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  #1  
Old 12-17-2020, 09:19 PM
tv_vt tv_vt is offline
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Experimenting with fit: shorter stem to lower handlebar?

I noticed toward the end of this year that I was wanting to lower my handlebars on several bikes. But then also was noticing that I wanted to shorten my stem. So I'm wondering if others have played around with reach and drop this way. Let's say I throw on a shorter stem to go from a 'tip of saddle to back of handlbar distance' of 56cm down to 54. With the 56cm distance, my handlebar height from fork dropout was 63cm. Am wondering how low I could go with the handlebars (comfortably) with the shorter horizontal distance.

Any thoughts or experience with this type of fiddling? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2020, 12:45 PM
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pdmtong pdmtong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tv_vt View Post
I noticed toward the end of this year that I was wanting to lower my handlebars on several bikes. But then also was noticing that I wanted to shorten my stem. So I'm wondering if others have played around with reach and drop this way. Let's say I throw on a shorter stem to go from a 'tip of saddle to back of handlbar distance' of 56cm down to 54. With the 56cm distance, my handlebar height from fork dropout was 63cm. Am wondering how low I could go with the handlebars (comfortably) with the shorter horizontal distance.

Any thoughts or experience with this type of fiddling? Thanks.
I'm no fitter but for front end tip saddle to bar reach, bar drop and bar width just do some systematic fiddling. like changing one thing at a time and find the spot that you feel best

for instance keep the stem and change the drop...or keep the drop and change the stem.

and make a chart so you can record your impressions.

I go to a fitter for saddle setback but for the front end all you need is a few stems and time.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2020, 01:25 PM
Upcountry Upcountry is offline
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What you're describing is exactly what got me to where I am now, and its to the place of being the most comfortable I've been on the bike. I explained it a bit in my post about my Cielo; but in short, I've always been "over-reached" in an effort to not feel "scrunched" when what I really needed was much more saddle to bar drop. I'm guessing this has to do with my arm length vs torso length. While I didn't shorten the stem length in this instance, I downsized bikes by about 20mm of top tube length, then gained back 10mm with a longer stem than the original setup, but this all dropped my handlebar height by about 20mm.
I wouldn't hesitate to play around with it at all.... I wish I had done it sooner. I also wish I hadn't spent so many years trying to make 56cm and 54cm bikes feel "right"... I'm now on what would be called a 52cm.
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:46 PM
Nomadmax Nomadmax is offline
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Experiment without spending money.

http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2020, 05:52 PM
bil bil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadmax View Post
Experiment without spending money.

http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
yes! I've been using this tool for a while now, works wonders
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2020, 09:47 PM
tv_vt tv_vt is offline
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That is a very handy calculator. The visual is good, too. Thanks for sharing.

I've used the trail calculator for forks - that is helpful, too.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2020, 08:29 AM
Applesauce Applesauce is offline
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If possible, I always advise changing only one variable at a time. Otherwise you don’t know what worked (or worse, didn’t). This can be tough with stems, and very expensive, because you might end up buying a different rise in the same length, or vide versa, only to find that you need the other thing.

With stems, a little high-school-level geometric knowledge helps a lot. Draw a picture to help visualize how length or drop or both change effective reach. Changing one variable only can be used quite effectively to change effective reach in just the way you want.

Just remember, on road bikes especially (and almost not at all on modern MTBs), shortening your stem can drastically affect the handling, and not for the better. That’s a nice way of saying, don’t waste your money on a 60 mm high-rise stem when what you need is a new bike.

Last edited by Applesauce; 12-19-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2020, 04:09 PM
tv_vt tv_vt is offline
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Originally Posted by Applesauce View Post
Just remember, shortening your stem can drastically affect the handling, and not for the better. That’s a nice way of saying, don’t waste your money on a 60 mm high-rise stem when what you need is a new bike.
One option I'm considering is sizing down one frame size. The bike in question has stock Serotta sizing, so I know the geo differences in the two sizes. Top tube length would be shorter by 1.5cm, HTA and STA stay the same, while BB drop increases by 0.5 cm in the smaller size frame.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2020, 02:45 PM
ridethecliche ridethecliche is offline
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How long of a stem do you typically run these days?

If you're going from a 120 to a 100 you might be able to get away with it, but if you're going from a 100 to 80 then yeah the handling might take a hit.

I'd also try coming down 1cm at a time for a stem since it might end up being just what you need.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2021, 07:07 PM
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jimmy-moots jimmy-moots is offline
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Bikegeo.net is your friend.

If you can plug in top tube, seat/head angles, head length you're able to calculate stack/reach - and then you can include stem length, angle etc to get your stack/reach after reducing stem length.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2021, 08:44 PM
tv_vt tv_vt is offline
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I typically run a 120 stem with -7/-8 drop. I'm going to play around with a few stems: 115/-8, 110/-12, and 110/-17. Think I'll end up going with the -12 stem. We'll see. This will be an on-the-trainer test for a while, with the weather and roads being what they are right now.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2021, 10:05 PM
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jimmy-moots jimmy-moots is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tv_vt View Post
I typically run a 120 stem with -7/-8 drop. I'm going to play around with a few stems: 115/-8, 110/-12, and 110/-17. Think I'll end up going with the -12 stem. We'll see. This will be an on-the-trainer test for a while, with the weather and roads being what they are right now.
Say with a 73.5deg HT
  • Going from 120 (-8) to 110 (-8) is 2mm lower and 7mm less reach
  • Going from 120 (-8) to 120 (-12) is 8mm lower and 2mm less reach
  • Going from 120 (-8) to 110 (-12) 9mm lower and 8mm less reach

So shortening stem on its own gives you a tiny bit of reduction in bar height, and reducing it along with changing the angle gives even less (but still more than if you held your stem length constant).

The reduction in stack is more theoretically pronounced with slacker head tubes but with the changes we are talking about not a big deal (fractions of a milimeter with say a 72 deg HT).

Hope that helps.

Last edited by jimmy-moots; 01-10-2021 at 10:08 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2021, 02:23 PM
sighting sighting is offline
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How have I never seen this before! thnx

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadmax View Post
Experiment without spending money.

http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2021, 09:47 PM
Upcountry Upcountry is offline
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It's pretty awesome isn't it. Now I wish some tech savvy individual would combine BikeInsights and the Yojimg Stem Comparison...
I know you can get the numbers and know how a certain bike will fit/match, but man would it be amazing to get the touchpoints(saddle, bars, pedals) all actually on "paper" to see how something would matchup or change. If they could get it dialed down to the reach and drop of bars it would be even better!
I'd gladly pay for this service(I actually just donated $10 to bikeinsights as I use it so often).
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2021, 03:35 AM
Wookski Wookski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upcountry View Post
It's pretty awesome isn't it. Now I wish some tech savvy individual would combine BikeInsights and the Yojimg Stem Comparison...
I know you can get the numbers and know how a certain bike will fit/match, but man would it be amazing to get the touchpoints(saddle, bars, pedals) all actually on "paper" to see how something would matchup or change. If they could get it dialed down to the reach and drop of bars it would be even better!
I'd gladly pay for this service(I actually just donated $10 to bikeinsights as I use it so often).
http://bikegeocalc.com/
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