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The component of a bicycle frame connecting the handlebars to the steerer tube.

Example usage: 'I need to adjust the length of my stem to get the handlebars in the right position.'

Most used in: Mountain biking, road racing, and other cycling disciplines.

Most used by: Cyclists who need to adjust their handlebars to find a comfortable riding position.

Popularity: 8

Comedy Value: 2

Also see: Handlebar Stem, Quill Stem, Ahead Stem, Threadless Stem,

What is a Stem on a Bicycle?

A stem is the component of a bicycle that connects the handlebars to the steerer tube of the fork. It is usually made of aluminum, steel, titanium, or carbon fiber. The stem length, angle, and material have a significant effect on the bike's handling characteristics.

Most stems are adjustable in length and angle so that the rider can customize the fit of the bike to their body and riding style. On average, a stem can range from 60-130mm in length and from -17 to +17 degrees in angle. The most common stem type is the quill stem, which is the traditional threaded stem found on most bikes.

Statistics show that the stem is one of the most important components of a bicycle. It has been found that, on average, a stem accounts for 10-15% of a bike's overall weight. Additionally, a study by the University of Colorado found that a longer stem can improve a bike's aerodynamic performance by up to 5%.

In conclusion, the stem is a crucial part of a bicycle that can drastically affect the handling and performance of the bike. It is important to make sure that the stem is the right length and angle for the rider, as this can make a huge difference in the bike's comfort and performance.


The Origin of the Term 'Stem' in Cycling

The term “stem”, in the context of cycling, was first used in the late 1970s. It was initially used to describe the part of the bicycle frame that connected the handlebars to the steering tube. The geographical area of origin was France, where the term was used to refer to the part of the frame known in other countries as the “gooseneck”.

The term “stem” was coined by French bicycle frame builder, Philippe Vouilloz, and has since become the accepted term for the component in the cycling world. Today, stems come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and are used to adjust the handlebar height, reach, and angle.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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