150mm road stem

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

Dear Shadwell

Thank you for your advice. Due to the kind advice I received here and bikeforums.net I realised the merits of having a more horizontal saddle. It is amazing how much a degree of saddle angle makes - a few Kg on or off the hands. I do use my drops more now, maybe 20 or even 25 percent of the time (which seems to me to be a lot compared to all the riders I see anywhere, that I overtake - yup - or on youtube) now that I am not being pushed forwards.

Other than that though, I like my low handlebar set up lots and achieve my main objective of cycling - weight loss. I realise that more upright positions allow more easier breathing and a more comfortable power-appliable leg to torso angle, and that there is a trade off between aerodynamic horizontalness and upright positions. I think that my position is considerably influenced by desire for weight loss. Most times a local bike shop fitter will probably advise a rider how to get the most power and speed. I like power and speed, but I also want weight loss and low weight maintenance.

Getting horizontal is something that one can only do (or at least I can only do) when one is thin. So setting up ones bike so that one can enjoy and indeed I am forced to 'enjoy' (!?) a very horizontal position is a sort of carrot to stay thin. Or at least I find it so. If I were to have another set up where I could get horizontal by bending my elbows at right angles in the drops for instance, I might not, and let my belly size increase.

I very rarely ride up or down hills. I don't enjoy either much especially the latter.

My set up is difficult to explain. Perhaps it is a bit like wearing tight jeans, which I have also got into. In any event, I am having a great time on my bike and today recorded my second fastest and overall the third fastest time on a local segment.
http://www.strava.com/segments/7060923?filter=overall

And I would still recommend trial bike stems.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEON-Bic ... 06372.html
http://www.aliexpress.com/premium/stem- ... =y&catId=0
The first above is 175 mm and can be flipped for minus 35 (as opposed to -8 with a deda or 3t?). My trigonometry is poor but I guess it would result in about the same forward length (150) but about 2cm of drop. I would purchase one but my frame is not small enough! Cavendish rides a 49cm. Enjoy.

EvilEuro
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:03 am

by EvilEuro

timtak wrote:Other than that though, I like my low handlebar set up lots and achieve my main objective of cycling - weight loss. I realise that more upright positions allow more easier breathing and a more comfortable power-appliable leg to torso angle, and that there is a trade off between aerodynamic horizontalness and upright positions. I think that my position is considerably influenced by desire for weight loss. Most times a local bike shop fitter will probably advise a rider how to get the most power and speed. I like power and speed, but I also want weight loss and low weight maintenance.

Getting horizontal is something that one can only do (or at least I can only do) when one is thin. So setting up ones bike so that one can enjoy and indeed I am forced to 'enjoy' (!?) a very horizontal position is a sort of carrot to stay thin. Or at least I find it so. If I were to have another set up where I could get horizontal by bending my elbows at right angles in the drops for instance, I might not, and let my belly size increase.

I very rarely ride up or down hills. I don't enjoy either much especially the latter.

My set up is difficult to explain. Perhaps it is a bit like wearing tight jeans, which I have also got into. In any event, I am having a great time on my bike and today recorded my second fastest and overall the third fastest time on a local segment.


Tim -- It sounds like you're letting vanity and "wanting to be pro" interfere with your very admirable desire to lose weight.

Think of your body as a machine. Now relate that to your desire to lose weight. Yes, you're going to lose weight in your present setup. But you're doing if in a very inefficient manner. The follks who are telling you to get a proper fit on your bike are trying to help you "improve the machine". A better, more comfortable fit means you will be able to ride more efficiently. You will be able to ride longer. Both of those things will help you burn more calories when you ride. That helps you lose weight faster.

If having a flat back is important, lose the weight first, then worry about getting fit again on your bike. Bike fit is not permanent. It will change with your flexibility, size, shape, etc. I echo what others here are saying; get a good bike fit. Be comfortable on the bike and able to perform better as a result. When you get to your target weight, get fit on your bike again to achieve what your weight loss allows.

Also, you mentioned not enjoying going uphill, and especially not liking going downhill. Of course you don't like going downhill. You're in a horrible position to do so. I'd be scared out of my wits in that position.

Here is some advice from me -- another person who rides for fitness and to lose weight -- worry far less about what you look like on the bike and focus more on your goals. Primary among them, get a proper fit so you can do it more without feeling beat up, do it longer, and do it more often. Your health and fitness goals will be more achievable as a result.

Folks are trying to tell you, very politely, that your present bike setup is horrible, especially with your stated goals. There used to be an old advertising thing for toothpaste that said "four out of five dentists recommend brushing your teeth", etc. We are the four out of five dentists. Right now, you're the fifth dentist and in denial against a lot of evidence contrary to your position.

Give things a rethink, then research for a really good fitter in your area, get a proper fit, and set your bike up based on the results of that fit. Don't talk yourself out of it because it doesn't look how you want. You don't pay a good fitter to do all of that work just to ignore them. The worst thing you can do is let your vanity and desire to "look pro" get in the way of your further enjoyment of riding your bike.

by Weenie


timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

Thank you.


> worry far less about what you look like on the bike and focus more on your goals.
That is what I would like to say to those that say how awful my bike fit looks!

> The worst thing you can do is let your vanity and desire to "look pro" get in the way of your further enjoyment of riding your bike.
I am still of the opinion that I really don't care how I look. I did not reach my position thinking about the look, but reached it looking at my speed. I kept purchasing a longer and lower stem and kept getting faster and fitter. I know that my fit looks "horrible" and I really do not mind. But on the other hand....

> Folks are trying to tell you, very politely, that your present bike setup is horrible, especially with your stated goals.
My bike fit has allowed me to achieve my stated goals. And I feel really comfortable on my bike.

I don't want to waste your time. There is no point in telling me that my set up is bad, since I have and am reaching my goals and enjoying riding my bike. I am not posting for advice in this instance (although I have received lots of great advice, regarding my saddle angle for instance) but to share another possible way of setting up a bike that I really enjoy, and others may also enjoy.

Perhaps I do care just a little that my fit looks "awful". Just a little. That is why I am recommending it. If others try it and like it, then my fit won't look awful any more.

By the way (1) someone else seems to enjoy a similar-ish set up here
http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/ ... reach.html
I think that if there is only one other person enjoying a similar stem, then we can assume long stems are fine for some. Phew!

By the way (2), the 60 degree spacer that is required to flip a trial bike stem that has a angled top can be very problematic. I just recently realised that the 60 degree spacer on my other, Azzurri bike, is cracked. I think that is the cause of the noise of cracked carbon. I was about to replace my frame with one from Velobuild! All I need to do is replace the spacer! On my Felt I have now taken a grinder to the aluminium cone spacer which works fine and has lowered the bars by another 5mm.

This stem below does not need a 60 degree spacer, and I may get one for my Azzurri to see if I get a further improvement in speed. It is going to look pretty weird I admit.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEON-Bic ... 06372.html
With my saddle far forward (as I like it, saddle tip above bottum bracket) I find I am looking over the top of my bars at my front wheel axle when in my furthest forward "bottom of drops" hand position so the extra 2cm (? it is angled another 5 degrees so part of the extra length will be down) would not be all that far to reach.

Boardman used a 17cm stem on 53cm seat tube bike, for one of his hour records (after they made him give up on his Lotus bike).
http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... asy-30981/

By the way (3), varying riding positions (hoods at various elbow angles, bent arms to front of drops, straight arms down to and supported by bottom of drops, fairly upright tops) is very nice, a change is as good as a rest, but in deep winter I may be using "bar mitts" which will keep me on my hoods.

By the way again (4) perhaps you think that I am being vain because I wrote
> Perhaps it is a bit like wearing tight jeans,
Wearing tight jeans very definately IS 100% vanity. Tight jeans don't make me cycle or run faster. Using a horizontal-back bike set-up is not vanity, just one of many ways of going faster on my bike (with trade-offs). Both depend upon being thinnish.

Slagter
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:42 am
Location: Copenhagen

by Slagter

Riding in a fast position depends on two factors:

1) aerodynamics

2) biodynamics

No 1 is a no-brainer. No 2 means, that you need to feel comfortable, while you are riding fast in the no 1 position. It doesn't matter how aerodynamic you are, if you don't feel comfortable enough to endure you're aero position. You're body will simply not produce enough watts for very long, if you don't feel comfortable on the bike.

I've read you're posts a couple of times, and I'm not sure, I understand you're problem. But your stem and the riding position that stem angle requires is definitely not right. KOMs on strava doesn't prove anything at all.

No pro's ride like that, and the pro's are the fastest riders. The pro's should be where you get your inspiration. If you're not as fit or lean as the pro's, you should be sitting more upright than the pro's - not the opposite.

I'm pretty sure, that you would be able to climb faster, with a different setup. That position simply just cramps you're body and the ability to breath which makes you go slower. And you're descents would also be faster, because 1) you're weight distribution on the bike would be better, 2) you would have a better view of things (descending should ALWAYS be in the drops for a lot of reasons - most importantly for safety).

Try different stems between - 12 and - 24 degrees. You don't need to get lower than that. And it's no wonder, that you can't get a flat back. Try having a flat back while standing on the ground reaching for your toes.
Last edited by Slagter on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AGW
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

by AGW

You've been getting faster in spite of your position, not because it of it.

timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

> and I'm not sure, I understand you're problem.
Pardon me? Did you read my post? I am posting a success not a problem.

I did not get my inspiration from pros. I got to my stem length by trial and error. However, almost the only riders that we know in common are pros, so they are the only phenomenon that we can share and discuss. This is the problem.

> No pro's ride like that, and the pro's are the fastest riders.
No pros ride in the sort of conditions that we ride in. Most of the road bike pros ride in a peleton which is like riding behind a car. No wonder therefore, pros ride in a comparatively upright manner. They only need to get long and low when they take their turn at the front of the peleton, when they make a break, or at the final sprint. At these times they can use their drops with bent arms. Like most cyclists (the ones I see on the road) I ride on my own. I am always at the front of the peleton / sprinting / making a break so in a sense I am riding in a time trial.

I think that my cycling form is similar to a pro time trial bike bike. But instead of using long straight areaobars with gear shifters and no brakes (! :shock: ), I have mounted my standard road bike handlebars at the end of aerobar lenghth (or soon to be) bars. The reasons for this are that I ride in traffic so I need most of the manouvreability and braking provided by road bike handlebars, and I am not quite as full-on competative as a time trialler, competing only in the occasional segment, so I apreciate the various riding positions that road bike bars provide.

Out of preference I rarely ride up or down hills (especially down, not even a workout) but when I did ride up a hll last summer, I was surprised to find myself KOM
http://www.strava.com/segments/7783891

I have said all this before elsewhere. We are in thrall to the UCI pros, the makers and their friends LBS. We can't point to other people who ride in different ways. But gradually as Strava proliferates and people are become able to post pictures on Strava, then we will know what bike set ups are fast in the conditions in which we ride.

> You've been getting faster in spite of your position, not because it of it.
Hmm....conceivable...but why? What coincidence? I also feel faster and no less comfortable in my current position.

Drag is proportional to the cube of speed
http://youtu.be/D1kr5HJA69A?t=2m20s
so as one increases speed, one hits an aerodynamic wall over about 21mph / 34kph. If one rides fairly hard on ones own then one is up against that wall. If you can hop on your TT bike then all well and good - you can ride faster. But if you ride in traffic you need a roadbike-TT bike hybird. Enter my bike set up.

User avatar
roadieboy
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:19 am

by roadieboy

At first inspection, I thought Timtak was genuine, but after reading some of his posts on bikeforums, I have come to the conclusion that he is one of the world's best internet trolls.

"Aluminium -> carbon frame. At first I thought I loved my carbon frame because it was light, but then I realized that carbon frames are light mountain bikes. They provide suspension lightly."


His ear fairings are also wonderful: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/9438708349/in/photolist-9s6NtQ-fo4R9R/

Thank you for keeping the internet interesting, you are a god among mere mortals.

timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

I am boringly genuine. My full fairings and my ear fairings were a Fail. I ride now with ear muffs.

But I stand by my comparison between carbon bikes and mountain bikes. Carbon is light, but far far more than that, it is supple, like a mountain bike's suspension.

And, to keep this thread on track
1) Amazingly(?), 150mm stems are no steering/stability problem at all. At all. I am having so little problem with my 150mm stem, that I am thinking of getting a 175mm stem. Long stems are no problem.
2) Very low bars are surprisingly okay. Pros ride in a peloton so they don't need to get long and low. We normal folk should purchase massive stems more often because we do not ride behind the truck that is the pro peloton.
3) When thinking about the merits of very long stems it is poignant to compare them to time trial bike aerobars (both clip-on or full-on). Time trial bikes have a hand position way out low in font, but also very narrow and without brakes. A narrow hand position is good for aerodynamics but poor for manoeuvrability. The stem set, reach, hand-position that I am recommending is no more and no less than pros use, except I am combining the two: the long (lanced?) stem road bike like I have, is just a time trial bike forward and down hand position combined with the brakes, and the wide and thus manoeuvrable, variable-position-providing goodness of road bike bars.

tigoose
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Mal Born, Oz.

by tigoose

So I'm guessing it's gonna be impossible to find a 150mm-17º stem to fit 26mm handlebars?

timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

tigoose wrote:So I'm guessing it's gonna be impossible to find a 150mm-17º stem to fit 26mm handlebars?

Quite rare these days but this one might work.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Mountai ... 338c89bac1
You'd have to take everything off once side of your bars since it threads on, and I am not sure of the angle, but the
other 150mm 1" stems appear to be straight. Oh, there is this one which may well be the same product and it is 12 degrees
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Uno-MTB-Bic ... 5405aec21b
And it may be easier to fit - not requiring threading - but I am not sure. What does "Two bolt split clamp type" mean?

tigoose
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Mal Born, Oz.

by tigoose

Thanks timtac
I won't get low enough with that. I've decided to give the kcnc stem a go and settle for the 31mm bars.

tigoose
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Mal Born, Oz.

by tigoose

Ok. Sorry to dig this up but now I want a 160mm -17º stem. Is custom my only option?

timtak
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:30 am

by timtak

There was a + (-) 25 degree 160mm Bazooka Elite Trial (bike) Stem in Japan till recently but it always seems temporarily unavailable and I don't knoew if they ship overseas.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-langu ... uage=en_JP

At -17 I only know the 3T up to 150mm.

There is also this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Syntace-1-1-8-M ... SvDMqmE4Mw
which looks snazzy
Image

vejnemojnen
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:11 pm

by vejnemojnen

juju0909 wrote:I can not even imagine the size... 150mm. i uses 90..


Then you ride a frame too large for your height.

You need at least 120mm, to make a bike look good and comfortable :welcome:

by Weenie


JasperGr
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:06 am

by JasperGr

Mistype

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