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100mm to 90mm stem swap

bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,860
edited April 2015 in Road buying advice
I feel the reach on my bike is ever so slightly too long and i am thinking about swapping to a 90mm stem. Do you think it will make much difference overall feel of the bike and is 10mm noticable in terms of the reach?

Posts

  • chrisaonabikechrisaonabike Posts: 1,919
    I had my 100mm stem (which I'd previously flipped up to get the bars a bit closer to me) swapped for a 90mm one (which they left flipped down) recently as part of a bike fit, and I can't really notice any difference in the handling.

    Sometimes I can convince myself that it's ever so slightly twitchier, but most of the time I think I'm just imagining it. In any case the difference is negligible.

    It did make a big difference to the comfort - together with the other change they made, which was to move the saddle back (yes, I was surprised too) about 5mm, it's way nicer to ride.

    I can't quite figure out why a net 5mm decrease in reach would make such a big difference, but it really did. I'm not so locked straight at the elbows now, I have a bit of bend which is much more relaxing, and better at soaking up bumps in the road.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • Wacky RacerWacky Racer Posts: 638
    I moved from 110 to 90 with no problems whatsoever. I have read claims on here of the handling not being quite the same, but it's not something I have noticed at all.
    Ridley Orion
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    10mm can certainly make a big difference for some people not so much for others. Personally I can tell the difference in about 2mm in either direction. I'm 54yo and too long or short can cause me back pain so it's more obvious to me than most but getting it just exactly right can really make all the difference in how comfortable your bike feels especially when your in the saddle for a few hours at a time. Handling can be affected sometimes with different lengths and different bikes but highly unlikely with the lengths the OP is considering.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    I had to fit some new bars recently with a longer reach, so I swapped out the original 110mm stem to a 90mm, and it feels for me a much better fit. More back to the position I had with the old bars. If you're like me the position will continue to bug you, I'd recommend trying the shorter ones.
  • centimanicentimani Posts: 467
    Perhaps as stated earlier, some people don't notice any twitchiness when going for shorter stems...gotta say I went extreme and didn't suffer. To maintain reach from one bikes geometry to another, I went for a 70, and TBH, it's fine.
    Bear in mind, I'm 54 and have a bad back, I don't want to be stretched out. Add the fact I like town riding, I'm a bit aggressive in traffic...I want responsive, a shorter stem does give you that.
  • fortyonefortyone Posts: 161
    If you feel it is too long dropping only one cm is not enough: I would go down to 8cms, or change your seat position. When I re-started a few years ago I had big strain problems with a size 11 cms, but ended up with a much more comfortable 8 cms. No handling problems.
    Graham
  • It might be worth looking at FSA compact bars also, these will bring the levers about 1cm closer if you are still feeling a little too stretched. Have a look at this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6572SNm-VPY
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    I'm in the same boat. Dont know if my current 110mm stem is slightly too long for me, if it is its only very slightly too long so i'm going to pick up a cheap 100mm stem to see if its any better.
    Cheers, Stu
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    I went from 120mm to 100mm stem length and the steering is noticeably more responsive, which did surprise me i must say.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Yes, it makes a difference & 90mm on a road bike is fine; 80mm at a push, but I might have some minor reservations depending on your set up. That said I ride 60mm on my MTB and its perfectly stable!
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • skyeflyguyskyeflyguy Posts: 109
    It might be worth looking at FSA compact bars also, these will bring the levers about 1cm closer if you are still feeling a little too stretched. Have a look at this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6572SNm-VPY
    Thanks for the link. I too was considering a shorter stem, but I don't feel too stretched, I think because I have small hands I find when I'm on the drops I find it a stretch for my fingers to get on the levers. I have the Cannondale bars that came on my supersix. Will try check out the FSA ones when I'm anywhere near civilization. Has anyone in a similar situation tried these? Apologies to the OP for a wee bit of poaching.

    G.
  • simonjsimonj Posts: 346
    It did make a big difference to the comfort - together with the other change they made, which was to move the saddle back (yes, I was surprised too) about 5mm, it's way nicer to ride.

    I can't quite figure out why a net 5mm decrease in reach would make such a big difference, but it really did. I'm not so locked straight at the elbows now, I have a bit of bend which is much more relaxing, and better at soaking up bumps in the road.
    I think moving the seat back by 5mm changes your centre of gravity and doing this means you put less weight on your arms and wrists. I did the same and much prefer it, I read somewhere that if you ride along normally on the hoods, then whilst coasting slowly remove your hands from the hoods without changing position, if you don't fall forward your centre of gravity is about right. If you fall forward then you probably need to move your seat back, you may also need to lower it to keep the right leg pedalling position. You should obviously set your seat height right before doing this.
  • I put a 70mm stem on my hybrid (which I converted to drop bars from flats). It originally had a 115mm stem on it with the flat bars, I then switched to 90mm with some retro drop bars and now I have a 70mm stem with compact deda bars. SOOOOO much nicer, though I might exchange my 70 for an 80/90, but that has yet to be decided.
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    Guess what. I've just put a 120mm stem intstead of a 110mm on my bike today as I want to get more aero, I can't believe what I'm reading on this thread! MTFU!!!
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Elfed wrote:
    Guess what. I've just put a 120mm stem intstead of a 110mm on my bike today as I want to get more aero, I can't believe what I'm reading on this thread! MTFU!!!

    And -17 degree I should hope too.
  • wellspropwellsprop Posts: 7
    edited April 2015
    Rule #45, if you subscribe to the rules ;)

    I'm sending back the 70mm, it's not right. Switching for a 90 which will work on my hybrid/commuter.#.jpg
    Said bicycle with said (too short) 70mm.

    EDIT: I just put the 110mm stem from my road bike on it and went for a short ride... turns out the 110 is needed. Switching to compact handlebars was all I needed to sort out my reach issues!
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    iPete wrote:
    Elfed wrote:
    Guess what. I've just put a 120mm stem intstead of a 110mm on my bike today as I want to get more aero, I can't believe what I'm reading on this thread! MTFU!!!

    And -17 degree I should hope too.

    Sadly not, but planned for the future.
  • w12_ladw12_lad Posts: 168
    I have stems ranging from 90mm to 110mm on my bikes (all to get approximately the same overall position). I notice no difference in handling when swapping from the 110 bike to the 90 bike.
    Interestingly I do notice the difference (which most people on here don't seem to) in crank lengths. Most of my bikes are 172.5 but I have one at 175 and I notice the difference when riding that one.

    Edit - I just reread this and should add that I noticed no difference in handling while experimenting with different stems on the same bike between 110mm and 90mm.
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    I went from a 120mm stem on one bike to a 90mm on it's alleged replacement (still have both) and I noticed quite a difference in handling. May be more to do with the different bikes but I suspect the shorter stem does make things a bit livelier and you need to keep your wits about you. One other thing I noticed on long climbs, out of the saddle, my knees can contact the (enve compact) bars! I suspect I should swap over to a 100mm stem but this may be something the OP might want to check out before committing to the shorter stem.

    Peter
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