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How to raise handlebars on a threadless stem
#1
Hey Alex,

I have a question for you that may or may not be good for an entry on your site. We bought my wife a bike last year and she loves riding it, but her hands get sore. I have tried simple adjustments to the angle of her handlebars, but I think I would like to increase the height of them. I am not sure with her stem if this is simple a matter of loosening it or if I have to buy spacers or what not. I have old school bikes with old school headsets and I have never worked with one like this before. Can you give me some advice? And maybe this would be a good entry for you. Check out the pics.

Matt
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<img src="http://bikeride.com/images/forums/0002.jpg" />
<img src="http://bikeride.com/images/forums/0003.jpg" />
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#2
Hey Matt,

The setup your wife has doesn't leave a lot of options for raising it. You could try putting another spacer under the stem, but it won't make much of a difference. There are 3 things you can do: replace the stem with one that has a higher angle, replace the handlebars with a higher rise, or replace the forks with one that has a really high steerer tube (and add a whole bunch of spacers). As you know, on the old-style systems you could just loosen it and raise it, but the new style is unfortunately a fixed height. The advantage of the system your wife has is that it is stronger and easier to adjust (for headset play).

I am planning to do a tutorial on this as soon as I get a bike with those components. I've added it to my request list and I'll let you know when it is posted...
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#3
Dang! Thanks for the quick reply.

What do you think the least expensive option is?
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#4
Hmmm... probably the riser handlebar (should be around $20). Stem would be around $35, and the fork... over $100. Keep in mind you'll probably have to replace all of your cables as well.

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#5
Alex,

What is you opinion of installing the Delta Threadless Stem Riser (pictured at PerformanceBike.com, sku=12679) as a way to raise handlebars on a threadless stem for someone who needs a more upright position?
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#6
Adjustable stems are available as well :-

And some have adjustment pivots at both ends.

Do a search on the Web but make sure that the clamp sizes suit your handlebars etc.

"Ahead" stems can be turned over but I think yours is at the maximum rise already and as Alex pointed out you may have to fit new longer cables
Ride hard or ride home alone!
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#7
Here's three simple things you can do to make a slight adjustment:

1. It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like the "rise" on the bars (where they sweep up) is tilted forward. If so, you can rotate the bars so the rise is pointed back toward her shoulders. This will bring her hands closer to her and bring her more upright.

2. Slide her seat forward as far as it will go. You usually get an inch or two adjustment on the seat rails and pushing it forward will make her more upright.

3. move the brakes, shifters, and grips a little closer to the center of the handlebar. Many straight bars are wider than they need to be for the casual rider. Bringing her hands closer together will also raise her up a little. If it feels better, you can cut the extra off the ends of the bars.
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