Finding the right stem length, where to start?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DeoreDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    57

    Finding the right stem length, where to start?

    My son (11yo 56" tall) recently got a BMX bike for his Birthday. Now 90% of his neighborhood with his friends riding is done on his BMX bike. Last week when we went mountain biking he said his MTB felt really awkward to steer. I have a feeling after getting used to the way the BMX bike turns the "Tiller steering" feel of the long 130mm stem feels quite strange. I have to admit after moving from 130 to 60mm on my bike every time I test ride his bike the tiller steering feel does feel a bit odd now.

    The Bike


    We picked up a "new" (used) fork to replace his Girvin so we can swap out the Stem and lower the handlebars a bit. I had him pick out his own stem and handlebar and he chose a 40mm long stem mainly because it was a green anodizing that matched his bike. 40mm seems dramatically short to me but my bike knowledge ended in the year 1999 when 130mm was the norm. Should I let him get the 40mm he picked out or steer him towards another length? Whatever stem length I choose will be a shot in the dark if it fits/works or not. Is there a more empirical way to help choose the stem length or is it just a trial and error process to find the one you like?
    -DeoreDX

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    108
    I've gone from 90mm to 70mm (on older bike) then 60mm to 50mm now 35mm. The closest I've found to quick BMX handling was the 35mm with a 740mm handlebar. I don't think there will be much diff from 40mm to 35mm.

    Here's an interesting article regarding handlebars and distance from middle of the steer tube.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/explor...em-length.html

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by DeoreDX View Post
    Is there a more empirical way to help choose the stem length or is it just a trial and error process to find the one you like?
    There is! It's called bike fit...

    Other than that, I do have a stash of different stems for testing on my bikes. So, to me, is 100% empirical.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    711
    if he rides the bike at that seat height then that thing is insanely too big

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DeoreDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by fmendes View Post
    There is! It's called bike fit...

    Other than that, I do have a stash of different stems for testing on my bikes. So, to me, is 100% empirical.
    I had to LoL at my lack of proof reading. Ever been stuck between two ways to word something and totally screw up? I originally meant to say either "Is there an theoretical way to calculate or is it just an empirical process" and at the last minute decided to edit "empirical" to "a trial and error process" and ended up editing the wrong part

    I guess I'll stick him on the 40 and see how he likes it. If he doesn't I can swap my 60 out with him to get another data point.
    -DeoreDX

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DeoreDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    if he rides the bike at that seat height then that thing is insanely too big
    He rides it at that height when we urban free ride. He loves to go down staircases. For XC we raise the seat.
    -DeoreDX

Similar Threads

  1. New to MTB fit. What length stem to start with?
    By ColonelJLloyd in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-20-2016, 07:36 AM
  2. Right stem for right position....Slayer sxc70
    By titopresi in forum Rocky Mountain
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-28-2014, 09:00 AM
  3. Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-18-2013, 11:44 AM
  4. Finding a good LBS is like finding a good mechanic
    By bank5 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-16-2011, 07:11 PM
  5. Finding the Right Stem
    By half_man_half_scab in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-05-2006, 09:11 PM

Members who have read this thread: 52

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.