Bicycle Mechanics - Raise handlebars on Trek 7.3FX
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01-31-09, 01:46 PM
I've been hesitant to post this question, but I've searched this site and elsewhere and can't find the answer. Even the Trek handbook says to "leave handlebar height adjustment to professionals" and take the bike to my LBS. Nothing against doing that except that I'd like to learn how to work on my bike. So I'm coming to you folks for some help.
What I have is a Trek 7.3FX, 2008 model, purchased new last spring. The handlebar has 3 spacers under the stem. I use the bike for commuting during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. I finally got my seat height dialed in last summer but realized the bars are too short now so I'd like to see how it fells with an additional one to two inches in height. Any and all direction is appreciated because I'm pretty confused.
BTW - I've been a lurker on this site and really appreciate all the great info here.
01-31-09, 01:57 PM
Without replacing your steering mechanism, your choices are limited to a new stem with a higher angle. Maybe even an adjustable stem (Ritchey makes an excellent one). But if you need more height than an inch or two, you should head to the place that sells/sold the Trek and ask them what they'd recommend.
7.3's are very fine bicycles, by the way. Congratulations!
You need something like this..
01-31-09, 02:02 PM
Same thing at a much better price: http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_info.php?products_id=35436
01-31-09, 02:04 PM
Too short in the x-axis or the y-axis?
From what I read its the y-axis, I think. You need a stem with more rise. This would work (http://nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=6000119&subcategory=60001185&brand=&sku=25741&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=).
If you were too short in the x-axis then you would need a longer stem.
I'm not too familiar with threadless road systems.
01-31-09, 03:39 PM
CCrew & joejack - I had seen the extender on the Sheldon Brown web site. Thanks for the confirmation that it is a workable solution to my problem.
Panthers & smovlov - hadn't seen the adjustable stem as an option before. That looks as if it might work well too. However, I was never good at algebra or trig so when the "x axis or y axis" found its way into the conversation it kind of threw me, lol. It looks like it would not only bring the bars up a bit but also bring my posture up and back a bit too.
Tough choice to make now. Many thanks for the assist.
01-31-09, 03:46 PM
However, I was never good at algebra or trig so when the "x axis or y axis" found its way into the conversation it kind of threw me, lol.
Assuming you are looking at a picture of yourself from the side on your bike (your face is shown in profile), the typical x,y,z convention would be:
x-axis: left to right on the picture
y-axis: up and down on the picture
z-axis: in and out of the picture
Everyone with the exception of smovlov has so far assumed that your issue is a y-axis issue as that is most common and makes sense in the context of raising your seat making your bars too low. As smovlov has stated, if you wanted to make the bars go further left or right (x-axis change) you'd need a longer or shorter stem length with about the same rise assuming you didn't want a change in the y-axis.
01-31-09, 03:48 PM
It is also possible that your would be better fitted on a larger frame. Larger frames generally have a longer head-tube (the part of the frame through which the top of the fork passes) as well as a longer top-tube (the crossbar that runs between the seat-tube and the head-tube). However, generally, if the frame is only one size above or below what would be optimum for you, then a longer and/or higher stem can usually make up for the difference.
Edit: It is also possible to get a bar with more rise. The Trek specs on the 7.5fx say it has a 25mm rise bar, and 50mm rise (or more) are very common. his change takes about $30 and ~15 minutes, provided you don't need to replace you cables because of the added distance from the frame to the controls.
01-31-09, 05:28 PM
The thing to do is: Sit on the bicycle and put your hands out. Now place them - in the air if needed - where you want them to be. Figure out what would accomplish this. You will be leaning about forward.
02-01-09, 12:24 PM
joe, I appreciate the explanation on the x-y picture. Great visualization! Was considering new bars later on down the road so I might bite the bullet and do those now to see how it changes things. Moving the height a quarter to a half inch at a time can change the fit tremendously. (Re-reading my original post with a 1 to 2 inch movement, along with the answers provided by you good folks, has shown me that the stated height increase would be quite a lot!) One thing I didn't realize was that raising the bars was going to be so involved. This sure isn't my bike from grade school where I could loosen a nut, move the bars up and down, and be done with it!
And you are right Panthers. The Trek is a really good commuting bike and I haven't had any regrets from buying it.
I've got a lot to learn and I'm glad that this place exists!
02-01-09, 07:42 PM
I would not buy an adjustable stem, unless as a stopgap to figure out what size you actually want. They are notoriously finicky and lose adjustment.
It does take a while to fit handlebar setup. For me, around a year and three stem swaps before I figured out a setup I like. If you are the kind of person who likes to do the research, read up and be prepared to buy a couple stems. Quite possibly, the store you bought the bike from would be willing to refit it for you and put you on a stem loaner plan where you could try out a couple before you buy.
02-01-09, 08:20 PM
Changing the bar to a riser bar would be the simplest. If you add an extension to the fork steerer tube, or change the stem, you will be faced with resetting the preload on the headset bearings. This is not difficult if you follow the Park Tool site, but not something I would suggest as one of the first maintenance tasks. For changing the bar you only have to loosen the bolts at the front of stem and the brake levers, slide off the grips and levers. Do the reverse with the new bar.
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