Question on flipping my head stem

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by mlessor91, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    Hey all, I know this is debated a lot on various forums but I had a question for my case. I recently bought a 2012 Felt z85. I am new to the sport liked how comfortable it was and everything to do with it. It's "relaxed" fit isn't so bad when looking to future. I am only 21 and figure with adjustments I can make it more aggressive if I want and that's a big if. Right now riding with my girlfriend and just tryin to stay in shape and go for long rides. Mg question is, is it worth flipping head stem for more aggressive or does it not help much. My head stem is angled pretty high and in my eyes if I flipped it I would have my saddle quite a bit higher then bars and be more in line with f series if I so choose. I was just wondering if this is accurate I like having options down the road If I choose that path. Thanks
     
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  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Being lower has two advantages: Aerodynamics (not that big a deal if not racing), and better handling via a lower center of gravity. The latter is very palpable and not just a subjective thing.

    You can always go back if its's too low, or add a short spacer if you have available room on the fork steerer to fine tune.

    the stem you currently have is probably a +/-6 degree rise.

    this is approx how different the position will be:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and ya the aerodynamics is good because I feel like if I am on hoods not to mention riding on bars I feel like a sail, and could it be more that 6 degrees it looks like a lot and even at 6 it would be a 12 degree swing right? And how easy is it to flip over then I would have to flip the handles too right? Last question my back and neck don't hurt now only thing is my hands like I have a lot I pressure on it. Would flipping them make more weight fall on butt and less on bars? Or way off. Sorry if noob questions starting getting serious less than a month ago. Thanks again!
     
  4. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    I poste a picture because my phone wouldn't let me copy and past it. The pic shows the stem stats with spacers, etc. means close to nothin to me lol because I am such a noobie but maybe one of you more seasoned vets could tell me what's what and any suggestions on how much of a difference it would really make, also, how soon I should make the switch only been riding for a few weeks. Oh and I it matters I ride a 58cm Stem: Felt VA 6061 aluminum 3D forged +/-16° or +/-4° rise, Ø31.8mm bar clamp, custom eccentric variable angle adjustable shim, 173g; 51cm=80mm, 54cm=90mm, 56cm=100mm, 58cm=110mm, 61cm=110mm Nevermind picture didn't work, this is what it said for degrees and such. Thanks in advance
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Between these 2 vids, and the right tools (just a set of allen bolt keys) it should be relatively easy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SuTxugV6yY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRFqU07u8DE&feature=related

    The first vid shows you how to deal w/the handlebars. make sure to sort of remember how the handlebars were positioned in the stem (when loosening the stem faceplate, the bars will obviously rotate) and try to get them roughly the same after.

    Tighten everything up properly afterward, but no need to summon your inner gorilla i.e don't overtighten. Once finished put pressure on the bars in various directions to make sure properly secure.

    Lowering the bars may or may not put more weight on your hands, some of that depends where your seat is positioned.

    And although seat position fore/aft is a relationship defined by the pedals (and shouldn't be used to get you closer/further to the handlebars - that's what different length stems are for), moving the seat slightly back (just a tad, say 5mm) may actually alleviate some weight from the hands. Think of a counterbalance. Moving the seat forward, although one is less stretched out, can actually put more weight on the bars.

    Good luck and let us know how it works out.
     
  6. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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  7. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    Great thanks a lot I'll be sure to check out videos after work and check back in with updates good or bad! Thanks for the quick responses
     
  8. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Btw, your stem has 4 positions as opposed to the usual 2, if it's already in the +16 position, simply flipping it without fiddling with the shim could result in a dramatically lower position. 6cm lower!

    [​IMG]



    You may just want to orient it to the +4 position (which would be 2cm lower). I haven't used one of these before, so don't have any advice on how to setup the shim, but it's probably but rocket science to figure out.
     
  9. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    Wow! That's the change I was looking for lol. Thanks for the follow up that's very helpful. The reason this concern arose was I ended up with gettig the z85 good deal and 105s. Like I said above point was to stay in shape have fun and ride longer and longer. However, which you seemed to have cleare up if I want that more aero rise more towards f series I could achieve. Now you may or may not be able to answer this but if I wanted to move saddle flip stem etc. how close or far behind the f series would I be for aero and ride? Once again I like having options lol thanks for dealing with all my questions about this!
     
  10. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I'm not that familiar with the bikes, but a quick look at the website leads me to believe the two bikes could be setup relatively the same with stem angles and spacers, unless one is at the extreme position of the ranges. I.e the most upright one could get on an F vs. the lowest one could get on a Z.

    IMO 3 things dictate position and will facilitate a long and enjoyable riding career:
    1) Comfort - if you cannot ride 20,50,100 miles, or whatever comfortably you are not going to ride too much
    2) Handling - regardless of whether one has a preference of being bolt upright with handlebars two inches from their face, or stretched out face-down ass-up ready to audition for 2-Live Crew, if one's weight is not positioned properly over the steering axis, the bike will handle like crap. Too long a stem, or too short a stem, relative to the appropriate top tube length and one's ideal position, can exacerbate. It doesn't matter how fast one is if the bike isn't "one" with the rider and safety's an issue.
    3) Aerodynamics - as a competitor I don't feel like catching the collective wind from the sails of the pinta, the nina, and the santa maria on my rides.

    ...in that order.


    Edit: Btw, there are many things that go into a proper fit: sadlle height, saddle fore/aft, saddle tilt, handlebar height relative to saddle, handlebar width, stem length, and cleat position. Things like handlebar width and stem length usually correspond to the frame size which usually corresponds to the rider size, although there are big riders with narrow shoulders (need narrower bars), tall riders with short torso's and arms (need a shorter stems), point being there are exceptions and fine tuning for rider preference. There's a lot of value to be found in the pages of this forum on fitting, some good (and bad) vids on youtube, and a multitude of books at the local B&N. However, the bike shop the bike came from should be the starting point. A "basic" fitting should be a given. Note - as easy as flipping the stem is, they should be able to do this stem flip for you au gratis if you so choose.
     
  11. mlessor91

    mlessor91 New Member

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    Ok thanks a lot, a lot of useful information there... AND you brought 2 live crew into the discussion lol which is a win in my book haha Thanks again
     
  12. Andrew Pancroft

    Andrew Pancroft New Member

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    When I bought my S WOrks bike, one of the things I appreciated when having it fit is that Specialized offers stems that can adjust out in almost one degree increments. So, the whole having to either go 6 degrees negative or flip to 6 degrees positive is a little more adjustable - stem flipped up is just psychologically difficult for me!!
     
  13. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Yes! And aesthetically disturbing to the svelte lines of my humble steed.
     
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