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of bars n stems

Dec. 23, 2016, 9:29 p.m.
Posts: 1172
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

an oldie but a goodie?
do many of you ride stems under 50mm? i reckon a 10-15mm change in length is within a bike size from a fit point of view but i wonder about handling sub 50. if so do you feel there are any drawbacks? does is sharpen handling excessively?
bar length; a number of locals ride 780 which i'm afraid to do on the trail bike due to the tightness of the trails. i already damage pinky fingers with some regularity. any readers going over 760 outside of the DH bike?

Dec. 23, 2016, 11:35 p.m.
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct. 16, 2015

Can't speak of sub50 stems, but I've been running a 780 bar for a few years on my AM bike (i have a 300 on the DH sled) and member when going back to a bike with 760's felt strangely small. We're pretty adaptable creatures though and i got used to it again quick enough, but i wasn't complaining when my regular pony was back up and running. It may slow you down for a while on the tight stuff, but you'll learn when to pull one way or the hard way. Running a wider steerer might give you some grace to smash bar ends instead of digits anyway.

Dec. 24, 2016, 12:52 a.m.
Posts: 772
Joined: June 29, 2006

Run a 30mm stem on my Strive and a 50mm on my Reign, makes them feel comparable in Reach, even though the difference on paper is only 10mm.

780mm bars on both bikes and I don't want to ride anything narrower. Although you really can adapt to such things.
It really is a fitment thing though, I think. You just have to feel right. If a 60mm puts the bars in the perfect spot, fine. If it's a 30mm, fine too.

Bar height is more critical for me. I almost don't notice a 10mm stem difference, but 5mm to high feels "unridable".
I haven't ridden a 70mm or longer stem on a Mountainbike for 10+ years though, at that point I'd just say the frame is too small ;-)

Dec. 24, 2016, 7:40 a.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

35mm stem. Cant remember what a 50 feels like so cant offer much comparison. I know that 35 is pretty comfy tho on a 29 trail bike. Maybe see if you can borrow one.

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Dec. 24, 2016, 8:18 a.m.
Posts: 960
Joined: Feb. 28, 2014

I run a 35mm stem. 50mm feels like I'm riding a 90's set up. I was at 800mm on the bar all 2016 but just went back down to a 780mm. If I had to choose, 790mm is my perfect width.

Dec. 24, 2016, 9:22 a.m.
Posts: 926
Joined: June 26, 2012

Going from a 60 mm to a 45 mm stem on my 29er hardtail (68 deg HA) made the handling significantly less twitchy with little effect on climbing performance.

Dec. 24, 2016, 10:08 a.m.
Posts: 1191
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

It really is a fitment thing though, I think. You just have to feel right. If a 60mm puts the bars in the perfect spot, fine. If it's a 30mm, fine too.

/\This first. Absolutely this.

Not sure if this will help you but…I did some experimenting with bars and stem a while back when setting up my last bike, mostly by doing laps at Whistler. I rode and got used to 760mm, 780mm and 800mm bars, all felt normal surprisingly quickly. The difference in cockpit length was the big change. I had to size down on the frame for the 800.

The difference in steering speed between a 35mm and 50mm stem was noticeable, I decided I preferred the faster 35, but can see how many like the slightly slower 50. 60 gave the steering an odd vague wandering sensation. YMMV- this was for the head angle, rake and trail of a Reign.

(In the end I went with a larger frame, 780 bar and 40 stem).

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Dec. 24, 2016, 11:19 a.m.
Posts: 15019
Joined: April 5, 2007

I run a 50mm stem with Rental FatBar XL(780 or 785 can't recall the width) on 29er hardtail. DH bike is the same bar with increased height and a 47mm stem.

Next time I'm going short as possible on the stem. The theoretical maths might work out, yo!

Why slag free swag?:rolleyes:

ummm, as your doctor i recommend against riding with a scaphoid fracture.

Dec. 24, 2016, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 632
Joined: March 25, 2011

You may find that fork offset will play a part as well. My recent experienced with setup is a large Process 111 with a 40mm stem (spec'd length from Kona), 780 bars with a Pike 140 that has a 46mm offset (Kona spec). I've recently had a fair amount of time on a Santa Cruz Hightower, also size Large. The Hightower had 800mm bars, 50mm stem, and a 51mm offset Pike at 150mm. The reach and general fit between the two was almost identical as spec'd. I could not tell the difference in steering response between the two stem lengths, likely because of the differences in trail between the two. I'm comfortable on the 460 reach of the Kona as spec'd, but to be honest I don't think I would upsize a Hightower to an XL and go with a super short stem. It's feels good as designed.

Dec. 24, 2016, 12:56 p.m.
Posts: 955
Joined: Oct. 23, 2006

35mm stem and 800 bar here.
Cut trees not bars.

Dec. 25, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 543
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

an oldie but a goodie?
do many of you ride stems under 50mm? i reckon a 10-15mm change in length is within a bike size from a fit point of view but i wonder about handling sub 50. if so do you feel there are any drawbacks? does is sharpen handling excessively?
bar length; a number of locals ride 780 which i'm afraid to do on the trail bike due to the tightness of the trails. i already damage pinky fingers with some regularity. any readers going over 760 outside of the DH bike?

Absolutely. I run an Atlas 35 in 50mm and full-width Sixc bars at 800mm. My bike is barely big enough as it is so I won't likely go much shorter than 50mm. I initially rode my current bike with the 65 that came off my old bike - switching to the 50 really improved the handling. The current bike has a longer ETT and reach so the overall cockpit length is pretty much the same.

800mm wide bar is great but really bar width should correspond somewhat with shoulder width.

There's nothing better than an Orangina after cheating death with Digger.

Dec. 25, 2016, 3:09 p.m.
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I settled on a 35mm BZA stem and 800mm BZA bars. My bike is a large Suppressor. On the shop floor the medium felt cramped so I went with a large. But with the stock 50mm stem it was actually a bit too long so I swapped in the 35mm and it feels great. And no real difference in handling to me.

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