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Riser Stem?

Catrin2010-06-21 10:23:16 +0000 #1
Does this look like a riser stem? To me it looks like a solid unit, but wanted to see what others think. I am willing to try raising my bars a bit, but this looks to me like it isn't a riser, or that I need a taller one. Here are two views..
Becky2010-06-21 10:38:18 +0000 #2
Yes, it does to me. It's a non-adjustable riser stem. There are adjustable ones out there, but I'm not a fan. You have to get the "hinge" bolt wicked tight, or run the risk that it shifts on you at the worst time. And I'm not sure that an adjustable would go much higher than the stem that you have now.

What exactly are you looking to change with regards to fit?
Catrin2010-06-21 10:44:22 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by Becky

Yes, it does to me. It's a non-adjustable riser stem. There are adjustable ones out there, but I'm not a fan. You have to get the "hinge" bolt wicked tight, or run the risk that it shifts on you at the worst time. And I'm not sure that an adjustable would go much higher than the stem that you have now.

What exactly are you looking to change with regards to fit?

My bars seem a little too low and this is causing problems with neck/back and the ability to move my hands to get to the bar-end shifters. My arms are flexed and hands relaxed, so it isn't from a death grip (I have arthritis in my hands so I know when I am holding on too tightly - it is PAINFUL). Of course some of this is from being a new rider, but not all of it.

A proper fitting will be done, but I have to wait until I get more miles on the bike. For now I will try lowering my seat-post a bit - which is a short-term solution but hopefully will help. Am also considering calling the LBS and begging them to forgo the 150 mile requirement for a full professional fitting...
OakLeaf2010-06-21 11:17:46 +0000 #4
Mmmmmm... from the picture, and not seeing you on the bike, your bars are very high.

I'd go so far as to say that if those bars are too low, the frame is too small for you. I really hope that isn't the case, since I know the effort you went to in getting something the right size.

It's actually possible that the bars are too high. I wish I could give credit where credit is due... but I don't remember who it was. Someone just gave a really excellent illustration of this... Get on your hands and knees and feel how much weight is in your hands and shoulders. Now, shift your butt back towards your heels and feel how much less weight is in your hands, even as the horizontal distance between your hands and your butt gets longer. There are postures where it's very difficult for your core to take the weight, and postures where it's easy. One of the objects of fitting is to find where that's easy.
indysteel2010-06-21 10:42:10 +0000 #5
I guess I don't really understand why the bar end shifters are hard to use, even if they're low. You should be able to comfortably reach for your water bottles, which are much lower than your bars. Granted, I've never used bar end shifters, but I have to wonder if this is more a function of your general comfort level on the bike. As Oakleaf suggested in another thread, you're learning a lot in a short period of time.

And I agree that your bars seem high. Believe or not, your front end stability may have more to do with how your saddle is set up now. I agree that you may have too much weight in your hands, but raising the bars won't necessarily remedy that. Trust me on this.

Maybe I can see you on the bike if we get together for a ride.
ny biker2010-06-21 12:38:52 +0000 #6
What picture are you alls looking that such that you see the bars are too high?

=========

Never mind. I thought the stem in the photos in the first post was not already on Catrin's bike, but I guess that is the bike in question.
Catrin2010-06-21 10:55:21 +0000 #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by OakLeaf

Mmmmmm... from the picture, and not seeing you on the bike, your bars are very high.

I'd go so far as to say that if those bars are too low, the frame is too small for you. I really hope that isn't the case, since I know the effort you went to in getting something the right size.

It's actually possible that the bars are too high. I wish I could give credit where credit is due... but I don't remember who it was. Someone just gave a really excellent illustration of this... ...... There are postures where it's very difficult for your core to take the weight, and postures where it's easy. One of the objects of fitting is to find where that's easy.

I really hope that the frame isn't too small - though if what I understand what I am reading here there are other things that can be going on here regarding positioning and over-all bike comfort and the bar height may be fine....I really hope that proves to be true.

Quote:

Originally Posted by indysteel

I guess I don't reallu understand why the bar end shifters are hard to use, even if they're low. You should be able to comfortable reach for your water bottles, which are much lower than your bars. Granted, I've never used bar end shifters, but I have to wonder if this is more a function of your general comfort level on the bike. As Oakleaf suggested in another thread, you're learning a lot in a short period of time.

And I agree that your bars seem high. Believe or not, your front end stability may have more to do with how your saddle is set up now. I agree that you may have too much weight in your hands, but raising the bars won't necessarily remedy that. Trust me on this.

Maybe I can see you on the bike if we get together for a ride.

This is good to hear Indysteel - that other things can be causing that front-end instability outside of bar height. I think that I will continue with my approach from the Shifting thread in new riders section - practice various movements on my Trek (which has been fit to me), lower my seat-post a smidgen on the LHT, pick a nice middle gear & basically treat it as a single-speed for now until I am comfortable doing those assorted movements on the Trek while on my Boone County country roads - then will work on doing those same movements on the LHT.

It would be good to go riding with you when we are both back from our trips. I am hoping this will be settled by then, but we will see
Crankin2010-06-21 10:51:00 +0000 #8
Catrin, keep practicing whatever movements you think you need to have before you do any major adjustments, changing of shifters, etc. I'd hate to see you spend a lot of $, when this is more of a practice issue.

I am not sure it's easy for some to understand how it feels to not be able to take your hands off of the bars, or change position. I've been riding for almost ten years and I still have a very difficult time with the water bottle and will only drink while riding if the conditions are what i term "optimal."

I had a lot of issues using the drops until two years ago. There were no issues with the STI shifters, etc., that always seemed intuitive to me, even when i switched from trigger shifters, when I got my first road bike. But, I always felt like I was almost lying down when trying to ride in the drops. In observing my DH, I noticed he looked like he just moved his hands down, but his body stayed in the same position when switching to the drops. So, I knew the shape/position of my bars had something to do with it, but most of it was my shaky coordination. I knew my core was in pretty good shape (maybe not as good now ), so I did 2 things. First, I bought the short and shallow bars. Did tons of research and narrowed it down to 2-3. I bought the Specialized ones, but there are others that would have been fine.

Then, I just made myself practice. The bars made a difference, but I found that by getting in the drops on flat roads, where I could put it in the big ring and go really helped.

I still don't feel as confident with my handling skills when in the drops, but I use them a lot now.

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