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I purchased a hardly used road bike someone else had built up for a deal a few weeks ago, and am a bit disappointed with the fit - it's fine for rides less than a couple hours, but too aggressive for anything longer, for my tastes. In particular, the problem is that my saddle is about an inch and a half above my handlebars, even after inverting the 6 degree, 75mm stem that is installed currently.

So I purchased a 40 degree, 120mm stem to try and get the handlebars as high up as possible. However, I'm now a bit worried that having the handlebars so far from the steerer tube, which is carbon, will offer too much leverage and may cause the steerer to catastrophically fail when, for example, I ride out of the saddle.

Does this seem safe? Are there any guidelines for how long and steep a stem can be for safe use with a carbon steerer?

For what it's worth, I'm about 145 lbs and the fork is an Enve Road Fork 2.0.

  • I have never heard of limitations on the steam size, and since you're not heavy you're probably good. One thing you can try is contacting the manufacturer. – super Jun 16 '15 at 2:14
  • I agree with @Super. Although 120mm is on the longer end of commonly available stems, the fact that it will make you much less hunched over the bars means that you'll probably have less force on the steerer than you would in the original configuration. Also, the "normal force" would probably be about the same because of the large angle. – Kibbee Jun 16 '15 at 13:58
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    I contacted Enve and they said it'd be safe. Thanks for the advice! – Tyler J Jun 17 '15 at 5:17
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Within "normal" standards of long and high angle, yes it is safe.

While there are some stems which use clamping styles which are not carbon safe, or other restrictions, these are usually clearly stated.

No restrictions are based on length or angle of the stem, that I am aware of. I have been a certified professional bicycle mechanic for 20 years, so I would think I'd have seen it by now, if it were an issue. :)

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