A bicycle stem, also known as a gooseneck, is a relatively simple component. The stem is a part that joins the frame and handlebar by connecting to the steerer tube. The simple stem function plays a vital role in the safety standpoint; it is a part that should have the ability to handle different forces, plus the cyclist’s upper body mass and road vibrations.
High-quality items are designed with specific attention given for an excellent stiffness-to-weight ratio. The choice of stem you go for determines your comfortability on the bike; hence, choosing the perfect stem geometry is essential.
Types of Road Bikes Stems
There are only two significant types of race bike stems, which are inspired by the kind of headset your frame uses.
Most modern bikes use the threadless headset and apply a threadless stem that clamps to the steer tube. The threadless stem contains an adjustable style where it clamps the fork steerer tube from the part that extends the headset. These types of stems are primarily available in about 130 mm(5 inches).
The other type of stem is referred to as quill stem. This stem is inserted into a threaded steerer tube and goes up through the headset but does not go beyond it. It is inserted into the steerer tube and tightened using a bolt-on top of the gooseneck that pulls the stem upwards, making the bottom stem diameter wider.
Guide on Road Bike Stem’s
Many people do not understand the role the stem plays in a road bike until their bike’s stem encounters a problem or is broken, and they have to look for another stem to continue riding. When selecting a stem for your road bike, there are things that you must consider; some of this things are the length of the stem, its rise, its bar diameter, and the material used in making the stem. Deciding on what you want is easy. You only need to understand your riding style and preference; on the other hand, a stem can hugely affect how you enjoy your bike.
Things to Consider
One of the essential aspects to look out for when purchasing a stem for your road bike is the length. Installing a stem that is too long may stretch you out and cause pain in your neck and shoulders. Controlling your bike can also be affected by the length of the stem. A stem that is too long may make steering slower and defiant, while having a short stem may lead to shaky steering and may be uncomfortable.
When choosing a road bike stem, the stem’s rise is another significant factor that should be considered. The angle of the stem from the fork to the bar has a huge effect. A stem rise is stated in positive (+ ) or negative (-) degrees; this shows if the stem is a rise or a drop from the fork.
The bigger the rise of the stem from the fork, you will experience an upright body position, while a drop of the stem from the fork steering will lower your body position. Most road bike users prefer a low-angle riding position to an upright position that leisure users mainly appreciate. Road bike users prefer a low-angle stem to facilitate a good aerodynamically.
Bikes stems are mainly made from alloy, but some are made of carbon and other materials like titanium.
Stems made from alloy are cheaper and lighter; this makes them familiar in most bikes. Stems made from carbon are lighter and stronger than those made from alloy, but they are more expensive and are mostly preferred by racers.
Bar and Fork Width
Universally the fork steerer tubes are 1 ⅛’’ at the peak, but on older bikes, the size is 1,’’ but these types are not common. The manufacturer labels stem made to fit these forks to avoid confusing the buyer and make identification easy.
The handlebar clamp is uniformly made in all bikes production with a diameter of 31.8mm or 31.7 mm in few cases, but the stem will still fit. Bar clamps are made with a four-bolt pattern that facilitates its stiffness and also aids in distributing the pressure of the clamp on all significant areas.
On the minor side of consideration is the color. It would be best to consider a stem that fits your bike’s paint, bars color, seat posts color.
80 MM Road Bike Stem
Road bike stems come in different sizes. They vary from 80 mm to 140 mm, but the standard sizes are 90mm and 110mm. An 80mm road bike stem is considered a shorter stem when categorizing stems by size. This stem is ideal for riders who are shorter and experience difficulties when riding using a longer stem. The 80mm might not be that short compared to other stems that are 40-50mm, but the difference in the few millimeters may have a significant impact on your body.
Pros of using a Shorter Stem
- A shorter stem helps in handling.
- Using a shorter stem facilitates neutralized position.
- Having a short stem guarantees less sway of the bars as they turn.
- When using a short stem, you effortlessly get back to your bike’s position in case of a steep drop-in or general ripping.
- Short stems are more stable.
Cons of using Shorter Stem
- It is a bit tricky to attain your best climbing position when using a shorter stem.
- It can be, at some point, shaky when riding.
- It can cause pain in the necks and shoulders if used by people of different sizes.
One of the most crucial parts that have a significant impact on your comfort is the stem. Not choosing the right size for your road bike might cause a lot of pain in your back, neck, and shoulder when cycling. Every stem size is designed to suit a particular rider perfectly; with the help of this information, we hope you make an informed decision and enjoy riding.