Stem length

Barrie_G
Barrie_G Posts: 479
edited October 2009 in Road buying advice
I've been riding my bike now for around 9 months, as I'm spending more time on it I'm starting to notice that I'm riding with my hands not quite on the hoods.

Now I'm not completly stupid (well it depends on who you ask) but I know that if I put on a shorter stem it's going to allow me to ride with my hands properly on the hoods, what I'm wanting to know is how much is reducing the stem length by 10-20mm going to affect the handling of the bike?

The current stem length is 110mm I was thinking of reducing it down to 100mm as I'm nervous of reducing the length too much, but I also don't want to be forking out for a stem and then finding that I want to reduce it further.

Any advice regarding sizing etc. will be taken into consideration.
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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    See if your LBS can find an old one to give you a try with...

    Shouldn't affect it too much.
  • Barrie_G
    Barrie_G Posts: 479
    unfortunately my LBS is about as much use as an ashtray on a motor bike, they only seem to stock the most basic of spares, to give some idea the only type of oil they stock is the three in one type in a white plastic bottle.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Barrie_G wrote:
    unfortunately my LBS is about as much use as an ashtray on a motor bike, they only seem to stock the most basic of spares, to give some idea the only type of oil they stock is the three in one type in a white plastic bottle.

    Roger.

    I'd try a cheap one off eBay then before commiting...
  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    Do you never ride with your hands on the hoods?

    I only ask as I routinely hold the curve about an inch behind the hoods when goign uphill. But tend to grab the hoods on the flat. So vary position according to terrain. I also tend to lengthen my position as teh ride progresses.

    Obviousy if you NEVER use the hoods ...
  • Barrie_G
    Barrie_G Posts: 479
    Yes, I sometimes use the hoods but I find that I tend to put too much weight on my hands when I do, I don't feel streched but after a while my shoulders start to ache and I start to get put a lot of pressure onto the area between thumb and fore finger.
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    shorter stems = quicker steering but 10mm won't make a big difference.

    Ebay has loads of cheap stems. Try, think, try again, then buy a decent one.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • Barrie_G
    Barrie_G Posts: 479
    Just had a quick look on ebay, and the ones that I would put on my bike, ( I've got some cinelli bio morph carbon bars on the bike so I don't want to risk damaging them by putting on something to cheap with poor quality control) will still cost me around £15 each, so I've decided to just get a decent one of 100mm and if it's still to long I can sell it on here and buy a 90mm one and still not loose as much as I would if I had bought the two cheaper ones :D

    Thanks for the advice though guys 8)
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    10mm won't make a monkeys of difference to the handling - I would even say you could go as far as 80mm before you even notice the 'handling' difference.
  • If you find youre still stretched out with shorter stem, you could also fit a compact handlebar.Thats what I did and I gained (lost) another 15 mm or so without it seeming to affect the handling adversly.

    .
    ' From the sharks in the penthouse,
    to the rats in the basement,
    its not that far '
  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    You can also set your saddle further forward, don't forget that. I prefer a saddle more forward as i feel more able to get decent force down on the crank..........

    I will noe prepare to be shot down in flames :wink:
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    You can also set your saddle further forward, don't forget that. I prefer a saddle more forward as i feel more able to get decent force down on the crank..........

    I will noe prepare to be shot down in flames :wink:

    Hmm - not flamed - but you know you shouldn't be setting your reach through saddle position right??
  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    Um, not really. However is this not ok just for a 'test'. I don't know so don't listen to me, i have quite small-ish frames for my size so the seat being forward counteacts thwe seat tube angle/ seatpost length..........
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    Um, not really. However is this not ok just for a 'test'. I don't know so don't listen to me, i have quite small-ish frames for my size so the seat being forward counteacts thwe seat tube angle..........

    Hmm - not really - cos you couldn't set the bike up like that.

    Your saddle position is determined by the ball of your foot being in line with the pedal at it's furthest forward position (if that makes sense)

    then the effective top tube length becomes the most important measurement of the frame as this determines reach - which can then be fine tuned by changing the stem.
  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    Right, so ignore what i said, it's ok for me because my frame is probably to small............Either that or the seat tube is to angular :? :arrow:
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    Right, so ignore what i said, it's ok for me because my frame is probably to small............Either that or the seat tube is to angular :? :arrow:

    no no - yours might be fine! - I have my seat quite far forward myself (and realy need to get a non-setback seatpost) - it's just not a thing to adjust to get your reach right!
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Um, not really. However is this not ok just for a 'test'. I don't know so don't listen to me, i have quite small-ish frames for my size so the seat being forward counteacts thwe seat tube angle/ seatpost length..........

    How does that work? Smaller frames generally have steeper seat tubes, so as you go to smaller frame you'd need more setback to achieve the same position
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    :? Not at all, the angle of the seat tube(if looking at the bike from the side) goes diagonaly back therefore a smaller frame requires taller seat post which then requires the seat to be further forward, otherwise it would be like a recumbrant :? :)
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    :? Not at all, the angle of the seat tube(if looking at the bike from the side) goes diagonaly back therefore a smaller frame requires taller seat whicxh then requires the seat to be further forward, otherwise it would be like a recumbrant :? :)

    No it requires the saddle to go back on the rails because the seat tube gets steeper. You obviously don't understand geometry.
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    You obviously don't more like, how can a longer post which means the seat becomes further away (more towards over the rear wheel) from the part where the post meets the frame require a seat further back still? Don't takethis the wrong way but pull your head out your *rse :wink:
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I suggest you read a geometry table, rather than talking nonsense
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    It is logic, anyone care to clear this up? :)


    P.s i will say now that i'm no expert but i don't need to read a table to know what my bike frame is like.........(don't mind being shot down. You live and learn, well at least........)

    P.p.s sorry for the hijack :lol: :oops: :roll:
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    compact%20Geometry.jpg

    A: Seat Tube (center to top)
    B1: Top Tube (actual)
    B2: Top Tube (virtual)
    C: Chainstay
    D: Fork Rake
    E: Head Tube Angle
    F: Seat Tube Angle
    G: Wheelbase
    H: Standover Height

    As frames get smaller the Seat Tube Angle (F) gets bigger (unless you have a Cervelo) . Therefore, assuming the same saddle height, and position of saddle on seatpost rails, the saddle will further forward compared to the BB in comparison to a frame with a steeper seattube. Therefore to get the same saddle position with respect to BB, you need to have a seatpost with more setback.

    It's basic geometry you'd do before GCSE.
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  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Geometry for a Kuota Kharma

    GeomBici21.jpg

    Seat tube angle is C - smaller frames have bigger C angles.
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    Yes but if you read my post then you'd have noticed that i said i ride frames to small, my 'dale is a 54cm but i'm 6' with 34" inner leg so i need the seat very high (as can be seen in the pic) so then need seat forward. Not trying to be argumentative but i think there's been a misunderstanding :)
  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    P.s my Kuota is Ksano and it's now wrapped up for the winter :wink:
    This is definately a brake down in communication, probably my fault but hey-hoe life goes on :):wink:
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Yes but if you read my post then you'd have noticed that i said i ride frames to small, my 'dale is a 54cm but i'm 6' with 34" inner leg so i need the seat very high (as can be seen in the pic) so then need seat forward. Not trying to be argumentative but i think there's been a misunderstanding :)

    Are you really this dense or is it an act?
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    Hmmm gotta leave work now, will continue when back on bus. :(
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr34 ... uff013.jpg

    In that picture you have the saddle pushed all the way back on the rails, which is right if you are riding a steeper than ideal frame. So why do you keep saying you push the saddle forward?
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  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    That picture is entirely in-accurate, the seat clamp is loose and, as you can see, the seat also facing upwards. If i rode my bike like that i'd end up with rollock probs :wink:
    Will up-date asap...............