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  1. #1
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    Stem Length Question

    So wanted to try something new and I switched my 635mm wide carbon bars to a pair of RaceFace Atlas 785mm bars. Took it for a ride and really like it, the bike handles amazingly. The issue I am having is I still have the stock 100mm stem and it is way to long. I am not sure what length I should go for. I am six two and ride a Giant Anthem x 29er large. I was thinking a 70mm but not totally sure. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    squish, squish in da fish
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    might have to offset your post or slam saddle back. damn, 785 is frickin' huge! you don't have any trees where you ride? my bars are maxed at 720 and still have a few areas where you must lay the bike the right way or break something. i currently ride a lg talon and am also 6'-2". i ride a 50mm stem and have saddle slammed to the max. i really need an offset post to stretch me out, but i just ordered a N9 xl frame to accomodate my style instead of a post, lol.

  3. #3
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    You can find stems dirt cheap on some of the sponsor sites, look for 2011 and 2012 stuff (who cares if it isn't the latest color scheme?) and buy maybe two different lengths 60mm and 80mm or thereabouts??? 50mm may make the bike very twitchy.

    Best way to find out is to try out. I've swapped stems for the shorter variety on just about every bike I've ever owned, as well as bars.

  4. #4
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    Damn man you went to the other spectrum on bar length.

    I would try a 70mm stem and adjust from there.

  5. #5
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    Ive got 740mm wide bars and 70mm stem...6'1 tall and ride a large frame. Its a nice combo, and wanna try a 50mm stem next to just compare. 29ers handle extremely well with wide bars and short stems. Might need to adjust stem height and seat position...but id def at least try an 80mm for now. Performance sells their pro OS stems for like 25-30 bucks and they are actually pretty good...and really lightweight. Mine weighed 110 grams.

  6. #6
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    Adjusting your reach with saddle setback is a bad idea. Start with an 80 and go from there.

  7. #7
    Rub it............
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    Don't adjust your saddle for reach. Bad idea. This messes with the back half of your position.

    I too am going from a 635 bar (Easton EC90) to a Thomson Ti bar (730mm) but will cut that down to around 700 or so. I am going from a 100mm stem to an 85mm stem.

  8. #8
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    Normally, I ride a bike with a 24" top tube length and a 100mm stem. Today, I rode a 29er with 24" top tube (test ride) and a 90mm stem. It too had a really wide bar, a flat bar, in fact. I actually liked the way the bike handled with that stem. 10mm makes a lot more difference than I thought it would, and yeah, I know......that's what SHE said, too!
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I am going to start with a 70mm and adjust from there. I know I went to the crazy opposite end on bars. I will more than likely cut a bit of the length off as time goes on.

  10. #10
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    Ya the 780mm bars are super wide but you should put some more saddle time before cutting them too short. And def ditch the 100mm stem. 70 or 80 is a length and dont affect fitment as much as youd think. I originally wanted bars in that size range but 740 was the closest i could find. The first 2 rides felt a little ackward but once i got used to them i would def consider giving the 780s a try. I immediately noticed how much more control i have on technical climbs...the 700s i had before with a 80mm stem felt like the front wondered around too much and the wider bars/70mm stem fixed the problem.

    But as others have said, you need to be extra careful to not clip trees. Aside from that, i think they will grow on you...and if you cut them down...id do them in small increments. Its amazing how well the 29ers handle with really ride bars and short stems. Still, give em a try for several rides. You might surprise yourself. Good luck!

  11. #11
    MTB B'dos
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    Same height as you, used to also ride a 685mm bar and 110mm stem, switched to a 750mm bar and went to a 80mm stem on one bike, have a 785mm on the other and use a 65mm stem. As suggested, look online for older stems on sale and buy a few, always good to be able to try some cheapies before you buy an expensive one.

    Also if you keep doing like you're doing and trying to run multiple bars at the same time I expect you'll keep having issues

    Quote Originally Posted by sacstatemtbr
    So wanted to try something new and I switched my 635mm wide carbon bars to a pair of RaceFace Atlas 785mm bars. Took it for a ride and really like it, the bike handles amazingly. The issue I am having is I still have the stock 100mm stem and it is way to long. I am not sure what length I should go for. I am six two and ride a Giant Anthem x 29er large. I was thinking a 70mm but not totally sure. Any thoughts?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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    My Phantom pics

  12. #12
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    Set your seat height, then hit your LBS and see what's gonna be the proper length of stem for your needs, after setting a good for/aft seat relationship ... If you don't have a LBS close by, read these and interpret to your best ability.

    The Myth of KOPS


    Bicycle Sizing & Fitting

    You're after a balanced position as it relates to for and aft movement ... Riding style obviously plays into this.
    If you're a long haul cranker, you'll want a more comfortable (less aggressive) in the saddle position. If you like to stand up/sprint and mash the pedal's, you'll be after a more aggressive stance.

    Myself,
    I set my for/aft seat position in a fashion that allows me to push hard on the pedals while seated and riding no-handed (KOPS, then adjusted to suit) ... Obviously seating angle has a lot to do with this (set seat by feeling) method, but it's always worked for me.

    After doing this,
    I then progress to determining a good relationship between myself and the handlebars.

    Key point to my method,
    I no longer ride aggressively, unless I'm just feeling like it, and more often than not, go for the long, slow, enjoyment style of riding.

    And .......................
    The difference between my 29'r street bike, and my fatty are extreme opposites.
    Each has a purpose, but the seat to crank spindle relationship is basically the same.

  13. #13
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    Re: Stem Length Question

    Most good LBS should let you borrow different used or take-off stems until you find the perfect size. Then, once you do, be sure to buy a nice carbon version from them in that size!

  14. #14
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    I would try a 70mm stem at the longest, but for bars that wide I would probably start with a 60mm. The bike will handle way, way better with the short stem and wide bars, especially when descending.

  15. #15
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    I'm 6' 2" and with my L Ax 29er I'm riding 720-740 bars and still using 80 to 90mm stems. I find short stems good if your purely descending but I've got a lot of loose flat trails as well. The longer stems allow a more balanced posn on the flat and provide better front tire loading for traction for tires with less aggressive tread. On my AM bikes I run 780 bars, shorter stems and more aggressive tread to suit.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 06-13-2013 at 04:14 PM.

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