A bicycle handlebar stem that is shorter than standard length
Example usage: I installed a short stem on my mountain bike for a better fit.
Most used in: Mountain biking and off-road cycling.
Most used by: Mountain bikers and off-road cyclists.
Comedy Value: 2/10
What is a Short Stem in Cycling?
Short stems are a type of stem used to mount a handlebar to a bicycle frame. Stems are measured in millimeters and usually range from 70mm to 120mm. A short stem is any stem that is less than 90mm. Short stems are most commonly used on mountain and cyclocross bikes.
Short stems provide a wider range of motion for the rider, allowing them to shift their weight more easily to the front and back of the bike. This increased range of motion can help improve the bike’s handling and control, especially in technical terrain. A shorter stem also reduces the overall reach of the bike, making it easier to reach the handlebars and pedals.
Short stems are becoming increasingly popular, especially among mountain bikers. In 2018, a survey of mountain bikers found that over 50% of them were using short stems. This is a drastic increase from the 10% that were using short stems in 2007.
Short stems are a great way to customize your bike and improve its handling. However, it’s important to make sure that your stem is the right size for your bike and your riding style. If you’re unsure of what size stem to use, consult with a bike fitting specialist or your local bike shop..
The Origin of 'Short Stem' in Cycling
The term 'Short Stem' has been used in cycling since the early 2000s. It is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom and was used to describe a type of handlebar stem that was shorter than the standard length of 120mm.
This shorter stem length of around 70-90mm became popular for road cycling as it allowed riders to get into a more aggressive and aerodynamic position on the bike, as well as improving the handling of the bike. This type of stem was also used for mountain biking, as it allowed the rider to have more control over the bike and to be able to manoeuvre more easily.
The popularity of short stems in cycling has grown over the years, and today they are used by both road and mountain bike riders. They are available in a variety of lengths and materials, and are often used in conjunction with other components such as handlebars, stems, and seatposts to create a custom fit for each individual rider.