Different stem angle - What can I expect?

I own a S-Works Tarmac SL6 and I’m looking to buy a new stem. My current fit is shown by the red stem in my image. I have enough spacers to go down 30mm and the stems I’m looking for are not available in -17 degrees. What can I expect, handling wise, by removing some spacers to my stem and switching from a 130mm with a -17 angle to a 120mm with a -6 angle.

Thanks for you input!

Ignore the path used to you get to any handlebar position. The key is to compare the final position between any comparison. I mention that since you comment on dropping spacers and wondering about handling. Those have nothing really to do with handling, it’s all about that end bar location.

That said, 3mm shorter reach will make the bike “steer faster” since you are closer to the steer tube axis, but the difference is rather small and not something I think most people could even feel.

That slight rear shift will take also change the weight distribution to the rear and off the front tire, but again it’s a tiny difference. The reality is that our body will shift around as much as that with subtle changes in your position on the saddle and even slight changes in hand position on the bars.

The lower bar will potentially offset the rearward shift mentioned above, and redirect some weight back to the front tire. To a point, this counters and events out the weight distribution, but also relies on what you do atop the bike as well.

Ultimately, I think that you will potentially not even notice the difference. If you do need to counter the drop a bit, I’d suggest a 5mm spacer to get that up, but it will also pull the bar back 1-2mm at a guess.


Can you share a link to that tool?


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I would go so far as to say those two setups are going to feel very similar with a stiffness advantage to the -6 stem axis result of less steerer spacers handling and reach are about close enough to be a wash but add 5mm under the -7 stem and it brings it to within 1mm of the -17 in stack height. 3mm in reach is negligible also.