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 21 of 21
  1. #1
    MTB'er in Training
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    Stems - I gotta quick question...

    Ok...so my b-day is coming up...I am gonna get a few little things for my bike as well...I can't really think of much else I need and I don't want my wife or mom spending a lot of $$$ on nothing..

    I have my bike almost perfect...I have the right saddle...the right saddle position, but I feel a little too stretched out when riding...

    I don't want to move my saddle any closer as it is right where I want it for pedaling...so I figure I can mess with the stem and make it fit better...

    I have a Bontrager Sport 10 degree - 105mm stem. It has several risers on the headset already.

    I was thinking if I were to get a 6 degree - 90mm stem it would drop it slightly...and bring it in closer to me...thus still giving me a little downward feel...but not as far of a reach...

    Is my thinking correct at all?
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  2. #2
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    Your thinking is correct. You will notice a difference.

    If it were me, I'd acheive the same angle by moving some of the spacers to the top of the stem and running riser bars, thus also eliminating the need for bar ends.

    The closer the middle of the handlebars is to the head tube, the more intuitive the bike will feel.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  3. #3
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    Well I already have a slight rise in the Bontrager handlebars I have on the bike now...so if I were to move the spacers I would only be lowering my riding position...without bringing the handlebars any closer to me...

    If I were to order a stem from like Performance Bike...do they have a good return policy if I get it on and realize it just isn't the right one?
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  4. #4
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    LBS for stems.


    They can switch a bunch on and off till you find your favorite, and when you do decide to buy it won't be much more than mail order once you include shipping.

    Also, any new stem will feel bizarre at first. Steering will be choppy and weird. Make sure you give each one a couple miles to really shine.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  5. #5
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    Cool...looking forward to the change...b-day will be here in no time!
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  6. #6
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    I have decided on a stem. I am going to get the Thomsom 5 degree rise MTB Stem...length of 90mm.

    I hope this get me the position I am looking for on the bike to make it perfect!
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  7. #7
    more carbon=more awesome
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    I think you will find this a big improvement. 90mm is great for all around trail riding. Anything longer I find tends to hang your weight too far over the front. It's too easy to jack-knife the bike on tight corners. A shorter stem will push your weight down through the front wheel and into the ground for all around better control. Also, you have to use less body english to steer, meaning a more stable ride.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  8. #8
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    15 mm is a big change I went from 110 to 120mm and found it very different.

  9. #9
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    I decided to keep the degree of the stem at 10 degree...so I just ordered the:

    Thomson 10 degree - 90mm X4 MTB Stem

    We shall see...
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  10. #10
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    Crap...I just realized by reading another post...I hope the stem I just ordered will fit my handlebars...I have no idea what diameter my current handlebars are (I believe they are Bontrager Crowbars...but I went on Bontrager's site and none of the ones I saw looked like mine)...but the Thomson shows a diameter of 31.8mm I believe...

    I guess I will find out when I get it in the mail and try and put it on my bike (which also will be an experience as I have never removed or replaced a bike stem before)
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  11. #11
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    You might have a problem. Standard handlebar width is 25.4 mm. 31.8 is mainly for downhill and freeride bikes.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  12. #12
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    Damn...the Thomson doesn't seem to come in anything but 31.8 from what I can see...
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  13. #13
    more carbon=more awesome
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    I'm 99.9% certain you can get the Thomson in both sizes.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  14. #14
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    Yeah...you can...just the place I ordered (Performance Bikes) doesn't have that specific one in the 25.4mm clamp size. I am just going to wait until it is delivered and then take it up to the actual store and try to exchange it. I would have just gone to the store first anyway...but this is a b-day present from my mom...so I simply ordered it on-line and had it shipped to her house so she could wrap it, etc...

    It isn't that big of a deal...will just have to do a few more steps...
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  15. #15
    SuperInstigator
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanicFan77
    Yeah...you can...just the place I ordered (Performance Bikes) doesn't have that specific one in the 25.4mm clamp size. I am just going to wait until it is delivered and then take it up to the actual store and try to exchange it. I would have just gone to the store first anyway...but this is a b-day present from my mom...so I simply ordered it on-line and had it shipped to her house so she could wrap it, etc...

    It isn't that big of a deal...will just have to do a few more steps...
    If for some reason you can't exchange it, then they sell shims that'll eliminate the distance between the stem and the bars.

    These should work fine...

    http://stores.channeladvisor.com/ebi...ems/004-SM5316

    Of course your best option would be to get it exchanged for the right size stem.

    Good Luck,
    Tim
    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

  16. #16
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanicFan77
    Yeah...you can...just the place I ordered (Performance Bikes) doesn't have that specific one in the 25.4mm clamp size. I am just going to wait until it is delivered and then take it up to the actual store and try to exchange it.
    The X4 (zero and ten degree rises) is only available with a 31.8 bar clamp. The standard Thomson mountain stems (five degree rise) have 25.4 clamps.

  17. #17
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    Yeah...both the 5 and 15 degree rise from Thomson has the 25.4 clamps...just seems the 90mm are never available!!
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  18. #18
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Have you had a look at the Salsa Scandium or the Hope stem? The Thomson Agent here sells all three and he reckoned the Salsa was lighter and stronger than the Thomson. I ended up with a Hope stem and I like it a lot.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  19. #19
    Zero Miles from Myself
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    What is the difference in the sellers and manufactures descriptions of degree of rise? I find some stems that say they have a 5 degreee rise, while another may say it is a 105 degree rise.

    My stem is a 90 / 5 degree rise. I am wanting something with a little more but with no more reach. If I get a 10 degree rise ... I understand, but what am I getting with say a 110 or a 115 degree rise compare to my current 5 degree?

  20. #20
    SuperInstigator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1
    What is the difference in the sellers and manufactures descriptions of degree of rise? I find some stems that say they have a 5 degreee rise, while another may say it is a 105 degree rise.

    My stem is a 90 / 5 degree rise. I am wanting something with a little more but with no more reach. If I get a 10 degree rise ... I understand, but what am I getting with say a 110 or a 115 degree rise compare to my current 5 degree?
    Uhhh, 110 degrees would mean the stem's facing at your face pretty much. I think that could be a typo. Maybe they meant the length? Or maybe it's something I haven't thought of. Entirely possible.

    Tim
    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

  21. #21
    Zero Miles from Myself
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    I am thinking it is where the measure 90 degree. If level to the ground is 0 then it is listed in things like 5, 10 or 15. If level to the ground it 90 then a 95 is a 5 and a 110 is a 20 degree rise???? But I have no idea. but with so many different listings I doubt it is a typo. What am I missing?

    Here is some listings with the 5, 10, 15 numberings
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Mtb+Stem.aspx
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...tain+Stem.aspx
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...c+Stem+05.aspx

    Here is some with the 96,110, 115 etc listings
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...-115+Stem.aspx
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Mtb+Stem.aspx
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...tain+Stem.aspx

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