Will I notice much difference beside just having a slightly longer cockpit between my seat and fork if I upgrade from a 50mm to a 65 mm stem? is this 15mm a significant enough adjustment to make my climbing or downhill riding feel any different? In what ways?

  • That's a little over half an inch. Not enough to make a major difference unless your bike is badly miss-sized to begin with, though it probably is just enough to feel. Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 0:52
  • It felt fine when I rode a Santa Cruz Bullit, but now that I am on a BLur LT, the reach feels tiny tiny... I wonder if going up to 90m is too big?
    – sov
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 2:38
  • 1
    Yeah, 90 meters might be a bit too much. ;) Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 3:01
  • Be aware that the stem size also affects the feel of the steering. If you are considering a very long stem, it means your frame is too small.
    – cmannett85
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 8:09
  • I am thinking of the reverse, going 65 to 50. But I'm hesitant to spend the $$ for 1.5 cm. So, I wonder if 35mm or 40mm would be better spent. It is for AM riding. Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


Changing from 50 to 65 (or the opposite) is definitely noticeable. And depending on your needs, switching may improve your riding.

Switching from 50 to 65 will mean more pressure on the front end. That means better cornering (the front end will not wash out easily) and more stability on the downhill. Some people also mention that it'll improve climbing on difficult terrain.

Switching from 65 to 50 will improve the agility of the bike. You'll be able to bunnyhop, manual and trick your bike easier and with less effort. You'll also have a slight advantage at very very steep technical downhill trails. It'll also make your cornering snapier but be careful of wash outs. A switch of this type is also paired with an increase in bar width.

  • 1
    +1 Although I do disagree with one part: "Switching from 50 to 65 will mean more... stability on the downhill." This is not true, having more weight forward when going downhill increases your chances of going straight over the bars, the bike being tilted naturally gives more pressure on the front tyre anyway. There's a reason downhill bikes rarely have more than 40mm stems on.
    – cmannett85
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 12:56
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    You are very right. But if 50 was too short for his downhills (forced him to either be above of the bars or hanging behind the bars) then 65 will allow him to "sit" on the center of the bike better, thus providing a more stable downhill experience. I've confirmed this when I switched from a too short 35 to a better 50.
    – cherouvim
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 13:10

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