Handlebar height

Ravelin

Active Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Excuse me if this has been covered, I've searched and I can't find anything.

I Have Claud Butler Stoneriver MTB that's about 6-7 years old. I was always fine with my riding position until I recently replaced the pedals with some one-sided clipless ones. Now clipped in I felt my saddle height had to increase slightly so I moved it up a bit. Consequently I now feel my handlebar height is too low.

On a ride last night I decided to bring the handlebars up a bit (in retrospect, a bad time to it). I slackend the bolt on the top of the stem like I've always done with every other bike, but this one is different. The whole front fork seemed to loosen up so I aborted the operation and tightened it back up. It looks like the bike probably has a "threadless stem" if I correctly understand what I've now read here. I could see o-ring spacers, ballbearings etc when it was all loose.

I didn't have time to examine the whole mechanism more closely after I got back home so it might have missed something obvious. I'll risk seeming stupid though and ask, how do I raise my handlebars? It must be fairly straightforward surely, since it's a basic adjustment that should be done on most bikes, at least initially?

William
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
The simple answer is that you can't.
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
You can flip the stem to a positive or negative position but if you are already in the positive then that's not going to help either.

If you have spacers on top of the stem (which is unlikely) you can put them below the stem.

You can buy riser extensions or a new stem with an increased angle of rise.
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
One more point to note - you have probably messed-up the tension in the headset bearings by loosening that top bolt and then probably over-tightening it afterwards - get it seen by someone who knows ASAP
 
OP
R

Ravelin

Active Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
tundragumski said:
The simple answer is that you can't.
Well I'll see if I can live with it for now. I wasn't THAT bad for the rest of the ride.

tundragumski said:
One more point to note - you have probably messed-up the tension in the headset bearings by loosening that top bolt and then probably over-tightening it afterwards - get it seen by someone who knows ASAP
I did think that after I'd dug out and read the bike manual afterwards. I don't think I tightened it too much, I'll re-check before my next ride. How are you supposed to know how tight it should be then, seems overkill to have to take it to a LBS just to tighten/slacken a bolt?
 

Norm

Guest
Ravelin said:
...seems overkill to have to take it to a LBS just to tighten/slacken a bolt?
I did that with mine last week. I'd flipped the stem and couldn't get the steering to feel right. There was still some play and a squeak was developing, although the steering was very stiff and I was concerned that I had gorilla'd the torque setting.

I took it to the LBS, it took about 3 minutes to strip, spot the problem (one of the bearings wasn't sitting square) sort it and chuck it back together with a slap more grease.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Ravelin said:
Well I'll see if I can live with it for now. I wasn't THAT bad for the rest of the ride.


I did think that after I'd dug out and read the bike manual afterwards. I don't think I tightened it too much, I'll re-check before my next ride. How are you supposed to know how tight it should be then, seems overkill to have to take it to a LBS just to tighten/slacken a bolt?
Loosen the two bolts that clamp the stem onto the steerer. Tighten the top bolt down until there is no play in the steering bearings felt by rocking the bike backwards and forwards against the front brake. If the steering starts to feel stiff, you've gone too far.

Easier than the old system with the lock ring, isn't it?

Then re-tighten the two clamp bolts. Once this is done you could even remove the top bolt and cap as they are not doing anything.
 
OP
R

Ravelin

Active Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Globalti said:
Loosen the two bolts that clamp the stem onto the steerer. Tighten the top bolt down until there is no play in the steering bearings felt by rocking the bike backwards and forwards against the front brake. If the steering starts to feel stiff, you've gone too far.

Easier than the old system with the lock ring, isn't it?

Then re-tighten the two clamp bolts. Once this is done you could even remove the top bolt and cap as they are not doing anything.
Thanks, sounds easy enough. I'll check it next time I get a chance, and certainly before I ride it again.
 

Fiona N

Veteran
Globalti said:
Easier than the old system with the lock ring, isn't it?
Oddly enough, I don't think so as you have to have the handlebars in situ with threadless headsets when you tighten the bearings. Consequently when you waggle the front wheel/forks to check the bearings aren't too tight (way I was taught - tighten too much, then slack off) you have the added distraction of the handlebars flopping around on the stem :laugh: At least with the old threaded system and quill stem you didn't need to put the stem in place until the headset bearings were all adjusted to perfection :becool:
 

jethro10

Über Member
It's not true you can't adjust the height.

You can make major differences with a more steeply angled stem. Browse Chain Reaction Cycles or Ebay etc. to see the variety available.

Also, not ideal, but available - a friend uses one and has done since she got the bike 3 years ago. An extension:-
eg.
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-...rer-Extender-for-Ahead-System-Forks-18251.htm

This is the one she uses
http://www.cyclesuk.com/1011/246-248345

Also you can possibly get handlebars with a bigger rise.
Hope it gives you some ideas

Jeff
 

raindog

er.....
Location
France
jethro10 said:
It's not true you can't adjust the height.

You can make major differences with a more steeply angled stem.
I said this in the third post. Does anyone else sometimes get the impression that perhaps you don't actually exist? That it's all just an illusion? :laugh:
 
OP
R

Ravelin

Active Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Thanks for everyone's replies, they've been very helpful.

I had a check over of the bike last night, slackend and re-tightend the headset to ensure it wasn't over-tight, but definetly no play in it. I'll get it checked properly the next time the bike is in the LBS.

I also managed to adjust the handlebars a bit. They don't have much of a rise in them but they way they were set I managed to add a little height and bring them slightly closer just by canting them back a bit. Maybe moved them around 5cm closer reach wise so won't feel I'm stretching quite as much. I'll see how I get on when I next ride the bike.

If I'm still not happy then handlebars with a larger rise, or a more steeply angled stem may be the answer.

Thanks,

William
 
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