Originally Posted by theshoemaker
...didn't find any luck with my search. No matter how much I noodle with it my bars always seem just slightly out of alignment with my front tire, one way or the other.
Is there an easy way to get this perfected?
The problem is that there are actually three parts that need to be in alignment, the front-tyre, the frame and the stem/handlebars. Here's the procedure I use:
1. loosen stem, make sure you can wiggle it easily, but not so lose it falls down.
2. stand in front of bike, align front-tyre inline on the same plane as the frame, look down over the top-tube, make sure it's aligned with the down-tube and rotate the tyre so it's directly centered beneath them all.
3. hold front-tyre between knees to keep aligned with frame and rotate stem so stem is parallel to front-tyre, handlebars parallel to hub and at right-angles to tyre.
4. tighten stem.
Another way is to make incremental adjustments. If you see that the bars are off to the left when you ride, make a note of it. Then when you're off the bike, hold the front-tyre with your legs, slightly loosen the stem bolt, grab far ends of the bars and slightly nudge them in the correct direction. Tighten stem and hop on and check alignment.