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  1. #1
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    New question here. How do I actually decide which stem to buy?

    Hey folks,
    the title might be awkward, but I have been thinking about this for a while.

    So, I am a bit taller dude (190cm, approx 6ft 3inch), and thus I ride higher seat post. Therefore, the default steering setup of my bike is a bit too low. I realise this, as I feel I am riding at a bit wrong angle.

    At the moment I have 55m 0 degree stem, and 3/4" riser bars. I need it to be higher, and I do not want to change my bars. Therefore, I need higher going stem.

    And here my troubles begin. I could try a 6 degree stem, at 60mm, or 10 degree at 70 mm, or all sorts of combinations.

    I even started drawing all of those combinations to see what do I gain. Here, the bottom line is my current, 55mm 0 degree. With 60mm 10 degree the rise gained is about 10mm.

    How do I actually decide which stem to buy?-screen-shot-2016-09-15-22.34.50.jpg

    But ultimately, I can theorise here all I want, this does not bring me any closer to the solution. The only solution would be to actually test these stems.

    But that's impossible, I am not going to buy around 4-5 different stems (different angles/lengths).

    So how do I actually do this? How do I decide something so impactful on my ride, without wasting tons of money, or even worse, tons of time as I buy one and then I have to send it back or eBay it because it's not good, and then buy another one etc ...

    Help!

  2. #2
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    Headset spacers, do you have room for another ?

  3. #3
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    This is a good place to start. http://www.leelikesbikes.com/stem-le...rail-bike.html

    Figure out how much more rise and diagram it out like in the link. 6 degrees isn't much, especially on a short stem.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    6 degrees isn't much, especially on a short stem.
    Yes, 6 degrees is the first slanted line on my diagram. It raises the whole thing about 7mm, which is probably not enough.

    I will also see if I can move whole thing one spacer block up as well.

  5. #5
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    I've always found this site useful when trying to decide on stems:

    Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net

  6. #6
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    Question here too is, did you buy the right size bike?

    And honestly there's a lot more at play here. The position may not be bad at all depending on frame reach. Just because bars sit lower than the seat means little. It's about how your comfort level is and desired handling. Changes in stem length do change how the front responds to steering inputs. Not much and most will quickly adjust to it but it's there none the less.

    Thinks like hand numbness or other pains/discomfort while riding is a sign something isn't right. But a slight shift in saddle position front to back, a thin spacer to raise the stem 5mm etc can make a world of difference.

    So go at this as what your body is telling you, not what you think is right. Your body will tell you where to start just by playing with adjustments on what you have now, then you can better determine what you ACTUALLY need in terms of a new stem if that's even the issue.

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  7. #7
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    you could use this

    TTBIKEFIT.COM - Stem Calculator

  8. #8
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    Multiple answers all at once:

    Yes, I bought XL bike, the biggest they had. L felt like BMX to me. =) So size-wise, I could not miss really.

    I have adjusted the seat, seat post, and all of those little tricks. But I still feel that the angle of my hips/shoulders down to handle bar is a bit too low (too slouched). I absolutely feel like I need to bring my cockpit up, one way or the other, about 1-2 cm, while not compromising the nimbleness of the bike.

    So short stem, going up, would do the trick. 60mm at 20 degrees, or something like that.

    And to revert to my original question, I know what approximately I need, and I can do the math and schematics to see where would this put my bar. But that's math. How do I, based on that math, actually come to a conclusion which one would fit me the best?

    Because, as I said, I surely am not buying 3 different stems, say 60mm 20 deg, 70mm 20 deg, 60mm 10 deg. I would like to test all three of those. But like, how? How do I know? That's the million dollar question!

  9. #9
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    Why is it you don't want bars with more rise? Seems like that's the obvious decision?
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  10. #10
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    Most bike shops should have spare stems for just this purpose. If you're planning to buy the right stem from the bike shop, they should be happy to let you keep swapping stems until you figure out which one is right. Even a parking lot test ride could be enough.

  11. #11
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    I got this bar already. Product Details - Race Face

    I am not going higher rise than that.

    As John pointed out, I can test this with some bike shop. They will probably let me swap out a few stems. =)

    Thanks lads!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0hn View Post
    Most bike shops should have spare stems for just this purpose. If you're planning to buy the right stem from the bike shop, they should be happy to let you keep swapping stems until you figure out which one is right. Even a parking lot test ride could be enough.
    This is why, in this online shopping world, there is still a place for having a good relationship with your local bike shop. Mine was happy to supply me few stems to try until I found the sweet spot; naturally I then purchased from them.

  13. #13
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    I only buy good quality stems from a big name brand, and I don't pay more than 10 or 15 bucks. You can get them for even less on closeout specials. It's a great way to physically try a stem on your own bike for much longer than a lbs loaner. If you end up liking it, you can splurge on a nicer one.

  14. #14
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    Dude, just get a new bar with more rise!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    I got this bar already. Product Details - Race Face

    I am not going higher rise than that.

    As John pointed out, I can test this with some bike shop. They will probably let me swap out a few stems. =)

    Thanks lads!
    Why not go high rise bars. It's much better from a performance perspective to get height from your bars than from your stem.

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