Stems and bars, stems and bars
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Stems and bars, stems and bars

    Ok, just took delivery of a new '12 Tarmac SL4 Pro. LBS has it set up with a Profile Design Hammer OS stem and stock Tarmac Expert alloy bars. Two questions:

    1 Stick with the Profile Design Hammer OS stem or ask where the stock, Specialized ProSet 7075 stem is and swap when I go back in for my fitting? (obviously pending fitting results)

    2. Stock bars or my Ritchey Carbon Evolution bars from my old bike?

  2. #2
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    1) I'd just as soon not have a Specialized weird angles stem. I haven't heard of them failing, but they do have more parts and a funny top cap. Between a simpler and a more complex solution, I'd want to get something I actually want out of the more complex solution to choose it over a simpler one. You might ask about it if you think that the Profile Design stem is of lesser value. I don't stress out about stems that much - I want them to be the right length, angle and clamp size for me, but I typically buy them for about $10 and then when I get it right, I leave it alone. Since you're doing a fitting, you should (hopefully) settle on a size you can be happy with when you're there, so it's not like you'd be buying three expensive stems trying to find a size, if you want something high end.

    2) I don't know, which do you like better? I'm only being a little facetious. I've found a handlebar shape I like, and I'm just as happy to ride a $35 model with that shape as a much more expensive model, they do the same job. So if you like the bend shape better on your Ritcheys, stick 'em on there, I think it makes more sense to go into a fitting with preference items, especially those that can screw up the fit when you change them, already in place. If the new bars are a revelation in bend shape or width or whatever, stick with those.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    1) I'd just as soon not have a Specialized weird angles stem. I haven't heard of them failing, but they do have more parts and a funny top cap. Between a simpler and a more complex solution, I'd want to get something I actually want out of the more complex solution to choose it over a simpler one. You might ask about it if you think that the Profile Design stem is of lesser value. I don't stress out about stems that much - I want them to be the right length, angle and clamp size for me, but I typically buy them for about $10 and then when I get it right, I leave it alone. Since you're doing a fitting, you should (hopefully) settle on a size you can be happy with when you're there, so it's not like you'd be buying three expensive stems trying to find a size, if you want something high end.

    2) I don't know, which do you like better? I'm only being a little facetious. I've found a handlebar shape I like, and I'm just as happy to ride a $35 model with that shape as a much more expensive model, they do the same job. So if you like the bend shape better on your Ritcheys, stick 'em on there, I think it makes more sense to go into a fitting with preference items, especially those that can screw up the fit when you change them, already in place. If the new bars are a revelation in bend shape or width or whatever, stick with those.
    Thanks for the quick reply. In regards to #1, I totally agree. It needs to fit first and foremost, so it's entirely possible I'll end up with a completely different stem. I'm more of an MTB guy, so I don't know all the nuances of the road stems etc. and wasn't sure how Profile stacks up against other players in the market.

    For #2, I'm inclined to move my old bars over. I've got a crapload of hardware in both wrists due to some pretty big offs on the DH bike, so I've found myself leaning to bars with more contact surface areas which spread out the pressure on my hands. (Maybe inching towards being labeled a Fred, but I've double wrapped the last year for the extra cushion and vibration dissipation.) I was just wondering if the spec'd bars where something better or lighter or whatever...

  4. #4
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    David Millar triple wraps his bars. I consider him no Fred, rather the opposite in fact.
    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.

  5. #5
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    I'd ask the LBS if you get fit with the ProSet, and then proceed with finding a suitable stem out the door if available. The stem has been used at the highest level of Pro cycling, so nothing to complain about if you're stuck with it.

  6. #6
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    Since the Tarmac's an expensive bike, I'm sure the house-branded bars on it are at least decent. But by objective measures, they're probably not as nice as the Ritcheys. So if you also like your Ritchey bars better, I'd say it's a no-brainer.

    I'm not going to talk about the Fredly things I do to my bikes.

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