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  1. #26
    Jno
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    I was between sizes on my road bike: some shops said 55, some said 57. I had a proper fitting (computer) and two different "eyeball" fittings (dimensions taken, but not computerized trek precision fit). Each fitter was completely confident. They didn't agree. I got the 57 but with the shorter stem (90) as it felt better, and had the endorsement of the one fitter. He had to order the bike and the stem so was not motivated by desire to sell off old stock. I like the results and have no doubts the shorter stem was the right choice. Neither did the fitter, who knows much more than I do.

  2. #27
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    If you're used to 100m+ stems, going to a 90mm or an 80mm will make your steering noticeably twitchy. Go with the smallest frame size you can that gets your stem the closest length to which you're accustomed.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    What are your credentials
    Hey pal, I got 3990 poasts on rodebikereview.com

  4. #29
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    One man's twitchy is another's more responsive. The key is what MMsRepBike said, not as the maker intended (or however he put it).

    You may even like the quicker handling more than what the maker intended it to be. Who knows. The point is it's a compromise. Give your situation it may be the best compromise available. I don't know. But an 80 stem on a 56 bike is indicative of a less than ideal frame size and when spending thousands I'd prefer ideal and I think suggesting ideal is the motive for those of use not kissing your fitters feet and saying it's a great idea. Maybe ideal isn't possible for you but I'd still suspect the fitter is making the best of what they have in stock when looking at other brands or custom might be better.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Thanks. I think you're right here. I complained a lot about my neck issue so that may have swayed him. Also, not being flexible and out of shape only lets me lean over so far and feeling comfortable, so I'd imagine that has a lot to do with it. Guess my question is how much will the 80mm stem affect the ride/geo compared to the stock 100. I ended up sending him an email asking more about the stem setup and his thoughts. Will report back.

    For saying its completely wrong and not how Trek intended it may be right. BUT, I will say that it was the Trek precision fit system that suggested it once the fitter put in all the numbers/notes. Basically you do the fit session and after inputting it all into the system, it outputs a bunch of bikes/sizes/combos. The Domane 56 with the 80mm stem was at the top of the list (top is the best match). As you went down the list the size 54 showed up and then a Giant Defy. So if Trek is suggesting swapping the stem I'd say it can't be THAT big of a deal.
    That fit system, the Retul fit system and the rest like it are proven to fit you in an upright position. This is fine if your rides are all 20 miles or less. Fizik did a long study in the US with a university here and proved this point. Self fit people and pros were close to one another and fit with longer and lower stems. All of these fit systems fit people with shorter and higher stems.

    As for the stem being a problem. Just think of it like this: Your car's steering wheel is like 14" in diameter. Swap it out for a steering wheel that's 10" in a diameter, put a little tiny wheel on. It'll still work fine. It'll turn quicker, each little input you put into the wheel will turn the wheels more, it'll be more responsive. Racing cars have small steering wheels for this reason. So by definition it will make your handling more twitchy as they call it, or precise maybe, or faster, however you want to say it. A long stem is like a big steering wheel, like a bus. Slower, more stable, more input needed to turn. So a 80mm stem is fine, but it's not ideal.

    You'll be fine, you have to be comfortable, that's not a debate. So ride it until it's not comfortable anymore, it'll happen. It will hurt your back as is on longer rides. Once you start doing longer rides, go back in for a refit and I bet you'll come out of it with a lower and longer stem.
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  6. #31
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    My best friend is an employee at a local Trek retailer who uses the same system the OP was fit on. Said retailer does tend to put every amateur rider in a similar position-raise the bars, shorten the reach.

    This is a band-aid and short-term fix. What you must eventually do is strengthen your back and core muscles to get your spine in the right position so your legs have something to push against.

    Since bikes were not designed with high rise short stems in mind, the bike will not handle well with an 80 or 90mm stem. Good luck climbing out of the saddle. I once ran a 90mm stem, and the bike handled like crap; it didn't fit me, so I eventually sold it and bought a bike that fits properly. Try switching out a bunch of different stems on a bike and feel the handling difference-it is major. I can tell the difference immediately between a 110 and a 120.
    I'm a runner but sometimes I bike

  7. #32
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    An 80mm stem will handle just fine. I think the biggest concern is if you decide at some point in the future that you need to shorten it up. You don't have a lot of room in that direction.

    If you are on 80mm stem as a starting point with the expectation that as your neck situation improves you may extend it, you are fine


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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathonrunner View Post
    ... the bike will not handle well with an 80 or 90mm stem....
    #alternativefacts

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    That fit system, the Retul fit system and the rest like it are proven to fit you in an upright position. This is fine if your rides are all 20 miles or less. Fizik did a long study in the US with a university here and proved this point. Self fit people and pros were close to one another and fit with longer and lower stems. All of these fit systems fit people with shorter and higher stems.
    Interesting. Where do I read the study?
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Interesting. Where do I read the study?
    It's a very interesting study indeed. They were testing pressure on the saddle, stem, bottom bracket, etc. Not to promote anything, just to learn.

    Locomotion Laboratory | Integrative Physiology | CU-Boulder

    That's the university, that's the specific department they worked with.

    Here's a couple articles:

    Half of riders can't differentiate between saddles in blind test - BikeRadar USA

    Tech: Researching how we sit on bicycles | VeloNews.com

    This lead them to their new system where they're now making all of their saddles in two different sizes based on your power output and weight and such.

    I don't have the Fizik PDF file, can't find it. Maybe it's on their site somewhere.
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    How many of you run a shorter stem on your road bike?
    all my keepers have short cinelli stems, either 85 or 90mm.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  12. #37
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    Changing from a 120 to a 80 changes the dia of the lever arm about 2mm, if you can feel that you are a master bike handler.


    And I like 'quick' bikes... if I wanted a randolier, I would have bought one.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Changing from a 120 to a 80 changes the dia of the lever arm about 2mm, if you can feel that you are a master bike handler.
    I certainly can feel it - the response to steering input is different, requiring slightly different movement to get a given response by the bike. By the time I reach the end of the block I have fully adjusted, and don't notice it again the rest of the ride. It's no big deal. It certainly doesn't make it a poor handling bike.

    No one ever called me a master bike handler, but 150,000 miles or so over 45 years has given me a certain level of comfort.
    "Lay me down like a stone, O God, and raise me up like a loaf." Platon Karataev, War and Peace Book XII

  14. #39
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    Thanks all for the help. Again, The dealer had multiple sizes and I made it clear I may not buy and I was just interested in just getting a fit. I emailed him today asking about the stem length and saying my "friends" were questioning some things. Friends being this forum!

    Anyways, here's part of his response. As you'll see I think we all were right in what we were speculating, and I'm hoping you guys can see that this guy is a stand up, good dude. Sorry if its a bit long:

    "As for the stem, it may be easier to have a conversation on the phone. But simply the 80mm stem is not too short and is the correct stem length for you and the bike at this time. It will not negatively effect the handling of the bike and it definitely doesn't mean the bike is the wrong size. The engineers at Trek designed the bike with the intent that the stem would be changed when it is fitted to the customer. Bike designers understand bike fit and need to design the bike to fit a wide range of people. The adjustment areas on the bike are the saddle rails, stem length, and the number of spacers above/below the stem. The stem that ships with the bike is a neutral length stem for the size of the bike. In the case of your bike--56cm Domane-- it was originally shipped with a 100mm stem. We went 2cm shorter when we changed it to a 80mm stem. If we went 2cm longer to 120mm your friends wouldn't think twice about the stem being too long. You need to think of the stem that came with the bike as if it was right in the middle of a 2cm range--80mm too 120mm.
    If you prefer to have a 90mm stem that is fine with me. You just won't be as comfortable as with the 80mm stem. Yes, some point in the future as you continue to ride more you may decide you are more comfortable with a 90mm or even the 100mm stem. But that will be because your range range of motion, flexibility, and stability have all changed over time. Right now your focus should be on comfort. In addition, you want to be sure your riding position doesn't negatively affect your neck. When we were on the fit cycle we started your fit with the fit cycle setup to simulate the 56cm Domane with the stock stem--100mm. Right away when you got on the bike you felt stretched out and uncomfortable. I suggest that you start with the 80mm stem and see how the bike feels. Once you get a number of rides outside, if you feel like you are a little cramped, then let's try a 90mm stem."

  15. #40
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    I ride a Giant Defy Advanced ("medium" frame). I'm 5'7" tall, frame seems OK for me. At my age (now 72) I don't like the long reach (for me) of the 90mm original stem. I swapped out the 90 for an 80, even rode with a 70 for a while!
    I notice absolutely no change in handling between any of the stems.
    I feel way more comfortable with the 70 & 80 stems.
    I didn't know that I was breaking any rules in changing to these shorter stems & I feel that comfort plays a big role in making longer rides enjoyable.
    I'm inclined to recommend the use of whatever stem length the OP needs to ride comfortably.
    Bob

  16. #41
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    My take is steering feeling is most effected by the parameters you would expect - head angle, offset, trail, and also wheelbase. These parameters are different between race and endurance bikes, and change with frame size changes as well. Also the bar width can change between frame sizes.

    I would also ask people to consider the steering feel change when going from hoods to drops, which are set back about 8-9 cm from the hood position. This would be the equivalent of using a 80-90 mm shorter stem.

    As someone else has already posted, if you do the math, 2 cm changes in stem length has a very minimal change on the radius dimension from hand position to center of steering pivot, which is the size of your "steering wheel".
    What people may be feeling instead is a higher or lower center of gravity based on stem length, which absolutely will affect the response.

  17. #42
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    I run an 80mm stem on my 54cm bike. I've also been fitting people on bikes for six years, trained on BG Fit and Retul. I'm an inflexible middle aged white guy (with short for my height arms) so I prefer the stack of the 54 to the 52.

    You steer a bike from your saddle by leaning. Not from turning the handlebars independent of anything else. Handlebar turn is more of a reactionary/balance issue than a steering issue. A 2cm shorter stem is not going to appreciably change your handling. Pay no attention to those who say it will.

    I would trust your fitter over a bunch of random dudes on the internet. He's seen you on the bike. He does this for a living. He's not some random jabroni claiming without knowing any of the info you'd need to know that they're just trying to ditch stock.

    And, if he gives you bad advice and it turns out it sucks, walk back in there, tell him the issues you're having, and I'd be shocked if he didn't fix it.

  18. #43
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    Good fitter you have there, ejewels.

    Thanks for the links, MMs. Unfortunately I do have to spread some rep before etc. But Boulder? Isn't that where most of the physicians Spesh use reside?
    Last edited by kbwh; 01-24-2017 at 11:38 PM.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  19. #44
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    You told us you have a neck injury the fitter is accommodating with your more upright position temporarily on a road bike so it's not going to be a traditional looking fit, based on that alone I would suggest dimissing all the nay-sayers on the fit recommendation, unless someone comes up with a good technical reason an 80cm stem on a bike is wrong for some performance / safety reason and not just asthetics/tradition. I've used that size stem on one bike and didn't see bad effects from it.

    I can think of a few reasons you fitter might put you on a 56 with a shorter stem than on a 54 with another cm one of which would be saddle position on the rails to get you where he wants relative to the crank. The taller head tube means you can get less bar drop with the maximum spacers under the stem. The 56 may also allow you a better more fit in the future once you adapt to the bike and get over your injury constraints. Its not all about the stem, there's a lot of other things to think about in a bike fit and you don't start with the stem to get a fit right and I certainly wouldn't be worried about an 80mm stem for a temporary set up while you recover.
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  20. #45
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    .....
    Last edited by pedalbiker; 01-25-2017 at 04:18 AM.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Honest answers by who though, thats the question. Pro bike fitters? You're right, I don't want to hear assumption-fueled answers by people that don't know my proportions or body dynamics. Is that wrong? I also don't mean to sound confrontational. I just really want to see people's views on running a shorter stem.
    Running that short of a stem is something I would not do.

    There you go.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Changing from a 120 to a 80 changes the dia of the lever arm about 2mm, if you can feel that you are a master bike handler.

    um, but it changes weight distribution by 4 cm. Just move your hands back 4cm next time you're on a fast curvy road and you can decide for yourself if it makes a difference.

  23. #48
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    um, but it changes weight distribution by 4 cm. Just move your hands back 4cm next time you're on a fast curvy road and you can decide for yourself if it makes a difference.
    I like how some folks here claim to be able to tell the difference in +/- 2.5 mm in a crank arm length, and not +/- 20 mm in a stem length.

  24. #49
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    Fact: The claim is that the steering response is not negatively affected.

    But I guess facts are not valid currecy these days over there.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Fact: The claim is that the steering response is not negatively affected.

    But I guess facts are not valid currecy these days over there.
    The claim that someone can feel the difference is no more or less valid than someone saying they can't. Some can some can't. That is the fact.
    Why can't you just accept that different people notice different things? Do you think there's some motivation to logging on the internet to lie to people about being able to notice a difference in handling with different stems?

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