Mountain Biking - Adjusting the Handlebars?
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05-19-09, 06:27 PM
Just for fun I got out an old mountain bike called the Magna Outreach (Target brand) that my dad had sitting in the garage. He bought it like 10 years ago and never used it and I wanted to try cycling a bit so I set it all up again.
But one thing that's been kinda annoying is that I don't know how or if I can even raise the handlebars. I saw something online that said that the proper bike seat height is when you can straighten the leg on the lowest pedal all the way but not lock your knees. So I did this and the seat is very high. My knees and legs feel great in this set-up but I wish I could raise the handlebars a bit because I feel like I have to bend forward a lot and it's not very comfortable. Do you know how I could raise the handlebars or how to handle this? Thanks.
05-19-09, 08:46 PM
Can you post a pic? Need more info to answer your question, and really don't have the energy to type a tutorial.
Magna Outreach by Target??
05-20-09, 08:19 AM
Yeah ours is red but it's this bike:
Loosen the hex bolt that is in the middle of the stem that goes into the steerer tube. Raise bars to desired height. (there should be a minimum insertion mark) Tighten hex bolt.
you might need to tap the hex bolt in
05-20-09, 09:47 AM
Ten year old magna "outreach". that name is worth the, um, $59.99 price of entry. I'm willing to bet that the quill stem has never seen grease, and even with dedicated basement/garaage duty, it's frozen in the headtube.
So, yeah, try to loosen the hex bolt and yank up on the whole mess, to the minimum insertion point or the limits of the cables. If it doesn't move, try some penetrating oil. If it still doesn't move, tighten the bolt, get used to the butt-up riding position, and get a swanky new ride. I hear Magna is now making a bike called the "Evangelist". =P
05-20-09, 11:16 AM
Yeah we tried to pull up the handlebars after loosening the bolt but it wouldn't move. I just wasn't sure whether or not it was supposed to. I'll try some WD-40
Try a rubber mallet. Smack downward first to break loose....then up.
When you loosen the center bolt it will rise up from the stem, so loosen it quite a bit so it raises about an eighth or quarter of an inch. Then hammer that bolt down which will dislodge the "wedge" below, inside the fork steerer tube.
05-20-09, 04:09 PM
Hmm. When I turn the bolt left, it loosens and then gets tight again. I thought you could only loosen it, I didn't think it moved. Is it possible that the handlebars are not raise-able or is that something that virtually all mountain bikes have?
^ What you have is a quill stem and they look like this when it's taken off:
The center bolt jambs the wedge upwards when tightened to lock the stem into place, loosening it should drop the wedge and free-up the stem. Some stems are long, so you can adjust the height to a certain degree.
What could be happening in your case is that the threads of center bolt protruding past below the wedge is likely to be badly rusted, so it stops when you loosen it. I would get a can or CRC or WD40 with a straw nozzle and squirt from the bottom of your fork steerer tube to wet these parts. (might pay to flip the bike upside down).
05-20-09, 06:07 PM
Thanks but I am still confused because I don't really know all of these different terms. So what I did is I took photo of it so I can show you guys:
I circled in blue the hexagonal thing that I've been trying to loosen. It loosens with a few left turns but then it gets stuck. Is this what you guys were saying to keep trying to loosen? You said this should actually move up right? You can see how the paint is chipped from me trying to turn it. I put a ton of WD-40 on it and it gets firmly stuck after a few turns left. I just want to make sure that I'm not gonna break it. Thanks.
See what I've circled in red?
Get a screw driver and see if you can get that rubber/plastic cap off. Under that, there should be a bolt with a 5 or 6mm allen head. Loosen that bolt up, then you should be able to move the stem up or down. The botl which you're trying to loosen is what holds the fork in.
Just a bit of extra advice, I currently have tonsillitis and I'm slightly delirious from the meds. Someone might want to double check my post..
(^ You're sweet Luke52... and no, you didn't just dream about posting in this thread. It really did happen. :D)
+1 What he said... and make sure you retighten that thing you encircled in blue. That's what keeps your fork headset bearings together.
BTW, there is a limit as to how much you can lift the stem out of that fork. Don't go beyond the safety mark (should be etched on the quill shank).
There should be a hex bolt (allen bolt) under that plastic stuff.
05-20-09, 10:37 PM
Yeah you guys were right. Thanks a lot. Man, I sure learned a lot about the bike these past few days haha. I had a bunch of hex wrenches but they were all U.S. ones so I had to go and buy a new set of metric to fit it right. But it finally worked. It only goes up about 1 inch (before the MINIMUM line appears) but it's better than nothing. Thanks a lot guys!
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