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  1. #1
    the 36 year old grom
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    Short stem vs Long

    I've been wondering why people use short stems???
    I'm sure that this has a lot more to do with a persons body proportions.

    but I'm going to post it anyways.

    I originally set my ML up with a 90mm. but that was auto pilot. everybody I ride with has a short stem.... seems like that was always the first modification. Buy a giant VT or Marin or whatever line bike... put a short stem on it and DH tires maybe an 8 inch rotor and then you are ready to rock and roll. Seemed that these bikes always had a forward weight bias and I needed the short stem to be able to get behind the seat easy.

    but I was having "trouble" getting bite with my front tire on my ML. just seemed to get loose on me from time to time when trying to rail a corner.

    so I called titus. I was told that I was the first to complain. but we talked a bit. the guy said that the ML was designed with a rearward

    weight bias and that I should try to shift my weight forward a bit when I corner. after concentrating on the issue... I discovered that I could deliberately move my weight forward and rail corners with plenty of grip.. and that if I was taking a corner standing, I already did that, but if I was pedaling thru a corner I was more likely to wash out. So I

    just started sliding my but forward on the saddle for a corner. But I felt to far forward in this position when I had to pull hard on the brakes.

    so I bucked my conventional wisdom and got a 110mm stem. feels great. best thing I ever put on it. my ML actually even goes down hill better with the longer stem. the turning feels more instinctive and natural, plus my braking body position is in the same position as my turning position. and I still don't have any issue getting behind the seat. Nor do I even feel close to endo.


    So armed with my new observations, I talked with one of my buddies that is a much better DH rider then me. turns out he just doesn't care what the bike handles like. he is going to shift his weight around to make the bike turn and needs a short stem so he can do the vertical rollers and drop ins.



    this weekend I was pre-running the downieville XC course.. which has some long mild technical mild DH. I concentrated on staying in the attack position instead of getting behind the bike. I've probably been getting behind the bike to early all along anyway... it does take some balls to stay on top of the bike going down rocky hills, but I feel like
    my commitment to stay in attack position really improved my riding experience. And motolite ecstasy.

    So back to the point, the Titus guy told me that they designed the ML with a rearward bias to begin with.

    So, maybe for trail biking a "short stem setup" trick works on bikes that started out with a frontward bias.


    so why do you like short stems??

  2. #2
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    I actually went from a 110 to a 100 stem to minimize the "front wheel flop". This made a significant difference on steep climbs - the front bites better.

  3. #3
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    I actually went from a 110 to a 100 stem to minimize the "front wheel flop". This made a significant difference on steep climbs - the front bites better. I wonder why Titus designed the ML with a rearward weight bias?

  4. #4
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTBAZ
    I actually went from a 110 to a 100 stem to minimize the "front wheel flop". This made a significant difference on steep climbs - the front bites better.
    how do you define "front wheel flop"?

    I assume the rear weight bias is in contrast to racerX. thus making the bike less endo prown and a better decender.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    I've been wondering why people use short stems???
    I'm sure that this has a lot more to do with a persons body proportions.

    but I'm going to post it anyways.

    I originally set my ML up with a 90mm. but that was auto pilot. everybody I ride with has a short stem.... seems like that was always the first modification. Buy a giant VT or Marin or whatever line bike... put a short stem on it and DH tires maybe an 8 inch rotor and then you are ready to rock and roll. Seemed that these bikes always had a forward weight bias and I needed the short stem to be able to get behind the seat easy.

    but I was having "trouble" getting bite with my front tire on my ML. just seemed to get loose on me from time to time when trying to rail a corner.

    so I called titus. I was told that I was the first to complain. but we talked a bit. the guy said that the ML was designed with a rearward

    weight bias and that I should try to shift my weight forward a bit when I corner. after concentrating on the issue... I discovered that I could deliberately move my weight forward and rail corners with plenty of grip.. and that if I was taking a corner standing, I already did that, but if I was pedaling thru a corner I was more likely to wash out. So I

    just started sliding my but forward on the saddle for a corner. But I felt to far forward in this position when I had to pull hard on the brakes.

    so I bucked my conventional wisdom and got a 110mm stem. feels great. best thing I ever put on it. my ML actually even goes down hill better with the longer stem. the turning feels more instinctive and natural, plus my braking body position is in the same position as my turning position. and I still don't have any issue getting behind the seat. Nor do I even feel close to endo.


    So armed with my new observations, I talked with one of my buddies that is a much better DH rider then me. turns out he just doesn't care what the bike handles like. he is going to shift his weight around to make the bike turn and needs a short stem so he can do the vertical rollers and drop ins.



    this weekend I was pre-running the downieville XC course.. which has some long mild technical mild DH. I concentrated on staying in the attack position instead of getting behind the bike. I've probably been getting behind the bike to early all along anyway... it does take some balls to stay on top of the bike going down rocky hills, but I feel like
    my commitment to stay in attack position really improved my riding experience. And motolite ecstasy.

    So back to the point, the Titus guy told me that they designed the ML with a rearward bias to begin with.

    So, maybe for trail biking a "short stem setup" trick works on bikes that started out with a frontward bias.


    so why do you like short stems??
    I think that long vs short stem depends on fit. Probably you fit better on your frame with a longer stem, but if you would have bought a larger frame, you would have needed a shorter stem.

    I didn't know about the rearward or frontward bias, but I just think that in regards on your subject, it's just size.

    In my case, I started with a 110 mm stem, felt too large, went to a 90mm, and felt too short. At 100mm I'm in the sweet spot!

  6. #6
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    I define front wheel flop (FWF) to be the front wheel slightly lifting on steep climbs and the front slightly wandering. Your point makes a lot of sense - rearward design would mean it would be less prone to endos on the steep downs.

  7. #7
    thats right living legend
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    Well...

    I started out with a 110mm, and went down to 100mm. I love it so much more, I plan to go down to a 90mm mabye. I tried a 90mm befor I went with 100mm but it seemed a little twitchy, so I uped it 10mm. I think when/if I get the longer fork a 90mm will be perfect!

    I've never had a problem with the front of my ML ever washing out. I've lost it in a corner before of course, but only when I wasn't gonna make the corner anyway.

  8. #8
    FM
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    timely thread! I agree with most of what has been said here.

    I've got a 70mm stem on my Motolite now and am looking to try a 90mm. The 70 rocks for steep DH, but of course it's not so hot for climbing, and I do think that a more aggressive position would help, especially with the slacker angles I get with my marzocchi AM SL. I've run 110 and 130 stems on similar size bikes in the past, so I understand the compromises that go with changing stem lengths.

    One thing I reallly like about a short stem is that the bike steays level (or rear wheel drops even) when airborne. Makes jumps and drops so much easier. But this is my XC bike, and I hear ya demo, the rider should make the bike do what he wants, not the stem. I'd give up some of that drop-ability for better turn-carving and a better climbing fit.

  9. #9
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    I use a 100mm stem and was thinking that I wanted to try a 90mm. After reading this thread, I think 100mm is perfect for me.

    On my Saturday ride I did move the my saddle forward 5mm (from the 20mm mark to the 15mm mark) on my WTB Rocket. Man! I'm so much more comfortable on the the bike, and it climbs way better. For some reason I can sit on the nose much more easily. Funny how 5mm can affect things.

  10. #10
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTBAZ
    I
    . I wonder why Titus designed the ML with a rearward weight bias?

    Because it's a trail bike...no?

  11. #11
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    timely thread! I agree with most of what has been said here.
    yeah I'm just trying to figure it out really. and a buddy just got a ML. and hated it. I got him to give up his 70mm stem and at least put a 90mm stem on it and move the seat forward, then he was super happy.

    thanks for the input on drops and jumping.

    have you re-read the MBA review of the ML recently? the review makes more and more sense to me as I get the bike dialed.

  12. #12
    the 36 year old grom
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    they finally got the suspension FAQ up

    http://www.titusti.com/fs_tech.html

  13. #13
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by dulyebr
    I use a 100mm stem and was thinking that I wanted to try a 90mm. After reading this thread, I think 100mm is perfect for me.

    On my Saturday ride I did move the my saddle forward 5mm (from the 20mm mark to the 15mm mark) on my WTB Rocket. Man! I'm so much more comfortable on the the bike, and it climbs way better. For some reason I can sit on the nose much more easily. Funny how 5mm can affect things.
    try the 90mm, you might like it. i actually went and bought a bunch of cheap stems. so I could play around.

  14. #14
    thats right living legend
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    [QUOTE=demo_slug]
    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    timely thread! I agree with most of what has been said here.

    QUOTE]

    yeah I'm just trying to figure it out really. and a buddy just got a ML. and hated it. I got him to give up his 70mm stem and at least put a 90mm stem on it and move the seat forward, then he was super happy.

    thanks for the input on drops and jumping.

    have you re-read the MBA review of the ML recently? the review makes more and more sense to me as I get the bike dialed.

    That review alway's made sense to me, except for the fork thing? Spacificly what part of it are you most referring too?

    I should say... a 90mm stem is full on DH short to me. So I, for the most part agree with your assesment... just from the other end of the spectrum, in a way. Just to make things clear.

  15. #15
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness


    That review alway's made sense to me, except for the fork thing? Spacificly what part of it are you most referring too?
    yeah they don't seem to know if it has a talas or a F100...???
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    have you re-read the MBA review of the ML recently? the review makes more and more sense to me as I get the bike dialed.
    One thing I liked about that review, they said the motolite could be a good bike for an all-day epic rider, endurance racer, or technical specialist who wanted to increase their speed or endurance abilities. I could relate to the last part since I'd been XC riding on FR bikes for two years, but now with a kid I don't get to ride enough where I can happily lug a 37lb bike on a pure XC ride. So I wanted something like my RFX but lighter and quicker. The MBA review was on there.

    On fit, another big factor is chainstay length. Long chainstays center your weight between the wheels, so you can run a shorter stem or slacker head angle and the front end still stays down. This is the trick behind the SC nomad- but then you also get a long wheelbase which sux for tight slow XC. Short chainstays feel quicker, corner better, and make the front wheel easier to get up, but then you need a longer stem to keep your weight centered. All this is independant of fit- a longer top tube and a short stem might give you teh same fit as a short top tube and long stem, the difference is in your weight bias and how the bike reacts to steep terrain or weight shifts. I am still tuning in my motolite but I'm very happy with it. I think I can make it better though....

  17. #17
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    . I am still tuning in my motolite but I'm very happy with it. I think I can make it better though....
    I think these weekly 5 hour rides are making me obsesed....



    so the statement in the article that rings in my brain is the "in the hands of a good rider" I'm starting to think that the ML really rewards a rider that knows how to ride. us fat guys sitting on top of my ML weighting for it to make up for my lack of skill just isn't happening. A Friend of mine told me the ML geometry was not bomb proof. could be true. so you set it up right and/or know how to ride then its all glory. I sure did feel rewarded when trying to keep in attack position last weekend. was insane coolness.

    they called the Supermoto mistake proof.

  18. #18
    thats right living legend
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    Wierd!!

    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    I think these weekly 5 hour rides are making me obsesed....



    so the statement in the article that rings in my brain is the "in the hands of a good rider" I'm starting to think that the ML really rewards a rider that knows how to ride. us fat guys sitting on top of my ML weighting for it to make up for my lack of skill just isn't happening. A Friend of mine told me the ML geometry was not bomb proof. could be true. so you set it up right and/or know how to ride then its all glory. I sure did feel rewarded when trying to keep in attack position last weekend. was insane coolness.

    they called the Supermoto mistake proof.
    Ya know, that has actually gone through my mind many times while riding my ML. It's not the kinda bike that does it for you, but in a way that's not necessaraly a bad thing. Like, hmm, I've said it many times, it's more like a part of your body. I feel I can do anything I want, but I have to pilot the bike, witch I like. I've ridden bikes that seemed to just get through sections by themselvs, like I was more or less a passenger. On the ML I feel in complete control, and pretty much that I'll live or die by my own limitaions, wich realy makes me feel completly free.

    On a sorta related note. I recently had to switch back to running a 2.1 nev on back because of all the side knobs I've lost on my 2.35. I was feeling very endo happy, and I couldn't figure out why. I thought it was my injured hand. But now with the 2.1 rr 2.35 fr That feeling is completly gone. Doesn't seem like it woud make any diffrence, but the very first ride on the 2.1 in back I was able to tell. WEIRD!!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    On a sorta related note. I recently had to switch back to running a 2.1 nev on back because of all the side knobs I've lost on my 2.35. I was feeling very endo happy, and I couldn't figure out why. I thought it was my injured hand. But now with the 2.1 rr 2.35 fr That feeling is completly gone. Doesn't seem like it woud make any diffrence, but the very first ride on the 2.1 in back I was able to tell. WEIRD!!!!
    The 2.35 Nevegal is 6.4mm taller than the 2.1, so that would slacken your HT & ST angles by about a quarter degree. Assuming your Talas in fully extended to 130mm of travel, you'd go from a 69.25 degree head angle to 69. Not a huge difference, but I would expect enough to notice.

  20. #20
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by dulyebr
    The 2.35 Nevegal is 6.4mm taller than the 2.1, so that would slacken your HT & ST angles by about a quarter degree. Assuming your Talas in fully extended to 130mm of travel, you'd go from a 69.25 degree head angle to 69. Not a huge difference, but I would expect enough to notice.
    Yeah I guess so. Now I feel a little better about possably going with a longer fork. To me so far, the new Fox stuff looks really good. I'd love to mabye go with something like the new Vannilla. The Talas would be great, but I' not sure I'm ready for that price again right now. A buddy is supposed to let me borrow an 04 ZI of his witch I can't wait to try "yo FM", mabye see what the Zokes AC would feel like on there in terms of an AM type thing. Then of course theres alway's the Pike witch Demo's somehow soured me on a little "ha ha". I don't know, I guess I'll just get this wheel thing sorted first...

  21. #21
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    . Then of course theres alway's the Pike witch Demo's somehow soured me on a little "ha ha". I don't know, I guess I'll just get this wheel thing sorted first...

    to me, pike thru axle is marketing hype. it doesn't have pinch bolts.
    just another company making a marketing decision to give people what they want instead of what makes sense. something that I haven't seen out of titus yet, which is why I've trusted them.

    there is nothing that I know that is really wrong with a pike. buy it ride it love it.. the maxxle just seams like jewelry to me. adds weight, looks cool.

  22. #22
    thats right living legend
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    Dude!

    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    to me, pike thru axle is marketing hype. it doesn't have pinch bolts.
    just another company making a marketing decision to give people what they want instead of what makes sense. something that I haven't seen out of titus yet, which is why I've trusted them.

    there is nothing that I know that is really wrong with a pike. buy it ride it love it.. the maxxle just seams like jewelry to me. adds weight, looks cool.

    You've never, to my knowledge, told me or anybody else not to buy a Pike. You've just made a good point here and there about a few certain things. IMO you've got good instincts about such stuff, and there's no need to give me this buy it try it love $hit "ha ha"!

    Anyway I'm gonna ride the $hit outta the old Moto tomarrow, and I hope you do too... but I'm gonna ride it harder because of my supierior skillzzzz!!!!

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