View Poll Results: How long is your stem?

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  • 90mm

    27 22.69%
  • 100mm

    33 27.73%
  • 110mm

    21 17.65%
  • other

    38 31.93%
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  1. #1
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    Stem length question

    Can someone tell me the changes that a longer / shorter stem will give? Stability, climbing, etc.

    How long is your stem?
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  2. #2
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    I suppose it depends on what size frame you ride..?
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  3. #3
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    medium. I have a 90 on it because that's what I had but I'm seeing that most people run a 100 or even 110. I'm worried that it'll slow my steering too much, but thinking there might be other advantages. I'll probably borrow a friends 100 to try it out, but wonder what to look for in differences.
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  4. #4
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    For me 90-100 on 1 size larger frame more stable if I were a downhiller but a bit of wandering on the climbs but not real bad.
    But 110-120 on the medium works really well for me with a 120 stem for a marathon and xcountry like build. Downhills are still stable but uphills out of the saddle on tech terrain are marvelous, and no not nervous with that head angle. Feels like a xcountry bike allright.

  5. #5
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    it's not just length

    When I first got my Mojo (med, 100mm stem) it felt really cramped, and the front tended to wander on climbs. I was pretty sure I was going to get a longer stem. The Ibis folks smartly recommended that I first take some time to get used to it, and to try the free option of flipping the stem upside down to lower the front putting a little more weight on it--made more of a difference than I thought and I'm pretty happy with it.
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  6. #6
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    I'm already kinda suprised with some replies. I'm coming from a medium Stumpjumper FSR. I'm now on a medium Mojo with a 90 stem. From all accounts I should feel really cramped and upright, but it's actually a longer reach than the stumpy. The main reason I'm thinking about going longer is because I understand they design the bike for a 110. Can someone offer me a reason to go longer? My steering will be slower, what will the benefits be?
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  7. #7
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    5'9" for me and the 110 works perfectly. I have not had any issues with the length of the stem and handling. the bike is perfect.
    Steering and climbing have never been something I have even thought about, because the bike works so well.
    My GF has a 90 on her Fuel EX 9.0 and is waiting for the 100- to show up because the bike is skittish on handling for her.

  8. #8
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    Longer gives a more comfortable and powerful position for steep climbing, more difficult to shift weight rearward for steep downhill, less front end feel, slows handling.

    Shorter easier to shift weight back for downhill, more balanced for rough terrain, more front end feel, more difficult to shift weight forward for steep climbing, quickens handling.

    The Mojo climbs so easily with a medium length 90mm stem and centered seat, I've gone to a 60mm stem and bumped the seat rearward about 1/4 inch to improve the already very good downhill and rough terrain balance to become most excellent. Only the very steepest climbing is compromised.

    I'm 6'1 on a large size.

  9. #9
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    derby: thank you so much, that's exactly what I was looking for!
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  10. #10
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    This poll is a great idea. I use a 110 and it's fine, though I'd like to try a 90 if I was on a bigger frame size. I think most would agree that short vs. long stem is a pretty direct tradeoff, so there is no "right" answer. It is your personal preference and riding style that should dictate your choice.

    Of course one of the main arguments for a longer stem is it gets more of your weight over the front of your bike, a more "aggressive" position that is better for climbing. The downside is that having more weight over the front of your bike is a liability on the steep downhills, and also makes your bike more prone to brake dive on fast trails with sharp turns/switchbacks.

    So if you live for the climbs and/or perhaps you race XC, then a longer stem (maybe up to 120 on the Mojo) may be preferable. But if you live for the downhill---only reluctantly climbing the hills as a means to get to the technical and steep downhill goodness---then go for a shorter stem (90 max---I know some Mojo owners are going down to even 50mm). And if you're an all mountain rider who enjoys both ups and challenging downs equally, then keep it around 100 (90-110 range).

    I also don't think a 10mm difference in stems is very significant in the long run. In the short run you definitely notice the difference, but after several rides you naturally adjust your positioning to where you don't notice it anymore.

    That my two cents...

  11. #11
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    I am 5'9" and use a 110 on my medium Mojo.

    Derby hit the nail on the head or stem as it were.

    Long stem gives great leverage for climbing while a short stem offers faster steering and better descending handling. I myself like a bit longer stem cause I like the extra feel and lever arm for climbing, I am always sitting on the rear tire when it gets steep anyway so don't notice the extra length. Now I tested with a 120 and that was to much for my taste.

    Also take into consideration besides your height and inseam measurement is headset stack and spacer height, handlebar sweep and height, stem rise and seatpost/saddle combination (straight or layback, seat forward or back, etc).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    I am 5'9" and use a 110 on my medium Mojo.

    Derby hit the nail on the head or stem as it were.

    Long stem gives great leverage for climbing while a short stem offers faster steering and better descending handling. I myself like a bit longer stem cause I like the extra feel and lever arm for climbing, I am always sitting on the rear tire when it gets steep anyway so don't notice the extra length. Now I tested with a 120 and that was to much for my taste.

    Also take into consideration besides your height and inseam measurement is headset stack and spacer height, handlebar sweep and height, stem rise and seatpost/saddle combination (straight or layback, seat forward or back, etc).
    over the course of time i have found that my rule of thumb 4 proper front end bias and steering leverage requirements needs to b balanced out with any 69 degree ha frame set (historically preferred) at the edge of adhesion whether going up down or side ways...

    1. a longer tt frame/23.6and shorter stem/70mm will work with wider 28" handle bars.
    2. a medium tt frame/22.8" and a medium stem/90mm will work with 25" handle bars.
    3. a small tt frame /22" and a long stem/110mm will work with 22" handle bars.

    at 5' 9.5" with a 35" leg extension (top of saddle 2 top of pedal) my bike set up 2 and 3 above may not b my preferred ride today but they will all work quite well 4 me with a little attention 2 saddle adjustment... in fact i'm actually have been riding a effective tt frame/24.3 with a very short stem/50 also with good results but i know i have gone too far with the tt/stem combo 4 my riding style... i plan on settling on the 23.6/70mm as a perfect point and shoot stability i need 4 the fast club rides i often attend where getting tired doesn't become a liability a couple of hours or more down the trail.
    Last edited by Tread Mark; 06-07-2008 at 11:27 AM.
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  13. #13
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    I just had a professional bike fitting done at my LBS and they recommended that switch my 105mm stem to a 135mm. I made the switch and my position does feel better (at least on the indoor trainer -I have not been able to ride it outside yet as we still have lots of snow). Will the 135mm stem make it impossible to handle downhill (in the Alps)? I'm 6'1" (185cm) with a 32" inseam so I have a fairly long torso. My Mojo SL is a Large and my seat is now set as far back as the seat post allows. The new set-up just does not look right -very old school! Even with 105mm I felt like I was OTB when going downhill in the Alps!

  14. #14
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    I also have a very long torso and fairly short arms and legs for my hieght. My first 2 MB were "professionally fit" medium frames with135mm stems. I immediately earned the nickname "Endo".

    I now ride a large Mojo with a 100mm stem and never been more comfortable.

    No longer Endo.
    Last edited by endo22; 02-27-2009 at 04:20 PM.

  15. #15
    gcc
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    Default Stem Size from Ibis

    What's default stem size that a large Mojo SL comes with from Ibis?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcc
    What's default stem size that a large Mojo SL comes with from Ibis?
    Hey ggc, ibis stems are made in lengths from 70 to 110mm so 90 is in the middle...also i have read tall tom's opinion that he and the others at ibis felt that when they designed the frame they envisioned 90/100mm stems to be optimum...brian lopes runs 50mm and he is world renown champion...i'm in the middle of those two camps and run 70mm...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ludwig1
    I just had a professional bike fitting done at my LBS and they recommended that switch my 105mm stem to a 135mm.
    Sounds like you're set for competing in the Tour de France
    It's an mtb for crying out load; put a darn 50mm stem on it.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAPRO
    Sounds like you're set for competing in the Tour de France
    It's an mtb for crying out load; put a darn 50mm stem on it.
    hey sc, not everyone is the same...his frame top tube is way too short because he has a long torso...he needs to consider a larger frame first before shortening his stem, perhaps with strait bars instead of riser types to compensate for the raised head tube...and when he stands over it leaving one foot on a pedal will help maintain pleasant facial expressions when he is amongst his peers ;-)
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  19. #19
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    I run a 70mm stem on a Medium SL. I am 5ft 8 and feel it works very well . I have the DT Swiss 150mm fork which I can drop down for very steep climbs but even without the Ibis climbs fantastically. The shorter stem ( I initially had 90mm) is so much better on the descents and the handling on really twisty singletrack is incredible with good tyres ( Conti Moutain Kings ), I also use a Crank drop down seat post which is essential for the descents and balances the whole bike out.
    I tried a 100mm stem and felt I was fighting going over the bars on the really steep stuff.

  20. #20
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    It is a very personal thing, I started out riding on bikes when everything was old school and 120-135 stems were the norm.

    I have been doing a long term test with a 80, 90, 100 and 110. I am 5'8.5" on a medium frame.

    Currently my fave is the 90mm, good on downhills and climbs.

    80 is to short for me, just a bit to twitchy and hard to climb, not enough lever arm for my taste.

    100 is a good compromise and what I have used for a long time.

    110 is old school and is good for climbs but a bit long on descents.

  21. #21
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    "80 is to short for me, just a bit to twitchy and hard to climb, not enough lever arm for my taste."

    hey pj, i have found that as stems get shorter...it helps to go wider bars... this slows down the faster steering by adding leverage and weights the front wheel for better traction in corners and climbs by lowering the torso...fine tune by bending the elbows...29ers also tend to like the wider bars to combat the big wheel effect...point being consider bars and stems working together to achieve desired control...
    tread lightly...earth is our playground

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tread Mark
    hey pj, i have found that as stems get shorter...it helps to go wider bars... ...
    Also if going to a shorter stem, lower the stem and bars to keep your upper body weight forward while seated to maintain the seated climbing and weight balance you were used to before with a longer stem. And lower bars with shorter stem helps gain both harder braking entering turns for increased front wheel traction and more confident braking steep down hill.

    Lopes uses a 65mm stem and low rise bars on his Mojo for racing and trail riding. I met him at the end of a ride in Sedona last November. For trail riding his seat was about 2 inches above the low handlebars. And he was looking into getting a quick-drop seat post.

    I went from a 90 to 60mm stem 6 months ago. It took a couple rides to get used to the quicker steering, downhill is much better and climbing didn't really suffer (I've always been a slow climber). I got an Ibis 70mm stem recently and it feels too long! But I'll give it a few more rides to better adapt to it before deciding.

  23. #23
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    "Also if going to a shorter stem, lower the stem and bars to keep your upper body weight forward while seated to maintain the seated climbing and weight balance you were used to before with a longer stem."

    hey db, i agree...the shorter stem with lowered positioned bars helps with grabbing the last bit traction at the edge of adhesion in corners and climbs...for example, on one of the hill climbs this weekend the rider i was following spun out just as he was 15 feet from the top gasped "what do you expect this climb is registering 30 degrees on my gps" as i went by and cleaned the hill...before that i never even thought that a mountain bike was capable of getting up such a inclined trail...also i would like to suggest that that figure of 30 degrees may be more like 25 because of the slight rise of his stem where the gps is attached to should be subtracted from a up hill and added to a down hill to give a more accurate figure...none the less interesting data...good luck...
    tread lightly...earth is our playground

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tread Mark
    hey pj, i have found that as stems get shorter...it helps to go wider bars... this slows down the faster steering by adding leverage and weights the front wheel for better traction in corners and climbs by lowering the torso...fine tune by bending the elbows...
    Good points. I did go wider bars (28") when I switched to 50mm stems on all my bikes. derby also made a good suggestion of lower bar height. I also agree with you on bending elbows to fine tune. Great suggestions guys.
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  25. #25
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    It is all very personal. I started out in the old days with 21-23" and I am now at 25" on the Mojo. I use a 25.5" on my 29er. I don't care for anything wider then that. I ride super techy trails with lot's of rock gardens and the 90 stem works just fine for me. I have the fine touch to riding already, I can ride stuff that others can't do and it has nothing to do with stems, bars, bikes, etc. It is the "touch". Then again, I would be a terrible racer because I don't go fast enough downhill, but I will go up and down most anything that exists. It is all very personal. My findings after using the 80/90/100/110 (and even a 120 for one ride) over multiple rides was that for me a 90 worked perfect. I have used 130, 140 and 150 forks on the Mojo and except for changing headset spacers I have had no need to change stem.

    Think this video shows that the stem is working fine for me?


    Hooters Canyon, Pueblo South Shore, CO from Brian Mullin on Vimeo.

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