img_5117I rolled into my favorite bikeshop, Orange 20 in East Hollywood on the way home one night last week and queried co-owner Jim C. about stem options for Le Noir. I’ve been riding with the stock long-reach stem the bike came with and it’s been fine, but the last couple months I’ve been noticing a little residual achy in the shoulders and upper back left over from a feeling of being a touch over-extended. Wasn’t sure why it was manifesting now after more than a year, but I decided to explore my options.

Jim gave me some ideas and price ranges and I rolled back in a couple nights later and left with a clean-looking brushed aluminum shortie made by some company called Nitto that’s a full two inches less in length (pix’d at right), which I put on this Saturday.

Riding only my mountain bike the next day and opting out of the rain and wind Monday and instead driving to work, it wasn’t until this morning when I could realize the benefits of the new component.

Boy howdy whadda diff the new stem makes!