S.T.S.S. What is it?

So often on bike forums, some one will show a photo of their new bike, and then some armchair Eddie Merckx will say “Slam the stem!!!!”. Sweet baby jesus, it drives me mad. Don’t these champions of the keyboard realise not everyone is built to use a slammed stem. Take this little beauty for instance.

Click for more stem slammage goodness.

If I did that to my bike, I would get 200m up the road and be gasping for breath, and that is on the hoods. To get to the drops would need 6 years intensive yoga, a Shiatsu massage and a handful of Nurofen. That or Elle Macpherson’s legs, Verne Troyer’s torso and a rubber neck.

So next time you see a photo of a persons brand new bike, if you feel the need to scream Slam That Stem, take a moment to think about the other 99% of people that can’t ride a bike configured like that. Don’t succumb to S.T.S.S. (Slam The Stem Syndrome). It doesn’t make you cool, but it will make you sound like a bike snob.

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4 Responses to S.T.S.S. What is it?

  1. Lewy says:

    Hey norbs,


  2. Duke6amer says:

    Yep so true norbs, bike fit should always take precedence but I am really hoping I can STS on the WGT!!!

  3. John says:

    I’ve got three bikes. On all three, I flipped the stem. On two of them, I went one step further and slammed the stem. I did this for comfort, not looks. Prior to making these changes, I felt “crunched” when I tried to get aero. I can now stretch out and feel more comfortable.

    The housing on one of those bikes is now grossly too long, but since it doesn’t affect my shifting or braking (I’m no pro – don’t need lightning-fast response), I don’t give a %@#!

    I should also specify my version of slamming the stem: I simply moved the spacers below the step to above the stem. I didn’t cut the steerer tube. Another fashion faux pas, I know, but I’ve got my reasons: (1) resale – no intention of selling today, but who knows about tomorrow? (2) no possibility of damage – suppose I cut the steerer tube incorrectly? (3) future – I’m still (relatively) young and limber, but if I’m still riding these same bikes when I’m an old man, I’ll probably un-slam, un-flip, and ride sitting straight up. I’ll be happy to let the wind slow me down when I achieve my future-max 15mph speed.

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