Need advice on stem length and bar length- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need advice on stem length and bar length

    Ok so I am getting back into mountain biking. I want to build a bike as I dont currently have one and love the Giant reign frame. I remember I put an Answer pro taper carbon 720 am on my prior giant I sold around 5 years ago. I also had a answer stem on it but cant remember the length. I have noticed bars got wider and seems stems shorter. I have no idea what to plan on purchasing.

    Need advice on stem length and bar length-giant-reign.jpg
    Need advice on stem length and bar length-giant-bars.jpg

  2. #2
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    So, here's the correct answer.


    Whatever works for you.
    I built an XC bike, I have an 80mm stem on it, 750 bars.
    My Remedy, 65mm stem, 750 bars.
    My Kapoho, 60mm stem, 740 bars
    Prepping to build another bike. I bought 750 bars and I am anticipating a 50-60mm stem on it as well. It has a longer reach, so I may need the 50.

    I don't care if everyone has 800mm bars. That's too wide. Shoot, that's wider than my MX bars were. I find 750s to be a good width for me.
    I hate super short stems. I don't even like 50, but I may have no choice on this build. I seem to like the handling an feel of a 60-80.

    My one buddy has a 2020 Remedy, and he put on a 70mm stem I believe.
    Short and wide is not always the right thing.

  3. #3
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    40-60mm is pretty common depending on your height and frame size. Honestly it comes down to personal preference. So you might want to see if any local bike shops or friends have test stems you can rent/borrow or just buy a few on eBay and sell the ones that don't work.

    Bar width is easy, start with a wide bar and move in your grips after a few rides cut to your desired length.
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  4. #4
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    It will be a large giant reign advanced frame, well thats what I am planning now. I am 5'10 ish after my accident where I compressed 3 vertebrae.

  5. #5
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    Any idea what year?

    If 2015 + I'd shoot for a short stem 40mm ish 770 bars. That's what I'm running on my medium '15 Kona process with 435 reach, I think the '15 large reigns are 455+ reach, I'm just a hair shorter than you 5'9.5" , but couldn't pass up the deal on the Kona, might want to try test riding larges and mediums just in case. You or I can fit on either depending on what you prefer your bike to feel like, and how your ride on your terrain. Tight and twisty might be medium, fast and open might be large. I've always ridden large, but with reach
    numbers going from 405 to 470 over the last 7 years it's more of a toss up these days
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  6. #6
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    Looking at 2019. My 2011 reign was a large frame.

  7. #7
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    If you are looking at a 2019 Giant Reign frame in a large, the Giant site has them coming with a 50mm stem. That might be a good place to start. The XL comes with a 60mm, but if you like to upsize, you could probably get by with a 40mm. But, as others have said, it is personal preference.
    They also come with 800mm bars.

  8. #8
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    If you're dead set on a large 40mm would be about right but I'd test ride as it's going to be a massive increase in reach. Your old reign is similar to my old large ibis, short reach, like 405mm . '19 medium reigns are 450 ish, larges 470 with recommended height of 5'10 to 6'3, so you'll be on the short end for sizing. But with shorter stems that distance is cut down quite a bit. Regardless of which size you choose both are going to be a friggin blast compared to your old one. But I'd highly recommend test riding bikes with similar reach just to confirm size.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    If you are looking at a 2019 Giant Reign frame in a large, the Giant site has them coming with a 50mm stem. That might be a good place to start. The XL comes with a 60mm, but if you like to upsize, you could probably get by with a 40mm. But, as others have said, it is personal preference.
    They also come with 800mm bars.
    This. ^

    You can always cut the bars. I like a 50 stem and 780 bars on my trail bikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    If you're dead set on a large 40mm would be about right but I'd test ride as it's going to be a massive increase in reach. Your old reign is similar to my old large ibis, short reach, like 405mm . '19 medium reigns are 450 ish, larges 470 with recommended height of 5'10 to 6'3, so you'll be on the short end for sizing. But with shorter stems that distance is cut down quite a bit. Regardless of which size you choose both are going to be a friggin blast compared to your old one. But I'd highly recommend test riding bikes with similar reach just to confirm size.
    I was a few inches taller before my injury in the Army. so my arms and legs are still the same size. What I need to do is actually see them, but I dont think the local shop has the reigns in stock. Would like to see a medium and a large.

    My 2011 had a Answer Rove am stem. Not sure the length, but was at least 60-90 as that is the range of them.

  11. #11
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    General rule (note, not all situations) is that the wider the bars go, the shorter the stem goes because each has an off setting handling impact. If you just widen bars, with no other change, the steering will feel slower and the bike will feel more stable, if you make them narrower the bike will feel quicker/twitchier and less stable overall. Same with stem, shorter equals quicker steering, longer equals not as quick steering. That's why you see the combination of wide bars/short stems. people want the stability of wide bars and the aggressive position but need something to counteract the bike feeling like a slow steering boat, shortening stem allows for that. Keep these in mind as you make changes, if you pick really wide and longer stem and have back issues from leaning far forward and decide to shorten bars and buy shorter stem you could get an unstable ride, best to test one variable at a time (add spacers under bars, stem length, bar length) vs combininig multiple changes at once.

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