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Old 12-14-2016, 09:03 AM
Ohdoom Ohdoom is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Impressions of long to short stem. MTb?

I've been riding for years with a xc type cockpit setup. I ride a lot of big mountain stuff and am building a more aggressive bike. I would like to hear impressions from folks who have made the transition from ~80mm stems to short ~50. Did it noticably change the way you ride etc? Any feedback would help.

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Old 12-17-2016, 09:26 PM
FierteTi52 FierteTi52 is offline
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Great question, I'm hoping for responses on this too.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:46 AM
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ofcounsel ofcounsel is offline
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I've gone from longer stem (85mm) with 720mm wide bars on my former "trail" bike, a Trek Rumblefish, to a shorter stem (50mm) with 760mm wide bars on my "aggressive trail/all mountain" Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29 Evo.

I won't say that the difference is life changing. But the wider bars combined with the shorter stem seem to give me a bit of stability, nice leverage to maneuver the bike in chunky stuff and and seem to put me just a little further back behind the bars when pointed downhill. That in turn seems to gives me a bit more confidence to charge harder in the chunky downhill stuff. Honestly, I think the wider bars were an even bigger difference than the stem alone. But the wider bars would not really be comfortable from a "fit" perspective if I didn't go with the shorter stem.

If you are going with an "older" say, 2011-2012 vintage, used, all-mountain frame, take a look at the top tube length. Frames from just a few years ago were not necessarily optimized to run shorter, 50mm stems. And you don't want to have the cockpit being too cramped just to run a short stem. So if you are considering an older used frame, and the top tube is relatively short compared to the current crop of bikes with longer top tubes, consider getting the next size up in frame if you are going to run a short stem (assuming the standover height works for you as well).

Last edited by ofcounsel; 12-18-2016 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:36 AM
Ohdoom Ohdoom is offline
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I appreciate your input! I went from 700 to 760 bars on my last build and loved the improvement of control so maybe I'll like the switch to a shorter stem also. I believe the frame I'll be riding is ideal for it, a yeti sb4.5
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