Stem Length

by Gkam84   January 10, 2012  

Without spoiling another thread, i just saw an interesting post by Dave

dave_atkinson wrote:
Most of the pros are on 130mm (and even 140mm) stems

So just out of interest, what stem length are you riding with?

I'm currently running a 30mm, this is just for personal preference and not because my bike doesn't fit, when i had it fitted, it was a 110mm stem, but after trying various sizes, i'm comfy and feel i have much more control with my tiny 30mm Big Grin

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various bikes have varying stems, the longest is 110mm and the shortest 80mm

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7324 posts]
10th January 2012 - 16:39

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Out of interest, how are you using a 30mm stem, as I thought that the miminum length stem you could have was 30.2mm, and that would be with the bars directly touching the steerer (assuming you are using OS bars with a 1-1/8" steerer), as I believe stems are measured Centre-to-Centre. Is it a custom stem that you are using?

I run a 100mm stem on all my bikes by the way, although about to change one to a 120mm.

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posted by roadracedave [75 posts]
10th January 2012 - 16:45

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Just to add some more data:

The stems on my bikes are:

90mm and 110mm

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
10th January 2012 - 17:37

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roadracedave wrote:
Out of interest, how are you using a 30mm stem, as I thought that the miminum length stem you could have was 30.2mm

My mistake, i was using a custom one, until my accident, its now a 40mm http://www.evanscycles.com/products/truvativ/hussefelt-stem-ec017602

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th January 2012 - 18:17

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30mm on a road bike? Or hybrid?

posted by Super Domestique [1599 posts]
10th January 2012 - 19:43

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130mm usually. 120mm if the top tube is a bit long.

posted by Mat Brett [1865 posts]
10th January 2012 - 20:18

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If you have to or feel the need to use a 130 or 140mm stem your frame is too small!

posted by TheDoctor [78 posts]
10th January 2012 - 20:35

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Super Domestique wrote:
30mm on a road bike? Or hybrid?

Full road bike, drop bars

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th January 2012 - 20:45

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TheDoctor wrote:
If you have to or feel the need to use a 130 or 140mm stem your frame is too small!

I'm going to pass that on to the bike fitters at Velo Solutions who had a made-to-measure Viner built for me with a 130mm stem. The bike handles beautifully but I've clearly been had.

http://road.cc/content/feature/26270-getting-bike-fit-video

http://road.cc/content/review/34912-viner-maxima-rs

posted by Mat Brett [1865 posts]
10th January 2012 - 20:50

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TheDoctor wrote:
If you have to or feel the need to use a 130 or 140mm stem your frame is too small!

If that was the case, why do they even make 130mm and 140mm stem's? Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th January 2012 - 21:22

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So many variables. Everybody's different, I for example have long legs in proportion to my upperbody and arms, so ride small frames 44cm tcr's and 50cm other bikes, with 110mm stems, saddle setback and handlebar type can also have a part to play some bars have less forward "throw" than others. I prefer Ritchey less throw but a good width on the tops. Not to mention the type of riding engaged in, racing,touring or commuting? Vive la difference.

onward ever onward

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posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
10th January 2012 - 21:57

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TheDoctor wrote:
If you have to or feel the need to use a 130 or 140mm stem your frame is too small!

you want to tell sean yates that

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7324 posts]
10th January 2012 - 22:15

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TheDoctor wrote:
If you have to or feel the need to use a 130 or 140mm stem your frame is too small!

If this is true and so is the quote from the original post, someone really needs to inform the pros their frames are the wrong size Big Grin

posted by mrkeith119 [86 posts]
11th January 2012 - 3:17

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For anybody who is interested, I just read on the internet that Mark Cavendish uses a 49cm bike. I thought that was small.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
11th January 2012 - 14:28

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Raleigh wrote:
For anybody who is interested, I just read on the internet that Mark Cavendish uses a 49cm bike. I thought that was small.

Not really, here is a general size guide, bikes vary from manufacturer, so he could be spot on being 5ft 9

50cm 5ft 6 – 5ft 11

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
11th January 2012 - 14:38

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To further confuse the issue, as you get older you become shorter, I used to be 5ft 9 now 40yrs on I am 5ft 7 1/2 I think it has something to do with one's spine, so that being correct it would be the upper body and reach affected, so by the time I am 100 perhaps I will be riding a bike with a 50mm stem instead of 100mm Confused

onward ever onward

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posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
11th January 2012 - 17:53

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bikecellar wrote:
To further confuse the issue, as you get older you become shorter, I used to be 5ft 9 now 40yrs on I am 5ft 7 1/2 I think it has something to do with one's spine, so that being correct it would be the upper body and reach affected, so by the time I am 100 perhaps I will be riding a bike with a 50mm stem instead of 100mm Confused

God help me then, I'll have to be using back to front stem's, i'm only 27 year, fitted a 110mm but prefer my 40mm

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
11th January 2012 - 19:14

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Started on a 90mm stem (XS frame Ribble- I believe is 44cm/ slope top tube) ended up with a 110mm it
is a lot better. On my Kona(47cm) it's a 90mm stem, seen no reason to change..bar is a wee bit narrow mind you...only 400mm

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posted by The _Kaner [411 posts]
11th January 2012 - 20:07

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Double post....

The_Kaner
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posted by The _Kaner [411 posts]
11th January 2012 - 20:14

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bikecellar wrote:
To further confuse the issue, as you get older you become shorter, I used to be 5ft 9 now 40yrs on I am 5ft 7 1/2 I think it has something to do with one's spine, so that being correct it would be the upper body and reach affected, so by the time I am 100 perhaps I will be riding a bike with a 50mm stem instead of 100mm Confused

No you won't - you will buy(beg/borrow) a bike that fits with regards to length / stretch . Everyone seems afraid to say, but a road bike with a 50mm or less stem with the geometries and angles involved, must be horrible - 30mm/40mm what?? I am all in favour of the each to their own philosophy, however........

posted by mr_fox [53 posts]
12th January 2012 - 0:49

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Bike racers favor an aero riding style which may not be the best position for recreational cyclists. Race bikes are generally as small as possible, as racers don't need tall head tubes and want the frames to be light and stiff, not necessarily comfortable. Over the years I've gone to a bigger bike. I like the feel of being "between the wheels" that a longer top tube gives me, as opposed to being "over" them. The stems I use are shorter, around 100MM or so. I don't need to put a bunch of dorky looking spacers under my stem, either. A bigger bike means I have a taller head tube, another reason I don't need dorky spacers. To each his own -but- I do believe one's riding setup should reflect the actual riding style, not some fantasy of racing like a Tour rider.

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posted by velocodger [7 posts]
12th January 2012 - 1:21

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It used to be said that to get the correct stem length you should sight down towards the front hub when sitting in the saddle with hands on the bars (can't remember whether it was tops or drops, maybe it's all the same). If it's right the hub should be hidden from your sight behind the bar tops.
Maybe that method has gone out of fashion? Maybe because everyone is so different in their preferences? I always go on calculating around 100mm stem for traditional frames, 110 or 115 for current style compact frames. I think that means I've got the right size frame for me.

posted by bikeylikey [164 posts]
12th January 2012 - 9:25

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mr_fox wrote:

Everyone seems afraid to say, but a road bike with a 50mm or less stem with the geometries and angles involved, must be horrible - 30mm/40mm what?? I am all in favour of the each to their own philosophy, however........

No-one is afraid to say it, because its untrue.

I'm more than happy with my set up, running a 40mm suits my riding style just fine

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
12th January 2012 - 11:53

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Mark Cavendish's stem is probably wider than it is long.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [483 posts]
12th January 2012 - 19:21

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Gkam84 wrote:
Raleigh wrote:
For anybody who is interested, I just read on the internet that Mark Cavendish uses a 49cm bike. I thought that was small.

Not really, here is a general size guide, bikes vary from manufacturer, so he could be spot on being 5ft 9

50cm 5ft 6 – 5ft 11

My frame is probably too big for me, 55cm, although I think that a lot of other riders the same height as me in the Youth Category A peleton seem to be using the same size. Investigation!

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
12th January 2012 - 20:55

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mr_fox wrote:
bikecellar wrote:
To further confuse the issue, as you get older you become shorter, I used to be 5ft 9 now 40yrs on I am 5ft 7 1/2 I think it has something to do with one's spine, so that being correct it would be the upper body and reach affected, so by the time I am 100 perhaps I will be riding a bike with a 50mm stem instead of 100mm Confused

No you won't - you will buy(beg/borrow) a bike that fits with regards to length / stretch . Everyone seems afraid to say, but a road bike with a 50mm or less stem with the geometries and angles involved, must be horrible - 30mm/40mm what?? I am all in favour of the each to their own philosophy, however........


If I am still riding at 100 yrs old I will not give a flying f..k about stem length Wink

onward ever onward

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posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
12th January 2012 - 22:18

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stem length is only part of the equation (unless you use flat bars or only ride the tops) you have to consider the bar dimensions in as well. A compact bar might be about 80mm from the centre to the apex of the bend, a more traditional drop bar could be over 100mm.

FWIW - road 100mm stem + 80mm reach , cx 100/70, mtb 80/0. me=5'10 long back, shortish arms.

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posted by joemmo [798 posts]
13th January 2012 - 9:49

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To Nick Rearden:
100mm that needs changing to 110mmm for me - wanna swap?! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3108 posts]
13th January 2012 - 12:27

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notfastenough wrote:
To Nick Rearden:
100mm that needs changing to 110mmm for me - wanna swap?! Big Grin

If it's an old-school 1" quill road stem you're after, you could be on for a deal but I suspect it's a new-fangled direct clampy thing you'll be wanting?

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
13th January 2012 - 12:35

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Hmm, fraid I am indeed a new-fangled kind of guy, thanks though!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3108 posts]
25th January 2012 - 23:51

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