After what lenghth is a stem considered too short or too long in combination with a frame's geometry to alter the steering in a negative way?
BUT...if it is too long, it will make it handle like a semi truck, slow and dead feeling.
I have found over 20 years, the ideal range is between 100mm and 120mm depending on the frame and rider size.
I want to change from 110 to 120, so no big deal but still sort of long.
I find it difficult to find a cheap-used one since it's 11/4" OS.
Geoff wrote:Absolutely! One of the spin-offs from the move to monocoque carbon frames, thereby fixed-dimension headtube lengths (versus custom frames), is that there is no choice but to go with longer stems to keep the bar height reasonable. I have personally found that the slower steering of 130-140mm stems makes the bike much nicer for road riding (versus crits).
Exactly what I experienced. I talked to a guy at Canyon about stem length and he said I have a rather small frame if I did need a 110 to 120 stem (they recommend 90mm's)-and it would have a influence on riding. I have applied the exact same sitting position from my old frame to the Canyon (considering seat tube angle etc.) and with a 110 stem it's 1:1 but I FEEL like I want a longer stem especially because the Canyon is rather an aggressive reactive bike and with a longer stem it would smooth it a bit. I used to race successful with 130 stems and it just felt so good and predictable.
Well, I will try it.
I would go for positional comfort, and not worry about "handling".
Admittedly, though, the 100-120mm seems "standard" and if you have to go outside that range, you may either have an odd torso or a mis-sized frame.
One of my bikes has a 90 and one a 110mm right now.
Bike position has gone through evolutionary periods (fads ?) like everything else. Look at the position of some TdF rider of the 1980's: Very low and very stretched. My old bike had a 56TT and a 125 Stem. Sounds brutal, but I got quite used to it.
Now i ride a 54 TT with a 110 stem.
I've hopped on bikes with everything from 50mm (not a proper test, apart from my MTBs) to 140mm.
I could just not get used to the feeling of the 140mm.
A bike that doesn't fit is a far bigger issue than stem length. Get yourself fit on a bike that fits you and the effect of stem length on steering is nothing to worry about.
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