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stem help

Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
edited October 2014 in MTB general
Hi all,

Is there any rules for choosing stem length. Just taken delivery of a new giant talon 0. And have been for a ride on it, when comparing it to my specialized rockhopper it feels more relaxed and easier to turn.

The new giant has a 90mm stem and the spesh 50mm stem. Obviously they change your riding position.

Reason I am confused, is because either I have set up the spesh wrong or this barge pole stem is more suited.

Any advice?


  • Does it ride ok? If it feels right then stick with it.
    You can't compare stem length on two different frames.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    It will be easier to turn as you have more leverage, all other things being equal.
    But there is no universal right, it's whatever works for you and puts your extremities in the right position.

    Unless you are a fashionable enduro type, in which case any stem of measurable length is too long.
    And unless the bars are measured in metres they're too short.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Never seen a bar measured in metres. Superstar do one a yard long though.
  • haha yeah the yard stick is good as backup.

    I can already tell the 90mm stem is no good, as I was getting hand and wrist pain.

    Was always under the illusion that shorter stems turn quicker, which is why I am confused that the giant turns quicker than the spech that has a 50mm stem.

    The 50mm on the rockhopper feels right but turns slow, think I have a 70mm stem kicking around somewhere so might try that on the giant and the spesh and see how they feel then.

    Might need 2 new stems at this rate :(:lol:
  • There could be several factors effecting why one bike steers faster than tge other.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Lots of reasons your wrist may hurt have nothing to do with stem length, like bar rotation for example to set the up/back sweep balance for you.

    Shorter stems will turn faster all else being equal, like head angle, trail, bar width, wheel size (doubt the Spesh is 650B?) and front to rear wheel weight balance, are they all equal though?
  • Thanks for the replies.

    Having thought about it and looking at my seating position on them both I think the rookie maybe correct about the bar rotation and up/back sweep. On the spesh my wrists are straight and quite flat on the bar. On the giant, my wrists are twisting to hold the bar. Hard to explain.

    But when you compare them both you might understand what I am trying to say.




    Going to ride the spesh tonight, and see how it feels, haven't ridden it since the giant came.

    Head angle is the same on both bikes along with bar width. The spesh is 26" and giant 650b. Stem on Giant 90mm +8, spesh is 50mm +5.

    Can you explain on what you mean about the front to rear wheel weight balance. Or is it simply about weight distribution between front and back? If so the spesh I would say by feel, it feels slightly back heavy and the giant front heavy. Quite abit of weight difference in them both Giant needs a diet
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    It's not the bike weight. It's the weight with you on it that counts....

    Looks like you need to roll the bars on the giant back, plus measure the cockpit length from where your sit bones are on the saddle to the centre of the bars and compare that.

    The giant has a higher front end, so it's probably lighter at the front as that will move your weight back.
  • Hi quick update, tried a 70mm stem on the giant that I had kicking around and had a play around with handlebar position and it felt good, so just deciding on what bar and stem to order.

    Have identified the slow turning on the spesh, but not sure how to correct it. Have analyzed my riding position on both bikes. On the spesh I have noticed that my arms are locked out in normal riding position so I won't gain any leverage. Elbows are fully locked, so pretty sure this is the cause.

    But seat height is perfect, have moved the seat forward as it was too far back, cant raise the stem height more. Have a 50mm +5 degrees stem on so it is from what I can see it is as close to me as I can make the bar.

    What am I missing out on, as I can't see how I can change the position to get get a kink in my arms.
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