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greetings

this poll/question is aimed at road bicycle riders.............

not all of us a "road-racers" (even if we would like to think so!) so I wonder what percentage of road riders out there have their handle bar stem flipped upwards (i.e. +N degrees, and therefore use less spacers) as opposed to the "racing" set-up of having the stem angled -N degrees with extra 10-15mm of spacer?

There are two schools of thought than I know of :
(1) have a +N degree stem but with >10-15mm less spacers or (2) have a racing-style -N degree stem and stick ~10-15mm extra spacers under it to maintain the same handle-bar height..... Less spacers may mean more stiffness in the front.....

Obviously the ideal is ~10-20mm spacer (or less?) and racing style -N degree bar-stem but not all of us have that much flexibility and I envy those of you who do.

what say you road bicycle riders? Stem +N and 10-15mm less spacer or stem -N degrees and 10-15mm more spacer? How do you ride?

Thank you.
 

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I have one spacer, w the stem negative. I'm one of those you envy, i guess. it's actually a little extreme even for me, but my steerer is cut to short. I'm hopefully getting a new fork soon, which may help.
 

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eminence grease
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I ride an 80-90mm drop between saddle and bar, I shoot for stems that result in as close to ground parallel as possible and I try to spec frames with a head tube length that allows me to use no more than 10mm of spacers, and typically 0mm.

I don't race, I'm far too slow.
 

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10mm spacer, +6 degrees on the stem, and approx. 100mm drop between saddle and bars.
 

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What's this "ideal" you speak of?

OK, I'll tell you, but I'll need clarification on the following...

"Obviously the ideal is ~10-20mm spacer (or less?) and racing style -N degree bar-stem but not all of us have that much flexibility and I envy those of you who do."

Why is it obvious? Seriously, now... is there some handling/comfort/ergonomic benefit to be had with this set up? I'm getting a new frame and fork soon, and if there's a better way that what I'm doing, I'd really like to know...

BTW, It's 20mm of spacers and a 0 degree rise, 120mm stem... I love the right angles of the 90 degree stem...
 

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What the Hell is going on
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Lower for me

For me it depends on which bike I'm riding. For my bike with a sloping top tube I like a 0 degree (90 degree) stem with a few spacers. For my steel rides with a "traditional" diamond frame, I try to get a stem that's parallel to the ground. After a recent back surgery I started to shorten and raise my stem but my hands and back started going numb so just for the fun of it I slammed my stems down and I feel much better. Post surgery my handlebar drop was about 8cm. I'm now riding with a 12cm drop.
 

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100% torqued
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I like to ride all types of stuff on my main ride. I don't race though. 90 deg. 120mm stem on top of a cable hangar. I like what makes me comfortable.

Seat to bar drop is about 3cm so the drops are very useful.
 

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That's the wrong question.

Unless you're interested in style for it's own sake, I think that it would make more sense to inquire about handlebar height vs. seat height. Stem angle and headset spacers are the just methods that one uses to get there.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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20mm spacer, -10* 120mm stem, ~90mm drop.
 

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mercierfils
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the change of the seasons....

I don't ride my trainer enough. This will become obvious.

I ride with a 10 degree stem: up in the spring, then I put my aero bars on in the summer as I get more flexible and (ahem) lithe, and finally flip the stem down mid-to-late summer.

Seems to me that spacers are only relevant to your geometry vs. the bike's geometry vs. your seat height vs. at least five other variables... in other words, impossible to generalize with a formula, and probably changing as your body changes. Quill stems were great for this - just move it up and down; no stack height to cut or leave sticking up. Of course, you couldn't flip them and they didn't have those great removeable face plates.

Soooo... I'd set up something flexible - don't cut the tube short (you can add or subtract spacers), get a small or medium angle stem (or both, and run them sequentially) and feel free to flip it up if you'd rather look at the scenery instead of your front tire today. You said non-racer, right?
 

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LOOK lover
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Spoke Wrench said:
Unless you're interested in style for it's own sake, I think that it would make more sense to inquire about handlebar height vs. seat height. Stem angle and headset spacers are the just methods that one uses to get there.
Two guys can have the exact same amount of saddle-handlebar drop - racers will still call the one with his stem up a dork :D
 

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I prefer to have my bike set up so the stem angles up to reach my preferred handlebar drop. Using more material (longer frame head tube and/or steerer tube and spacers) and angling the stem down to get the drop right is just adding weight for no reason.
 

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20mm in spacers,110mm stem,-17(70 degree)73 degree head tube-saddle drop to handlebar top is right @105mm.

I have gotten flatter and lower as my flexibility has increased.
 

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BugMan said:
Two guys can have the exact same amount of saddle-handlebar drop - racers will still call the one with his stem up a dork :D
Then that would make it a style for it's own sake thing. Didn't I cover that?
 

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this is something I was wondering about too. I have always ridden with a 58cm frame, treks and cannondales, with the stem out flat (or negative) and as few spacers as I can get away with. Right now, on a new Felt F65, in a 56cm, I am riding a positive turned up stem, about 110 mm, with a stack of spacers from hades. The headset is a Aheadset, and it's got one of those funny conical base stacks to it. It's comfortable, and I seem pretty efficient energy-wise with that set-up. I was fit professionally for it, so I doubt I should mess with it. Seat-post is up decently higher than I am used to, which seems odd, since the seat tube is the exact same length as a 58 cm C'Dale....
 

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I'm not sure what the point of this question is but I'll play along...

No spacers, 140mm and down. 6cm of drop from my saddle top to the tops of my bars.
 
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