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short stem length and Tri/TT bikes
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Hi,

This is a quick question regarding how short stem lengths affect the handling of a tri bike.

With a road bike I know that as the stem length decreases the twitchier the steering can become, and for this I try not to go below a 80mm stem on fits and rather compromise especially if the person is new to cycling.

However with a tri bike I was wondering if short stem length has the same effect as the way you steer is completely different when on the aero's and obviously this is where we want to keep the rider most of the time. Cornering using the base bar I would assume would equate to similar handling with drop bar.

Therefore my question is this: Want is your opinion of using stem length of 60mm, 70mm act on a tri bike?

Thanks

Serotta Advanced and Advanced Triathlon
Retul Certified in 2011
Qualified sports massage therapists
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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [SteelAl] [ In reply to ]
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I have just read Dan's article Evil stems and spacers.

So I assume this still holds as the article was written in 2010: No spacers and shorter stem is better.

Do you agree? How short is to short for stems?

Serotta Advanced and Advanced Triathlon
Retul Certified in 2011
Qualified sports massage therapists
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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [SteelAl] [ In reply to ]
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Stem length does not affect steering and handling. Fork rake/trail and head tube angle determine steering and handling.

previous thread here: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...em%20length;#4865033

I would agree, as a rule of thumb, that 'going below 80mm' is to be avoided, excepting extreme morphology. My rule of thumb for road is to calculate based on a 10mm stem and adjust for morphology. For tri, 90mm and adjust for same.

Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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cheers

Serotta Advanced and Advanced Triathlon
Retul Certified in 2011
Qualified sports massage therapists
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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [SteelAl] [ In reply to ]
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I would have no problem going below 80. The shortest effective stem length on the Felt DA is 60mm. That is from the factory. The handling issue simply is not an issue. I've also used 140s a few times.

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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Cheers for the reply Dave.

Basically I am trying to advise someone on what TT/Tri bike to purchase based on a retro fit on a road bike with clip-on aero-bars. Having never ridden a tri-bike I was basically needing to establish if going very short would become an issue with handling etc.

Serotta Advanced and Advanced Triathlon
Retul Certified in 2011
Qualified sports massage therapists
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Re: short stem length and Tri/TT bikes [SteelAl] [ In reply to ]
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Do you use a good fit stem? Determine the clients reach measurement then do the math with the frame specs. And IMO short stems no problem unless the cyclist rides upright due to a poor fit

Robert Driskell
Certified Master Body Geometry fit Technician
Certified Master Retul Fit Technician
Zipp Service Course Specialist
Bayou Bicycles New Orleans,LA
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