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  1. #51
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    Thanks everyone for their help. Looks like my fitter was just doing his job and I need to work on my flexibility. At first I was a little concerned by the initial responses, but after we all got more info it seems to be OK. And one poster talking about the 56 giving more options and better for my condition was right... my fitter even discussed it.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    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.
    Racing car steering wheel size vary roughly 16" - 11" depending on the type of race. Also, there is different rate of steering resistance and the degree of turn. It's much more complex than bicycle steering.

  3. #53
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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 agree weight distribution is critical in turning. But a great percentage of the front back distribution is fixed by the position of the saddle. Changing your upper torso height, and dipping the shoulder / side lower has a much greater effect than absolute hand position.

    The torso height and side dipping can be facilitated by either bending more at the elbows, or going to the drops. Where the hands are maybe 8-9 cm further back than on the hoods.

  4. #54
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    Handlebar width probably has as much influence on front end leverage as stem length but I don't remember any discussion here about bar width influencing the bicycles handling.

    Well except handlebar matching shoulder width.
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by masont View Post
    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.
    Thanks for this response. I originally was trying to convey this but unfortunately people are quick to assume the worst. Human nature, I guess. Glad things worked out.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Handlebar width probably has as much influence on front end leverage as stem length but I don't remember any discussion here about bar width influencing the bicycles handling.

    Well except handlebar matching shoulder width.
    you're right, I imagine, but the thing apparently a lot of people don't get is that the topic has virtually nothing to do with leverage and has to do with weight distribution.

    Those of us that feel the front wheel is less 'planted' thus more twitchy with a short stem feel that because we have less weight over it and/or that weight is moved back.

    There's a reason most people instinctively don't bomb down curvy hills sitting up hands back and on the tops and it's not just to get more aero.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    you're right, I imagine, but the thing apparently a lot of people don't get is that the topic has virtually nothing to do with leverage and has to do with weight distribution.

    Those of us that feel the front wheel is less 'planted' thus more twitchy with a short stem feel that because we have less weight over it and/or that weight is moved back.

    There's a reason most people instinctively don't bomb down curvy hills sitting up hands back and on the tops and it's not just to get more aero.
    Even someone riding with a less than "optimal" length stem can get long and low by getting in the drops. I've seen too many out there with the bars so low and far forward that they riding on straight elbows and the bar tape in the drops looks as if its never been touched.

    This whole thread was started by someone who suffered a neck injury and he is given advice without knowledge of the injury. Is that injury going to result in permanent inflexibility, or temporary? If temporary, how long is that? Short term temporary may mean that he can make a smaller frame work but long term may mean a larger frame now and a possible smaller frame later.

    And as far as long and low, and aero for that matter, what does that mean if he doesn't race? What is wrong with being comfortable on a bike in a more upright fashion and getting in the drops to ride into the wind or bomb some corners.

    There are too many cyclist out in the wild with slammed stems and looong stems because of fashion and not what is optimal for them. What good is a slammed or long stem if the cyclist can't bend their elbows or get into the drops because it is uncomfortable to the point of pain?
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Even someone riding with a less than "optimal" length stem can get long and low by getting in the drops. I've seen too many out there with the bars so low and far forward that they riding on straight elbows and the bar tape in the drops looks as if its never been touched.

    This whole thread was started by someone who suffered a neck injury and he is given advice without knowledge of the injury. Is that injury going to result in permanent inflexibility, or temporary? If temporary, how long is that? Short term temporary may mean that he can make a smaller frame work but long term may mean a larger frame now and a possible smaller frame later.

    And as far as long and low, and aero for that matter, what does that mean if he doesn't race? What is wrong with being comfortable on a bike in a more upright fashion and getting in the drops to ride into the wind or bomb some corners.

    There are too many cyclist out in the wild with slammed stems and looong stems because of fashion and not what is optimal for them. What good is a slammed or long stem if the cyclist can't bend their elbows or get into the drops because it is uncomfortable to the point of pain?
    I think you're projecting some meaning into my comments that simply wasn't there or intended.

    I notice quicker handling with a shorter stem. Period. I'm not trying to tell anyone they need to be aero, look 'pro' or anything like that.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I think you're projecting some meaning into my comments that simply wasn't there or intended.

    I notice quicker handling with a shorter stem. Period. I'm not trying to tell anyone they need to be aero, look 'pro' or anything like that.
    I'm not projecting anything at you, I'm saying that optimal handling can be achieved with a shorter stem.

    The rest of my statement is more about when others follow information blindly to achieve what they have been led to believe is the "Holy Grail".
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    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.
    Not even an alternative fact.
    Why can't you just accept that different people notice different things?
    Where did you get that from?
    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?
    Not in your case.

    Still: It's weight distribution, trail and wheel base that are the main parameters for how a bike handles. Stem length is sub.
    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.

  11. #61
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    I love RBR.

    Anytime somebody posts a question about bike fit/etc, numerous members are quick to post "get a professional bike fit".

    Here we have a poster that did just that, and the responses range from "the bike fitter sucks", "he's trying to sell you old stock", "listen to me cause I know what I'm doing", "a stem of XX will cause the bike to handle like death"


    Damned if you do, damned if you don't

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Still: It's weight distribution, trail and wheel base that are the main parameters for how a bike handles. Stem length is sub.
    This ^
    From a site that explains, among other things, countersteer -
    How you steer a bicycle


    "The self-steering properties of the bicycle aid the turn. While standing still, lean a bicycle to the right and the front wheel will automatically steer right. The self-steering is caused by the bicycles "trail", the distance between the point where the wheel contacts the ground and the point where the steering axis of the front wheel intersects the ground. The trail is the single most important parameter in designing the bike. If the trail were to be negative (the wheel contact in front of the steering axis) the bike would be unrideable. Racing bikes, which need to be very maneuverable, have relatively small trails, typically around 6cm. Unfortunately, a small trail makes the bike less stable. Mountain bikes, touring bikes and lower performance bikes often have longer trails to make them more stable and comfortable."

  13. #63
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    More on trail, wheel flop and handling.

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/defa...rail_Heine.pdf
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Hey pal, I got 3990 poasts on rodebikereview.com
    I have 4800 or something. So, I'm a better bike fitter than you?????

    Ahhhh, Yeah, I run a 90 mm stem on my 56cm CAAD10. I had a 100, but always felt a tad reaching when I had my leg/saddle combo dialed in. I'm normally an mtber. So, wide bars and short stems are normal to me.
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
    I love RBR.

    Anytime somebody posts a question about bike fit/etc, numerous members are quick to post "get a professional bike fit".

    Here we have a poster that did just that, and the responses range from "the bike fitter sucks", "he's trying to sell you old stock", "listen to me cause I know what I'm doing", "a stem of XX will cause the bike to handle like death"


    Damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I was thinking the same thing! I've been talking to my fitter more and he said that even when I get in optimal shape, and going to a 90 or 100... the bike still technically is my size. I guess going to a smaller frame if you can is the norm, but honestly I'm in this for cardio and fitness and don't plan to race. I feel like if I ever did, I'd buy a race specific bike, and maybe then go smaller. But all in all, the 56 IS my size regardless. Even trek's sizing guide (which i know is just off height) puts me in the middle of the 56. As another poster said, I'm a mtb'r at heart, so I kind of like being a little more upright... for now.

  16. #66
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    My first bike years ago had a very short stem on it, the bike was too large for me but I was able to get a decent position on it nonetheless. Probably less than an 80 stem. I rode that bike fine for many years, all kinds of training and loaded touring. When I got a nicer bike with a better fit, I did not notice any radically better handling that I could equate to the stem length. Ride the bike and see if it works for you.

  17. #67
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    I think when long term injuries are involved, a lot of fitters just plug your physical dimensions into their "system" and try to fit you to what the numbers spit out, without taking into account, or understanding, how to actually deal with your requirements.

    I had a long and low race bike setup, but also had a long term issue with my back and neck due to a car accident. It got to the point where I couldn't even get onto the bike without getting a migraine. I went to one of the local "expert" fitters and no matter how many times I told him that no, long and low doesn't work for me, he insisted on putting me in that position, well I have never been back there since.

    For me after staring at my unused good bike for a couple of years and dealing with headaches, I eventually bought an endurance style bike and got one of those pivoting stems that put the bars way above seat height, it looked ridiculous, but, I could actually manage to ride around the block and gradually lowered the stem over time as I got stronger and rode further. I ended up on a fixed 80mm stem still at seat height, but I could ride and that's all that mattered. I have two new bikes now, both endurance geometries, both with 90mm stems and both at about seat height. I've tried to go longer and lower but my neck can't take it so stick with what works. I can go plenty fast down hills on those bikes.

    I have short arms and legs and ride a 52cm frame, so reach is always an issue for me as well which doesn't help.

  18. #68
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    I have a 56cm Giant and have a 80mm stem, and it rides and handles great. When I bought it they fit me on a 54 with a little longer stem and the 56 with the 80mm and the 56 just felt better.

  19. #69
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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.

    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.
    No. Wrong, wrong, wrong. A smaller steering wheel will not make a car 'steer quicker' nor will a shorter stem make a bike handle differently. Steering wheel size in race cars changed because seating position change. In the old days drivers sat in very upright positions and the cars where a bear to steer so they sat close to very large steering wheels so they could basically wrestle the car around. Those old cars have very little mechanical grip as well so they had to correct over/understeer more than is needed now. But oddly enough they stuck w/ large steering wheels because of the leverage afforded. A lot of very large, quick movements were needed to keep old race cars headed in pretty much the intended direction. When the move to rear engine cars took place and aerodynamics became something that designers thought about, the driving position changed to a much more laid back set up...and because of that, the ideal size steering wheel dropped to something much closer to the width of a drivers shoulders. Through the later 60's, 70's and early 80's drivers used a laid back position w/ arms outstretched to the wheel. During the 80's the wheel was moved closer to the drive so they could be more precise w/ their inputs. Another contributing factor was the width of the cockpit getting narrower and narrower.

    The contributing factors that determine how quickly a car or bike steers are rake/caster, and trail, as well as the steering box ratio in cars...the ratio of how much a given amount of steering wheel movement turns the front wheels to the side. If you have a car w/ a slow steering ratio it will turn slowly no matter what you do to the size of the steering wheel. You can make the steering inputs very slightly quicker w/ a smaller steering wheel but you aren't changing the way the car itself steers. Same w/ a bike...the is what the geometry says it is...quick, stable, whatever. Changing the stem length doesn't change this, as bikes aren't 'steered', they turn by leaning and the relationship between the head tube angle and fork offset don't change so the bike always 'handles' the same. Your 'feeling' about how the bike turns may change a little, but in reality a stable bike is still a stable bike.

    That said, the more weight you remove from the front end the more 'vague' a bike will feel and this can be interpreted as being less stable, but changing weight distribution is the cause of this, it just happens because you're going to a shorter stem.

    As for the OP's fit guy telling him that a larger frame would give him "more options to tweak for fitting purposes and future growth, like getting more fit and wanting to get lower/more aero."...he's just plain wrong. As all modern frames grow in frame size the head tube gets taller, the necessitates a higher/less aero position, not the opposite.
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    That said, the more weight you remove from the front end the more 'vague' a bike will feel and this can be interpreted as being less stable, but changing weight distribution is the cause of this, it just happens because you're going to a shorter stem.

    As for the OP's fit guy telling him that a larger frame would give him "more options to tweak for fitting purposes and future growth, like getting more fit and wanting to get lower/more aero."...he's just plain wrong. As all modern frames grow in frame size the head tube gets taller, the necessitates a higher/less aero position, not the opposite.
    Exactly.

  21. #71
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    80 is tiny. Bike fitting is bogus. As if anyone can tell you anything after measuring your. body and then they ask if u want it "aggressive" or not. Throughout my life I've extended the reach through stem and bars (don't forget they can add too) a total of maybe 5cm over 20 years. I'm not trying to be aero but have raised everything higher and longer and like it. Try it maybe. Try lots of stuff. Counter intuitive is that setting ur seat further back will make the ride be more comfortable as the weight is removed from the front.

    An 80mm stem...I would hate that going anything faster than 5mph

    Considering there's so many different fit systems and they all give different results can't we see it for what it is. Don't waste your money on elitist money making bull. Tune in to ur body while riding and respect what u feel. On a real ride not 5 minutes on a trainer. When you go to the doctor he asks what you feel. Your history and all kinds of unknowable stuff about your body isn't included unless you include it
    Last edited by hummina shadeeba; 01-27-2017 at 11:12 AM.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]

    [/I]Thanks. Thats reassuring.
    I think you had already made up your mind before posting and you were just looking for validation. Unfortunately, the initial replies were not what you were looking for. I agree with dir-t; you came here, an internet forum, with the question. Then you come across as ungrateful and defensive. I mean, is this bike fitter your dad or related to you?

    Anyways, I ride with a 90mm stem and that's what I prefer on my bikes now. Not that I want to only use a 90mm stem, but that it just feels best for me. There was a time when my bike fit revolved around a 110mm stem, but limiting your fit based off stem size is sort of like that Kohler faucet commercial where the customer wants a house designed around a faucet. Ridiculous! Even the best fitting will only get you close to an ideal fit. There are plenty of other factors that come into play when you're on the road and not on some fitting machine in a controlled environment. Ride the 56cm/80mm and 54cm/90mm (and maybe a 52cm/100mm?) and get the bike that feels best.
    Wake me up when it's alarm green.

  23. #73
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    I'm of the opinion that every person and the fit that best suits their particular, current, situation is wholly unique.

    Key word, current.

    I generally discard hard and fast rules, because people and their personal needs and what works best for them changes over time.

    Things can change for the better, or the worse, be it improved fitness and flexibility, or injury, lessened fitness.

    I started riding seven years ago on a 56 frame with a 90 stem flipped UP and a decent stack of spacers. I've since worked my tail off, improved fitness and flexibility, been injured in a bad crash and fought my way back. Tried this length crank, and that length crank, this bar and that bar, more, and less drop... I ride a 57 frame today, slammed, with a 120 stem.

    That's not for fashion, but for my comfort and performance. Slight bend in the elbow, handles crisp, solid, doesn't beat me up.

    I never could have ridden even ten miles on this set up seven years ago - and my best fit will no doubt be at least somewhat different seven years from now.

    Trial and error, find what works best for you and your physique and fitness TODAY.

    As an aside, I'm of the opinion that crank length can have a very strong influence on ones ultimate comfort and power, and again is a very individual thing.

    Best to all, and most importantly get out there and ride!
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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummina shadeeba View Post
    80 is tiny. Bike fitting is bogus. As if anyone can tell you anything after measuring your. body and then they ask if u want it "aggressive" or not. Throughout my life I've extended the reach through stem and bars (don't forget they can add too) a total of maybe 5cm over 20 years. I'm not trying to be aero but have raised everything higher and longer and like it. Try it maybe. Try lots of stuff. Counter intuitive is that setting ur seat further back will make the ride be more comfortable as the weight is removed from the front.

    An 80mm stem...I would hate that going anything faster than 5mph

    Considering there's so many different fit systems and they all give different results can't we see it for what it is. Don't waste your money on elitist money making bull. Tune in to ur body while riding and respect what u feel. On a real ride not 5 minutes on a trainer. When you go to the doctor he asks what you feel. Your history and all kinds of unknowable stuff about your body isn't included unless you include it
    Now imagine that your arms were 2cm shorter.

  25. #75
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    Mine are 4cm shorter!~
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