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Reach is too far - get new stem or new

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Reach is too far - get new stem or new

Old 07-21-14, 09:45 AM
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Reach is too far - get new stem or new

I have a Jamis Satellite Sport 2012 road bike, 56cm size, and the reach is a little too far for me. I notice when I have my hands on the handlebars, the top of the stem is not lined up with the middle of the front wheel which is what I've heard recommended. (The bike size is fine -- I tried a 58 and a 54 before settling on this 56 size.) I've found myself readjusting by moving way forward on the bike seat but it's uncomfortable on long rides -- and I've already tried moving the seat as far forward on the seat bar/rod as possible. So I want to get a shorter reach, and my question is: should I get a shorter stem, or a different seat post? The seatpost I have juts back at the top by say 3cm or so (see the product photo), and I replace it a post that doesn't jut back. Or I could get a shorter stem -- my current stem is 100mm, and I could go for something like 70-80cm.

Do you recommend a shorter stem or a different post? Is there anything to consider in terms of balance, etc., when making this decision -- for example, is it better to sit further back on the bike as opposed to further forward which is what would happen if I changed the post? I use my bike for commuting to/from work (13 miles each way) as well as a few longer day trips, plus I sometimes take my daughter on a ride on the bike seat on the back.

Here are the specs:
Jamis Satellite Sport 2012 Road Bike - 58cm (Soiled) | Evans Cycles

Thank you!
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Old 07-21-14, 11:53 AM
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I can't get into specifics without seeing you on the bicycle.

BUT

The general sequence for fitting a bicycle is to set the saddle according to the bottom bracket and/or cranks, since this is about power transfer. Then once the saddle position is set, to locate the bars accordingly.

In any case, there' little latitude in seatpost forward/back position options (probably up to under 2" between the various brands, so most likely you've nothing to gain by swapping posts, unless you cannot locate correctly relative to the cranks. So, like most people, you'll be looking at stem height and extension.
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Old 07-21-14, 11:58 AM
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Do NOT move the seat to get shorter reach. The fore-aft seat position (as with height) is done in relation to your legs, not reach to the bars, and should be determined prior to making cockpit adjustments at the bars/stem. There are lots of opinions on how to determine the best fore-aft position, dependent on riding style and rider dimensions. Google seat fore-aft position. I for one am not in favor of the Knee Over Pedal Axle method except as a very rough starting point (see The Myth of K.O.P.S..
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Old 07-21-14, 02:50 PM
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Thanks folks, sounds like I need to look into a shorter stem instead of a different post. And I'll be sure to look up the fore-aft position tips you mentioned too. Thanks again!
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Old 07-21-14, 04:34 PM
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Also note that the "line up the bars with the front axle" is just another rule-of-thumb starting point. There's no more scientific basis for it than there is for KOPS. You can figure out what actually feels right just by moving your hands back on the hoods a bit until you hit a point that feels comfortable. The distance between that and the "correct" position is how much you'd want to shorten the stem (assuming that reach is the only thing you need to change).
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Old 07-21-14, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis
Also note that the "line up the bars with the front axle" is just another rule-of-thumb starting point. There's no more scientific basis for it than there is for KOPS. You can figure out what actually feels right just by moving your hands back on the hoods a bit until you hit a point that feels comfortable. The distance between that and the "correct" position is how much you'd want to shorten the stem (assuming that reach is the only thing you need to change).
And even at this, I'd be wary. If you keep moving back til you find a "comfortable" spot behind the hoods, you may very well be back to the tops of the bars. Unfortunately, it's actually a bit of trial and error and sometimes a few long ride's worth to figure it out. If you're riding 100 or 110 now, try shortneing by 10mm or so. (100 or 90) and see how things feel. Also be aware of degree of rise. A 5 degree rise stem flipped one way or another will be significantly different than a 7 or 8 degree stem flipped one way or the other. And those rises will also compensate some for "reach" in their "up" position.

Lastly, try to keep the stem 90 or above. I know some folks run 60's or even 50's, but handling gets sketchy below 90mm stem length, imho. (Maybe you could handle it but I ain't no pro)

Good luck!
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