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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a ridley X-trail (that recently got stolen, different story) and I matched the geometry to my commuting bike that I was using previously for thousands of miles. I used a very upright stem on the commuter, partially because commuting it is nice to have your head up some and partially because of a slightly pinched nerve in my back that doesn't allow me to tuck as much as I used to be able to.

I transferred the stem to my Ridley when I got it and commuted thousands of miles on it and it was comfortable and such. Now that I am tasked with getting a replacement the question I have is because I was using a short tall stem in lieu of the stock and standard length stem, would I be better served getting a smaller frame and running a more normal length stem or should I just replace it in kind and get short stem again?

I have shorter legs and longer torso so I have always ridden a larger frame but this back issue has made it less clear now.

FWIW I was on a Medium Ridley (https://www.ridley-bikes.com/us/en/bikes/allroad/x-trail-carbon) which is a 54cm frame with a 56.5cm Actual TT. I am wondering what a S or 51cm frame would be like...

Thanks in advance for any info.
 

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If by short tall stem you mean a short stem with a large angle to get it up high, then a smaller frame is going to drop your bars even more.

Maybe you could go from a 54 to 52, but you'll want something with a little more stack, it sounds like. There a number of cool 'endurance', adventure, all road bikes that could fit the bill for you. Raleigh, gt, diamondback, marin are ones I've looked at and have nicely ticked some boxes for me.
 

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passive/aggressive
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If by short tall stem you mean a short stem with a large angle to get it up high, then a smaller frame is going to drop your bars even more.

Maybe you could go from a 54 to 52, but you'll want something with a little more stack, it sounds like. There a number of cool 'endurance', adventure, all road bikes that could fit the bill for you. Raleigh, gt, diamondback, marin are ones I've looked at and have nicely ticked some boxes for me.

Thanks. I am looking at the Marin. I was using a very high rise stem, Just need to get my bars in a higher position because of the back injury. I am content finding a bike that matches what has worked from me geometry wise for the last few decades. The 56cm Diamondback is right in the measurement zone that matches my Ridley but with more stack height. I will still probably have to go with a higher rise stem than the one that comes on the bike.

I guess I wonder if a shorter stem vs. a longer stem might result in different handling traits I might be missing out on. That is a shorter stem on a longer frame vs. a longer stem on a shorter frame.

I never noticed anything weird on my old bike but then I didn't know any better.
 

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The stem change will result in slightly different handling.

There are also changes in the total bike geometry. Smaller sizes are going to have shorter wheelbases.

I've always thought under sizing by one size to be fine, and easily corrected. If a 56cm bike of any kind feels good, I have my doubts about a 51cm working that great. It's a huge difference.

At 51, you may also find some toe overlap. It doesn't matter that much while riding road, but in cross it can, and I like to track stand on the road, so overlap gets annoying.
 

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passive/aggressive
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The stem change will result in slightly different handling.

There are also changes in the total bike geometry. Smaller sizes are going to have shorter wheelbases.

I've always thought under sizing by one size to be fine, and easily corrected. If a 56cm bike of any kind feels good, I have my doubts about a 51cm working that great. It's a huge difference.

At 51, you may also find some toe overlap. It doesn't matter that much while riding road, but in cross it can, and I like to track stand on the road, so overlap gets annoying.
Thanks for the input. I am a little worried on the toe overlap because i commute mostly on this bike and I track stand regularly. Since I have been given a reset by the methheads that liberated my newish bike I just want to make sure that I don't miss out on an opportunity I guess. Also looks like I will not be replacing it with a Ridley but instead a Diamondback (fender compatibility is a driving point on this decision, as is the taller stack height of the DB).
 
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