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MTB Stem Length


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I have a circa 2015 Adrenalin 29" and am considering trying the trend to a shorter stem to see how it will affect handling, primarily turn in, if at all.

I understand that stem length is a comfort or bike fit thing but also that as per my 1st stem which was was like having a long "tiller" in front of your steerer.

I have gone to a 65mm stem with a Deda flat 780mm bar which feels fine but would like to know if even shorter, say 45mm would be "too short"?

Is head angle a factor and particularly on my slightly older bike which is pre- the modern trend of longer, lower, slacker?


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44 minutes ago, RobertWhitehead said:

45mm will be fine but I would ditch the 780mm flat and go with a riser, but that's just my opinion 

Thanks. I had flat bar from Rapide but didn't like the sweep which affected feeling. 

What benefit would the riser provide?

PS: Wide flat bars look cool.....🙂

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I've toyed around with this on a 2015 Pyga Stage Max. Started with a 50mm stem and riser bar. Front felt too light, couldn't do switchbacks properly. Went to a flat bar and a 70mm stem (same length bar, 740mm) and removed the steerer spacers and immediately the front stayed planted on steep uphills and switchbacks (down and up) were far easier.

I bought a cheap alu bar to mess with bar length. A shorter stem will improve turn-in, but might make your position a bit too rear-oriented. A slightly shorter bar might be the solution, depending on your shoulder width.

p.s. I ride 40cm bars on my road bike, not the usual 42.

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When I tried a shorter stem, for some strange reason it felt like my legs could not get the power down like they used to. Went back to a slightly longer stem and all was fine again.

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