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Old 07-01-20, 04:17 PM
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The reason I'm so interested in this thread is I have the same issue and can empathize with the OP when it comes to bike fitting. My inseam/ trunk ratio is within 2% of her's, and "normal" sized bikes don't work well for me without some modifications. Being 5' 3" or 5' 11"doesn't matter, we both have the same problem. Most stock bikes come with pre-cut steerer tubes. Most of the time bar height and reach can be adjusted with with stem length and angle. But for people with long legs and shorter torsos that remedy does not work very well. For us it is always seems to be a compromise when trying to get the saddle and bars level while maintaining the desired reach. I find having the saddle and bars level combined with the correct stem length and angle allows me to dial in a comfortable riding position .

The problem is increasing the bar height on a short steerer tube. a large angle stem, 35 degrees, increase the bar height some, but it is often not enough. Raising the bar height may require replacing the existing fork with one with an uncut steerer tube.

The 58 cm LHT with and uncut steerer tube was the easiest to set up with saddle level with the bars. Look at the relationship between the saddle, bars and the bridge railing. The bars and saddle are level. A 70 mm stem (6 degrees) with 60 mm of spacers was used to get the desired reach. When I finally cut the steerer tube I left 10 mm of steerer tube above the stem in case I wanted more adjustment. There is a about 15 mm in this picture, the first year I used this bike.

This 57 cm Bianchi, my favorite touring bike, took a little more work. I replaced the fork with one with an uncut steerer tube and used 70 mm of spacers with a 80 (6 degrees) mm stem. That is one of the compromises; 70 or 80 mm of spacers are not pretty. Both bikes fit me the same. I've ridden both of them on multi-month tours, and have no problems with the fit. The point of all this is finding a bike that fits pretty close, and figure out how you can raise the bars so they are level with the saddle (if that is your objective). Putting a longer stem regardless of it's angle is not going to reduce the reach, which is needed to provide a more upright riding position. This is especially true when the OP is already starting with a very short stem with about a 35 degree angle.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-02-20 at 05:59 PM.
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