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Moving Spacers
ok so ive been wondering for a while, what effect does moving the spacers below and above the stem do ? i assume it effects handling in some way? whats better all below or all above ?
Only one way to find out Wink
It moves your body position on the bike which inturn effects the handling. Lowering the stem will put more weight over the front wheel which should give a bit more grip on the flat stuff and also help keep the nose down a bit on the really steep climbs however on the steep downs you will of course be lower at the front making them more sketchy. Raising the stem will give a more upright less painful riding position but bit less grip and more likely for the front wheel to lift on steep climbs but moving around on the saddle correctly will stop most of that.

They key is to play around with all the contact points. I had really bad wrist pain once on the Inbred, I turned the bars back towards me about 5 degrees and it went away...
"Treehugger" Wrote:Only one way to find out Wink



As Breezer said, but in short : Raises and lowers your bars.  It just determines the height at which the stem clamps to your fork steerer.

Play about with it, see what suits you best if you are unhappy with the height.
With 99% of headsets you need 1 spacer under the stem, do not put it directly on top of the headset. For the top cap to work right the steerer should finish about 3mm below the stem/top spacer
I like to set my bars low, it makes a big difference to how much grip you get on the front as you turn but at the expense of a bit of hopaboutability. Too high on the front makes the steering feel 'slow' and this a pain around places like Blean where there is a lot of tight twisty bits. Also the lower your bars are then the easier it is to get weight over them, forcing the front wheel to steer and, as there is less weight on the rear, allowing the rear to follow unhindered. But a higher front gives more confidence on drops and downhills as you are more upright.

Try all sorts, but give each a few hours test as it takes a bit of time to adapt. Also try to ride twisty and jumps and drops and distance and anything else you like to do, as different positions are great for one thing but @rse for another.

My opinion, get them as low as poss for powerful cornering and just learn to wheelie and drop from there. Also remember I @rsed up a drop the other week and hurt my shin, so take no notice of what I say. But get 'em down...
Keep it foolish...
Although what you say makes sense, as im so old my back cant take a low stem nor my PC keyboard shot wrists
I've ridden for years with a spacers under the stem giving me a more upright position. Being a bit older (44) in my mind I thought that was the right thing to do. Saying that, about a month ago I noticed that when going up hills & under stress conditions I tended to hunch my head deep into my shoulders which in turn made my collar bone & shoulder blade really hurt (old biking breakages). So I figured that if I drop my stem that may stop me doing this. It did (well 90%) & damn did it make a difference thro the tight stuff & the confidence I have going thro the trees. For your info I dropped the stem about 2cm. I'm now converted to the lower stem height & unless other problems arise from it, thats where it will stay for sure.

Good thread Steve, try it out & make sure you report back  Wink
cheers for the advice, ive slammed it pretty much all the way down, one spacer below it, not sure if it will cause problems having it resting without any spacers?
see if you can get it this high steve

Keep it foolish...

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