Will shortening stem by 10mm make much difference?

dawn72

Well-Known Member
I have a 15 inch frame Saracen Kili but even after narrowing the bars, I still feel a little stretched if I need to lift the front wheel over obstacles. I've been advised by rutland not to go any shorter than 60mm as it can make the steering twitchy but I'm wondering whether it's worth changing as the standard stem n the bike is 70mm. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
Just try it, you can always put the old one back. I would go for a bit more lift at the same time.
 

NormanD

Lunatic Asylum Escapee
it makes a massive difference, I dropped from a 120mm stem down to a 50mm stem, then raised the handlebars up to compensate for the fact I can't bend my wrists downwards after breaking both of them a number of years back. The shorter stem doesn't make the bike twitchy at all, I feel more in control, than I did with the longer stem, plus the back ache has vanished.
https://www.cyclechat.net/media/boardone-jpg.7330/
 
OP
dawn72

dawn72

Well-Known Member
it makes a massive difference, I dropped from a 120mm stem down to a 50mm stem, then raised the handlebars up to compensate for the fact I can't bend my wrists downwards after breaking both of them a number of years back. The shorter stem doesn't make the bike twitchy at all, I feel more in control, than I did with the longer stem, plus the back ache has vanished.
https://www.cyclechat.net/media/boardone-jpg.7330/
Thanks for that, I'd only be reducing by 10mm if I go for 60mm
 
In short: 10mm is significant and very noticeable.

My bike came with a 100mm stem and I had exactly the same issue, thinking that 10mm would make no discernible difference, but not wanting to go below (in this case) 90mm. I finally tried it and was very surprised how much change that 10mm was; it transformed the bike from 'definitely too stretched' to 'just right'. So, yes, the shorter stem was certainly worth it for me. (I should add that now I'm toying with seeing what putting the 100mm stem back on is like, after six months from being a beginner, since I'm now slightly more flexible.)
 
Location
Spain
I went to a Giant dealer, because i have a defy and it actually was the lbs at the time of thinking about it, inquiring about reducing my stem by 10mm and was told i wouldn't notice any difference until i reduced it by at least 2.5mm. Went for a 70mm instead of a 100mm and after a professional bike fit it turned out to be exactly the right size, probably a pure accident. I don't find handling with a shorter stem to be in any way twitchy.
 
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