Question about handling and stem length

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by SpecializedWRX, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. SpecializedWRX

    SpecializedWRX New Member

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    My question is:

    At what point does shortening the stem length on a road bike adversely affect the handling of the bike?

    First, I had a 130mm stem on my bike, but it was entirely too long. Consequently, I swapped it for a 110mm. I am starting to think that this one might be slightly too long too. At what point does the handling of the bike change because the stem is too short?:confused:
     
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  2. lks

    lks New Member

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    The shorter the stem, the quicker the steering, but stem lenghts and rise/drops are manufactured to accommodate different bike fit requirements.
     
  3. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    you'll probably notice a difference, but the handling of a good bike won't be ruined by having a 10cm stem. In other words, if the bike handles well, it still should do so with various stem lengths. My Cervelo Superprodigy has had 100, 110 and 120mm stems, and it handled just as good with all, even though I did notice a slight difference.
    Having said that, I can't say what a 90mm stem would do :)
     
  4. SpecializedWRX

    SpecializedWRX New Member

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    Great, thanks for the info!!
     
  5. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I have a 90mm on my six13 and it handles great, the steering felt a bit quicker after the old one (can't remember what length it was) but I got used to it after the first mile or two...
     
  6. SpecializedWRX

    SpecializedWRX New Member

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    great, thanks for the info... so I can expect quicker turn-in if I go shorter...
     
  7. djk202020

    djk202020 New Member

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    When I got fitted at my LBS he told me try to not go under 100mm. However I am sure it depends on the rider just like everything else on the bike. I wouldnt worry too much about steering if you are not comfortable on the bike find the one that fits you best and work from there. I am riding a 110mm
     
  8. otherworld

    otherworld New Member

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    Once you go below 100mm your steering is likely to become noticeably more twitchy. Frame geometry, particularly fork rake and head-tube angle are other factors in this. If you are needing to go below 100mm on a competition road bike your frame may be too big for you.

    Jay
     
  9. aacliment

    aacliment New Member

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    The rule of thumb for stem length is that you sould not see your front hub when you are on the hoods. The view of your front hub should be blocked by your handlebar. This is just a rule of thumb and not a hard and fast rule.

    I agree with Jay that before going with a stem shorter than a 100mm, you should check your frame size.
     
  10. SpecializedWRX

    SpecializedWRX New Member

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    yeah, i am pretty sure that my frame size is a little bit on the large side...i am about 6'4" and the frame size is 62cm...it would seem to me that the only problem really is coming from the top tube length because everything else feels fine.
     
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