Author Topic: A 130mm stem; too long?  (Read 1306 times)

A 130mm stem; too long?
« on: March 05, 2019, 01:14:34 pm »
So, I  brought, last summer, a Brother  Kepler. One of the last of the cantilever brake models. On paper the  measurements looked  right.

The other  week, I  found that I finally had the time  and space  to  build it up. I was alone in the house for a couple of  days.

Having put the bars, saddle and stem on I measured it up to check on the  fit. 

It  turns out that  the Kepler may have the  right TT length  (54.5cm) but it's a short frame. Instead of the 110mm stem I expected  to use I  find I instead need a 130mm to get the right saddle to handlebar length. Brother talk about it having cyclo cross  geometry- so I assume that's the reason for this.

Now,  I know that we all  rode short  top tubes and long stems in the 90s.. Well, those of us who  were there did. But do any of you expect  problems  with 130mm stem and handling ?


frankly frankie

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 01:29:45 pm »
I use 115mm stem and have used shorter and longer in the past on other frame, to be honest I don't think there's anything to notice - the stem length (if it is an ahead**) is the ideal way to achieve perfect fit.

** quill stems are a nightmare of course.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

IanDG

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 01:33:42 pm »
I started with a 120 on my cross-check, it handled ok but the reach was too long and I fitted a 100. Used a 120 on my Equilibrium, comfortable and handles ok. 'Back in the day' I did ride short top tube and 130/140 stem.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 01:59:48 pm »
I have a 130mm stem on my fixed gear road bike. Works for me.

The theory, as I understand it, is that longer stem = slower steering but pro road racers often use bikes with undersized frames and long stems and they don't seem to have too many problems with handling. (I once had a go on Elia Viviani's Dogma - I'm about the same height as Viviani, apparently, but the frame was at least two sizes smaller than I would normally go for, with a very long stem and seatpost.)


slope

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 02:11:31 pm »
I've used a 130mm (gorgeous aesthetic Nitto quill as opposed to those modern agricultural fugly looking 'ahead' things ;)) stem, with no problem on a short top tubed bike

But I was using it with swept back Velo Orange 'Porteur' bars, or also swept back "North Road" bars

mattc

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 02:12:33 pm »

** quill stems are a nightmare of course.

Ooh. Do you mean they are a problem in long lengths? (or just hard to get in long lengths??)

[Might be looking at a new bike with a quill soon #retrotastic ...]
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

IanDG

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 02:16:18 pm »

** quill stems are a nightmare of course.

Ooh. Do you mean they are a problem in long lengths? (or just hard to get in long lengths??)

[Might be looking at a new bike with a quill soon #retrotastic ...]

I assumed he meant a problem if you need to play around trying different lengths - everytime you fit a new stem you have to remove tape and brake/gear lever.

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 02:27:31 pm »
Handling apart, 130mm might look "odd".

That said, it's  going to be a tourer  that  does a bit of rough stuff. So it will have a  bar bag and 28cc+ tyres.

There is but one way to find  out.

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 02:49:53 pm »

Ooh. Do you mean they are a problem in long lengths? (or just hard to get in long lengths??)

[Might be looking at a new bike with a quill soon #retrotastic ...]


Not if you get a stem that I had  - a 3TTT IIRC - where there is a single bolt unnder the front of the bar clamp area, and once removed the front came off a la modern ahead designs. This was on a Peugeot 753 Chorus around 1987.

Like this one indeed,

http://www.bikerecyclery.com/3ttt-evol-2002-removable-faceplate-quill-stem-110mm-x-26mm-silver/
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

mattc

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 03:17:23 pm »
Aha! Yes of course, that would make sense.

It's funny, I never understood why more quill stems of that design weren't marketed. (is there an underlying engineering flaw somewhere  :-\  )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 03:18:07 pm »
Handling apart, 130mm might look "odd".

That said, it's  going to be a tourer  that  does a bit of rough stuff. So it will have a  bar bag and 28cc+ tyres.

There is but one way to find  out.
You're right there's only one way to find out, but I'd have thought whatever differences there are a bar bag will exaggerate them. 

Blodwyn Pig

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 03:22:57 pm »
well , of course it all depends on  the bars.  olive came with compact bars, ie short ramps, but long bottom rails?  so that the 'tops' section is twice as far away as the bar cons., combined with a 130mm stem. I now have Nitto Noodles, that have long ramps,in that the  'tops' are directly above the bar cons,and a 100 mm stem.
I think a 130mm stem AND Nitto Noodles, would be like steering a boat.

IanDG

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 03:34:29 pm »
well , of course it all depends on  the bars.  olive came with compact bars, ie short ramps, but long bottom rails?  so that the 'tops' section is twice as far away as the bar cons., combined with a 130mm stem. I now have Nitto Noodles, that have long ramps,in that the  'tops' are directly above the bar cons,and a 100 mm stem.
I think a 130mm stem AND Nitto Noodles, would be like steering a boat.

Noodles and a 130 stem

Photo0569 by ian, on Flickr

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2019, 03:36:40 pm »
^^^^  :o :o :o :o

IanDG

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2019, 03:42:43 pm »
Handling is cool but then it's a short top tube and I'm 6'2". I love the Noodles, have fitted a set to my Long Haul Trucker - but with a 110 stem.

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2019, 04:17:53 pm »
Not quite as long, but I rented a bike with a 120mm stem last year (well, it came with a 100mm, but the hire place switched it for a longer one to get the reach correct). It handled fine and was the first time I've ever actually managed to ride no-handed! My usual bike has an 80mm stem as it's a bit big for me, and that one's very twitchy.

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2019, 04:20:32 pm »
It handled fine and was the first time I've ever actually managed to ride no-handed!

If you're riding no handed, why would the length of stem matter  ???

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2019, 09:42:09 am »
It doesn't make that much difference and a longer stem looks cooler.  You get used to the handling of almost any bike after a few hundred yards.
Never tell me the odds.

FifeingEejit

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2019, 10:59:53 am »
It doesn't make that much difference and a longer stem looks cooler.  You get used to the handling of almost any bike after a few hundred yards.

What's more amusing is when your bikes handling changes during a ride, such as when you've taken panniers off the front, e.g. riding to the pub from your accommodation.

I've got a 80mm stem on my touring bike, partly to let me sit up a bit but it also has the effect of speeding up the steering when bags are on.

Look at MTBs for full on descending, the bars can be almost directly on the steerer due to a very short stem.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2019, 12:05:52 pm »
Look at MTBs for full on descending, the bars can be almost directly on the steerer due to a very short stem.

Stubby stems make sense when you've got to wrench the bike round very tight bends on singletrack through closely packed trees. As we all know, most steering on a road bike is done by leaning rather than turning the bars.

FifeingEejit

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2019, 01:22:04 pm »
Look at MTBs for full on descending, the bars can be almost directly on the steerer due to a very short stem.

Stubby stems make sense when you've got to wrench the bike round very tight bends on singletrack through closely packed trees. As we all know, most steering on a road bike is done by leaning rather than turning the bars.

The problem with the near direct mounted bars on MTBs is although it means fairly direct steering, they go hand in hand with wide bars for the leverage so although you have nice fast steering to get round those trees, inevitably you can't get through the gaps between trees...

Touring riding is a bit different from normal road riding where you're mostly steering with weight distribution because you're going pretty quick, if you're on a tour and given the option between blasting along a road or low speed slaloming on a shared use, the later has more of a chance of selection!

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2019, 01:33:59 pm »
The problem with the near direct mounted bars on MTBs is although it means fairly direct steering, they go hand in hand with wide bars for the leverage so although you have nice fast steering to get round those trees, inevitably you can't get through the gaps between trees...

Been there, done that, got the bruises...

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2019, 02:00:26 pm »
Ah, but do you remember  140mm MTB stems?

zigzag

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Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2019, 04:10:34 pm »
It doesn't make that much difference and a longer stem looks cooler.  You get used to the handling of almost any bike after a few hundred yards.

^^ this. unless the bike is built/cobbled from incompatible parts, one can very easily adjust to the handling. look at all those people riding small wheeled bikes - they are super twitchy when compared to full size bikes, but hardly anyone complains. it's easier to "tame" a fast turning bike than to make a slow turning bike react quickly.

Re: A 130mm stem; too long?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2019, 04:34:41 pm »
My Holdsworth steers like a supertanker.  It feels weird as I go out onto the road from my house but I don't really notice it after that.  You can always force a bike to turn if it has really slow steering - it just wouldn't be your first choice for twisty singletrack or dodging potholes.
Never tell me the odds.