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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to replace the stock stem on my 21.5 Trek 4500.
I am 6 3' 224
The stock stem is comfortable, but I if I went with something a little more agressive It may handle better.

So which length and rise do you think would be best? The LBS in the area is vague with suggestions.
 

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Thomson

Therapy said:
I'm looking to replace the stock stem on my 21.5 Trek 4500.
I am 6 3' 224
The stock stem is comfortable, but I if I went with something a little more agressive It may handle better.

So which length and rise do you think would be best? The LBS in the area is vague with suggestions.
Thomson stem. Length and rise? Impossible to accurately offer suggestions. A good rule of thumb is that when you're in your riding position, your arms should be 90 degrees from your torso.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jtrider said:
Hey Therapy Welcome to the forum. I too have a 21.5 size Trek 4500. What other modification have you made to your 4500 ?
Thanks, there is a lot of info on this board. The only mod I have done are some egg beaters pedals. I really like them, step on them and go, even pointed up hill. I will need some tires soon. I ride xc hard packed with roots and rocks.

Most people don't think this bike is worth upgrading. I don't think I'm in good enough shape to benefit from something better, I've only had it for 5 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ken in KC said:
Thomson stem. Length and rise? Impossible to accurately offer suggestions. A good rule of thumb is that when you're in your riding position, your arms should be 90 degrees from your torso.

Ken
Thanks, that is more than most shops tell me.
 

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Therapy said:
Thanks, there is a lot of info on this board. The only mod I have done are some egg beaters pedals. I really like them, step on them and go, even pointed up hill. I will need some tires soon. I ride xc hard packed with roots and rocks.

Most people don't think this bike is worth upgrading. I don't think I'm in good enough shape to benefit from something better, I've only had it for 5 months.
Sure the 4500 is worth upgrading. It may be on the lower end ( price wise ) but the frame is solid and something to build up around.
I've been riding my 4500 since 2001. Great Bike ! I also have a '05 FS bike ( Cannondale Prophet ). I still really enjoy riding the HT. I just like the feel and the power transfer that the HT bike gives you. Keep on riding and enjoying yourself. Everything else will fall into place.
 

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Therapy said:
I'm looking to replace the stock stem on my 21.5 Trek 4500.
I am 6 3' 224
The stock stem is comfortable, but I if I went with something a little more agressive It may handle better.

So which length and rise do you think would be best? The LBS in the area is vague with suggestions.
If you'd google bicycle & fit, you'll get enough reading material to keep you busy for a month.

With stems, there's no rule as to what's "right" - it's much more about feel. Your arms shouldn't get tired, your back shouldn't hurt, you shouldn't feel "cramped" (short cockpit), your hands shouldn't get numb, etc. - so it's impossible to say "you need a... stem size"

More aggressive generally means a lower bar height. Most stems are 5-7* rise. Since you seem happy with the reach of the stem you have, try flipping the stem you have over, so instead of a rise - you've got a drop. I assume you already have a flat bar, not a riser (bars are cheaper than a stem) & that you've got no headtube spacers under your stem.
 

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I also meant to suggest that you buy an assortment of "cheap" stems to find the fit you're looking for - then when you KNOW what length/rise you want, go ahead a invest in a hi $ stem if you feel the need to. You're gambling with your money buying something like a Thompson if you don't KNOW it the "perfect" stem for you. SuperGo is selling alot of their house stems for $4-5 bucks apiece right now - so you could pick up 4 or 5 diff sizes for $20 and be hurt much. Jenson sells/sold the Tahoma brand (a really good, solid stem by itself), Pricepoint with the Sette brand (if they're on sale>$10), and Nashbar sells their house brand cheap as well.

Anyway, if you must buy a stem - buy a CHEAP stem untill you KNOW it's what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Descalzo said:
I also meant to suggest that you buy an assortment of "cheap" stems to find the fit you're looking for - then when you KNOW what length/rise you want, go ahead a invest in a hi $ stem if you feel the need to. You're gambling with your money buying something like a Thompson if you don't KNOW it the "perfect" stem for you. SuperGo is selling alot of their house stems for $4-5 bucks apiece right now - so you could pick up 4 or 5 diff sizes for $20 and be hurt much. Jenson sells/sold the Tahoma brand (a really good, solid stem by itself), Pricepoint with the Sette brand (if they're on sale>$10), and Nashbar sells their house brand cheap as well.

Anyway, if you must buy a stem - buy a CHEAP stem untill you KNOW it's what you want.
Thanks for the last two responses. It's amazing that no one has told me to try that.
 

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oops

When I first read your post I thought you knew what length and rise you wanted. Trust me, I know, you don't want to buy a stem that "seems" about right. I now use a thomson 90mm 5 degree rise, and it's just too short. There's not much control on climbs--the front end wanders. But, oh, is it nice on downhills--at least that is what I tell myself.

The thing about those "cheap" stems from supergo, wheelworld, etc is that they usually come in super long lengths. I was checking out a certain stem that seemed to be a good value, and it turned out they only had 130-140mm lengths. You know, I just wonder if either some buddies or maybe even the LBS has some old stems laying around that you could try out for a couple of rides.
 

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Any decent bike shop has a wall full of those cheapo aluminum stems in virtually every size. Both of my area bike shops have them. They will lend me the stems of my choice to decide what size I need and then I'll order the big buck stem from them.

I've been extremely pleased with my Easton stem from about 4 years ago, when they first came out with the hinged faceplate. It has a wide clamping area, very stout body and is as stiff as anything I've ever tried. Very Clyde-worthy. You might be able to find them cheap now. otherwise you CAN NOT go wrong with a Thomson.
 

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Titec Big al 150 mm stem on my vanilla fork with an uncut steerer tube works fine and if you can find one they are reasonably priced. One problem with Tompson stems is the way they are mounted on the steerer, might slip if you like to be abusive/jumping. Good luck
 

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Descalzo said:
I also meant to suggest that you buy an assortment of "cheap" stems to find the fit you're looking for - then when you KNOW what length/rise you want, go ahead a invest in a hi $ stem if you feel the need to. You're gambling with your money buying something like a Thompson if you don't KNOW it the "perfect" stem for you. SuperGo is selling alot of their house stems for $4-5 bucks apiece right now - so you could pick up 4 or 5 diff sizes for $20 and be hurt much. Jenson sells/sold the Tahoma brand (a really good, solid stem by itself), Pricepoint with the Sette brand (if they're on sale>$10), and Nashbar sells their house brand cheap as well.

Anyway, if you must buy a stem - buy a CHEAP stem untill you KNOW it's what you want.
Good post.

Definitely one of the most useful posts I've seen on any bike forum.
I'll put that in my back pocket for when it's my turn to upgrade stem later this year.
 

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Why not get a professional fit.

Save buying a bunch of stems. they could also tell you correct crank arm lengths seat post height, pedal cleat position and bar height. Check around more and more bike shops are getting better measuring equiptment.
 
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