Stem shortening - advice needed

pedalbasher Posts: 215
edited October 2013 in Workshop
I have a 100mm Ritchey WCS stem on my size M Canyon Ultimate CF SLX.

The current reach is very slightly too far and I'd like to shorten the stem by a couple of cm.

Canyon are selling 70mm, 80mm and 90mm stems. I'm tempted by the 70mm, which would allow me to push the saddle back 10mm or so (it is currently a touch too far forward) and still achieve a 20mm reduction in the reach.

Is there any problem installing a shorter stem in this way? I'm concerned the handling of the bike may be affected detrimentally i.e. will it become too "twitchy"?

Any experience/advice appreciated.



  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    Shorter the stem twitchier the bike. :)
  • d10brp
    d10brp Posts: 70
    Just moved from 110 to 80 and find the steering absolutely fine so far. No twitchyness
    Scott CR1 Pro
    Specialized Secteur Elite
  • Thanks. Any reason why 70mm would be too short? It sounds very short to me - I've only used 100/110mm stems before. But 70mm would, I think, give me the flexibility to shift my saddle back to the correct position and still leave a shorter reach. So unless there's a good reason why 70 is beyond the limit, I'll go for that...
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    In a traditional, basic bike fit they generally adjust saddle height first, then saddle setback, and then go on to reach.

    I came from riding a mountain bike, so to me the 90mm stem my roadie was fitted with seemed quite slow in steering terms.

    Once you've sorted the saddle, perhaps you could achieve a confortable reach by flipping your current stem?
  • pirnie
    pirnie Posts: 242
    Having ridden my winter bike with the original stem, which was 130 mm and decreased the stem length to 100 mm and finally now to 70 mm (yes I know I should have bought a smaller frame!) I honestly haven't noticed much difference in the handling. I can see the logic saying a short stem should be twitchier, but if anything the 120 mm stem on my summer bike feels more responsive than the 70 mm one on my winter bike. Just my experience.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Again - didn't notice much going from 110 to 90. Another thing to consider is if it'll be more appropriate to change to shorter reach bars - rather than the stem.
  • styxd
    styxd Posts: 3,234
    Buy a bike that's the corect size for you? A 70mm stem on a road bike is fairly mad, I cant imagine it'd handle nicely on high speed downhills or climbing out of the saddle.