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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have difficulty staying with buddies on the climbs

one thing ive noticed is the friends with the more traditional xc cockpits 90-110mm stem and low rise bars. Are the ones that are smoking me on the climbs, however i typically return the favor on the down hills.

Im running a entry level giant hardtail (06 yukon) with a 65mm 10deg. stem with an OS riser bar (rolled forward some). This combo has proven its merit in techincal situations.

Im looking to help increase my climabality while not totally ruining my technical domination of my pals.

Would an 80mm stem 7deg. make a differnce on the climbs while not ruing the easy predictable handling of my bike?

Nashbar happens to have these stem on sale cheap, they are lighter than what i have as well.

what do you think am i heading in the correct direction or I am being a Guy Ledouche about this and need to buck up and try harder?

any advice or suggestions are welcome :thumbsup:
 

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Use the stem length that correctly fits you to the bike. If yours is too short then get a longer one. If yours is already the right length, then getting a longer one won't suddenly make you climb faster.

Ride more, ride harder, get faster.
 

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You might be right... a 65mm stem is awfully short for a trail bike, unless you have a very long top tube IMO. Since the 80mm stem is cheap, it would be a nice chance to test it out... you could also keep the older one for rides with more DH if you like too...
 

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I would try an 80 or even a 100mm stem,it will give you better leverage on the climbs and reduce front wheel hop.
If your frame is of proper size then you should have no problems going up or down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I feel like my frame is the correct size for my body. I am sitting more upright than most and could lean more without issue (26 year old back can take )
 

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I got a bike fit using the Serotta system (available at certain bike shops). They gave me a climbing position fit. I don't think it's just the stem that makes a difference. It's all the elements together (saddle adjustment and height, etc)
 

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A lower more forward bar position CAN help your climbing in steep spots cause it keeps your weight on the front wheel so it doesn't lift off the ground or wander. The higher father back, upright bar position CAN help on the descents cause it keeps your weight back off the front wheel so you don't endo and your front wheel has less pressure on it so it won't break traction as easily.

A way to have both is with an adjustable travel fork. I have adjustable travel front and rear on my bike. For climbs I lower the front and raise the rear. For downhills I raise the front and lower the rear.

But to answer your original question: Unless your having a problem with control on the climbs the longer stem won't help you be faster. To be faster you just have to pedal harder, faster, spin a bigger gear, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I went ahead and ordered the $20 stem from nashbar and shall see if the extra 20mm makes a noticable differnce. I can always readjust my seat in line with the new cockpit for comfort and performance
 

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If your front wheel is wandering, yes a longer stem could help, as could moving your saddle forward (which is free, so why not try it)

If you are climbing slower than your buddies because of fitness, the longer stem might improve your front wheel tracking, but that's it. :)
 

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Try this first before speending any money.

Bump your seat forward 1/2 to 1 inch forward to get your weight over the pedals better while climbing. You'll need to raise the seat a little more to keep the same reach to the pedals. And just bend your elbos a little more for the shorter reach to the bars.

Your shorter stem helps you dominate technically.
 

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I went from 105mm to 120 mm and cleaned a whole bunch of stuff that I couldn't before.

This was because I was losing the front wheel and then the line.

I did make the bike a bit twichty, I then went from 105 mm forks too TALAS 90 mm to 130mm, and got the best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i think someone hit the nail on the head its the inabilty to hold a line on short steep technicals climb is a big problem. I didnt realize that it was till i read it here and then it dawned on me thats an issue.

The reason i didnt slide the seat fwd was because my kness are already at the BB axle line (where ive always been told they need to be when setting horizantal seat postion) im not saying im an expert so chime in if im worng

Fitness while it is an issue if i was riding with most of you guys, is not an issue whith these riding buddies they are right there with me getting tipsy on friday nights then riding on saturday mornings. we ride cause it gets our minds off the office and our nagging others. of course bragging rights come into play in a situation like this

If the stem doesnt help, then im only out $20 bucks ($10 of which i can get back selling it )
 

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Your right,
If moving your seat forward takes you away from (KOPS) knees over pedals then leave it alone,the stem will help.
Moving your seat to far forward is more painful to the knees than having it set to far back.
Your doing the right thing,your current stem is way to short for the type of riding your doing.
 

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alm80 said:
The reason i didnt slide the seat fwd was because my kness are already at the BB axle line (where ive always been told they need to be when setting horizantal seat postion)
The "standard" knee-over-pedal-spindle (KOPS) position refers to having your forward leg tibial tuberosity plumb over the PEDAL spindle (not BB spindle) when your cranks are horizontal. Not everyone believes this is the ideal position however. Many people run their saddle up to an inch rearward of KOPS.

In general you want to establish your seat-to-pedals relationship first, then set the relationship to your handlebar.

Everybody is recommending cockpit changes without having any idea how you fit your bike currently. How can they do that? Their powers of telepathy are apparently much stronger than mine. Do you have a profile pic of you on your bike?
 

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alm80 said:
I feel like my frame is the correct size for my body. I am sitting more upright than most and could lean more without issue (26 year old back can take )
I'm sure the original poster was hoping for simplicity here.

Enjoy your new stem and greater efficiency.
 

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Have you considered barends?

I abide by the Fashionista Law of thou shalt place no barends on a riser bar. But a barend will do 3 things. It will move you weight forward helping you keep your front end down (just like a longer stem would), give you move leverage to pull on the bars for more power, and help you retain your original riding position to "....not totally ruining my technical domination of my pals....."
 

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What's the wheelbase length and top-tube length of your bike?
I tend to use either a 140mm or 150mm stem with a 5 degree rise,depending on the top-tube length on my bikes,which vary around 21.5" to 23". Wheelbase and chainstay length also matters.A wheelbase under 42 inches is my preference.The prefered chainstay length is 16" up to 17".This puts my weight directly in the center so I have perfect weight balance.
Since finding the right weight balance,I've never lifted the front wheel or spun out the back tire on steep climbs.I've never had problems with the steering washing out when downhilling.
Try out different stem lengths and rise on your bike.
Climbing takes practice and patience.Just go at your own pace and work up the endurance and before you know it,you'll be keeping up with your buddies. Make sure you stretch before you ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Barends, ya i thought of those and almost put them on. But i just wouldnt like em on my bar as it has a considerable rise to it.

I would like to thank every one who helped by giveing me points to ponder. my stem will be on my desk wednesday by noon and we shall go from there.

Any special instructions for installing a stem (my first threadless head set bike )
 

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alm80 said:
Barends, ya i thought of those and almost put them on. But i just wouldnt like em on my bar as it has a considerable rise to it.

I would like to thank every one who helped by giveing me points to ponder. my stem will be on my desk wednesday by noon and we shall go from there.

Any special instructions for installing a stem (my first threadless head set bike )
No worries it is easy... just remember to set the preload of the headset (the bolt you see on the top cap--- it is the one you see when you sit on the bike) before tightening the stem bolts... and regarding all the stem bolts, put some grease on the threads before installation and tighten to the recommended torque values (if you go "by feeling" don't tighten too hard)
 
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