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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Old Frame/New front end questions?

    Ok, so I have a '97 Spec. Stumpy M2 Comp (71 HT, 73 ST angles) w/ a new 100mm RS Recon Silver air fork on the front, more travel than the stock, dead Judy.

    It pushed the front end up and forward, and after a few saddle adjustments, really improved the handling and performance of this bike. I'm truly loving it. But always looking for more....

    I've seen as time has marched forward, with the trend towards slackened angles, the current bikes go longer bars/shorter stem.

    I'm curious of those that have added a longer travel fork to an older frame,

    Is there any improvement on old frame handling with a longer bar/shorter stem swap, and what kind of 'longer bars/shorter stem' combinations can be gotten away with before the front end gets too twitchy?

    Somewhere in my mind I'm thinking, (mistakenly, I'm sure)
    longer bars/shorter stem is sort of the same as shorter bars/longer stem and works out to be the same thing more or less... Can anyone shed light on this?

    Before I get burned and flamed, I've been looking, used my search button, read a TON of info, blah,blah,blah...
    And, I'm simply NOT pissing $$ away on a bunch of stems/bars, SO YOU GUYS STAY AWAY...

    I'm really interested in any real world history, any REAL experience from those that have put a longer travel fork on an older HT and if they've played with the bar/stem geometry and what sizes and lengths improved the ride or screwed it up...

    Thanks guys!


  2. #2
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    The longer the bars, the slower the steering.

    Same thing goes for stem.

    Same thing goes for front end suspension.

    Usually people accommodate for an increase in front end travel (or an increase in offset) by shortening the stem. People like the stability of wider bars, so they also shorten the stem to accommodate. What stem length do you currently have? I like to run 80mm stems with wider bars if I've increased the suspension a bit.

    It's really up to your personal preference. I recommend buying some cheap bars of varying lengths, and some cheap stems of varying lengths and experimenting before you drop the money on something decent. You can find bars/stems for cheap on craigslist.

    You went from 63mm stock to 100mm. That's about an inch and a half, not including any overall fork length (axle to crown) differences between the two models. I would reduce your stem by 20mm for a change like that, and maybe even 30mm if you go with a wider bar.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I've found that wider bars usually feel more stable than narrow ones regardless of stem length (within reason). I have an '06 GF with 60mm stem/680mm bar and '94 Marin with 110mm stem/580 hb.

    IME, bar width comes into play on fast descents while out of the saddle. The wider grip just makes it easier to hover, lean the bike, shift weight. I just feel more confident pushing it. Even though the Marin has a much longer stem, the narrow bar definitely requires a bit more focus.

    I say go for it.
    Chicago, IL

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