What does it mean to slam a bike stem?

Slamming, or lowering your stem on a road bike can help create a lower and more aerodynamic position that will allow you to cycle faster. But there is a bit more to it than simply lowering your stem, the length and position of your saddle is important too.

Is shorter stem more comfortable?

If comfort is your top priority, a shorter stem length will bring the bars closer to the saddle and put you in a more upright position, placing less strain on your back.

Does stem angle affect handling?

“A very long stem with a short top tube can slow the handling. If a rider’s hands are very far ahead of the steering axis it can be harder to steer at low speeds.” Ultimately, the steering of a bike is dictated by its head angle and trail—not stem length—but the stem can enhance or dull it to some degree.

Is negative stem good?

If a stem has a negative angle, it commonly referred to as having a “drop”. The higher the rise, the more upright your body position is. The lower the drop, the more aggressive your bike feels. Stems can easily be flipped around to achieve the opposite angle depending on the desired affect.

What does flip the stem mean?

Flipping means turning your stem upside down so it angles down instead of up. Slamming means placing your stem as close to the headtube as possible (so there are no spacers below the stem).

How do you know if your bike stem is too short?

If the stem length is correct, the handlebars should completely hide the front hub. If you can see the hub in front of the handlebar, the stem is too short.

How does stem rise affect bike handling?

Stem length is one of a number of factors, along with head tube angle and fork rake, that affects a bike’s handling. Generally speaking, a shorter stem will result in faster handling, while a longer stem will result in slower, more predictable handling.