Help me slam my stem

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Mep
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 4:11 pm

by Mep

I ride a SS Evo and currently have about 25mm in spacers under my stem. Saddle is maybe about a half inch vertically higher than handlebars.

I'm pretty flexible and have a reasonably strong core, but when I bring the stem lower I find myself reaching too much and dealing with serious neck pain. I did a bike fit years ago to get my current fit, but that was before I got into trying to optimize my position for aerodynamics.

Any thoughts on what I could be doing differently? Is the geometry that extreme that I need to look into a different frame?

by Weenie


UpFromOne
Posts: 724
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA

by UpFromOne

On behalf of many members here, it's difficult to offer help when there are so many variables to bike fit.
Consider getting another fit or consultation locally.
Not trying to pass the buck, but you ask a rather complicated question, maybe too complicated for any of us to "armchair" guide you.

alcatraz
Posts: 1240
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

Are you recently back on the bike after a long time away?
(I have neck pain the first 3-4 rides of the season)

You say you have many spacers. How about you do it gradually. Don't remove them all at once.

Check that your seat is in the correct forward/back position (string+weight hanging from kneecap intersect the pedal axle when crank is in it's forward horizontal position)

You say you're flexible. Can you reach the floor bending forward with straight legs?

If you recently changed riding clothes the neck pain can occur. I use in cold weather a less ideal upper layer that constricts my neck a bit (adds pressure at the back of the neck). It's a tradeoff. I'd rather not catch a cold.

I have recently lowered my bars a lot. My tops are lower than all my friends drops!!! I can do it because I stretch a lot to feel comfortable in that position. Aero is a nice benefit...

/a

Mep
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 4:11 pm

by Mep

alcatraz wrote:Are you recently back on the bike after a long time away?
(I have neck pain the first 3-4 rides of the season)

You say you have many spacers. How about you do it gradually. Don't remove them all at once.

Check that your seat is in the correct forward/back position (string+weight hanging from kneecap intersect the pedal axle when crank is in it's forward horizontal position)

You say you're flexible. Can you reach the floor bending forward with straight legs?

If you recently changed riding clothes the neck pain can occur. I use in cold weather a less ideal upper layer that constricts my neck a bit (adds pressure at the back of the neck). It's a tradeoff. I'd rather not catch a cold.

I have recently lowered my bars a lot. My tops are lower than all my friends drops!!! I can do it because I stretch a lot to feel comfortable in that position. Aero is a nice benefit...

/a

I've been on my trainer through the winter. And yes I can reach the floor with my palms keeping legs straight. I do have short legs though.

What I'm not understanding is how I can go any lower. My seat height is fine, so the only 2 variables left seem to be reach and height of handlebars.

Currently when I'm on the hoods, my arms are almost fully extended with a micro elbow bend. I can move into an aggressive position and hold it for maybe 20 mins (flat back, elbows almost at 90 degrees).

But since my arms are already almost fully extended, how is it possible to move the bars any lower? Maybe if I bring in the reach? Not sure if that's the right way to think about it.

benzebub
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 1:24 pm

by benzebub

I would try a stem that is 1cm shorter, and gradually lower the amount of spacers.

core training also helps (for me)
But I could be wrong

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4ibanez
Posts: 506
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: Norwich, UK
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by 4ibanez

Maybe try spending more time in the drops, if you can deal with that, then start taking out the spacers 5 or 10mm at a time.

ghisallo2003
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:10 pm

by ghisallo2003

Consider not slamming your stem and being faster and more comfortable.

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Calnago
Posts: 6556
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Hard to say with not much info, except I'd be inclined to say go longer. If you're scrunched up to begin with, and try to go lower, it's only going to make the neck pain worse as you struggle to see what's in front of you. Is your frame long enough? Or maybe you're just fine as it is. There is no rule saying you have to slam your stem. 25mm of spacers isn't too bad unless you really covet membership in the "slam that stem" club. I would get a longer stem for starters then knock out a centimeter of spacers (don't cut steertube) and try it out for a while. Also, don't think you can't play with your saddle position as well during the experimentation. You may find that simultaneously moving your saddle forward and higher kind of "pivots" your entire body around the BB a bit making getting into a more aggressive position a little easier. Don't go all "tri geek" however. There's other forums for that. Talking small changes here. Document where you're at and the changes made at each step of the way. It's a process.
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Hawkwood
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:27 pm

by Hawkwood

ghisallo2003 wrote:Consider not slamming your stem and being faster and more comfortable.


Exactly.

DJT21
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:35 pm

by DJT21

Post some side profile pictures of yourself sat on your bike on the turbo trainer. A video would be even more useful if you can mange it.

darnellrm
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:06 pm
Location: NC, USA

by darnellrm

If his saddle is only 1 cm higher than his bars, I think it's a fairly safe bet that he needs to go lower with the bars.

kode54
Posts: 1293
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

do it gradually like others have said. remove one spacer at a time. you may not even notice the difference. also, you may eventually flip your stem to be even with the top tube for a lower position.

consider the extended reach...may need to move saddle up a bit...or shorter stem. once you get to where you want to go...get a fit to make sure everything is dialed in.
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fogman
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:36 pm

by fogman

Before making any adjustments make sure you measure everything to the exact mm. That way you can go back to your original fit if needed. I measure the following: 1. Saddle height from center of BB, 2. Reach from tip of saddle to handlebars, 3. Saddle to handlebar drop, 4. Saddle setback.
It would be helpful to see a photograph of a side view of the bike and one of you on the bike on a trainer.


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boots2000
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

Is your bike too small?
Is your stem too long?
bar reach too long?
Without seeing you it is hard to say.

But if slamming it is your goal- put a stem 2cm shorter and slam it down!

by Weenie


MyM3Coupe
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:32 pm

by MyM3Coupe

Mep wrote:Any thoughts on what I could be doing differently? Is the geometry that extreme that I need to look into a different frame?


LOL. . You are kidding right? A new frame to "slam you stem?" No reason at all to "slam your stem."

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