Is the 130mm XC stem obsolete?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Dagenham Dave
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    Is the 130mm XC stem obsolete?

    Hi

    I see on the websites that most manufacturers of stems offer a 130mm stem, but nobody seems to be using them in XC (i.e., whenever there is a description of a Pro XC Racer's Bike). Most seem to use 120mm max.

    Is 130mm just too far in front of your front wheel leading to an increased likelihood of an over-the-bars experience? My fist hardtail had a 135mm 0 degrees stem, and I did seem to end up over the top a lot on that bike!

    Cheers,
    Dave

  2. #2

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    I run a 60mm and will run nothing longer. If you ride agressivly then you need a shorter stem...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankenschwinn
    I run a 60mm and will run nothing longer. If you ride agressivly then you need a shorter stem...
    You really can't generalize stem length this way. Length has nothing to do with how you want to ride...it has everything to do with how you fit on the bike. A bike properly fit to the rider will allow for aggressive riding. Some people, such as myself, require longer stems for proper fit.

    I'm running my OEM 120mm Easton stem on my Anthem 2. With my zero-offset Thomson seat post I have no issues on steep decents, clearing obstacles, or any other aggressive maneuvers. Tried the shorter 90mm stem with this bike and it completely screwed up my fit making for a very cramped and upright riding position. A shorter stem in this case did not allow me any aggressive riding whatsoever.


    Dare V....have you thought about a fitting at your local LBS?
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an
    You really can't generalize stem length this way. Length has nothing to do with how you want to ride...it has everything to do with how you fit on the bike. A bike properly fit to the rider will allow for aggressive riding. Some people, such as myself, require longer stems for proper fit.

    I'm running my OEM 120mm Easton stem on my Anthem 2. With my zero-offset Thomson seat post I have no issues on steep decents, clearing obstacles, or any other aggressive maneuvers. Tried the shorter 90mm stem with this bike and it completely screwed up my fit making for a very cramped and upright riding position. A shorter stem in this case did not allow me any aggressive riding whatsoever.


    Dare V....have you thought about a fitting at your local LBS?
    The anthem is designed around XC and not aggresive riding. If you want your weight hanging over the front axle when you are riding the steep descents and clearing obstacles then feel free. The DHers and freeriders generally prefer a more upright position with their weight farther back. Most agressive trailbikes are designed around this riding position for a reason. I do not race XC but I do ride trails. When I do I like my weight farther back and a more upright position with a slack head angle. This suits my riding style

  5. #5
    mtbr "member"
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    Part of it might be the newer frame designs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave V.
    Hi

    I see on the websites that most manufacturers of stems offer a 130mm stem, but nobody seems to be using them in XC (i.e., whenever there is a description of a Pro XC Racer's Bike). Most seem to use 120mm max.

    Is 130mm just too far in front of your front wheel leading to an increased likelihood of an over-the-bars experience? My fist hardtail had a 135mm 0 degrees stem, and I did seem to end up over the top a lot on that bike!

    Cheers,
    Dave

    Most of my earlier bikes from the 80's and 90's had 135 mm stems. Still have a Spankin' new Control Tech stem that's been rattling around my parts box for 10 years...

    Anyway, most top tube measurements now days are a bit longer than in the days of the 130 stems. I think Gary Fisher and his original Genesis geometry started it off along with evolving suspension designs leading to different riding styles and different types of trails being cut, the long top tube, laid back steering angle and short stem helped with riding comfort, stability and being able lean over the rear tire.

    I think the 120 is the new 130.

    REEK

  6. #6
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    I'm using a 130mm stem on my Reign and have tried stems of 90, 100, 105, 110, 120 and now 130mm. I'm 6'5" and ride an XL frame.

    I actually felt much more inclined (pun intended) to go OTB with the shorter stems, but not necessarily when going down the steeps, but when clamping hard on the binders going into a turn.

    I wasn't able to get back far enough behind the bars and was more up over them with the shorter stems. Very scary and consistently so, but not what I originally expected when setting up the bike.

    Even better that I got the stem (Race Face) for only $15 because 130mm stems are apparently hard to move these days.

    Anyway, I have to agree that it's all about individual fit. Use what works for you.

  7. #7
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    If you can still get behind the saddle easily, it should cause no problems. I'm running a 130, eight-degree stem on my (non-race setup) steel hardtail and I have yet to endo yet. With a zero-offset seatpost, Flattracker bar and shortish toptube, its what I need to get comfy.

    I think a low bar position, relative to the saddle, is more likely to make a bike "endo-prone"

    It does slow the steering just a tad, but offers a little more stability which I like.

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