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Thread: stem angles

  1. #1
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    stem angles

    I'm new here, and new to the sport, I see people arguing over 1-2* of stem slackness, can this really make a difference? explain to me how, please. and doesn't head tube angle, downtube angle/lenght, rider height and seat position, riding style make it a moot point?

  2. #2
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    Slackness generally refers to the head tube angle (aka the steering axis angle). The lower angle increases a measurement called 'trail' and makes the bike more stable. The head angle is also based on the terrain. Geometry is somewhat dictated by weight distribution. If you were to drop your bars a foot lower you'd have a bunch of weight on your hands. When you start down a steep hill your bars lower and your weight shifts on to your hands somewhat. To compensate riders will get back a bit on the bike. A downhill bike optimizes the geometry for going down steep grades. The head tube angle is slacker so you can keep your weight more centered on the bike and so it's more stable at the higher speeds.

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