Advice on Stems would be appreciated

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Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:11 pm

Got to buy a stem for a bike build I'm doing.
I'm buying a frame in Large following advice but am worried about my assumption of a forward leaning position. (1.8m height and I believe a 34 inch inseam and saddle to BB spindle measurement of approx 73cm)
I prefer a more upright position and can testify to this by my present bikes approx 17 year ownership.
What worries me is that my current ride (which I love) has an effective top tube of only 55.5cm. I measured from my quill stem center bolt across to my seatpost middle till level.
My new frame has 616.3mm.
I thought it should just be a matter of trying to shorten the cockpit via straight seatpost with not setback and short stem (45mm?) and maybe some bars with a rearward sweep.
Just read in another thread a post with a suggestion of "stems shorter than 90mm may adversely affect handling".
Well that got my attention, so I thought I better ask a few questions.
Can anyone offer some advice with regards to this? :?
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by BNA » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:48 pm

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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby biker jk » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:48 pm

Your new frame is too large. For your height a top tube of 55.5-56cm with a stem of 110-120mm would be about right. Why did you buy a frame with a 61.6cm top tube? Can you swap the frame for a correctly sized model? Your saddle height seems a bit low as I have the same inseam and run 76cm to BB.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:59 pm

biker jk wrote:Your new frame is too large. For your height a top tube of 55.5-56cm with a stem of 110-120mm would be about right. Why did you buy a frame with a 61.6cm top tube? Can you swap the frame for a correctly sized model? Your saddle height seems a bit low as I have the same inseam and run 76cm to BB.

Its a 29er mountainbike frame which tend to run a little long in the TT.
I had advice from numerable sources including bikes shops. Most leaned toward the large frame.
I finally made up my mind when seeing the medium frame sized bike with a rider of my dimensions with the seat post at what I thought was a ridiculous height.
I've seen various charts which also put my 5'11" height at the Large frame.
I'm stuck with giving it a go and am interested in shortening the cockpit, hence my question about stems.
As for my saddle height, I got it by putting my heel on the pedal and lifting the seat till it felt it was at its upper reach with my leg straight (without it feeling like
it was going to come out my mouth) :wink: .
58cm roadbike felt ok, but I dont like the drops, being a fat illegitimate with back thats not so great :!:
The bike will be for touring and not serious off roading.
Last edited by rifraf on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby biker jk » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:06 pm

rifraf wrote:
biker jk wrote:Your new frame is too large. For your height a top tube of 55.5-56cm with a stem of 110-120mm would be about right. Why did you buy a frame with a 61.6cm top tube? Can you swap the frame for a correctly sized model? Your saddle height seems a bit low as I have the same inseam and run 76cm to BB.

Its a 29er mountainbike frame which tend to run a little long in the TT.
I had advice from numerable sources including bikes shops. Most leaned toward the large frame.
I finally made up my mind when seeing the medium frame sized bike with a rider of my dimensions with the seat post at what I thought was a ridiculous height.
I've seen various charts which also put my 5'11" height at the Large frame.
I'm stuck with giving it a go and am interested in shortening the cockpit, hence my question about stems.
As for my saddle height, I got it by putting my heel on the pedal and lifting the seat till it felt it was at its upper reach with my leg straight (without it feeling like
it was going to come out my mouth) :wink: .
58cm roadbike felt ok, but I dont like the drops, being a fat illegitimate with back thats not so great :!:


Ok I didn't know it was a mountain bike when I wrote my response. Just ignore everything I said given you have the correct frame size.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:11 pm

biker jk wrote:
Ok I didn't know it was a mountain bike when I wrote my response. Just ignore everything I said given you have the correct frame size.

You might yet turn out to be right. I got sick of asking and getting different answers so bit the bullet and bought. There was no bikes the same in
WA for me to view. They are available but only to order. As I wanted custom components compared to Surly's build, I've ordered in just the frame via Jenson. Its a roll of the dice. :roll:
Apologies for not thinking to include the bike type in the original post. :oops:
Any advice on the original question regarding the stem?
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:26 pm

The large size frame probably will be ok, and since it will have flat and probably wide bars a shorter stem probably won't affect the steering much.
The other thread was discussing road bikes, which is assumed to have much lower bars. Higher bars effectively shorten the bike. I would expect your build would have the bars level with the saddle, so the kength of the top tube probably won't be a problem. But it is probably going to have a more forward position than you are used too.

I notice that the Ogre complete bike is supplied with a 110mm stem as standard.

My Pioneer has a 600mm ETT length, and with 100mm stem I do find it a little longer than I would prefer. I'm 182cm by the way, so a little taller than you.

For an upright position the medium size may have been a better choice - with an ETT of 599,3mm and its standard 100mm stem the overall length is close enough to 700mm i.e. the same length as my Pioneer. An 80mm stem would probably be ok.

If it is too big I s'pose you could eBay it and buy another.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:44 pm

Some valuable insights there Ron, thank you.
I left a post in that thread but assumed you'd moved on so I thought I'd ask here.
I think I'll try one of the very short 50mm stems to get a feeling of what its like. I can always go longer if I feel I need it.
I'd forgotten you also ride road bikes as well so your comment caught my attention straight away and nearly gave me cause for a heart attack. :shock:
I tried to go to a few bike shops for a look at some comparisons with regards to frame size but got no definitive answers just a lot of wiffle, waffle
and piffle :roll: from tryers who wanted to influence me toward their floorstock.
My interests were definitely secondary with no regards to future parts or accessories sales. An attitude of buy this now or hit the highway was apparent amongst some of them. :|
No worries as I knew I could get most of my answers here or in other corners of the net. I definitely dont like the look of the seat height in the medium so if this frame is too out of sorts, I'll just have to convince my wallet its time for a custom and maybe time for a call to Co-motion :idea:

Oh and yes, ebay is I think the best easy answer if the frame is decided to be unsuitable - thank goodness there is this outlet and less than retail Ogre frames I'm sure will get some interest.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:55 pm

I can't see why the seat height would be a problem. It's the most readily adjusted dimension on any bike.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:57 pm

Had a 130 on my bike, too long, constantly reaching, old bike had a 90 on it, had pins and needles in right hand, shortened by 20mm, perfect, 100k's today, no drama.

So, find what's comfortable.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:31 pm

RonK wrote:I can't see why the seat height would be a problem. It's the most readily adjusted dimension on any bike.

Its just a personal aesthetic preference. The large frame dimensions look much more typical in my book whilst the medium looks much more like one of those street jump MTB's by comparison, especially with the large seatpost sticking up making the bike in my eyes looks squat and ugly.
Not saying theres anything wrong with that look except to me.
Second post down is an 18 and rider similar height to me from memory http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h306/ ... abeled.jpg
I much prefer the "look" of the bike in the 7th post down http://forums.mtbr.com/surly/surly-ogre-737340-26.html
He's an inch taller than me and an inch higher inseam measurement so seatpost for me even better at one inch lower. :D
A more extreme example of what I dont prefer would be the 15th post down http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/surl ... to-14-.jpg
I had better examples in mind but couldnt find them quickly and that bloomin mtbr site loads so X@#* slowly it drives me mad. :D
Last edited by rifraf on Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:38 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:Had a 130 on my bike, too long, constantly reaching, old bike had a 90 on it, had pins and needles in right hand, shortened by 20mm, perfect, 100k's today, no drama.

So, find what's comfortable.

Good you found what was right for you so easy. :D
I wish I had more of an idea with my last mountain bike which was never comfortable but I now know would have been much improved with
a shorter stem.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby Howzat » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:10 pm

You can try a two-axis adjustable stem for ease of sizing. Once you've got a good feel you can replace it with a one-piece stem.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:17 pm

Well it seems a poor choice to sacrifice your comfort for aesthetics. If you don't like a long seat post then a compact frame is a bad idea.

The number of compromises you've had to make with the Ogre are far more than I would be prepared to make on a brand new bike.

With that information the compact Thorn frame probably wouldn't suit you either. The Comotion is looking more and more like better value.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:36 pm

RonK wrote:Well it seems a poor choice to sacrifice your comfort for aesthetics. If you don't like a long seat post then a compact frame is a bad idea.

The number of compromises you've had to make with the Ogre are far more than I would be prepared to make on a brand new bike.

With that information the compact Thorn frame probably wouldn't suit you either. The Comotion is looking more and more like better value.

I agree.

I've stuck with the Moulton for so long because although I recognise many of its shortcomings, there is a dearth of alternatives without an equal amount of compromises in one area or another (IMHO)

I've settled for the Ogre frame because I believe its price point is low enough that its not too big a deal.
It ticks many of the boxes I want or need whilst retaining "some" of its original retail price.

Seeing the secondhand price of some of the bikes I've left links too on either gumtree or ebay must be sickening to their owners.

Getting now, what wheels, bars and componentry I desire, means they can be added to another frame in the future without having to settle for the mediocrity of an already built bike and having to throw more money at it to "upgrade".

This is I hope the right path. :?
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:41 pm

Howzat wrote:You can try a two-axis adjustable stem for ease of sizing. Once you've got a good feel you can replace it with a one-piece stem.

This is what I've settled for on my Moulton with some success. I'll certainly keep it in mind for the Ogre if I have trouble with the cockpit. :D
Image
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby Fixie82 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:55 pm

I'm a pretty similar size to you, a bit shorter inseam though. The frame will fit you no problems, you will just need to run a 50-70mm stem. Longer if you want a flatter position but you mention you don't want that. The beauty of mountain bikes is all the different styles and shapes of handlebars. You could even look into a bar with a lot of backsweep to further the upright position, such as the 3T Extendo. If you would rather a longer stem you could have a straight seatpost and have the saddle slammed forward, may reduce ability to loft the front wheel but you will get used to it.

I would look at your saddle height though, I run mine at 76cm and have a shorter inseam. 3cm is a big difference.

It may take some tinkering but it will be ok, its a weird height to be as I find I can ride most mediums and larges. Just depends on how you like/want to ride.

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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:13 pm

Fixie82 wrote:I'm a pretty similar size to you, a bit shorter inseam though. The frame will fit you no problems, you will just need to run a 50-70mm stem. Longer if you want a flatter position but you mention you don't want that. The beauty of mountain bikes is all the different styles and shapes of handlebars. You could even look into a bar with a lot of backsweep to further the upright position, such as the 3T Extendo. If you would rather a longer stem you could have a straight seatpost and have the saddle slammed forward, may reduce ability to loft the front wheel but you will get used to it.

I would look at your saddle height though, I run mine at 76cm and have a shorter inseam. 3cm is a big difference.

It may take some tinkering but it will be ok, its a weird height to be as I find I can ride most mediums and larges. Just depends on how you like/want to ride.

Good luck

Hi Fixie82,
good to see I'm not the only one around of these dimensions.
Thanks heaps for the words of encouragement and suggestions.
I'll have another look at my saddle height.
Glad you think the frame will fit ok. Most peoples opinion is just that, but I get occasionally thrown by those who say neigh.
I'll have a close look at those bars you suggested. At this stage I'm pretty keen to try some Jeff Jones Full Loop H Bars:
http://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar.html
I was transfixed seeing the amount of air he was getting in pic 4 (down)
www.jonesbikes.com/?option=com_wordpres ... h-bar.html
The same effect of rearward sweep as your suggestion but with a 45 degree sweep and a rise/drop of 13mm as opposed to the Extendos 12 degree sweep,
half the weight of the Jones bar but with no rise. I'm looking to take advantage of the longer bars getting the rider in a more upright position (hopefully).
I think I'll be going straight for the 50mm stem and if theres one with a rise at that length, I'll probably head towards it.
Your suggestions confirm my thinking is heading towards the right track - thank you!
Happy spinning :D
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby Howzat » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:21 pm

rifraf wrote: I get occasionally thrown by those who say neigh.

I know what you mean. That happened not long ago to a mate of mine, put him in emergency. But now he's in a stable condition.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby rifraf » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:57 pm

Howzat wrote:
rifraf wrote: I get occasionally thrown by those who say neigh.

I know what you mean. That happened not long ago to a mate of mine, put him in emergency. But now he's in a stable condition.

I rode right into that one so I better hoof it before the next one comes along :D
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby barefoot » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:14 pm

Short stems are very popular on MTBs these days. Particularly for "all-mountain" or "free-ride" kind of bikes, but it's kind of a fad, and 29ers are kind of a fad, so it's not surprising that a 29er might be designed (or sold) on the assumption that it will be built up with a ~50mm stem.

I ride most of my bikes with short effective stems. That is, some of them have longer stems, but very steep, so the steerer-to-bar distance is quite short. Now I have a custom frame designed short so I could use a longer stem. Longer stems steer slightly differently - a little more stable - but it's not worth losing sleep over.

tim
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:15 pm

I always prefer a shorter MTB frame. I like them to turn quicker and mono easier ! :D

I would rather push seat back than bars forward on an MTB as I steer from the rear in trailsand keep front light unlike the roadie. (If that makes sense ? )
Comfort is paramount.
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Re: Advice on Stems would be appreciated

Postby The Walrus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:40 pm

Howzat wrote:You can try a two-axis adjustable stem for ease of sizing. Once you've got a good feel you can replace it with a one-piece stem.


That's a great idea if you are that concerned
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