Removing Spacers Under Stem

Does this have an affect anywhere else?

I got a new bike at the back end of last year & am still fine tuning my position. I'm reasonably comfortable but messing about with the front end is something I've never really done.

The bike has a stack of 577mm & 30mm spacers underneath with a 100mm stem.

I guess I'd be better removing small increments at a time, say 10mm, but does any of that increase my reach? Should I be considering getting a shorter stem (although 90mm sounds a bit short) or moving my saddle forward a tad?

I'm tempted to go down the route of if it ain't broke don't fix it but I'm also quite interested to see how I get on with a slightly lower front end as I do like to tinker with position now & again (don't we all?!?!) :)
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Comments

  • wilberforce
    wilberforce Posts: 306
    If you just want to try out the adjustment then move one or two spacers from below the stem to above it. If you then do not get on with the adjusted position, it is a simple job to move the spacers back before you have done any cutting of the steerer.
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    The head tube angle on a bike means that the head tube itself is angled towards you, and so as you remove spacers and make the handlebars lower, the reach will increase slightly.

    E.g. if you have a 100mm stem (not sure what the stem angle is but let's assume zero degrees), and remove 10mm of spacer with a head angle of 73 degrees, then you will increase your reach by 3mm and decrease your stack by 9mm. I can't comment on whether you will notice a 3mm increase in reach, but I don't think I would.

    If you move your saddle forward by 3mm to compensate then you will also affect the relationship between your hips and pedals, which may mean a slight increase in saddle height is necessary. I'd remove a spacer and see what you think.

    I didn't do the maths, I used this tool:
    http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,494
    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    singleton said:

    The head tube angle on a bike means that the head tube itself is angled towards you, and so as you remove spacers and make the handlebars lower, the reach will increase slightly.

    E.g. if you have a 100mm stem (not sure what the stem angle is but let's assume zero degrees), and remove 10mm of spacer with a head angle of 73 degrees, then you will increase your reach by 3mm and decrease your stack by 9mm. I can't comment on whether you will notice a 3mm increase in reach, but I don't think I would.

    If you move your saddle forward by 3mm to compensate then you will also affect the relationship between your hips and pedals, which may mean a slight increase in saddle height is necessary. I'd remove a spacer and see what you think.

    I didn't do the maths, I used this tool:
    http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php


    That's a really useful link, cheers for that.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    edited March 2022
    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,494
    ibr17xvii said:

    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
    Sorry, completely mis-read your post 😂
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    ibr17xvii said:

    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
    Don’t use saddle position to adjust reach, it’ll buggerup your knees etc. If 100mm is too long a stem, go for 90mm. You won’t notice a difference in the steering.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    edited March 2022
    johngti said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
    Don’t use saddle position to adjust reach, it’ll buggerup your knees etc. If 100mm is too long a stem, go for 90mm. You won’t notice a difference in the steering.
    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.


    Cheers. One of my knees is knackered enough already so deffo don’t want to do that.

    Sounds like I’d have to invest in a 90mm stem & then reduce the stack gradually to see how it goes.

    Will have to have a think & see how desperately I want to tinker if I need to buy a new stem.

    Thanks for the replies everyone, at least I’m clearer in my own mind what the score is.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,251
    ibr17xvii said:

    johngti said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
    Don’t use saddle position to adjust reach, it’ll buggerup your knees etc. If 100mm is too long a stem, go for 90mm. You won’t notice a difference in the steering.
    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.


    Cheers. One of my knees is knackered enough already so deffo don’t want to do that.

    Sounds like I’d have to invest in a 90mm stem & then reduce the stack gradually to see how it goes.

    Will have to have a think & see how desperately I want to tinker if I need to buy a new stem.

    Thanks for the replies everyone, at least I’m clearer in my own mind what the score is.
    Buy cheap versions on eBay to find the right size then sell on or scrap and buy a good model in the correct size. Any stem will do the job really though.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,494
    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.

    I said that! Flipping popularity contest around here 😕
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    seanoconn said:

    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.

    I said that! Flipping popularity contest around here 😕
    who are you?
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    pblakeney said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    johngti said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    seanoconn said:

    I wouldn’t move the seat forward to compensate reach. A slightly higher stack and a 10mm shorter stem will result in more relaxed position (if that’s your aim) without compromising the rest of your bike set up.


    I'm looking to do the reverse really, get slightly lower at the front just as an experiment so reduce stack & was interested to see what, if any, other slight changes I'd have to make i.e. with stem length, saddle height or fore / aft.
    Don’t use saddle position to adjust reach, it’ll buggerup your knees etc. If 100mm is too long a stem, go for 90mm. You won’t notice a difference in the steering.
    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.


    Cheers. One of my knees is knackered enough already so deffo don’t want to do that.

    Sounds like I’d have to invest in a 90mm stem & then reduce the stack gradually to see how it goes.

    Will have to have a think & see how desperately I want to tinker if I need to buy a new stem.

    Thanks for the replies everyone, at least I’m clearer in my own mind what the score is.
    Buy cheap versions on eBay to find the right size then sell on or scrap and buy a good model in the correct size. Any stem will do the job really though.
    this.

    if you want to be posh and buy a new one, Planet X were knocking there own ones - that are actually very good - at something like £7.

    Tbh, pop down LBS and they generally have a box of old stuff kicking around - them them a packet of scratchings and a copy of Razzle and they'll let you have one.

    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    edited March 2022
    Thanks, I’ll go & raid the loft for a copy later.

    Failing that a cheap version will do just fine for now. As this is just purely for my own experiment the less it costs the better.

    Also interested to see what difference a shorter stem makes. This is the 1st time I’ve used a 100mm never mind anything shorter & TBH I can’t tell the difference.

    It’s only a cheap Level branded Ribble stem I have now so it will be a decent excuse to get something better / lighter anyway.

    So the consensus is stick on a 90mm stem, take 10mm from under the stem & see how it goes?
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    Sounds like a plan. But you can always try just moving spacers first and seeing how the reach feels. You might be fine with it
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    seanoconn said:

    MattFalle said:

    Do not adjust saddle position for reach - compketely nothing to do with it and you'll mess up your hips and your bike will look like a jeff bag.

    John G- T is totally correct.

    I said that! Flipping popularity contest around here 😕
    Obviously the extra wisdomous way I said it made the difference.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    johngti said:

    Sounds like a plan. But you can always try just moving spacers first and seeing how the reach feels. You might be fine with it


    Think I will just try that 1st before I lash out any money.

    Taking 10mm from under the stem initially might not be noticeable at all.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    edited March 2022
    Just slam it like its meant to be.

    it'll take 2 rides to get used to, look mega, save weight and get you laid loads.

    you know it makes sense.

    #spacersareforlosers
    #slammed
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    MattFalle said:

    Just slam it like its meant to be.

    it'll take 2 rides to get used to, look mega, save weight and get you laid loads.

    you know it makes sense.

    #spacersareforlosers
    #slammed


    If only it were that simple :D
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    ibr17xvii said:

    MattFalle said:

    Just slam it like its meant to be.

    it'll take 2 rides to get used to, look mega, save weight and get you laid loads.

    you know it makes sense.

    #spacersareforlosers
    #slammed


    If only it were that simple :D
    but it is my friend, it is.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,525
    Sorry I'm late to the popularity contest. Take a spacer out from under the stem and put it above, reassemble without changing anything else and see how it feels. That's free other than a bit of time spent fettling. If it feels good, do another one. Carry on like this, if you feel a shorter stem will help, go for a cheap one first and see how it feels.
    As a wise old guy I worked with used to say "suck it and see"
  • masjer
    masjer Posts: 2,613


    As a wise old guy I worked with used to say "suck it and see"

    He's on the sex offenders register now.
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....


  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    dannbodge said:

    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....



    I guess that’s what it boils down to - am I able to get to that point.

    I think I’m far too old & inflexible to have it slammed completely but purely for experimental & aesthetic purposes I’d like to give it a go.

    Bit of an extra ballache I have my Di2 junction box strapped to the stem so I might need another band but not a dealbreaker.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065

    Sorry I'm late to the popularity contest. Take a spacer out from under the stem and put it above, reassemble without changing anything else and see how it feels. That's free other than a bit of time spent fettling. If it feels good, do another one. Carry on like this, if you feel a shorter stem will help, go for a cheap one first and see how it feels.
    As a wise old guy I worked with used to say "suck it and see"


    Got to clean the bike this afternoon anyway so gonna take out 10mm whilst I’m at it & give it a ride tomorrow.

    I think I will notice even it is only a 3mm or so increase in the reach but will do half a dozen rides before I make up my mind.
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    dannbodge said:

    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....


    I'm now running no spacers under mine
    ibr17xvii said:

    dannbodge said:

    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....



    I guess that’s what it boils down to - am I able to get to that point.

    I think I’m far too old & inflexible to have it slammed completely but purely for experimental & aesthetic purposes I’d like to give it a go.

    Bit of an extra ballache I have my Di2 junction box strapped to the stem so I might need another band but not a dealbreaker.

    Yeah luckily I'm still flexible enough to get away with it. Even on this winter/commuting bike haha

    Perfect time to upgrade to the bar end junction box too then!
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,251
    ibr17xvii said:

    Sorry I'm late to the popularity contest. Take a spacer out from under the stem and put it above, reassemble without changing anything else and see how it feels. That's free other than a bit of time spent fettling. If it feels good, do another one. Carry on like this, if you feel a shorter stem will help, go for a cheap one first and see how it feels.
    As a wise old guy I worked with used to say "suck it and see"


    Got to clean the bike this afternoon anyway so gonna take out 10mm whilst I’m at it & give it a ride tomorrow.

    I think I will notice even it is only a 3mm or so increase in the reach but will do half a dozen rides before I make up my mind.
    Reach is unlikely to be an issue.
    Your back will let you know. 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    dannbodge said:

    dannbodge said:

    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....


    I'm now running no spacers under mine
    ibr17xvii said:

    dannbodge said:

    The best bit about taking spacers out is eventually you get to do this.....



    I guess that’s what it boils down to - am I able to get to that point.

    I think I’m far too old & inflexible to have it slammed completely but purely for experimental & aesthetic purposes I’d like to give it a go.

    Bit of an extra ballache I have my Di2 junction box strapped to the stem so I might need another band but not a dealbreaker.

    Yeah luckily I'm still flexible enough to get away with it. Even on this winter/commuting bike haha

    Perfect time to upgrade to the bar end junction box too then!

    Good point.

    I didn't bother with the bar end junction box as it was too expensive (what isn't with Di2?) compared to the normal junction box.

    This may be a good point to upgrade but then the cost is creeping up...... :s
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    pblakeney said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    Sorry I'm late to the popularity contest. Take a spacer out from under the stem and put it above, reassemble without changing anything else and see how it feels. That's free other than a bit of time spent fettling. If it feels good, do another one. Carry on like this, if you feel a shorter stem will help, go for a cheap one first and see how it feels.
    As a wise old guy I worked with used to say "suck it and see"


    Got to clean the bike this afternoon anyway so gonna take out 10mm whilst I’m at it & give it a ride tomorrow.

    I think I will notice even it is only a 3mm or so increase in the reach but will do half a dozen rides before I make up my mind.
    Reach is unlikely to be an issue.
    Your back will let you know. 😉

    Or my neck.

    I do have issues with that from time to time which is why it will be small increments getting removed from under the stem.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    For anyone that's interested had a ride with 1 spacer removed today & have to say I felt really uncomfortable.

    Didn't think it would make that much difference & maybe some of it is psychological but I did feel a bit more stretched out.

    Amazing how 1 10mm spacer can make such a difference.

    Will give it 4 or 5 more rides before I make my mind up.