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One of the most commonly asked questions among riders is whether it is possible to change the way their road bikes feel by changing the type and the length of the stem. As well as how to make riding bikes looking more nimble and faster. While riding, professional riders are aiming at trying to get longer and lower at the front end. So that they can be more aerodynamic and perform at their best. However, they usually make the mistake of opting for a frame whose size is smaller compared to the one which suit their bike best while riding. As a result, the bike reach seems to be too short. To fix this issue, professionals riders usually prefer specific stems. Whose length of 15 cm might seems a bit unusual compared to a standard-length measure of a normal stem.

How to opt for the correct stem lenght

To successfully choose the right stem length, bike speed tests are usually conducted. During this test, one would normally select 3 different road bikes each of those with 3 stems having 3 different lengths. The first stem length of  8 cm, the second 11cm and the last one an unusual 14 cm. Each of the riders would  were cycle along a short road and they had to weave through cones. The organizer of the event would time the competition by checking the stopwatch. At the end of the competition and would register the total time for each bike having different stem length.

The outcome of the speed test did not come out with surprises as it was noticed that the stem length was affecting the steering arc. The shorter the stem, the less the involvement of hand movement in order to turn the wheel a set amount. During this bike competition in which were used different bikes with 3 different stem lengths speed test, it was brought up as well that beside stem length governing the handling. Both the head angle and the bike trail give built in handling traits.

Furthermore, all the riders taking part in the speed test stated to be bit surprise about the fact that they were expecting much more difference in terms of sensation while riding a bike with a 14 cm stem and another bike with an 8 cm stem. The riders reported also to be more comfortable while riding a bike with a 14 cm stem as that measure was closer to their usual riding position. While it was easy to weave through the cones with a bike with an 8 cm stem.


As the speed test challenge was conducted in a flat road, the riders wanted to see if the outcome of the test change whether the challenge takes place in a descending road.  Among all the riders who took part in this challenge, the majority confirms the 8 cm stem to be the most disappointing. Not comfortable enough and very twitchy . On the other hand, the 11 cm one was heaping better compared to the 8 cm stem. Looking at both the 11 cm and 14 cm length stem, the 14 cm one was the stem giving the most stability, it felt very good while cycling around corners and while cycling downhill it was not needed to turn the handlebar so often.

At ITM BIKE COMPONENTS, we manufacture various stems in alloy and carbon. Among our most sold ones figure the ERGAL road bike. The ERGAL stem is manufactured with a 2014 aluminium alloy obtained with 3D forging for greater lightness, strength, and reliability. The ERGAL stem is the lightest road bike and MTB handlebar stem of the entire catalogue. Manufactured in high quality aluminium. It is very resistant, and it lasts for a long period of time. The stem is reversible thanks to an appropriate study and specific tests. Therefore used both for grade mounting both positive and negative inclination.

ERGAL is a handlebar stem suitable for road bike and MTB handlebar, and also for E-bikes. The ERGAL stem can be combined with the Alutech A handlebar, with the Alutech A seat-post. And with the ERGAL MTB handlebar of the same type. Being extremely lightweight (125g only), it is undoubtedly a nice piece of stem to equip at best your bike with.

Click here to discover more about out ERGAL stem features.


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