1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Adjustable Stem ??

    I am having issues finding the right stem as far as proper fit.
    Anybody have experience good or bad with adjustable stems. I am looking at the Ritchey

    Ritchey Logic - Mountain - Stems - Ritchey Adjustable

    My thought is rather than continually changing out stems to find perfect fit use the Ritchey and when I get proper angle dialed in replace with a non adjustable.

    I also have contacted Ritchey to see if it is compatible with carbon bars/steerer but no response from Ritchey.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Unless you go gonzo, just tighten the stem every ride!
    Trouble with that is, perfect angle may be 18degrees. Good luck finding an 18 degree stem!

  3. #3
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    also, does not help with length......

  4. #4
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    You may be able to get to 18 degrees with a combination of riser bars, stem and headset spacers. The key thing is where the grips are relative to the seat and how you get there is less important.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Never suggested need for 18 degrees. Just looking for experience with adjustable stems, good or bad.

  6. #6
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    There's a poster here who's fond of that approach.

    People sometimes have issues with adjustable stems coming out of adjustment. They're not really meant for off-road use.

    My question would be how many stems you've tried. There aren't really that many lengths, and it's rare to run into a correctly-sized bike that can't have its fit nailed with some combination of flipping a six degree stem up and down and reshuffling spacers. I guess what I'm really asking is is this one of those general questions that people sometimes plague the forums with, or are you having a specific problem with your fit that you're not sure how to solve? I've been through a few sizes myself; I think that the prices on some high-end stems can muddy the issue. It's a $10 part if you want it to be.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I think they work as tuning a tool, but I would not want to used one long term.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  8. #8
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    $50? you could buy 3 stems of different lengths. adjust height via stem spacers. I have an adjustable stem on road bike. it squeekes and has to re-tightened every once in awhile for ROAD use. I wouldn't use one of these on the trail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    There's a poster here who's fond of that approach.

    People sometimes have issues with adjustable stems coming out of adjustment. They're not really meant for off-road use.

    My question would be how many stems you've tried. There aren't really that many lengths, and it's rare to run into a correctly-sized bike that can't have its fit nailed with some combination of flipping a six degree stem up and down and reshuffling spacers. I guess what I'm really asking is is this one of those general questions that people sometimes plague the forums with, or are you having a specific problem with your fit that you're not sure how to solve? I've been through a few sizes myself; I think that the prices on some high-end stems can muddy the issue. It's a $10 part if you want it to be.
    Not a general question. Tried 3 stems and tired of going to LBS. Main issue is numbness in median nerve distribution (first 3 fingers). i use well padded gloves and seat height as well as fore/aft are spot on.

    Just looking for that "perfect fit".

    I figured with an adjustable I'd get an idea of what I need.

    As far as stem selection, there are tons on Jenson .

    Spacers; I have max below stem but need to raise up a bit to relieve pressure . No more room for spacers.

    I think different angle stem is solution.

    I thought of lowering seat post but this would alter my now near perfect knee bend.

    Hence the adjustable question.

  10. #10
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    Have you tried a +17 in whatever your favorite length was? You might also go 10 mm longer.

    Are you on riser bars yet?

    One of the things I don't like about adjustable stems is that for someone in your position - with the stem all the way at the top of the spacer stack - they couple reach and height to a much greater degree than fixed-angle stems and changing the spacer arrangement. Here's a chart.

    stemfit.jpg
    "Borrowed" from Habanero Cycles Stem Chart

    You can see you lose about a centimeter of reach going from +6 to +17.

    Do you feel like you have a lot of weight on your hands or is it more "mystery numbness?" People sometimes do this to themselves by gripping their handlebars too tight. It's also possible to get too squishy, or to have some of the padding on the glove compress a nerve. A lot of gloves lately have pretty selective padding to try to avoid that. I ride my mountain bike with unpadded gloves and very lightly padded grips, but I realize everyone's best combination is a little different.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Have you tried a +17 in whatever your favorite length was? You might also go 10 mm longer.

    Are you on riser bars yet?

    One of the things I don't like about adjustable stems is that for someone in your position - with the stem all the way at the top of the spacer stack - they couple reach and height to a much greater degree than fixed-angle stems and changing the spacer arrangement. Here's a chart.

    stemfit.jpg
    "Borrowed" from Habanero Cycles Stem Chart

    You can see you lose about a centimeter of reach going from +6 to +17.

    Do you feel like you have a lot of weight on your hands or is it more "mystery numbness?" People sometimes do this to themselves by gripping their handlebars too tight. It's also possible to get too squishy, or to have some of the padding on the glove compress a nerve. A lot of gloves lately have pretty selective padding to try to avoid that. I ride my mountain bike with unpadded gloves and very lightly padded grips, but I realize everyone's best combination is a little different.
    Appreciate the chart. Actually went down in length from 100 to 80. i would think adding length would increase pressure on hands.
    I like your suggestion of going to something like a 17. That way if it is too "high' I can always rearrange spacers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Just looking for that "perfect fit".
    You can't get a "perfect fit" unless you have a professional bike fit performed or you're willing to put an enormous amount of time and money into attempting to figure it out for yourself.

    Personally, if I were having hand nerve issues I would be focusing on grips, handlebar sweep and rise, and saddle position. It's often overlooked that one of the main causes of hand pain is improper saddle position or tilt. If your body isn't being supported on the saddle then you'll be constantly trying to compensate through your hands and feet.

    Another cause of hand pain is improper control placement. If your brake levers are not angled downward properly, you bend at the wrist and move the weight supporting part of your hand (often, right into that nerve bundle you're worried about). Move the controls so that you don't need to bend your wrist while using the brakes and move the levers so that you don't have to move your hand to use your pointer finger in the bend of the lever. Then move your shifters so that you don't have to move your hand around them to use the brakes. For my hands that means around 45 downward, brake lever an inch inboard of the end of the grip and the shifter another half inch inboard of that.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  13. #13
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    I had an adjustable stem on a road bike and had no problems. Even though the length couldn't be changed you could play around with the angle and the spacers to see how the different geometry worked for you. Once I found a spot I liked I tightened it down and rode the bike for over a year (few 1000 miles) with no loosening problems.

  14. #14
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    Not a general question. Tried 3 stems and tired of going to LBS. Main issue is numbness in median nerve distribution (first 3 fingers). i use well padded gloves and seat height as well as fore/aft are spot on.
    You should repost your thread in maybe general with a title that mentions your issue. You'll be more likely to get posts by people who have dealt with the same issues.

    you can get a stem riser to rise your handlebars more then stem will allow by itself. Want to echo other comments, seat tilt is very important. you can also change type of bars.

    first thing i would do, is repost your thread.

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