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  1. #1
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    What length stem you are using?

    What length stem are you using?
    I am 6' and ride a large (18.5) Mount Vision 5.8.
    I run a 90mm / 0 rise stem, 600mm flat bar w/bar ends.
    My riding is mostly XC with some light AM and had thought about trying a 70mm / 0 rise stem.

    I have been riding this setup for over a year and am pleased with the feel and performance of the bike.
    I am wondering if a 70mm stem would suit me better, making the cockpit a bit more comfortable.
    Would the 20mm shorter stem make the steering to quick and or jerky for my XC riding?
    Would the 70mm stem be long enough to keep the "goat like climbing" this bike has now?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    A short bar and short stem can give a very twitchy and unstable ride. And yes, a 23 inch bar is very narrow for someone as tall as you!

    Generally, as you shorten the stem length you want to increase the bar width.

    Basically:

    Shorter the stem = quicker the steering

    Wider the bar = slower the steering.

    As someone who also is 6', I run a 745mm bar with a 85mm stem!

  3. #3
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    I am 5"9' and recently swapped my 90mm, 10 degree rise stem for a 50mm, 5 degree rise stem just to try it out. I ride XC on rocky terrain that has pretty much everything from stupid steep loose switchback climbs to off-camber technical descents, and I am really liking the shorter stem. Impact on climbing ability has been minimal for me. A few notes:

    1. I run an adjustable travel fork, so maybe this minimizes impact of the shorter stem on climbs on the really steep sections.

    2. I run a zero setback seatpost on a medium Mount Vision 5.8 frame.

    3. Bar width 680mm with 15mm of rise. I have 20mm of spacers under the stem.

    4. The thing I noticed the most is hand fatigue on longer rides with the shorter stem. Nothing I can't live with so far.

    I only have about 3 rides on the short stem. I'll leave it on for a few hundred miles more and see if I still like it.

  4. #4
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    I am 5'10" ride a med MV and run a 80mm steem with 0* rise. much more comfortable than my 100mm with 10* rise.

  5. #5
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    6'0", Wolf Ridge 6.7, large, with the original 42mm-rise handlebars. I felt a bit cramped with the original stem, so I switched to a 100mm / 120deg stem (or 60 degrees, depending on your frame of reference). Feels great now.

  6. #6
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    A few rides on the 50mm/5 degree stem and I swapped it out again for the 90mm/10 degree stem (and removed 5mm of spacers from under the stem). Technical descending was great on the short stem, and like I said I didn't notice any major impact on climbing, but I felt I was putting more weight on my forearms and on longer rides it was a bit uncomfortable.

    I think 50mm might be too cramped. I am guessing 70mm might be the sweet spot for me.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies.
    So this is what I tried with the current (18.5" / large) quad XC frame.
    A 70mm zero rise stem with my same flat bars.
    Steering felt a little floppy but ok.
    I also ended up moving the seat all the way forward (incrementally) (zero set back seatpost).
    Overall this was an improvement and I did feel better in the cockpit, but. . .
    I should not have to move the seat fully forward and I had ridden 90mm stems for some time.
    So at 6.1, I decided the large (18.5”) frame is on the big side for me.

    I contacted bobs-bicycles.com / (BetterBikes on ebay) and ordered a medium (17.5") frame.
    It is a new 2009 (as my current bike) and should be a better fit for me.
    The Marin documentation states the top tube on the 18.5” (large) is 609.6mm and the 17.5" (medium) is 569.9mm.
    With that being 39.7mm / 1.5” shorter top tube, it should do the trick.

    On the new 17.5” frame, I will first mount the 90mm stem and this time will be trying some low rise bars at 660mm.

    Frame should be delivered 09.29.10 and will have it together and riding by the weekend.
    I will follow up with the outcome.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    The Marin documentation states the top tube on the 18.5” (large) is 609.6mm and the 17.5" (medium) is 569.9mm.
    I think it's a mistype on Marin's site. It should be 596 mm instead of 569, because even in size S top tube is longer. Look at 2008 model range at the site, that page has correct information (and 2008s geometry is the same as 2009).

    By the way, the same 5"9' height as hmorsi, quite similar bike setup. Now I'm running a 70 mm stem, it took some time to get used to it, but now feels great and it already helped me a few times, cornering and jumping became much easier.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by denis.gorchakov
    By the way, the same 5"9' height as hmorsi, quite similar bike setup. Now I'm running a 70 mm stem, it took some time to get used to it, but now feels great and it already helped me a few times, cornering and jumping became much easier.
    Yeah, I just ordered a 75mm stem with 6 degrees of rise. I think this is going to be the sweet spot for me. I'll also experiment with a wider low rise bar (725 mm perhaps) with the stem mounted as low as it gets on the steer tube. So far I've tried...

    1- long+high: It sucks on the climbs and doesn't feel great on the descents and cornering either. Just comfy on the flats.
    2. long+low is better but getting the front end off the ground and technical descending isn't great with that setup.
    3. short+low feels weird. Maybe the 50mm stem was too short to go too low.
    4. short+high(ish) is good minus the hand fatigue,

    ...then maybe short+low+wide should do the trick.

    Now where are the good deals on extra-wide carbon bars ?

  10. #10
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    Short and low stem with wide handlebar is great! Not too wide, about 685-690 mm feels quite right.
    In my case wider bar will require much precision on log rides and narrow "tree gates"

    By the way, why carbon? Gray Sunline V1 perfectly fits Marin's "Anodized Gray" frame colour

  11. #11
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    Thanks Denis.G for the correct frame sizing info.
    I still think the medium will be a better fit for me.
    I may pickup a 80mm stem.
    That would give me 70, 80 and 90 to try. (all zero rise)

    I will have the bike together for the weekend and start dailing it in.

    Thanks to all for the comments / info.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by denis.gorchakov
    Short and low stem with wide handlebar is great! Not too wide, about 685-690 mm feels quite right.
    In my case wider bar will require much precision on log rides and narrow "tree gates"

    By the way, why carbon? Gray Sunline V1 perfectly fits Marin's "Anodized Gray" frame colour
    Yeah, I am already running a 680mm bar and feel that just a bit wider would be better with a shorter stem. Why carbon? well my the superwide alloy bars will be at least double the weight of what I have on now. I am no weight weenie but with a planned enduro wheelset upgrade, an adjustable seatpost and larger tires those grams are going to add up! Oh well, as long as we're not competing that weight thing is mostly psychological I guess

    @card: good luck building up your ride, have fun riding it!

  13. #13
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    So I finished my build and put some pics and documentation in the Mount Vision Photo Album.
    Basically, there is about 1/2 inch difference (top tube, head tube, seat tube and wheel base) from a large VS medium frame.

    Have not yet been able to ride it.
    Had major drought conditions all through the summer until a few days ago.
    Has been nothing but lots of steady rain.
    Maybe the middle of the following week will dry up some.

  14. #14
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    I am sure (to no one’s surprise) it took no time to get acclimated to the new build.
    The medium frame fits me very nicely (6.0’-6.1’) over the large frame.
    At this time I am running a 0 rise 90mm stem.
    I have not yet taken the time to swap it and see what difference a 0/70 or 0/80 would make.
    For now it feels good to me.
    I do so miss my flat bar and bar ends but I am giving the wider riser bar a fair chance.
    It is odd that the 660mm / 26” riser bar feels short to me coming from a 585mm / 23” flat bar which I never thought of as short.
    It has been a bit nerving going through some of the tree gates I used to blow through.
    This one is going to be a keeper!

  15. #15
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    Gotta love the search function.

    The 2011 MV I got came with a 100mm 6' rise stem. Climbs great but trails here go up and down a lot and something a bit shorter might help me on descents. Gonna borrow some shorter stems from a friend and try a few sizes.

  16. #16
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    Is that a large or XL that comes with a 100mm stem.
    How do you like the bike.
    I've got the largest size Wolf Ridge which has similar head angle as your MV. I like 80mm with a 720mm bar for general trail work. I use a 745 mm bar and 60mm stem for AM shuttle runs. A 100mm stem makes the steering too slow in single track.


    Like everybody else says . Go a wider bar bar with shorter stem. Not only does it keep steering neutral but you keep the same arm stretch and body posn. Raising the bar posn when going shorter stem is also easier on the back.

  17. #17
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    It is a large. I like it quite a bit. Since I got it my road bike has been feeling rather lonely. I did get to briefly ride a Stumpjumper FSR 29er last weekend that a friend got from a shop for a demo ride. It was really nice and inspired me to get my act together and get the MV set up right so I get the most from it. He liked the demo so much he ordered one. Once he gets it I'll try and ride the bikes back to back some more and see where it is different and better than my setup so I have an idea of what else to tinker with.

    The bars the MV came with are ~670mm with a 22mm rise. Counting the locking grip ends they are 700mm. Seemed pretty wide compared to the guys I ride with but there's wider out there for sure.

  18. #18
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    Big change from a road bike. The quad link probably feels scarily active out the back end. Being roadie orientated it may be a sea change to go wider. From many years of XC racing it took me a while to gravitate to wider, higher bars and shorter reach. I'm still experimenting and tinkering as I move from bike to bike. It's still fluid.With a bike that is slack in head angle like this bike it will be much quicker and more accurate in single track with wider bars and slightly shorter stem. It will also give you more confidence going down hill and in to loose corners. Wider bars also give more stability to taller riders. Only on my xc hard tail would I now go down to a 660 bar. Your buddies may be shorter or die hard xc?
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 11-16-2011 at 02:53 PM.

  19. #19
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    Well for a long time my "road" bike was a '91 Hard Rock with flat bars. Rode some of the regional park fire road stuff around here on it too. As delivered, the MV (including the tires it came with) was awesome for efficiently covering that stuff.

    There really wasn't a leap to getting used to suspension. I've been dirtbiking for years. The big adjustment is that a dirtbike weighs about 2x the rider and is a much more solid platform and has power ready to go with the turn of a wrist.

    Mountain biking is a lot more technical. Most of the improvement I need is just between the ears. But if I can be a bit more one with the bike that will help.

  20. #20
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    Yeh it's probably the best suspension going at soaking up that sort of terrain.

    If your used to 32" dirt bike bars then 28" shouldn't be a problem and more comfortable.

    I would ride it for a while and borrow stuff or get some really cheepo bits to trial. Then get a feel for what you want over different trails. I wouldn't go to radical for general trail riding. I had a 90 stem on mine and I was happy. I've changed the focus of that bike so changed to a slightly shorter stem. Ive still got the OEM 100mm stem on my Anthem x 29er. Once again different focus and extra stability of 29er wheel and it isn't a problem.

  21. #21
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    Some interesting stuff here and shows how different people tastes are.

    OP Card @ 6'-6'1" was clearly smack on for a size large frame according to the Marin chart yet he ended up with a medium. I'm 6' tall and my son has an 08 MV size medium 17.5" and the thing feels tiny to me compared to my size large Prophet.

    somanygoodbikes bought a 2011 MV size large (which I may very well buy that same frame from Adrenaline Bikes) and it came speced with a 670mm (26.3") bar which for this bike I think is just silly. 100mm stem is also on the long side as well IMO. 28"+ bar width and 70-90mm stem would yield better results. It's a great combo and I ride in very technical New England terrain. I've also been an off road dirtbike guy for over 30+ years so I'm used to threading 30" bars through 28" tree openings.

    Sizing is also different on the 2011 MV frames as their is no size XL and I'm pretty dam sure I want a size large which is now a 19" with medium an 18" which ='s the 17.5" from the previous years. The 2011 MV frame dimensions and geometry are almost identical to the 2011 Turner 5 Spot in my size L. So close it's scary. Marin has a steeper STA by .6 degrees @ 73.6 in the size L which is good and hopefully a good climber.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  22. #22
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    I'm 6'2" on a L 19" Wolf Ridge. Fits [ tight though]with 720 bar and 80 to 90mm stem about an inch above the seat. Will eventually trial going shorter and higher as slack angle makes it a bit harder to loft the front wheel. I still race on my AX1 so changing posns too much[when swapping bikes.] leads to back, wrist problems on long rides and races

  23. #23
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    I first purchased a 2009 large (19") frame.
    Built it and rode it for a few months.
    Ran a 0/90mm stem first and then tried 0/70mm stem.
    Even with the seat pushed full forward and the 0/70mm stem the bike felt to long and handled like a bus on the trails.

    So I sold the 19" frame and purchased a 2009 medium (17.5) frame.
    Using all the same components from the first bike (except the handlebar, which I changed to a carbon low-rise bar at 660mm) I built up the 17.5 frame using the 0/90mm stem and have not looked back after many miles of fun.
    I do whoever still run the seat full forward.
    This seems to work well for me as it puts some weight over the front wheel and really seems to help the front wheel get good traction.
    After many miles I haven't changed a thing other than tires to suit the conditions.

    My riding consists of enduro and XC signal track.

    I love riding my bike!
    Last edited by card; 12-04-2011 at 12:29 PM.

  24. #24
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    2010 Med frame. I'm 5'10".

    60mm stem, 720mm wide bar.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  25. #25
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    wolf ridge

    5'11"

    50mm stem 0 rise
    785mm wide bars 1" rise

    2009 marin wolf ridge medium

    wide bars short stem is the way to go. i ride all mountain.

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