At 7/14/2007 02:25 PM -0400, email@example.com wrote:
>My 1981 Trek 610 is a little too large at 56cm and I have swtiched to a
>50mm handlebar stem to compensate. However, it seems to make the
>steering a bit more sensitive than I like. While acknowleding that
>steering geometery is complex and handling is a subjective topic, does
>anyone have an opinion of how short a stem it "too" short? I need to
>balance the steering with the reach and buying new Nitto stems is
Frank, I need to sit fairly upright, so my stems are tall and either 40 or 50mm offset. Handling feel natural to me because that's what I'm used to. An extension that is radically different than what you are used to always feels odd because your hands follow a different path. With shorties it's more fore and aft and less side to side than you are used to.
I do have a slightly more rearward weight distribution than my bikes were designed for, as you will too. But unless one is cornering at the limits of adhesion or carrying a heavy load I don't think it's a big deal. Reaction on the roll axis will be slightly slowed, for a given angular deflection of the front wheel, but IMHO you will quickly adjust.
One problem may be if you have several bikes and only one with a short stem. In which case it may always seem odd to you unless it's your main ride.