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How much to reduce stem length by

charlie29charlie29 Posts: 15
edited January 2015 in Women's cycling forum
Hi
I think the stem on my road bike is too long. I am really having to stretch and someone in a bike shop suggested I consider a shorter stem. The question now is how much should you reduce it by, 10 mm, 20 mm or even more? :?

Posts

  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    You could buy an adjustable stem to test various positions with and then buy a fixed one that fits.
  • That's a good idea! I will look into that, thank you.
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    Or get a Matrix II from Carboncyles for £13.24
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    charlie29 wrote:
    Hi
    I think the stem on my road bike is too long. I am really having to stretch and someone in a bike shop suggested I consider a shorter stem. The question now is how much should you reduce it by, 10 mm, 20 mm or even more? :?
    If by "really having to stretch" you mean the reach feels significantly too long then I suspect 10mm is probably not enough. What length is your current stem? You can often pick up stems pretty cheap so long as you're not too precious about brands or colour schemes. You can always splash out on something fancier later, if you must, once you're sure of the length.
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 362
    Have a look at the bars have on and whether or not a new compact handlebar would reduce the distance to your hoods; you can buy new bars relatively cheaply. Having bought them, they offer another way of reducing reach along with stem size.

    Try ploughing through this article, but concentrate on the diagrams that show reach; the distance from the stem to the farthest point of the bars.

    Compact bars are also shallower, so make the drops a bit easier to use.

    http://ruedatropical.com/2009/03/road-d ... -geometry/
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    A compact bar, a shorter stem or a combination of the two are both options to reduce reach. There are however some differences in the outcome. Replacing a stem is definitely easier, being no more than a 5 minute job. Replacing the bar isn't a huge job either but you will have to move the shifters over and wrap the bar tape. Assuming you use a new roll of bar tape for the new bars that costs a little too (or a fair amount if you're using lizard skin tape!).
    Changing stem length moves everything forward or back. Changing bar reach with the existing stem leaves the tops in the same position and only re-locates the hood and drops.
    I changed both the stem and the bars on one of my bikes. Having decided I was a little overstretched I replaced the 110mm stem with a 100mm one. Then I decided I was still reaching too far but didn't want the tops any closer to my knees (since decided this wasn't really an issue) and also wanted more clamping area on my bars so switched these out and shortened the reach by a further 15mm to the hoods. So reach is down 25mm on the original configuration.
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