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I was wondering about this upside down stem issue? Seems like serious cyclists say you should remove your dork disk and your stem should be upside down.

On my old ride I had the stem right-side up and it was comfortable, on my new ride it's upside down and I notice I'm stretching more than I'd like. I flipped it back to "upright"...is this something that will come with time and/or flexability?
 

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proper position is proper position. sometimes that takes a positive-rise stem, sometimes zero, sometimes negative. rather than rely on what the 'serious cyclists' say, i suggest you rely on what your local fitter tells you about your body and your bike.

to gereralize grossly, the lower more stretched out position of the 'serious cyclist' is more aerodynamic and may allow more efficient power transfer to the pedals...for someone accustomed to it. the more upright position is more comfortable for someone not accustomed to hours and hours laid out on the bike and without the core strength to support it.
 

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You will adapt to it. Unless your racing and worried about how many watts you're cranking out, I would ride what is comfortable for you and worry less about your bike looking "cool"...
 

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RoadBikeRider
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There is no such thing as upside down...that is why they put the logo on both directions...and yes...remove the dork disc...having that is worse than flipping your stem.
 

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andulong said:
There is no such thing as upside down...that is why they put the logo on both directions...and yes...remove the dork disc...having that is worse than flipping your stem.
None of my stems are flipable by that standard. ITM 100%, Deda Zero 100, ITM (Colnago badged)
 

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Lemur-ing
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Take this: A 12degree stem has a 12 degree rise when the angle is pointed upwards and it has a 12degree drop when the angle is pointed downwards. The 'proper term' is actually called 'flipping' the stem. Either you flip it up (for the 12 degree rise) or flip it downwards for the 12 degree drop.

Neither is proper or wrong. It's only proper for you and what you feel comfortable in. That's the most important thing. So what if you need extra spacers and a flipped up stem even? As long as it works for you, that's all that matters.

HTH.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Serious cyclists? Nah. Serious blowhards. As others have said, what fits is what's right. Most are designed to go either way, though there are some few that are dedicated to one position or the other, at least by the strength of their logos. I've not counted, but there seem to be about as many dedicated 'up' as 'down' available for sale.

Just to add weight to the 'it doesn't matter' argument, I'm currently in the process of swapping to a new set of bars. Many bars have grid lines under the clamp to aid alignment. Both sets of bars have grids aligned so that they 'zero' under an up-flipped stem of 10deg. or so. I only really noticed it because I happen to use a 'down' stem, and it doesn't look quite 'perfect' through the hole in the stem plate.

Certainly, it's OK to have a fashion preference, and 'down' looks more traditional than 'up.' But there's an argument that the tradeoffs of driving for a 'down' stem (either more spacers or longer head tube) often result in a lesser bike.

There is also a contingent that seem to equate saddle-bar drop and/or stem position with some expression of manhood or fitness. They are wrong.
 

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The Cube
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go whichever way makes you want to ride longer. forget looks. you shouldn't be looking at your bike while you ride anyway.
 

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You put your stem in the position which is the most comfortable for you. The amount of spacers will depend on your stem angle, front end geometry, anatomy and your flexibility or a combination of all. Some stems are not "flippable" only if they are designed that way.
It also has something to do about your saddle height, long legged riders might want a few spacers to get their bars up higher. You do what is comfortable for you. It's not based on looks.
 

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Upside down stem?

How do you put it on upside down?
 

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Removing the "dork" disk is for cosmetics only. It actually serves a purpose, and might even help aerodynamics a tiny bit too. It's your bike, and it should be comfortable to you. Try the stem in the lower position for a couple of weeks if you want to. Don't like it like that? Change it back.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Removing the "dork" disk is for cosmetics only. It actually serves a purpose, and might even help aerodynamics a tiny bit too.
But the weight!!!!!:D

I had my tandem overshift over the top when I first had it - made the mistake of trusting the shop's adjustments. The dork disk did one thing: It broke. Made it even harder to get the chain out. Had to walk the bike, carrying the rear wheel while my wife steered the front. All to say, DD's can be less than zero.

BTW, I was riding the bike solo when it happened.
 

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JCavilia said:
How do you put it on upside down?
With a LOT of glue and rubber-bands! At least the Quill stems could adjust a bit more vertically than modern ones with spacers, unless you buy your own fork and cut it very high.

Now to the OP: Just cause someone says it's bad to have it up, doesn't mean they're right. Put it up, and if you find yourself riding in the drops more than the hoods after a while, then flip it down.
I have mine up, and am getting more flexible. I spend a little time in the drops, but not so much I want to lower my bars. It's about what feels good to YOU.
 
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