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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to road cycling, but have just realized the top tube length of my bike might be too short for my torso. My seat is all the way back, with the bars at the lowest, most aggressive position. When I was shopping, the larger size Specialized Allez Elite fits my torso, but not my legs. The top tube length difference is 12mm. So I'm looking to upgrade my 90mm stem to 100mm (or 110mm if I can get away with it).

Anyways, I'm looking for a stem under $150 ($50 preferably), that's compatible with my Allez, have at least two positions to play with, lighter, black, and can handle vibrations better than the current stem that I have. I'm 135lbs and only road biking.

Thanks for the help.
 

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what angle??

You don't mention the angle of your current stem, but 84 degrees is one of the most popular. Bes sure to get the right handlebar clamp size.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the TT length of your bike. A 90mm stem is an extremely short stem.

Flipping an 84 degree stem up to 96 degrees is not a good way to adjust height. It raises the bars about 2cm, which is a lot. If for example, you want to raise the bars only 1cm, the stem has to be flipped and 1cm of spacer removed from under the stem and placed on top. Don't be tempted to cut the steering tube any shorter until you;ve logged soem serious mileage. Most people graduate to longer and lower positions as they progress.

You don't mention how much spacer is under the stem in it's lowest positon, but stock bikes tend to have the largest posssible amount, usually around 3cm. To lower the bars even more, all you have to is remove the stem and move spacers from below the stem to the top.

Better read up on how to properly adjust the headset, since the stem is what holds the headset bearing pretension.

I'll second the Ritchey WCS stem, it's a good one.
 

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A number of things

First, you should carefully read C-40's post and be sure you understand everything he's saying. In addition, moving the saddle all the way back is NOT the way to adjust reach to the handlebars. It's fine if that gives you the right position relative to the bottom bracket, but the fact that you mention it in the context of reach suggests you are not doing it for the right reasons. As C-40 said, 90 mm is generally considered a short stem although it does depend on frame size, which you don't mention. Many people ride on 13 and 14 cm stems.

You need to sort out the fit issues first and then look for the stem that works to solve them. There are lots of stems on the market - you won't have trouble finding one that does the job once you know what you need.
 

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Thomson. When the answer is Thomson, should the question have ever been asked?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
My LBS will be doing all the adjustments for me (bought the bike two weeks ago), I just wanted to familarize myself with stems, and possibly order one online before I go strolling in.

Bike is Allez Elite size XS - 50cm
I'm 5-4 3/4inch with 29 or 28 1/2inch inseam.
Clamp size is 31.8



I haven't settled on an angle I like yet, but my stem reads +16 -8. At my request, I had the LBS remove the two spacers underneath the stem, but we didn't cut anything. I realized my stem was too short, when I saw the hub of my front wheel while in the drops. Why I didn't catch it sooner? The 52cm Allez Elite had no hub showing, but the seat was near the lowest position. (Dang it! Probably could have gone with the 52. I special ordered this 50cm at a closer LBS that had it for cheaper -so that's why I couldn't compare).

I had a feeling the seat idea wasn't working, but isn't the science of choosing a new stem size a matter of subtracting

the distance of seapost to handle bar of bike that fits
to the distance of seatpost to handle bar of current bike
= difference of new stem length?

At your advice, I'll go in and have the LBS fit/recommend me on a new stem. Hopefully, I won't I won't have to pay at full price, seeing it was too weeks ago. But I'll ask about the Ritchey, and Thompson when I go in.

Probably won't have the dampening features I'm after, but how's this for a stem?
https://www.pricepoint.com/detail/14455-305_FSAAC5-3-Parts-72-Stems/FSA-OS-140-Stem.htm
 

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good point...

Missed the saddle all the way back comment. It could be that the poster needs to move the saddle forward and get a stem that's several sizes longer. The poster should read about the basics of bicycle fit here, before buying a new stem.

www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit
 

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A good shop...

would exchange the stem and be sure the bike fit right before you left the store.

About the frame size, it's not likely too small, if you can tolerate the handlebars in that position. A larger frame has nothing to do with saddle position. The saddle should be in the same position relative to the cranks, regardless of frame size. The larger frame would have a longer TT and require a shorter stem, which would not be an improvement.
 

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If you know for sure what size you want, don't over think this. A stem is only a metal/plastic stick that holds the bars. :rolleyes:
 
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