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Are there any benefits of a longer stem for all mountain riding? I know a shorter stem allows the bike to handle better on descents, but does it compromise the ability to climb? Would a longer stem be more beneficial for someone who climbs more?

Right now I'm on a 60mm, but could probably use a little more room in the cockpit so thinking about a 70 or 80mm. I was thinking about moving up another size frame but don't want to lengthen the bike too much if it's going to hinder my climbing ability. Just looking to get some opinions.
 

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i think if you can get the length in the tt you're better off for both the climb and the descent if your standover isnt affected. you can run the stem lower for traction/control and get a bump in wb for the way down!
 

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I'd say go with what ever you like and don't be afraid to try it. I've got a pile of stems and bars and have been trying all sorts of combos over the last year and found that for me and the terrain I ride I prefer my stem on the longer side (70-80).

Allen
 

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Try to go as long as you can get away with.

Same.......I have a selection of stems that use for dialing in my new bikes. Once I get it where I want it; I can buy a nicer stem or bar to match the bike better....if I care.

It takes a few weeks of trying different combos to get it right. Generally I start a little longer and move the height up and down 5mm. If it feels too long then I'll go to a smaller stem and do the same.

Personally, the longer I can keep it without effecting the DH performance of the bike the better it will be for AM/XC.

70mm-80mm are usually the sweet spot on MD frames for me.
 

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Your weight should be down through your cranks, not on your bars when you are climbing. Stem length doesn't really help with climbing, unless your smacking your knees on the shifters. Then you need a bigger bike.
I'm inclined to agree. If you have to stretch out your stem to climb better, your body position is probably too static. The stem/TT length needs to be correct for your body type. Adjust your weight to optimize climbing and descending with a stem length and TT length that allow you to optimize both climbing and descending.
 

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The advantage of a longer stem is more weight on the front tire both climbing and descending. I am with a few others here that a 70-80 mm stem seems to be the sweet spot for me on most bikes. The only situation where this wouldn't apply for me are on bikes like the SB66 or new T275C with oversized TT lengths.
 

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The advantage of a longer stem is more weight on the front tire both climbing and descending. I am with a few others here that a 70-80 mm stem seems to be the sweet spot for me on most bikes. The only situation where this wouldn't apply for me are on bikes like the SB66 or new T275C with oversized TT lengths.
Lengthening the stem to get MORE weight on the front tire going downhill? Don't you have enough there already? Most people have to shift their weight back, going down a steep incline to prevent too much weight on the front tire. If 70-80 is good, are you saying 100 is better for going downhill?
 

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i think if you can get the length in the tt you're better off for both the climb and the descent if your standover isnt affected. you can run the stem lower for traction/control and get a bump in wb for the way down!
I agree with this. You may be cramped but a longer stem is a bandaid for a frame that may be too small. In my experience a shorter stem does not hinder climbing ability in any way. Handlebar height does though. Lowering the bar helps keep the front wheel down and tracking properly. I ride a variety of trails from rolling XC to steep DH tracks and a longer stem would compromise my handling and safety. Your riding may be different and the longer stem could stretch you out without too much adverse effects. If you need and use a dropper post on your local trails then I would stick with the shorter. If the trails are tame enough try it out. That's my 2 cents.
 

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I agree with Bigfruits, I seem to like the ride of a 50-60mm stem, if I need more weight over the front end for a climb I can scoot forward on the saddle. those long stems in the 80-120mm range feel like I am driving a big rig truck and the put way too much weight over the front end for the downhill's around here.
 

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A discussion about stem length isn't complete without mention of bar width. Modern sized bars require you to ride with arms spread wide apart,which means your bodyweight is pulled a bit to the front too. This makes a long stem unnecessary,the front wheel is weighted enough and you have more control due to the wide bar.

I agree on bar/stem height, I've found it can make or break front end traction.
 

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Personally, I just dropped from an 80mm to a 40mm and just had to move the seat back slightly to accommodate, but I am on 765mm bars. Ymmv.
 

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I don't get stems for climbing or descending. i get them to make the bike fit properly!! And this can be short/long/up/down as long as it fits. This is dependent on frame lenght, fork height, preferred ass to hand distance, headtube length, type of handlebar, preferred height of hands. etc etc etc

You adapt to the new one in a few hours, and then its just like to old one except more comfortable.
 

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I don't get stems for climbing or descending. i get them to make the bike fit properly!! And this can be short/long/up/down as long as it fits. This is dependent on frame lenght, fork height, preferred ass to hand distance, headtube length, type of handlebar, preferred height of hands. etc etc etc

You adapt to the new one in a few hours, and then its just like to old one except more comfortable.
I"m in total agreement its all about fit and in addition getting that balanced feel. Besides the stem and bar swapping I even picked up a used large frame and tried the whole "sizing up" thing with a shorter 40 & 50 stem (same brand/model frame). There are downsides to a long wheel base and longer FC. In my case the large frame felt sluggish and less responsive compared to the med frame with a 70-80. Turns weren't as fun and I felt like I took hit in agility. On the med I could through the bike into a turn or into a line with greater ease compared to the large. Overall I just felt so much more neural and comfortable on the medium. I do think if you gotta go over 80 than you would likely benefit going up a size in your frame.

I'm not against short stems at all I think they work for allot of people and I have them on other bikes I have that I like but in regards to the OP I think he should give it a shot. If adding 10-20mm gets him right in that zone were things just feel great than he should do it.

In the end bike fit is still very personal so its important to try allot of setups and find out what works for you.
 

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Also when choosing between sizes there can be differences in mechanical trail (this affects stability. and its different/opposite for slow/fast speed, long trail is high speed stable and low speed unstable. imo).

Also head tube angle and fork length is important, since if you go longer you change the hta and wheelbase. hta detemines the rate of turn, how much/fast the bike will turn for a given input. and this is often also different between sizes to make it all work.

The thing is this, change one parameter and they ALL change.

Me personally i ride a sakura 2008 with a rigid surly 1x1 410mm fork, the shortest possible dh stem available and a drop bar :)

not nervous at all. you get used to it really really quick even though I suspect I'm runnin like a 72 hta.

But I fit good on it and have a comfortable position. so that was what was needed on this bike.
 
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