Stem angle

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 10 Feb 2020, 9:43pm

Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .

Thanks

slowster
Posts: 1145
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Stem angle

Postby slowster » 10 Feb 2020, 10:45pm

Raylike1969 wrote:Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .

If as part of a bike fit a bike shop is not able to get your handlebars a theoretical optimum approximate distance from, and height relative to, your saddle, then it simply should not be doing bike fits. It is understandable that they might not have the exact length of stem and rise in stock for you to buy at the end of the process if you are happy with the fit, but at the very least I would expect them to have a number of stems, including adjustable stems, that could be used during the fitting exercise, i.e. so that you would leave the shop with an idea of what length and rise of stem you should buy

Rather than spending your money on another bike fit, I would suggest that you consider doing your own experimentation and relying on your own body's feedback to determine what length and rise of rise stem best suits you. You can buy stems for as little as £15 (although if you haven't already got one you should also buy a suitable torque wrench to fit them, especially if your bike has a fork with a carbon steerer).

If you use this website, you can see the relative difference in positions between stems with different lengths, different rises, and different amounts of spacers under the stem.

Obviously there are other factors which have a bearing on the fit and comfort of your hands on the bars and your upper body, e.g. the dimensions of the bars (especially the forward reach), the position where the levers are on the bars (and the shape of the bend on the bars), and the rotation of the bars. Changes to those will potentially magnify or nullify a change in stem length/rise, so I would advise not changing more than one variable at a time, e.g. be careful to keep the bar rotation the same when changing the stem.

Another reason for doing your own experimentation is that if you are relatively new to cycling (or are now starting to do a lot more cycling and less bodybuilding), you might find that your flexibility increases after a while, at which point you might want to change the stem again.

pwa
Posts: 11273
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby pwa » 11 Feb 2020, 8:23am

Some years ago when I was still gullible enough to be buying cycling magazines I read an article in which a person went to several different bike fit providers and came away with several different notions of how he should sit on a bike. They were all different. If you really have no feeling for it then yes, it might be a good idea to get a few pointers off someone with experience, but after that you would be best working it out for yourself. It is very unlikely that someone else's opinion about exactly how you should sit will work out to be perfect for you.

User avatar
willcee
Posts: 975
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 11:30pm
Location: castleroe,co.derryUlster

Re: Stem angle

Postby willcee » 11 Feb 2020, 9:13am

The reality in many cases is that these outfits who claim bike fit capability treat everyone as if they are 20 and in training for the Tour, many many thousands of folk have come into cycling for whatever reason over these past 15/20 years with much more spendable income than many before them and these vultures prey on the prospects lack of knowledge and when they have finished the 'bikefit' and the prospect says'' this is hurting me'' yeah, but it will get better with time you spend on the bike.. this said to someone who is perhaps office bound hasn't seen their navel in years sat high on a 3 inch wide saddle with stem and bars maybe half a foot below them... you don't need to look like a pro cause you never will ..start with saddle and bars level, and don't be stretched on any machine... common sense isn't common.. use it.. will

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 9:19am

slowster wrote:
Raylike1969 wrote:Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .


Hi Slowster
Thank you for the comprehensive reply , it is appreciated.

If as part of a bike fit a bike shop is not able to get your handlebars a theoretical optimum approximate distance from, and height relative to, your saddle, then it simply should not be doing bike fits. It is understandable that they might not have the exact length of stem and rise in stock for you to buy at the end of the process if you are happy with the fit, but at the very least I would expect them to have a number of stems, including adjustable stems, that could be used during the fitting exercise, i.e. so that you would leave the shop with an idea of what length and rise of stem you should buy
I agree , as a complete novice I did not know what type of service to expect and may have being taken advantage of .
Rather than spending your money on another bike fit, I would suggest that you consider doing your own experimentation and relying on your own body's feedback to determine what length and rise of rise stem best suits you. You can buy stems for as little as £15 (although if you haven't already got one you should also buy a suitable torque wrench to fit them, especially if your bike has a fork with a carbon steerer).
I will defintely do that , get a cheap stem (and suitable torque wrench) to trail , thank you

If you use this website, you can see the relative difference in positions between stems with different lengths, different rises, and different amounts of spacers under the stem.

Obviously there are other factors which have a bearing on the fit and comfort of your hands on the bars and your upper body, e.g. the dimensions of the bars (especially the forward reach), the position where the levers are on the bars (and the shape of the bend on the bars), and the rotation of the bars. Changes to those will potentially magnify or nullify a change in stem length/rise, so I would advise not changing more than one variable at a time, e.g. be careful to keep the bar rotation the same when changing the stem.
I will make a note of all dimensions prior to making any changes , a base line of sorts.

Another reason for doing your own experimentation is that if you are relatively new to cycling (or are now starting to do a lot more cycling and less bodybuilding), you might find that your flexibility increases after a while, at which point you might want to change the stem again.

I agree , thank you for the sound advice.

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 9:21am

pwa wrote:Some years ago when I was still gullible enough to be buying cycling magazines I read an article in which a person went to several different bike fit providers and came away with several different notions of how he should sit on a bike. They were all different. If you really have no feeling for it then yes, it might be a good idea to get a few pointers off someone with experience, but after that you would be best working it out for yourself. It is very unlikely that someone else's opinion about exactly how you should sit will work out to be perfect for you.

Hi pwa
Again solid advice , thank you .

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 47831
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Stem angle

Postby Mick F » 11 Feb 2020, 9:23am

You can buy adjustable stems of course.
This one for instance.
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.System-EX-Adju ... _24665.htm
24665-47730_1_Supersize.jpg
When you're happy with the angle, buy a fixed one to suit.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
Posts: 11273
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby pwa » 11 Feb 2020, 9:30am

In the past when I have had a stem that felt no quite right for me I would ride the bike and as I did so try to work out where I would like the brake hoods to move to. Maybe, for example, 10mm closer to me and 5mm higher. Then back at base I would try to work out what sort of stem and spacer arrangement would give me that change.

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 9:30am

willcee wrote:The reality in many cases is that these outfits who claim bike fit capability treat everyone as if they are 20 and in training for the Tour, many many thousands of folk have come into cycling for whatever reason over these past 15/20 years with much more spendable income than many before them and these vultures prey on the prospects lack of knowledge and when they have finished the 'bikefit' and the prospect says'' this is hurting me'' yeah, but it will get better with time you spend on the bike.. this said to someone who is perhaps office bound hasn't seen their navel in years sat high on a 3 inch wide saddle with stem and bars maybe half a foot below them... you don't need to look like a pro cause you never will ..start with saddle and bars level, and don't be stretched on any machine... common sense isn't common.. use it.. will

Hi willcee
I may be one of those individuals who may have being taken advantage of , however I wont let that dull my new found passion. You are right about common sense too , however if you are new to any venture you lay your trust in the hands of others who "have more experience etc etc". That said , i guess I am using my common sense now :D .Thanks for the advice.

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 9:32am

Mick F wrote:You can buy adjustable stems of course.
This one for instance.
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.System-EX-Adju ... _24665.htm
24665-47730_1_Supersize.jpgWhen you're happy with the angle, buy a fixed one to suit.


Morning Mick
Thank you , thats a brillant idea.

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 189
Joined: 23 Jan 2020, 10:23am

Re: Stem angle

Postby thatsnotmyname » 11 Feb 2020, 9:35am

Raylike1969 wrote:Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .

Thanks


I think you are over-estimating the effect that a +/- 3deg difference in stem angle would have. As others have said, stem length and spacers will have far more impact on fit. It's also pretty much impossible for anyone else to know where your own 'sweetspot' is in terms of fit, but most people get there in the end through trial and error, maybe using a bike fit as a start point. The other thing to say is that if you are indeed as 'flexible as a door frame' - then a Supersix is probably not the best place to start.

pwa
Posts: 11273
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby pwa » 11 Feb 2020, 10:16am

thatsnotmyname wrote:
Raylike1969 wrote:Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .

Thanks


I think you are over-estimating the effect that a +/- 3deg difference in stem angle would have. As others have said, stem length and spacers will have far more impact on fit. It's also pretty much impossible for anyone else to know where your own 'sweetspot' is in terms of fit, but most people get there in the end through trial and error, maybe using a bike fit as a start point. The other thing to say is that if you are indeed as 'flexible as a door frame' - then a Supersix is probably not the best place to start.


I suppose it depends on how far away from having a good position he is. If he only wants the bars 1cm closer or 1cm higher the bike will probably be fine. And as he cycles more he may become more suited to the bike as his body adapts.

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 1:59pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:
Raylike1969 wrote:Hi all
Currently trailing a 7degree 70mm stem on my Cannodale Supersix , I have had a bike fit but the shop it took place at , only had a 7 degree stem which is a lot more “ relaxed “ .

Would a 10 degree 70mm stem , give me that “ sweet spot” , I do realise that I would need another bike fit . The reality is 30 plus years of bodybuilding has made me as flexible as a door frame .

Thanks


I think you are over-estimating the effect that a +/- 3deg difference in stem angle would have. As others have said, stem length and spacers will have far more impact on fit. It's also pretty much impossible for anyone else to know where your own 'sweetspot' is in terms of fit, but most people get there in the end through trial and error, maybe using a bike fit as a start point. The other thing to say is that if you are indeed as 'flexible as a door frame' - then a Supersix is probably not the best place to start.


Hi,
You are right about my inital choice of cycle geometry perhaps being not best suited ( a bad novice choice on my part) and knowing my sweet spot ( that was merely asked in the hope there was someone who had a similar issue and had overcome it), however it has being made and short of selling the bike , I cannot change it. I am now trying to rectify my intial error by other mechanical means possible. You are also right,I will get there in the end.Thanks for advice.

Raylike1969
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby Raylike1969 » 11 Feb 2020, 2:01pm

pwa wrote:In the past when I have had a stem that felt no quite right for me I would ride the bike and as I did so try to work out where I would like the brake hoods to move to. Maybe, for example, 10mm closer to me and 5mm higher. Then back at base I would try to work out what sort of stem and spacer arrangement would give me that change.


Hi Pwa,
Solid advice , thank you .

RH20
Posts: 8
Joined: 25 Aug 2019, 6:37pm

Re: Stem angle

Postby RH20 » 11 Feb 2020, 2:20pm

Hi, I am no expert in matters of bike fit, but, as general rule of thumb when it comes to stem length and handlebar rise. A good starting point is, top of the seat level with the top of the handlebars and then with your elbow touching the nose of the saddle, hand in line with forearm, if your finger is touching the centre of the handlebars you should not be too far from a reasonable position for general cycling. If you fingers are short of the bar centre then consider a shorter stem, or longer if the fingers are beyond the bar centre. Also don’t forget the amount of saddle layback.
A good place for information is on the Sheldon Brown website.
Always remember to make small adjustments and one at a time. Happy cycling.