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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
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    4,066

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    The thought has struck me... But my road bike was a great buy (used), with decent components for a very nice price, and she's RED! Perfect starter bike for me. And I'm not in huge pain or anything, but I can feel that things could be better for long rides. So I'm not giving up on her for a while yet
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
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    3,063
    Quote Originally Posted by Ana View Post
    I researched stems for a while too, since my reach was way to far. I found one site that said if you need too short of a stem, perhaps your bike is mis-sized and you should have a shorter top tube
    I think you are absolutely right. I had a professional fitting on my 51cm Specialized Sequoia and was considering buying a 52cm Specialized Allez frame. When I compared the top tubes, etc I saw that I'd be able to get the same reach by putting a 60mm step on the Allez. Maybe not ideal, but I got a good deal on the frame and it's working out ok.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    979
    I'm in the same situation! Overly long top tube but overly short body. Well you might not be as petite as me but it amounts to the same thing. I'm going to do two things: get a shorter stem and a Salsa poco. I think I am only going to shorten the stem by 10-20 mm and the poco will shorten my reach by 20mm. Also I'm going to pick up bars that are closer to my shoulder width and I might gain back some reach that way as well. I considered byuing bars that were 30mm shorter but that would probably be too dramatic. If I need to in the future I will, but as we say in Crew small adjustments...

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
    Posts
    3,063
    I've got poco's on both bikes. I was never comfortable on the hood with the stock Sequoia bars.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    646

    I changed my stem!

    After my first long ride on my 60mm stem (17 degree rise), I felt cramped and I still had the neck pain (phoey)

    So, I went to my LBS and they swapped (for free! ) it for a 70mm with 10 degree rise. I looooove it I took it around the block to "try it out" but I knew immediately that it was better

    I'm excited for the chance to go on a longer ride This means that I'm within my 15mm limit from the stock stem. (which was 85mm, 17 degree rise).

    Sweet!
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    54
    Give it a try - some people are more sensitive to the handling changes than others, it probably depends on how you handle the bike. I've ridden a stock bike with as short as a 6mm stem and as long as an 11mm stem with no problem (yeah, took me a while to figure out my fit problems). If you have a bike fitter in your area he or she might be able to give you a better idea of what size to try so you don't wind up buying a boatload of stems.

    Jenn

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    646

    Fit adjustment

    Maybe you could get an adjustable stem until you find the right angle/length
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
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    1,414
    I am now curious as to exactly where the "80-120" rule came from. Cycling News has a running feature on pro bikes (in which they obsessively detail the componentry and measurements of a given pro's bike, as well as giving the rider's height and weight). A very large number of pro's seem to run stems between 120 -- 140... and not all of the 130s & 140s are being run by big guys on big frames either. Interesting...
    Last edited by VeloVT; 05-01-2008 at 05:30 PM.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    646

    Stems....oh stems

    My LBS told me to stay within a 2cm range from the stock stem because of the changing the position over the bottom bracket. They also said if the stem was too long or too short, the handling might get weird and that may mean you need another size top tube. Keep in mind that they know I am not a super dedicated racer. Maybe the professional riders have longer stems with shorter top tubes which adjusts the geometry of the bike for really fast racing Maybe you have to be more hard core to have a smaller bike and a longer stem? I really don't know I'm not a serious cyclist yet or a racer so my fit is rather average I'm still tweaking my fit I like to enjoy my ride...not too competitive
    Last edited by Ana; 05-02-2008 at 06:30 AM.
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    979
    I think racers are willing to bend more for an aerodynamic position that gets them down low, and that often requires a longer stem.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana View Post
    My LBS told me to stay within a 2cm range from the stock stem because of the changing the position over the bottom bracket. They also said if the stem was too long or too short, the handling might get weird and that may mean you need another size top tube. Keep in mind that they know I am not a super dedicated racer. Maybe the professional riders have longer stems with shorter top tubes which adjusts the geometry of the bike for really fast racing Maybe you have to be more hard core to have a smaller bike and a longer stem? I really don't know I'm not a serious cyclist yet or a racer so my fit is rather average I'm still tweaking my fit I like to enjoy my ride...not too competitive
    First of all, I'm not challenging that everyone says your stem should be between 80-120 -- everyone says it. Any bike shop you go into, any online guide to fitting, you name it. And handling is usually cited as a main reason. But to clarify my question (hopefully):

    --Position over the bottom bracket is much more affected by seat position/setback than stem length, although a too-long reach could cause you to scootch forward... but again, reach is a combination of stem & top tube length, so a 52 cm top tube and a 140mm stem gives the same reach as a 56 cm top tube and a 100mm stem -- so even though there's a 4cm difference in stem length, all other things equal, the position on the bike would be the same -- the longer stem by itself (assuming the reach is the same) would not cause problems regarding your positioning relative to the bottom bracket.
    --But what I don't get is that it IS suggested that you purchase a frame in a size that permits you to acheive your proper reach with a stem between 80mm-120mm, because otherwise the handling will be "bad". But if the handling were really that sub-optimal with a longer stem, would we really see so many pro's on 140s?
    --Getting back to your response, It's definitely true that the guys with super long stems ARE riding smaller frames (they're not riding with vastly longer reach). Certainly one reason why pros ride smaller frames with longer stems is because a smaller frame is going to be shorter (head tube closer to the ground), permitting (with a long seatpost) a more extreme position -- but even so, if the handling were really that bad I don't think we'd see those long stems... so???
    --When I had my fitting on my new bike the fitter said he didn't love to put people with smaller frames at the larger end of the 80-120mm range, nor people with larger frames at the shorter end (I'm kinda heading towards one extreme, at least by this definition, on a bike with a 51.5cm tt and a 110 stem). I suppose this is partly just because it means you're at the edge of your range of adjustability, which isn't really an issue for pros, but it still seems like there's a sacrosanct rule that bike fitters don't want to put you on stems outside of "the range" -- but if the handling consequences were so awful, why would you see it so often in pro riders? (I should add, after perusing lots of Cycling News features, I haven't seen any stems on male pro bikes shorter than 90mm -- but lots over 120).


  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    646
    Let's keep in mind that men tend to have longer torsos and shorter inseams by proportion compared to women. So maybe by comparison, their reach tends to be longer than women's. Plus, in general most women are smaller than men (although the average height for men is shrinking....the Europeans are getting taller and Americans are getting shorter....on average).

    Also, sometimes I feel like those slimy business people will make anything someone might buy just to make a buck So even if it's not advisable (or practical), they will make the product as long as they have customers :P We see this all the time on infomercials :P

    Ooo, maybe you could ask a fitter that question....or someone who is serious enough about cycling that they have that weird stem/top tube thingy going on
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501

    Just curious

    Do the pros run shorter stems on their crit bikes than on the road race bikes?

    Do they tend to body steer more than they countersteer with the handlebars?

    Do pros who understand countersteering use their handlebars differently from us mere mortals, especially ones who have never raced bicycles or ridden motorcycles, who may be more inclined to turn the handlebars in the direction we want to go? Or who may be riding at speeds where countersteering isn't even effective?
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
    Posts
    3,063
    Quote Originally Posted by liza View Post
    First of all, I'm not challenging that everyone says your stem should be between 80-120 -- everyone says it.
    Just because it's said often doesn't make it true. I don't feel I have any steering issues on my bike with the 60mm stem. Having said that, I have to admit that so far I don't feel really stable on aerobars on this bike, but there are lots of other differences between my road bikes, particularly in the height difference between the seat and the bars on the race bike. I'm not sure how that figures in.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana View Post
    Let's keep in mind that men tend to have longer torsos and shorter inseams by proportion compared to women. So maybe by comparison, their reach tends to be longer than women's. Plus, in general most women are smaller than men (although the average height for men is shrinking....the Europeans are getting taller and Americans are getting shorter....on average).
    The difference in relative body dimensions isn't what I'm getting at -- it's not really relevant to the question I'm asking. Pros have access to just about everything they could want (pro teams are how bike companies do R&D). They are not running super long stems because they can't get bikes that would fit them with a shorter stem -- for some reason they are electing to ride small bikes with long stems instead of medium bikes with medium stems (or whatever the equivalent of that equation is based on how tall they actually are).

    Us ordinary mortals tend to be advised that longer stems will cause adverse changes in handling -- so we are advised to go medium frame/medium stem -- but since pro riders make their livelihood by riding bikes, I don't think they'd be electing to ride extreme tt/stem combos if, first, there weren't some significant benefit to doing so, and second, if there were adverse handling changes that were at all significant -- they are putting much higher handling demands on their bikes than most of us (high speed winding descents, etc), so I don't think they'd be likely to *settle* on that.

    So what's the truth? That's what I want to know . It seems like we get a mixed message from the "conventional wisdom"...



    Oakleaf: interesting questions...
    Last edited by VeloVT; 05-07-2008 at 12:35 PM.

 

 

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