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  1. #1
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    What stems are you tall, inflexible clydes using?

    I'm looking for a 20-25 degree rise stem to get the bars up. I need minimal drop from the top of my saddle to the grips. If there is too much drop, my lower back takes a beating on long climbs. I will use the stem with the max 30mm of spacers allowed for my fork.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Why not get a lower rise stem (easier to find/more choices) and some high rise handle bars? There are many options in 25-30 mm rise handlebars and as a clyde it's nice that they'll generally be stronger AM or DH bars.

  3. #3
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    I've already got a set of 25mm rise bars. I wasn't able to find any wide bars with a higher rise. I'd certainly prefer a lower rise stem.

  4. #4
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    I use a Thomson 10deg. rise stem on both of my MTB's, but hold on to a FUNN Fatboy 2" rise 750mm bar. It is still pretty darn stiff, and I am satisfied. (6'9" on a 22" Kona Unit and a 23" HiFi). Answer even makes a 3" rise bar, but it is only a 25.4 clamp . The riser bar looks much better than a hi rise stem IMO. Jenson has them in stock for ~$40.

  5. #5
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    Salsa makes 25* stems:

    Salsa Cycles | Components

    Also, Dimension (sold through QBP) makes stems with a wide range of angles up to 40* or so.

    I am currently using a stem from Specialized that has an insert that allows up to four different stem angles. I am running it in the 16* position with either a Sunline V1 19* x 710mm bar or Race Face Atlas bar of the same dimensions.

    PRO makes a 50mm rise bar that is 745mm wide:

    Pro Athertons Star Series Handlebar at Price Point

    and a 40mm riser at 700mm width:

    MTB

    Sunline makes a 39mm riser @ 745mm width:

    Pro Athertons Star Series Handlebar at Price Point

    And Bontrager makes a 50mm riser at 710mm width:

    Bontrager: Big Earl Riser 31.8 (Model #04046)

    I also get the lower back pain sometimes on long extended climbs. I find I like to have my saddle a little further forward than most to help minimize it. As little as 1/4" can make a difference to me.

    Since that conceivably rotates my body forward, I can run my bars an inch or so lower than my saddle. I prefer that to a higher bar/further back saddle position because if the bar height gets too high, it makes it harder to weight the front wheel while cornering downhill. I also don't like feeling like I am behind the crankset as opposed to being over the top of it (just my personal preference). If you get the higher stem and feel like your cornering ability isn't as good as it was, that is something to consider. You'll have to find the best all-around compromise for you.
    Last edited by jeffj; 12-04-2011 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
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    I have a 15 degree 100mm stem, Azonics 2.7" rise bars and uncut steerer on my 09 SL Enduro. I replaced the E150 dual crown fork with a Talas 36 so I could have a longer steerer tube and run a higher rise bar. My grips are now at seat height

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the info on the riser handlebars! Awesome.

    It looks like I wasted some money on stems and handlebars. I tried to suss out how much rise and how much stem angle I would need before I purchased, but I didn't get it right. I was trying to order the max rise/max stem angle possible, but JensonUSA steered me to components that weren't even close (6 degree stem/25mm rise bars). I'm currently using 20mm of spacers/35 degree stem/25mm rise bars, and there is a slight drop from the saddle to the bars(maybe 1cm), and I think I'm fine with that position.

    The riser bar looks much better than a hi rise stem IMO.
    I agree.

    I replaced the E150 dual crown fork with a Talas 36 so I could have a longer steerer tube
    I've also got a 36 Talas. How many spacers are you running under your stem? My manual says 30mm is the max.
    Last edited by happyriding; 12-04-2011 at 01:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    I have six 5mm spacers, so 30mm. I have gone a little higher on other forks. Take the published max as a rough guideline. You don't want to be 2 inches out though. I went with more stack and a lower rise stem to get to the height I wanted, as high rise stems look dorky. It is amazing how much work tall guys have to do to get the geometry shorter riders get from the factory. All I wanted on my 6" travel bike was to not be going over the bars on really steep descents.

    North shore make their Habenero bar at 70mm rise (2.75"), 700mm wide
    Azonics has their light downhill bar a 2.7" (I like it. it has a bit more sweep than the NS bar)
    Both are 31.8 diameter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZGjethro View Post
    high rise stems look dorky. It is amazing how much work tall guys have to do to get the geometry shorter riders get from the factory.
    Yep. On our big frames, the wheels look like quarters, and the high rise shenanigans needed to get the bars up look funky. Based on some rough calculations, if I swap my 35 degree stem for a 20 degree stem, I will lose approximately 30mm in height. I can add another 10mm spacer under the stem, and if I get some bars with 25mm more rise, like the Funn Fat Boys or the Atherton Pros, then my grips will be approximately the same height.

    It looks like the Easton EA50 comes in 20 degrees:

    Easton EA50 Stem at JensonUSA.com

    Bontrager also seems to make stems in lots of angles up to 40 degrees. It looks to me like they sell their road stems as mountain bike stems:

    Bontrager: Products > Components > Stems

    My 1 1/8"/31.8/35 degree/110mm stem is made by eleven81(it's the last one in the list):

    Eleven81

    The length is a bit deceiving because the stem points nearly straight up, so more length provides more height--not much reach.
    Last edited by happyriding; 12-06-2011 at 01:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    How wide are the bars you guys are using?

  11. #11
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    I am 6'5" and I like around 740mm+/- bar width. I actually cut about 3/4" off each end of my 785mm Race Face Atlas bar.

  12. #12
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    I am running my bar at 28.5 or 29 inches. It is the stock Azonics bar. I cut my NS habenero bar to the same as the stock Specialized bar, and decided it was too narrow. I think it was 26 inches. Since I split my time between mtn biking and moto riding, I like the wider moto feeling bars.

  13. #13
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    Nothing is one size fits all. I'm 6-6 (with a very long torso) and struggle to get my bars low enough on most bikes. My bikes have 0-1 spacers, flat stems and low-rise or flat bars.

    Also keep in mind that as your bars get higher they also become effectively closer. If you're not careful with a high-rise stem you could throw off your weight balance and handling.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Nothing is one size fits all. I'm 6-6 (with a very long torso) and struggle to get my bars low enough on most bikes. My bikes have 0-1 spacers, flat stems and low-rise or flat bars.

    Also keep in mind that as your bars get higher they also become effectively closer. If you're not careful with a high-rise stem you could throw off your weight balance and handling.
    I have not heard of tall riders needing to get their hands lower. Usually we end up on an XL frame since it is the largest we can find and have a really long seat post sticking out of it. The handlebars are often too low, hence the efforts to get a higher rise bar or stem

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Nothing is one size fits all.
    There's a filter in the thread title. You have to be tall and inflexible to get in the door.

    Also keep in mind that as your bars get higher they also become effectively closer. If you're not careful with a high-rise stem...
    That's true but the effect is negligible with the small height changes involved with different stem angles.

  16. #16
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    i've posted this in the past and I still think it's a great tool for figuring out the next logical step in a stem... it's a stem calculator... input your current info and then the possible next candidate and it will spit out the differences in rise and reach... heck I liked what i posted so much that i'll quote myself here

    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    all depends on the bike... 110mm isn't old school honestly... it's still a pretty common length... getting 140+ is more 90's (my 1st real mtb had one as does my '88 GT)

    honestly it doesn't matter as long as the bike properly fits you.. old school fit rule though is while riding your stem should block out your front hub.

    this is a great tool...
    Stem Chart

    note that as little as a few mm can make a HUGE difference... 5mm spacers on my stem went from back pain to great comfort... the chart tool also makes it obvious that higher angles give a shorter overall reach... also the lower it is the further forward it is (along with the obvious drop)

    you may need a few stems before you find the stem that is right for you... ask around if people have some you could barrow.

    other things to note... the bike will handle differently with different stem lengths... also the fork will change sag sligthly based on the stem... it's all about finding what works for you...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Nothing is one size fits all. I'm 6-6 (with a very long torso) and struggle to get my bars low enough on most bikes. My bikes have 0-1 spacers, flat stems and low-rise or flat bars.

    Also keep in mind that as your bars get higher they also become effectively closer. If you're not careful with a high-rise stem you could throw off your weight balance and handling.

    I'm the same way!

    Im 6'6" with only one stem spacer and have minimal risers with a fu2 bar. Extremely long basketball arms, longer than average torso and shortish legs 34 inseam makes bikes an easier fit for me. Xl bikes I can usually slam the post or run it a little higher.

  18. #18
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    I have a 30 deg Ritchey stem. I only need the 60mm version, but it seems nice and is cheap.
    You can get it in sizes up to 90mm at chainreactioncycles.com.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZGjethro View Post
    I have not heard of tall riders needing to get their hands lower. Usually we end up on an XL frame since it is the largest we can find and have a really long seat post sticking out of it. The handlebars are often too low, hence the efforts to get a higher rise bar or stem
    Well, now you've heard of two on this thread alone!

    The point I'm trying to make is bike fit is specific and you can't generalize. Saying "all tall riders need higher bars" isn't true, because SOME tall riders need to get their bars lower. It varies between riders and it varies over time -- my riding position has changed a lot over the past five years.

    For example my road bike is a custom steel frame I bought from another really tall rider. It has a really long head tube and he even ran a few spacers on top of it. When I got the frame I slammed the stem right away, and now I'm getting a new road frame this year because I want to get the front end lower. It fit him like a glove but for me it's not quite right.

  20. #20
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    You might try some yoga too. Seriously. A little core strength and flexibility goes a long way.

  21. #21
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    For me, it is not about flexibility. my road stem and older x-country bikes have long low stems, and they are great for long grind climbs. I like my bars closer to seat height for my 5-6" travel bikes. If I want a longer travel bike, I am usually hoping for tougher descents, and the x-country geometry seems to lead to an endo feeling ride.

  22. #22
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    I run a Thompson stem and seat post. Both are superb quality and I have not had any issues with them. Unfortunately the stems don't come in a large variety of angles.

  23. #23
    Pedal! Gasp for Air...
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    Just got a Niner Jet 9 about a month ago and love it. But I was getting a sore lower back and butt. I was thinking that I needed a different seat and riser bars, but tried a Dimension 100mm stem with a 35 degree rise that I had from a previous bike. It put the bars slightly closer and higher, and what a difference. No more back or butt issues. This inflexible Clyde loves the change. It did not affect the handling negatively for me, at all. The bike still climbs well, with no front end wandering or raising. The down hills are much more comfortable, too. It is an excellent change for me. Maybe when and if I lose 50 lbs (6'2" with poundage of 178) I can keep the back lower and straighter, with no pain. But until then, the change to a bit more upright position really helped in every aspect.

  24. #24
    Underskilled
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    superstar components just released a new bar, the yard bar. IT IS REALLY REALLY big.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lencho View Post
    Just got a Niner Jet 9 about a month ago and love it. But I was getting a sore lower back and butt. I was thinking that I needed a different seat and riser bars, but tried a Dimension 100mm stem with a 35 degree rise that I had from a previous bike. It put the bars slightly closer and higher, and what a difference. No more back or butt issues. This inflexible Clyde loves the change. It did not affect the handling negatively for me, at all. The bike still climbs well, with no front end wandering or raising. The down hills are much more comfortable, too. It is an excellent change for me. Maybe when and if I lose 50 lbs (6'2" with poundage of 178) I can keep the back lower and straighter, with no pain. But until then, the change to a bit more upright position really helped in every aspect.
    Odd that a taller stem made your butt issues go away. Generally a more upright riding position is more conducive to increase back/butt pain since all impacts go straight into your spine.

  26. #26
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    The more I ride, the more comfortable I feel with my handle bars being lower (currently 3") than my seat. My lower back is more sensitive to tire pressure and since I run tubeless and often have to add prior to riding, I don't always get the psi right....digital gauge on the way
    But, as others have said, everyone is different.

  27. #27
    Pedal! Gasp for Air...
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Odd that a taller stem made your butt issues go away. Generally a more upright riding position is more conducive to increase back/butt pain since all impacts go straight into your spine.
    Maybe that is why my hardtail 26er and I did not get along. I am much more comfortable in a more upright postion. Having quality rear suspension is definately a huge part of that equation. I am also usually light in the saddle if the tail has any roughness to it, too. I learned that from racing motocross. The stem change has definately worked, for me, anyway.

  28. #28
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    I find this site very helpful, hope you do too........

    Stem Chart

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortenRE View Post
    I have a 30 deg Ritchey stem. I only need the 60mm version, but it seems nice and is cheap.
    You can get it in sizes up to 90mm at chainreactioncycles.com.
    I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a 90mm 30D Richey Stem going from a Richey110mm 6d stem. I already swapped 50mm Sunline V3 risers for the 20mm rise Richey bars the came stock on my 19" MB Fantom Pro 29er I'm 6'3" but only just 32" inseam 21" frame was too big
    The V3 put the bars almost level with the seat but I'm still getting numbness in my hand due to a ruptured disk at C5/C6. The stem calculator shows that stem will give me 40mm less reach and 22mm rise. Riding with my finger tips resting on the bars seems to relive the pressure on the disk and the numbness goes away so this looks to be the perfect set up. I had the same problem with my Suzuki 1200 Bandit until I swapped the bars for Protaper high ATV bars
    Does anyone see any downside to this combination other that the dorky look?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydee1445 View Post
    Does anyone see any downside to this combination other that the dorky look?
    You may have handling issues if you raise the bars up too much from shifting the weight rearward on the bike. Not enough weight over the front end = front tire washout.

    Tall bars will also make the bike more likely to loop out on steep uphills, again due to a more rearward weight bias.

  31. #31
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    I am 6'5" and ride an XL 2006 Spec Enduro. 50mm Renthal stem along with 38mm rise 780mm wide Renthal bars.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    You may have handling issues if you raise the bars up too much from shifting the weight rearward on the bike. Not enough weight over the front end = front tire washout.

    Tall bars will also make the bike more likely to loop out on steep uphills, again due to a more rearward weight bias.
    Not much chance of looping in Florida
    I guess if the front is too light I can try the old bars with the new stem.

  33. #33
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    I am struggling with a sore back and am about to get a new stem, not sure if height or reach is what I need to focus on. It seems like the shorter stem, no mater the height seems to help. Has anyone else experienced this?

  34. #34
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    height and reach are both important... if you get a 90mm stem that has a 0* rise and then one that has a 25* rise the 2nd is effectively much shorter... and taller...

    for exact numbers you can play with this calculator thing...
    Stem Chart
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  35. #35
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    I'm also having difficulty lifting the front wheel too much lard over the wheel am I correct that a shorter/higher stem will make is easier to loft the wheel over obstacles? Seems like transferring the weight rearward would also help in deep sugar sand. On the motos we gas it for the deep rutted stuff to float the front.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydee1445 View Post
    Not much chance of looping in Florida
    I guess if the front is too light I can try the old bars with the new stem.
    Nope but from my experience in Florida, I'd want the weight over the front end to keep the front tire planted during loose cornering over sandy/loamy conditions.

    In response to your earlier comment about hand numbness - you might want to try lowering the bars a bit. It is counter-intuitive but I've found on my roadie and my rigid MTBs that there is a point when the bars get low enough that they just disappear, this is the point where my core is supporting the weight of my upper body, rather than my hands/wrists.

    Lofting the wheel is all about weight distribution, yes you need to pull the bars up with your arms but you also need to think about shifting your weight backwards with your legs as well. Taller bars and shorter stems do shift your weight rearward but might not make as big of a difference as you're expecting. BB drop makes a larger difference IMO, the biggest reason 29ers are hard to manual.

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