Talk To Me About Slammed Stems On Road Bikes
But if I take the spacers my Garmin won’t fit!
Alright, I’ll stop being a lazy git and do it.
Still interested in knowing if there are any measurable advantages though. I don’t want to do it just because it looks “Pro”.
@zilog6128 the drops position is pretty comfy already, but I will check that too.Posted 4 years agoRogan JoshMember
Ye i dont think it’s really about the aero advantage. I certainly feel that a lower stem allows me to recruit a little more power, climbing either on the tops or stood up, and drops my elbows a little further under my armpits/lats, which was made more so by going from a 130 to a 120 stem.
Like the others say, just swap the spacers round and try it, not just for a ride, give it 15-20 hours of total riding before you make judgement and make sure you try riding for as long as you normally tend to ride (not just hour blasts).Posted 4 years agotinribzMember
Can’t deny slammed and reversed is aesthetic, it’s really about how much your neck can’t cope. I was checking them out bikes on stage 1 yesterday and was surprised to see some even some long head-tubes with spacers and + angles.
Listen to people that follow the rules and you’ll end up with something like this.
Posted 4 years ago
What advantages does this confer? I have recently switched from a 110mm to 90mm stem and it has changed my bike’s handling hugely. Bike feels a lot more nimble, reacts quicker when sprinting and means more of the saddle is available to me when I move about. I love it.
I am now considering removing some of the spacers to get lower down because it is a near zero cost option to change how the bike handles. I think maybe the benefit is a more aero position, but would like to confirm this before getting the hacksaw out. I am pretty flexible so lower position and back issues are not a problem.
All advice gratefully received!Posted 4 years ago
Interested in knowing how height affects things.
It has eliminated of the elbow stiffness and sorted the reach while on the hoods with the 110mm stem. Could maybe get away with 100mm, but the 90mm stem was a Ritchey WCS 4-Axis one I had lying around doing nothing so a good use for it.
Been on the 90mm for a week with a 156km ride yesterday and a couple of 50km+ rides too and it feels fine going up and down so I’ll keep it for now. Got some Easton EA70 bars lying around too which need to go on at some point.Posted 4 years agocrashtestmonkeyMember
experiment without cutting stuff first-I’m still playing around with mine and its gradually getting lower (possibly as Ive got used to road riding I’ve adapted to the position and got more flexible). Got mine inverted and “slammed” bar one 5mm spacer (on a Lapierre which has a short, racey headtube), just come back from a 70 miler with no aches and pains and was surprised how comfortable it felt even on the drops.
I’m not desperate to slam it for aesthetics or roadie kudos, just trying to find a comfortable efficient set up and as a middle-aged born-again roadie I expected to need/want it higher.Posted 4 years ago
You’d be better off with a longer stem and a shorter reach bar; look at FSA Omega Compact bars, even the cheapest are a brilliant shape, and will allow you to go longer in the stem and maintain the same reach. They also bring the drops to a much more usable place, in my opinion.Posted 4 years agoollie51Member
-More aero (not by loads)
-More weight on the front wheel, good for cornering
-bike looks ‘pro’
-Flexibility issues could reduce power output
-More weight on front wheel, perhaps not so good for hard front wheel braking
-flexibility issues may make you look very ‘untidy’ when pedaling
If you’re bike has a short head tube i.e. <12cm then you’ll need very good levels of flexibility (very few people actually are flexible enough, including the pros e.g. Gilbert) to get away with slamming your stem. Slamming it if you are not will just delve you into a world of bio-mechanical issues with your neck, recruiting the glutes and hip flexors, lower back issues etc. If you’re uncertain, get a bike fit.Posted 4 years ago
Cheers guys. I have a follow up with the bike fit man on Friday so I’ll test with spacers removed prior and see what the analysis comes up with once I’m there.
The main reason I swapped to the 90mm stem was so I could reach the brakes when on the hoods better. It wasn’t much of an issue on anything under 30km, but on longer rides my arms got really stiff. If the Deda bar will solve my reach problem with the brakes then I will look into that too.Posted 4 years agobikewhispererMember
One of my favouritest things about the setup sheets that come out of bikefitting sessions is that they never spec the bar reach or drop. It’s like bike geometry tables that will tell you the minutiae of the head tube rise, but never ever the stem length fitted on that bike, or how many spacers are underneath it.Posted 4 years ago
As for yours.. Try moving it 10mm a time without cutting anything. I’d avoid too shorter stem as you’ll knock your knees on short sprinty climbs, so check the reach of the barsnjee20Subscriber
The drops aren’t the most aero position, the tops are, with your elbows bent. The drops give you plenty of control because they’re a wider stance.
You will be more aero with a slammed stem, whether that’s measurable is another question, but reducing your frontal area will make you quicker, assuming you can still actually pedal.Posted 4 years agojonxmackMember
Also check you saddle to bar drop. You don’t want to get too far below your saddle hight.
My saddle to bar drop is 112mm.
One of my favouritest things about the setup sheets that come out of bikefitting sessions is that they never spec the bar reach or drop.
When I had my Retül fit I got a PDF with saddle height, setback, angle, effective seat tube angle, grip angle, frame stack/reach, saddle to bar reach, saddle to bar drop, grip (saddle to hoods) reach, grip drop, bar reach, bar width, bb to grip reach, bar stack, bar reach
So maybe you’re not going to the right bike fitting sessions.Posted 4 years ago
Also check you saddle to bar drop
Saddle to drops drop really. My saddle to bar drop is 8cm, but I have full 17cm bar drop on top of this. Compact bars allow a shorter drop for the bars and can eliminate the spacers. They are less comfortable when riding on the inner bend if you need to stand up.
So spacers and proper bars or slammed and compact. It’s all aesthetics . 😉 . I find the length of the drops is important, too short and the hands are reaching too far forwards – hence a shorter stem to bring them back.
90mm is pretty short though, on anything less than a small/52cm frame.Posted 4 years ago
Slammed stem = better handling, better position (i.e. more aero, more comfortable, and just easier to do everything), and looks a lot better.
Disadvantages? Go too long, and too low, and you might end up being a bit uncomfortable, and if you go stupidly low and long it can be a little bit trickier to get the power out.
Currently slammed with a 130mm -10 deg stem on my main road bike, recently swapped over from 110mm – it’s definitely better, but it’s still taking me a little bit of time to get used to it.Posted 4 years ago
Go too long, and too low, and you might end up being a bit uncomfortable
Nah, you’ll end up riding everywhere on the hoods. As I said earlier, if you find yourself riding on the hoods a lot, then your bars aren’t adjusted properly. Half-in-half is a good target to aim for, then build time on the drops from there.Posted 4 years agoD0NKSubscriber
I’m probably on the hoods 90% of the time. Drops for faster more technical descents, and the tops occasionally when climbing.
pretty much what I do IANAroadie tho. First time I’ve heard the 50/50 thing TiRed, not saying you’re wrong, I’ve no idea, not really looked much into it TBH.Posted 4 years agocpSubscriber
Half-in-half is a good target to aim for
I don’t think so. I’m on the hoods most of the time, and on the drops for fast technical sections – so I’d agree with the 90/10%. If your’e 50/50, I’d say your bars are way too high… but each to their own and all that.
To the OP, I find a longer/lower stretched position far more comfortable than shorter & higher, even for long days.Posted 4 years ago
Being comfortable on the drops is more efficient and saves energy. If you have to ride 20 miles into a headwind (Saturday) you want to be efficient. As I said, if you aren’t riding on the drops much then your bike isn’t fitting properly. The design of modern “race” bikes makes this harder. Older pro bikes had higher front ends. There was an excellent article in the Comic a few weeks ago on just this subject.
It’s an averages thing;
Average speed = %time on drops x speed on drops + %time on hoods x speed on hoods.
Optimize that for comfort with stem length, spacers and bar geometry to bring the bars closer (and the drops, but not necessarily the hoods up). Now I’ve fitted my new bike properly, I’m seldom out of the drops and it’s a revelation. Of course it’s a comfort bike with spacers 😆 but I rode a 60 mile club ride on Saturday and about 3/4 or more was on the drops. In fact the hoods feel slightly too high for long comfort. But the saddle to drops is 22cm.Posted 4 years agofunkrodentSubscriber
Sorry to hijack the thread and that, but I have the opposite problem, namely a too low riding position for my recently dodgy lower back. This is exacerbated by the fact that mine is a 90s racer with a quill stem that has been raised to its limit. My LBS have told me that the forks are only compatible with a quill stem and that I can’t get one with any kind of rise, therefore only option is change forks for new stem (ie loads of moolah and ruin aesthetic of bike). Is this the case and if not, what are my options? Any advice most welcome 🙂Posted 4 years agoransosSubscriber
As I said, if you aren’t riding on the drops much then your bike isn’t fitting properly.
Hmmm. I’m using the drops much more than I used to, yet I haven’t changed my bike set up in 3 years. I put it down to having spent a lot more hours in the saddle this year, which has got me used to holding a more aero position with less discomfort.Posted 4 years ago
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