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  1. #1
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    Drop bar stem requirements

    So I guess we're getting moderately tired of all the dropbar threads now (!) but after doing a few searches I'm struggling to find the answer to a few questions about stem setup with offroad dropbars. I'm new to the offroad dropbar word and have ridden MTB for at least twice as long as I have road, so no real history from that side of things.

    Generally - I'm looking at advice on how to determine stem length and angle for offroad dropbars, to try to get a similar handlebar height when in the drops as where my current non drop bars grip area is. As it's going to have to be some freakishly long/highangled stem that I won't be able to use on any other bike, I don't want to play the 'buy a stem, try, buy another until AOK' game. I guess that as the hook of the bars is forward of the tops, the fact that a high angle stem brings the stem clamp towards the saddle is cancelled out - is that right?

    Specifically - I'm looking at putting drops on an XL Bontrager Race, which currently has a 100mm 5 degree stem and tall easton riser bars - they give approx 6cm rise from the top of the clamping area to the top of the middle of the grip portion (I think they call em 5cm rises, but thats probably to the start of the control/grip section). I like the look of the Gary drop bar, which seems to have good flare and a low amount of drop. What I'd like to know is - should I be trying to get the hook at about the same height as my current riser grip (about 5/6cm below saddle height) and is that possible with ahead stems - I'm running a 1" ahead steerer but am fine with using 1 1/8" ahead stems and adapters.

    The ritchey adjustable stem looks OK for playing with, but even in the 120mm version, will it be long enough to get the extra height I need? And should i worry about the hook being forward or backward of my original grip position - will it make much difference to bike handling to move the saddle forward/back so the tip-bar distance is the same but it moves forwards or backwards in relation to the frame and wheels?

    Any ideas/comments on stem setup for drops in general, and maybe advice for the gary's in specific (i.e. use a stem with X reach and Y angle compared to your original) gratefully received!

    Ian

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    My feeling is that if you are running a 100mm stem with straight bars, then you'll not find a workable stem to use wtih drops.

    Drops put your hands forward of the straight bars. To get a good position, start with a bike that (preferably) has a tall head tube, and definitely has a shortish top tube. Then use a stem significantly shorter than what you'd use for a straight bar.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  3. #3
    bonked
    Reputation: IF52's Avatar
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    So since I started one of the more recent drop bar threads, I have to add an observation. After working on and riding mtn bikes since 87 or so I really never thought about it. I may be wrong here, or perhaps not. Anyway, I found that on a stem that is say 135mm with a 10 degree rise, it is the forward section of the stem that is 135mm, not the reach. The 135mm is only the hypotenous leg. Is that correct?

    So that 135mm stem with a 10 degree rise, not taking into account the head tube angle, really only has a reach of 133mm.

    On a high rise stem, a 110mm stem with a 40 degree rise would actually have a reach of ~84mm. Does that all sound right?
    Last edited by IF52; 06-15-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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  4. #4
    VRC Illuminati
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    Running a 100mm stem on an XL Bonty sounds like your frame doesn't fit you.

    The stem you'd need to make it work properly would be all rise, no reach. It would have to be a custom item for sure.

    See if you can get a CAT stem.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  5. #5
    velocipede technician
    Reputation: hollister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy

    See if you can get a CAT stem.
    best of luck with that.

    find somebody with the salsa copy
    looking for 20-21" P team

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollister
    best of luck with that.

    find somebody with the salsa copy
    They come up often enough...of if you know the right people.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  7. #7
    velocipede technician
    Reputation: hollister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    They come up often enough...of if you know the right people.
    last one i seen was on that size-a-cycle, and dude wouldnt sell it without the bike.not one of my more aggressive searches.


    i cant believe your gonna wait till he moves up here to give it back.saves on shipping though
    looking for 20-21" P team

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