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Loooooong Stems on New Bikes

BroonsterBroonster Posts: 440
edited May 2010 in MTB general
Is it just me or do new bikes seem to come with stupidly long stems these days? I've just bought a new Giant Anthem X2, in size XL, and it comes with a 120mm stem. Now I ain't no short censored - I'm 6' 4" - but a 120mm seems excessively long to me. I feel as if Im stretched out like bloody Superman! It was the same with my Giant Reign - first thing I had to change on the bike was the stem.

Surely bikes should come with a more mid-ranged sized stem, like a 90mm or 100mm? Maybe it's just a Giant thing?

Not a huge problem, I know - I can get the exact same stock Giant stem for £17.99, probably in 70mm or 90mm length. Just a bit annoying :x
Winter: Moda Nocturne
Road: Cervelo R3
'Cross: Ridley X-Night
Commuter: Genesis Day One


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Many are proportional to size - I wouldn't say 120mm on an XL for an XC bike was excessive. Long maybe.
  • GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
    My Fuel EX 8 came with a 120 mm long stem (XL frame). LBS were kind enough to replace it with a shorter one for free.
  • D-Cyph3rD-Cyph3r Posts: 847
    I've noticed most medium frames come with 90 or even 100mm stems, my EX8 (17.5") came with a 90mm jobby and never did feel properly right, after changing for a 60mm the front end feels so much more responsive.
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    My Scott Scale XL size frame came with a 120mm stem too. I'm considering changing it to 90mm.
  • The Northern MonkeyThe Northern Monkey Posts: 19,174
    edited April 2010
    but i'd be saying that a 60mm is rather sort for general trail duties, unlees you're using a 700mm+ bar!
  • weescottweescott Posts: 453
    I think Its a bike manufacturer thing in general, It's old fashioned from when mountain bikes had 71degree plus head angles and 80mm travel.I run a 50mm stem for my AM bike (50mm Hope XC which they don't make anymore :s ) and I'm going to get a 90mm stem for my XC race bike.
  • ilovedirtilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    bigbenj_08 wrote:
    but i'd be saying that a 60mm is rather sort for general trail duties, unlees you're using a 700mm+ bar!
    I wouldn't say so, i'm running a 50mm truvativ stem on my scott, and if i wasn't as tall as i am, then it would be perfect. Thinking of getting a 70mm one though, just for a little extra length.
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I have a 50mm stem with 700mm bars on my xc bike and 40mm stem with slightly narrower bars on my am bike, but i think i'll be putting larger bars onto my 456 at some point.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    60mm is pretty short, on average.

    Shorter stems decrease leverage, not increase it. But more to it than that....
  • AlienmanAlienman Posts: 91
    Being a newbie here :oops:

    So a shorter stem makes it easier to keep the bars straight, am I right? But then it also makes it harder to turn because of less leverage? And how does bar width add into the equation?
    '09 Rocky Mountain Fusion
  • Wheres my theory post about bar length + stem length lol. Need to save it somewhere for situations like this hehe
  • Found it.
    bigbenj_08 wrote:
    Huge generalization here.. but..

    Short stem = quicker steering but can be twitchy, better for decending.
    Long stem = slower steering but more stable, better for climbing.

    Thin bars = quicker steering but more twitchy, easier climbing + less control on descents.
    Wide bars = slower steering but more stable, harder cliimbing + more control on descents.

    So I've opted for a short stem with wide bars...
    The twitchyness of the short stem is counteracted by the stability of the wider bar. Giving better decending at the expense of harder climbing.

    Long stem + thin bars..
    Slower but stable steering is counteracted by the quicker steering of thin bars.
    Giving more economical climbing at the expense of less controll descending.

    Short Stem + Thin Bars...
    Very twitchy.

    Long Stem Wide Bars...
    Super slow steering.

    For XC the longer stem/thin bars is beneficial because it helps with climbing.
    DH/FR/AM a shorter stem + wide bars offer downhill stability and better riding position.

    Thats all theory btw... I've just written is from what I believe the differences are between bar/stem combos.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think one reason why short stems seem quicker to steer is because of how we pull on the bars. With a longer stem, the end of the bars doesn't go back to start, but to the side as well. Imagine a 2foot long stem.
  • matt748matt748 Posts: 194
    I'm thinking of coming down from a 100mm stem to a 70mm as the steering on my ex8 seems quite slow. Would this be ok:

    I know it says downhill, but it's the sort of cash I'm willing to spend in case in doesn't work out.
    Any other suggestions would be welcome.


    Trek Fuel EX8 '09
    My Pics
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Is fairly light for the price, but are lighter and cheaper ie Exotic, but they only do 60 and 80
  • matt748matt748 Posts: 194
    Thanks Supersonic. Great value at £12.49.

    Would I notice much difference going from 100 to 80, or on the other hand would 60 be too much of a change for 'normal trail riding'?

    Then again, buying both would still work out cheaper than my link......

    Trek Fuel EX8 '09
    My Pics
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think 80mm is a good starter - actually is what I have done, gone from 100 to mm on the Zaskar Carbon. Infact it is the Exotic stem I use, and can vouch for its quality.
  • matt748matt748 Posts: 194
    Thanks again.
    I've ordered this one

    Trek Fuel EX8 '09
    My Pics
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