Instructables

How to Raise the Handle Bars on your Bike

So your riding along and after a bit, your back and neck really start aching. You start wondering what's wrong on your bike, well guess what's your problem? It's that your handle bars are just too low.

In this inscrutable i'll fix just that. So you can be on your way in no time with no aches or pains!

Note: Not all handle can be raised, some manufactures weld them so they won't move, it does prevent wheel wobble but so does just doing it properly.
 
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Step 1: Tools you'll need

Picture of Tools you'll need
I'm trying to make this as easy as possible, so you only need 2 tools for this project. There are special bike wrenches you can buy but not everyone has those kicking around so these tools will do just the same.

-Adjustable wrench (or any wrench big enough)
-Allen key

Step 2: Removing the Stem Bolt

First, your going to take that Allen key and loosen the stem bolt enough to take right out.

Tip: Make sure your Allen key is the correct size because you could strip the hole very easily.

Step 3: Loosen top nut

Picture of Loosen top nut
There will be two nuts to loosen, loosen the top one first.


Step 4: Loosen the second nut

Picture of Loosen the second nut
The title say it all, just loosen it up to the first one.

Step 5: PUULL!

Hold onto the tire with your feel and legs and pull upward on the handle bars. Sometimes it might take a bit of wrenching on the handlebars, you can use a bit of WD-40 but not to much, otherwise you'll have to re-grease your bearings.
Kestrelgrey2 months ago

Excellent and clear set of well written instructions with clear sharp photos that really make it obvious exactly what you are supposed to do and what tools you need even if you have limited technical and/or English reading skills. A big thank you to The Bike Guy for putting it all together and offering it to everyone free and readily assessible. It may sound just sooo nooby and obvious, but I totally missed that there was a stem bolt and wondered why no amount of loosening and huffing and puffing with the nuts further down was making no difference. And of course like Bike Guy said, having worked through this guide I've not only been able to fix my bike, but also have been able to address the neck and back aches I was feeling, so there it is, turns out this was a medical and physio guide as well as a bike fixing one! LOL.

Steps 3, 4, and parts of 1 and 6 are irrelevant. the nuts control the bearings, and the bolt (usually a 6mm head) controls the stem. loosen the bolt a couple of turns, tap it with a hammer lightly, pull (paying attention to the minimum insertion line), then re-tighten.
If you tighten everything back "good and tight," the bearing will be tight and you won't be able to turn. Only a good bike mechanic knows how tight everything needs to be, so it's best to take it to a bike shop, not risk messing something up.
The handlebars are an integral part of the safety of the bicycle, and by doing this, you risk compromising the entire steering assembly.
This instructable is wrong, yaman.cool63 is correct. There is no need to loosen the headset locknut or the adjustable race. If you do loosen, them, do not make it "good and tight" this is a good way to ruin a headset. The adjustable race should be just tight enough to remove any play. The tricky part is to get this after the locknut is tightened down, it will often make the preload higher putting the headset under too much preload.

To raise or lower the stem, you just need to loosen the bolt on the quill stem. This is attached to either a wedge or an expander nut. Don't take it completely out, just loosen it, otherwise the wedge or nut will come off. They sometimes stick, so a tap will help to loosen the wedge or nut.

As mentioned by plasticbiker, don't go above the minimum insertion mark, seriously bad things can happen. Also, don't lower it too far, steerer tubes are butted and if you go too far down, you will be tightening the stem in the butted area and it can come loose, again bad things will happen. This is more of a problem on smaller bikes, with short head tubes.
chipper352 years ago
I'm sorry.....did I miss a step somewhere??
If you cannot raise the stem enough to relieve back or neck pain & finger numbness, you can replace the handlebars. this is more complicated than just raising the stem, but cheaper than replacing the whole bike with another style. Three years ago I replaced a straight bar on my Trek with a deep V-bar to alleviate back & hand pain, raising the handle position by 6-7 inches. This required also replacing the brake & shift cable with longer cables. I actually had the bike shop do this for me, but could have done it myself if I had the tools & free time. The down side is that the bike is no longer good for lumpy, sandy off-road bike trails. The upside is that it is comfortable for 99% of the riding I do on streets & bike paths towing a 50-lb trailer. An added bonus was that my then-15 yr old bike-thrashing son declared it too uncool to swipe when his bike was broken.
Make sure that the Minimum insertion line on the stem is covered by the top of headset. Failure to do so could result in the stem bending or breaking.
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