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I have made other posts about looking for a new bike recently. The latest is that I test rode a 62cm Trek 5.9SL, and the bike was set up with a 140mm stem, and the stock bontrager carbon seatpost. The seatpost was still too short. The bike shop owner told me no problem, we could just get a different al. post that could go higher.

Am I right to think that if I need a 140mm stem (longest they make?), and need a new longer seatpost, that maybe this bike just isn't big enough for me.

Just want some informed answers, as I am pretty much clueless.

My current ride is a Spec Allez Elite 62cm, and seems to fit me fine with a 120mm stem and the stock seatpost.

Thanks.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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196nautique said:
I have made other posts about looking for a new bike recently. The latest is that I test rode a 62cm Trek 5.9SL, and the bike was set up with a 140mm stem, and the stock bontrager carbon seatpost. The seatpost was still too short. The bike shop owner told me no problem, we could just get a different al. post that could go higher.

Am I right to think that if I need a 140mm stem (longest they make?), and need a new longer seatpost, that maybe this bike just isn't big enough for me.

Just want some informed answers, as I am pretty much clueless.

My current ride is a Spec Allez Elite 62cm, and seems to fit me fine with a 120mm stem and the stock seatpost.

Thanks.
Shorter stem usually means slower steering. This can be good or bad, depending on how the rest of the bike is set up. Is there a lot of spacers on the stem to get the right handlebar height? If you need a lot of spacers to get the right handlebar height, then it is more likely to be the case that you need a bigger bike.

Seatposts come spec-ed with minimum insertion length, so as long as it's within spec, it's just a matter of aesthetics. I would worry more about the head tube, stem, and handlebar setup.
 

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Am I right to think that if I need a 140mm stem (longest they make?), and need a new longer seatpost, that maybe this bike just isn't big enough for me.
Yes, you are. For one, Trek measures their bikes from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the extended seat tube, which makes a 62 cm Trek similar to a 59.5 cm bike measured center-to-center. The other thing is the obvious fact the 62 is Trek's largest size, so the seller will do almost anything to stretch it for you.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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I think it MIGHT be a problem. Can you compare the top tube length of ea. bike? I have a long torso with long arms, (37" sleeve length), and I ride a 60 cm bike with a 59cm top tube and a 140 stem. If it's possible, I'd try the bike in the next largest size and see how that is.
 

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140mm stem mean almost always that the bike is too small for you. Sounds like you are short at least 2cm of effective top tube. A longer seatpost may help- but time to go to another bike shop IMHO.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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orange_julius said:
Shorter stem usually means slower steering. .

Actually you got that backwards. Longer stem slows steering, shorter quickens it, and excessively short stem makes it downright squirrely. But anyhoo, I agree with other that there's a strong likelihood that the bike is just too small.
 

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jtolleson said:
Actually you got that backwards. Longer stem slows steering, shorter quickens it, and excessively short stem makes it downright squirrely. But anyhoo, I agree with other that there's a strong likelihood that the bike is just too small.
Actually people would be better educated about the affects of the length of the stem on ride qualities. The length of stem is nearly unimportant. A squirrely bike that has a high bottom bracket and short trail will be squirrely no matter what length of stem is on the bike. Change the stem length to suit your reach; you won't negatively change the handling of any bike by doing so. If you don't believe it, just try steering your bike by grasping your bike near the steerer. You will find that it's tricky, but the bike handling doesn't perciptibly change.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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The structure of your first sentence kind of lost me. My only purpose was to correct the misstatement.

I agree that folks should pick stem length to achieve the right reach, not because of impact on bike handling. Fork rake and trail will have a bigger impact on perceived handling than stem length.

That being said, the impact a stem has on handling isn't irrelevant, and is one of the reasons I'd discourage someone from putting a silly short stem on a bike where the TT is too long, for example. I see that a lot with bike shops setting up women riders with 4 cm riser stems that give them goofy handling because of their shorter torso, or really tall guys riding too small of bikes with a 14 cm frame, etc.
 
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