I'm thinking of getting a shorter stem for my road bike. But I don't understand how they measure in terms of lenth and angle. I measured it from center to center and it came up to 4.25 inches. I'm guessing this is the standard 110 mm stem?

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  • 2
    One important rule of cycling - metric is the preferred system of measurement. The only exception to that is chain pitch which is still half-inch and will probably never change.
    – Criggie
    Jun 2, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    Also remember that stem length and stem angle are related. As the stem gets shorter, that effectively raises the bars a little.
    – Criggie
    Jun 2, 2018 at 22:24

2 Answers 2


As @ojs said length is measured steerer center to handlebar center,

The other measurements to be aware of are the steerer diameter and handlebar diameter. On road bikes steerer tubes are usually 1 1/8 inch and handlebars 31.8mm.

The numbers printed on the stem in the photo are max torque values for the steerer and bar clamp bolts. Note the units abbreviations of 'Nm' (Newton meters) and 'inlb' (inch pounds).

  • Can you tell what those numbers in the stem in the pics are?
    – awm
    Jun 2, 2018 at 23:22
  • @awm yep, see edits to answer Jun 2, 2018 at 23:29

Length is measured center to center, and as you guessed, 110mm is roughly 4 1/4 inches. Angle is measured as difference from right angle, so a 0 degree stem will be actually pointing at 90 degree angle from the steerer tube. Yours looks something like 5 degrees.

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