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.
mtn. biking 101
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.
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  1. #1
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    Handlebar stem size to make bike fit better? Is this typicall or absurd?

    I am looking at a '12 Trek Fuel EX8 17.5". Ideally I would ride an 18.5", but the deal I found is only for the 17.5". I tried both sizes at the dealer; the 18.5 fit perfect, but on the 17.5" my only complaint was that I felt too upright while sitting in the saddle and gripping the handlebars.

    My question is this: can I just replace the handlebar stem to a longer one thus making me lean forward more (not sit upright)?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Get to dah choppah
    Reputation: icsloppl's Avatar
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    IMO buying or riding a bike that doesn't fit you correctly is never a good idea.

    Between the two frame sizes, the effective TT length changes by 2cm. A 2cm longer stem won't compensate though, as the fork's steerer tube is at ~70 degree angle and the stem itself may also have some positive angle as well, which puts you both higher and more forward.

    You may be able to achieve a reasonable fit by flipping the stem over and/or removing/displacing the spacers under the stem as well as moving the saddle back and down on the seat post. That of course will change our knee position and pedaling efficiency.

    If that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable about buying the too small bike, I've succeeded :-) Fit and weight distribution are critical to the bike's handling and your ultimate safety and happiness with the ride.
    Santa Cruz TBc
    Pivot 429c

  3. #3
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    Don't do it, you'll regret it later on.

  4. #4
    Hi There!
    Reputation: thegweed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icsloppl View Post
    IMO buying or riding a bike that doesn't fit you correctly is never a good idea.

    Between the two frame sizes, the effective TT length changes by 2cm. A 2cm longer stem won't compensate though, as the fork's steerer tube is at ~70 degree angle and the stem itself may also have some positive angle as well, which puts you both higher and more forward.

    You may be able to achieve a reasonable fit by flipping the stem over and/or removing/displacing the spacers under the stem as well as moving the saddle back and down on the seat post. That of course will change our knee position and pedaling efficiency.

    If that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable about buying the too small bike, I've succeeded :-) Fit and weight distribution are critical to the bike's handling and your ultimate safety and happiness with the ride.
    I've been wondering about this same thing...i was right between a small and medium bike and the LBS recommended i go with the small. Bike could be ordered with a 70mm or 90mm stem but when it came in LBS changed it to an 80mm stem for the best fit. It's a +/- 6 degree and they put it to the -6 degree. My arms are bent slightly when in riding position, does that seem right?
    NTFTC

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