A bicycle stem is the piece that joins the handlebars and the headset tube of your bike. Apart from this function, bike stems affect the cyclist’s comfort when riding, and helps keep a good position, if the right one is chosen.
In order to choose the right-sized stem for your bike, you must consider both its length and angle.
Choosing one kind of stem or another will be crucial when it comes to having a good position on the bike and riding it comfortably. The positioning of the stem will modify the handlebars’ angle and height.
Depending on the way the stem is attached to the headset tube, two kinds of stems can be found – threaded (or classic) stems and ahead stems.
Threaded or classic stem: Frequently used on urban, sports or low-end bikes. They are installed on a threaded tube and their height can be regulated.
Ahead stems: They are clasped onto the headset tube. Ahead stems allow for a perfect adjustment, letting us choose their tilt and length. This kind of stem is normally used on MTB and professional cyclism.
Length and tilt are the most important features of a stem, and shall be accounted for when buying a new one.
A short stem will allow for a more relaxed position, a higher control and traction over the bike. It will also make downhill riding safer.
On the other hand, a long stem will allow for a more aerodynamic position on the saddle. Being further inclined towards the handlebars, you will gain grip and control when going uphill, and a higher pedaling strength.
To measure the length of the stem correctly, start on the center of the handlebar axis, up to the center of the headset.
Tilt will greatly depend on what use you give to the bike – competitive, recreational – as well as your own flexibility, especially at the back level.
At Santafixie we have a wide range of bicycle stems, in different sizes and with different tilts. You will be able to choose the one that better adapts to your needs and is also compatible with your bikes.