, the disadvantage is that the climbs aren't so easy.
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