Fifty Plus (50+) - Riser stem for moustache bars
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My next tweak for optimum comfort with the moustache bars on the Surly LHT will be a riser stem like this one (http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.cfm?SKU=12679&item=50-1188&slitrk=search&slisearch=true). The goal isn't to be upright -- it's to have the ideal combination of angle and pressure for my bad wrist. With the ends downward, the wrist angle is ideal but I'm a little lower than I want to be. With the ends almost level, there's too much weight is on the heal of my hands on the ends of the bars. With a stem extender, I could tilt the ends downward again without leaning more forward.
Can anyone recommend a stem riser for these bars? Is there a better option than the Delta riser? I don't want to use an adjustable stem. The stem extension does not need to be shorter; if so, then I'll try that later.
11-09-08, 04:51 PM
My gripe is that the original steerer tube on the fork was plenty long enough to raise your bars as far as you would want to. But when bikes are built up, they cut off the steerer. Now you have to look at adding a stem riser, which is heavier than the tube that was cut off.
I wish I had about an inch more of the steerer tube on my Fuji.
I've never found a great stem riser option. The Delta / Dimension one is as good as any I've found. It comes in black or silver.
There's this one too, but I think it's heavier than the Delta. It does have the advantage of being adjustable, so that you don't have any of it sticking up past the stem and looking like a post.
11-09-08, 05:21 PM
The only problem with stem risers is that if you are using your original stem it brings the bars way too close to you, due to the head tube angle.
My choice would be a high rise stem instead, but choose the stem length carefully as these stems tend to bring the bars in closer as well.
George, tilting the bar ends downward would make up for that difference, I believe. That's actually what I'm aiming to do. Are risers usually used for very short stems, say on an aggressive road bike to give the rider a more upright position?
Yen, I have the same Delta stem riser that you are talking about. It did just what I needed as the previous owner of my bike had cut the stem too short for me. You can adjust your bars up and down on it without loosening the star nut, so it is easy to tweak your bars up or down a little when you are out riding. Not while your actually riding though :eek: As far as bringing the bars back due to the head tube angle, I did not notice that it was enough to make any difference. One disadvantage is that they look a little awkward to me. I put a small nitto type bag on my bike to hide it and it helped.
11-09-08, 06:59 PM
Stem risers are good if you don't have enough length on the steerer tube to get the stem up to a comfortable height.
Yen's LHT already has plenty of steerer tube sticking out of the headtube. The riser, in my opinion will actually make it too high, and the last thing she wants to do on her LHT is to further shorten the steerer tube just to accomodate the stem riser. That is why a high rise stem instead would be a better choice in her case, IMO.
Hmm... thanks for the info, George. The Rivendell site recommends two particular stems for the moustache bars.... the Nitto DirtDrop (http://www.rivbike.com/products/list/handlebars_stems_and_tape?page=all#product=16-100) and the Nitto Technomic Deluxe (http://www.rivbike.com/products/list/handlebars_stems_and_tape?page=all#product=16-044), both of which are are quilled stems. I'm trying to find something compatible with the LHT headset that will give me the same adjustment. I know not everyone subscribes to Rivendell's "higher is better" philosophy, but this may be what I need for these bars on this bike which I'm turning into my commuter, but I also want to ride for long hauls. The bar ends feel very hard to me.... I'm also thinking of adding gel pads and double taping, or foam grips on the ends. And I need to figure out why I grip these ends so hard!!
Maybe I ought to give this set-up a longer test period to see if I can work it out before buying a new part. I want to use this bike for anything from short errands to long rides -- it is a tourer, after all. If the moustache bars do not work for me then I will start looking again. I do not want to be very upright as I would with Albatross bars; I liked the reach with the drop bars, but my wrist did not like them at all.:(
11-09-08, 08:01 PM
I'm sure you've put in a lot more miles than I have but it seems you haven't lived with the bike long enough to really "know" it yet. Then, you know your needs far better than I but I'd say -if you're not in any real pain, give it -and any change- some time.
Yen if you want a riser like the one you showed, I'll give you one. Oh, you pay the postage. PM me.
11-09-08, 08:55 PM
I'm with roadfix in thinking that a higher rise and slightly longer extension stem might be a better way to achieve the same position. That is, if you can find a stem with a steeper angle than the one already on it.
11-09-08, 09:00 PM
What are the specs of your current stem?
1-1/8" threadless, 25.4mm clamp, 100mm (I believe).
11-09-08, 09:09 PM
11-09-08, 09:51 PM
So it is nearly flat as it extends out from the steerer tube, with just a slight upward slant?
11-09-08, 10:39 PM
Surly says that's a 96 (i.e. 6) degree stem. Looks a little more than that in the picture. But in any case, there are options that could be explored. Like a slightly longer, steeper stem that puts the handlebar at the same distance from you but a bit higher. Lots of options out there.
Any chance of borrowing an adjustable stem from your LBS to try different settings? Something like the 115mm version of this one:
I picked up an adjustable stem for $1 at a swap meet, so I could try different angles.
11-09-08, 10:51 PM
Stem angle naming conventions can be very confusing. That might also be called a 23 degree stem (96-73 typical head angle). So stems labeled as 30, 35 or 40 degrees etc. (113, 118, 123 or 23, 28, 33 :twitchy:) would be steeper. As Tom said, there are many options available.
I've used an adjustable stem, a stem riser similar to the one shown in the first post and bought new stems. All approaches have their problems.
This is one area that really gets me angry with the 'modern improved' bikes - you can't change bar height easily. With a quill, you just loosen a bolt and lift it. [/rant]
Anyway, back to your problem.
Buying new stems without knowing the right angle and length is expensive and you're unlikely to find the right one because you'll give up spending money before you do. The problem you face is that of guessing both the right angle and the right length in the one hit.
A good lbs would have a handful of old stems in the workshop to let you experiment with, but all those I've come across have been fairly flat ie, there isn't much for people like us, but your experience might be different. Just go into a shop that's been there for years and ask if they have some stems you can play with, then buy the right one (from them of course).
The adjustable stem worked really well. My only complaint was that it creaked alarmingly when I stood and pulled on the bars. However, it was great for working out what sort of height you need. The problem with the adjustable stem is that as you raise the neck, the reach shortens. Once you have the angle you want, you then have to work out what angle that equates to because I'm not convinced that 40 degrees on the adjustable equates to a 40 degree stem due to the pivot on the adjustable being out in front of the steerer tube.
The stem extender worked very well and lived for three years on my beater until I stopped using it. That's a good option because it allows you to move the stem up and down the extended steerer tube. Ultimately, it's a patch job though. If forced to use one, I'm happy to do so but it's just something else to go wrong (even if that is unlikely).
I compare all the stupid mucking about and expense of trying to get my bars right on threadless sytems with what was involved on the Europa with it's quill. Threadless - expensive unless you want limited adjustability (and you have to reset your headset bearing tension everytime you touch it). Quill - simple, fast, infinitely adjustable until you need to play with reach but by then you've got the bars at the right height so you aren't guessing.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate your suggestions. I think I may need just a longer adjustment period... I'm trying to adjust to these new bars and the new B17 at the same time. The B17 is fine, it's just different and I'm trying to work out all the micro (and macro) adjustments needed to get things just right. Making two major changes at once probably wasn't the brightest idea.:o If I decide the moustache bars aren't good for me on longer rides (some say they aren't, some say they are), then I'll look at either bullhorns or trekking bars, but either way I want to keep the bar-end shifters.... I like 'em.
11-11-08, 10:05 PM
You could always pick up the stem extender when you're in a bike shop to experiment with. Pretty cheap.
Or take George's free one.
Tom, I wrote to George. I'm planning to ride to our favorite LBS on Friday and talk to the owner. He rides with moustache bars and may have some ideas. Hubby is pretty sure he saw the same stem riser last time he was there.
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