Hey. So do you think a longer stem would make the bars turn funny, bunny hopping awkward and going over the bars more likely, or would it just give me more front wheel traction without affecting other stuff?
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A longer stem can indeed increase your front-end climbing traction, but it affects lots of other stuff.
– Harder to stay centered over your BB.
– Less arm travel available for terrain absorption.
– More “sway” when the bars turn.
Mountain biking on real terrain is more like motocross than road riding. Modern mountain bikes are highly influenced by road bikes. In the early 90s we were riding 150mm stems and flat bars, just like on road bikes. Over the years, MTB bars have been getting higher and closer, and now many aggressive riders run very short stems and riser bars — much like on motos. Why? Because road bikes are designed to be pedaled. Motos are designed to be ridden.
If the first popular mountain bikes were influenced by moto, we’d all be running short stems.