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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a racing oriented xc hardtail bike. I had a 100mm 6 degree stem and I wanted to improve coming down steep and technical terrain (the bike is ace going up) and maybe give the bike a more fun feel. I'm no expert but this is the impression I have aquired concerning stem changes i.e long stems climb well, short stems come down well etc.

So my first step (out of a series of two or three changes I was planning to make) was to change the stem. Due to a mistake I ended up with a 70mm (had asked for 80mm) 15 degree stem. This is considerably different to what I had so I was kinda expecting a big difference whilst riding.
However although there is a very noticable difference going up (bike alot more 'twitchy' and responsive - which is both good and bad) I can't really say I noticed much of a difference coming down. If anything it's maybe worse as chosing a line and just flowing through stuff isn't the same anymore due to the (over?) responsiveness...
Is this too little of a change to make any difference in the freeing up funky feel I was looking for or am I just weird? Cheers:thumbsup:
 

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100/6 to 70/15 is a huge change and I have experienced big changes when making a 10 to 20mm change in length. Ride it for a while and see how you like it.
 

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I went from a shorter stem to longer stem, and did not notice a larger difference going downhill.

I did notice a huge difference going downhill when I changed my fork to a TALUS, and increased the travel on downhills, (just dialed it back for uphills).

I think this is due to a slacker head tube angle, and the bike sitting flatter cause the front is higher.
 

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alexandros said:
I have a racing oriented xc hardtail bike. I had a 100mm 6 degree stem and I wanted to improve coming down steep and technical terrain (the bike is ace going up) and maybe give the bike a more fun feel. I'm no expert but this is the impression I have aquired concerning stem changes i.e long stems climb well, short stems come down well etc.

So my first step (out of a series of two or three changes I was planning to make) was to change the stem. Due to a mistake I ended up with a 70mm (had asked for 80mm) 15 degree stem. This is considerably different to what I had so I was kinda expecting a big difference whilst riding.
However although there is a very noticable difference going up (bike alot more 'twitchy' and responsive - which is both good and bad) I can't really say I noticed much of a difference coming down. If anything it's maybe worse as chosing a line and just flowing through stuff isn't the same anymore due to the (over?) responsiveness...
Is this too little of a change to make any difference in the freeing up funky feel I was looking for or am I just weird? Cheers:thumbsup:
I would have kept the same stem length and either just raised it (same stem with spacers) or a stem with more rise. Both will decrease the effective reach with the latter decreasing it more.

The higher bar will let you sit a bit more upright and shift your weight back a bit while keeping it easy to more forward for the climbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bird said:
If you have a long grade that takes an hour to climb and 15 mins to descent why cater to the descent?
Good question. The answer is 'cause the descent is difficult.
 
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