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  1. #1
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    Paging Shiggy: Midge advice needed

    I'm looking to put a Midge on my forthcoming commuter but I'm not sure what size stem to buy or how many spacers to use. How should I go about setting it up so that I maintain the same general geometry I would have with a 120mm stem and riser bar? I'm new to the whole dirt-drop thing.

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Can not be much help with specific dimensions.

    Start by using 40-degree stems. Your LBS should have a bunch of "cheap" ones (whiich work just fine). Ask them to let you test fit several to get in the fit range you like. Then buy the two that are the closest.

    On my stock frames I used a 110-120 x 40 degree stem with 15-20 mm of spacers. Still put my hands ~4" below the saddle (where I like it).
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, I figured it would involve some trial and error work.

  4. #4
    Not because I'm fast.....
    Reputation: 2farfwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    I'm looking to put a Midge on my forthcoming commuter but I'm not sure what size stem to buy or how many spacers to use. How should I go about setting it up so that I maintain the same general geometry I would have with a 120mm stem and riser bar? I'm new to the whole dirt-drop thing.
    Here is a great post by Flexiflyer (Matt Chester) describing drop bar/stem set up that might help you out. I copied it into this thread for you. Good luck!


    You've got them...the devil is in the details though. The key to setting up drops for the rough and/or for distance is getting them high enough while maintaining an adequate cockpit for seated climbing and breathing. Bars alone are not a solution to your quandry, some other fundamentals need tweaking.

    Through lots of riding and trial and error, you've probably come to a setup that's "pretty good" - but not great. So take that experience and build on it with these steps:

    1) Keep the Midge.

    2) Measure the cockpit on your existing bike...center of your saddle to the center of your bars in a direct line. Use metric for greatest accuracy. This measurement is "X".

    3) You want to maintain "X" while raising your bar height. Midges are an even greater help with their shallow drop. There's nothing more comfortable than being able to ride and climb in the drops on a flared bar. Nothing is better for staying relaxed on the bike provided they are set up properly.

    To generalize here...you'll need a stem that has greater rise AND a longer extension than what you're running now. Forget aesthetics, forget "aero". Your goal is comfort and riding bliss. Some graph paper, a straightedge, some high school trig, and a beverage at the kitchen table can be your tools to calculating out a better position for actual bike riding. Brevets = actual bike riding.

    I practice what I preach. I'm back riding (on the road) a week after kinghitting/hyperextending everything in my right arm (it is still covered in those good yellow and green bruises - fingers to pectoral) and spraining my right wrist so severely that I still need to use my left hand (also with tweaked wrist) for most tasks (insert your own lewd joke here :-). I'll also be riding to the Puff on my bike from ID and then racing with zero setup changes. Slowly? Maybe. Enjoying myself? Indeed.

  5. #5
    Where's Toto?
    Reputation: endure26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    ...To generalize here...you'll need a stem that has greater rise AND a longer extension than what you're running now...
    [/B] [/I]

    Shiggy - Are you doing most of your riding on the tops, drops, or hoods???

    Seems as though you would want a higher angle, but shorter reach. I'd guess that your straight bar position would fall midway between the hoods and the top - thus giving you shorter or longer reach options?

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by endure26
    Shiggy - Are you doing most of your riding on the tops, drops, or hoods???

    Seems as though you would want a higher angle, but shorter reach. I'd guess that your straight bar position would fall midway between the hoods and the top - thus giving you shorter or longer reach options?
    Mostly in the drops. When I am in the drops my thumb/index fingers are in the same location as they would be if I was using straight bars.

    Requires a high rise, short reach stem on a stock frame.
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  7. #7
    flexiflyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    Here is a great post by Flexiflyer (Matt Chester) describing drop bar/stem set up that might help you out. I copied it into this thread for you. Good luck!
    One caveat about that advice: That was for a rider who was already riding drop bars. The same advice applies for someone converting from flats/risers...but you're trying to match the placement of the hooks/drops to where you'd be riding on flat bars...so your "X" dimension from the center of your saddle to your stem clamp will actually be shorter. It's not hard to eyeball this stuff with a tape measure though, you're just trying to get things ballpark as far as fit and then you can fine tune from there over the course of some rides.

    mc

  8. #8
    try driving your car less
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    Timely reading for me. I just bought some WTB dirt drop bars from a guy here. I thought 'what the hell', since i didnt pay the demented price that they seem to demand.

    they have shimano road levers already taped on there. I am going to try them with V brakes and hope it's OK.

    I am not sure a stem even exists to get these bars up to the level of my regular bars! smithers... to the bike shop! have my tires vulcanized! poste haste!
    Only boring people get bored.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    Timely reading for me. I just bought some WTB dirt drop bars from a guy here. I thought 'what the hell', since i didnt pay the demented price that they seem to demand.

    they have shimano road levers already taped on there. I am going to try them with V brakes and hope it's OK.

    I am not sure a stem even exists to get these bars up to the level of my regular bars! smithers... to the bike shop! have my tires vulcanized! poste haste!
    There's a Nashbar stem which is 40 degrees by 130mm. That puts the bar pretty far out there but damned high too. I bought a new fork so I'll just have my friends at the lbs bear with me on positioning as Shiggy said. Good luck.

  10. #10
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    There's a Nashbar stem which is 40 degrees by 130mm. That puts the bar pretty far out there but damned high too. I bought a new fork so I'll just have my friends at the lbs bear with me on positioning as Shiggy said. Good luck.
    Thanks. I think this might end up on a 1" threaded setup, though. I found some stems for that. We'll see... might wait for the winter. too much fun riding these days! gotta feed the ticks!
    Only boring people get bored.

  11. #11
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    they have shimano road levers already taped on there. I am going to try them with V brakes and hope it's OK.
    Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to be OK. Dia-Compe 287V levers, that's what'll work on your V-brakes.

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