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Help Measuring a Stem....?

Discussion in 'Tech' started by StuInTokyo, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. StuInTokyo

    StuInTokyo Maximum Pace

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    OK, my new bike, the 2010 Charge Mixer 8 that I'm using to tow my trailer, the frame is kind of strange, very tall, but short. I find the reach to the bars really short, I feel cramped in the saddle. I have the seat pushed back on it's rails as far as it will go, but still, I'm wanting another couple of inches of reach. I'd also like to go up another inch or two. I put the headriser thing on the bike to get the bars up a fair bit, and I bought an adjustable stem to the bars more, but in doing so, I also move them closer to me :( not what I wanted.

    This is the adjustable stem......



    (Ignore how stuff looks on my bars, I put the stem flat to measure it)

    How do you measure these things?

    Bazooka calls this a 95mm stem.

    What I'm looking at is this one.....


    They are saying that it is 120mm

    So would it make sense that the 120mm long stem is 25mm longer than the 95mm stem? I figure with the extra inch, I could still go up a bit, but stay out further....?

    Any other suggestions would also be welcome.

    I really do want a more upright seating position, as I am not going fast, and need to really be aware of what is going on around me.

  2. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace

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    Ok to measure the stem its actually measured from the central locking cap bolt to the end of the bracket on the stem. The reason for this is that many new bars are now off center to provide a better clamp.


    Another reason for this is due to ergonomics and how your arms, wrists and hands are positioned on the bars.
  3. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Interesting problem :) You will need to make two measurements. The first from the center of the steerer tube to the center of the stem bend (A). This distance is fixed. The second from the center of the stem bend to the center of the handlebar (between stem and faceplate) (B).

    When the stem bend is at 180 degrees (flat) you can simply add the two lengths (A + B). When the stem bend is at (hypothetical) 90 degrees the length of the stem is A (B = 0). When the stem bend is 135 degrees the length of the stem is A + B/2. And so on.

    I would assume the Ritchey stem bend is at approximately the same length (A) as the Bazooka. Therefore, you can estimate the stem length B you need based on the degree of elevation you are seeking.

    (the Bazooka claimed length of 95 mm looks right as you appear to be measuring forward of the center of the handlebar in the photo)


  4. Sikochi

    Sikochi Maximum Pace

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    If you`re sizing for a new stem, you need to put the saddle in the correct position and then work out the size of the stem you want from there. Riding with the saddle too far back from its optimum/natural position in respect to the bottom bracket will be inefficient and likely cause leg/knee problems, which will be amplified by the amount of effort required to shift the weight you are towing around. Also, changing the height of the stem alters the reach figure - a higher stem will mean a shorter reach.

    I would suggest putting the saddle in the right place, and then reach forward and try and figure out where you want your hands to be, and then work out the stem in terms of length and angle from that. Can you mock something up that would enable you to do a more accurate estimate?
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    Get higher

    Have you considered riser bars instead of flats to give you a more upright position?
    Most MTB bars will give you another 50mm of height. They're wide but you can trim them down if you want a narrower bar. You may also be able to pick up an older model MTB stem with a bit more length and rise, although current fashion is for short-short stems.


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