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Old 11-01-05, 11:10 AM   #1
jackb
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Stem height extender

I saw in the Performance catalog a stem height extender for $19.99. I was thinking of raising my bars, but the catalog says that the extender will raise the bars up to 3 inches. How exactly does this thing work. Do I remove shims from my IS integrated headset in combination with the extender to raise the bar to the desired height? My LBS tells me that I can't add any more shims to raise the bars, hence the need for the extender. Anyone use one of these things before? Comments? Thanks
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Old 11-01-05, 11:16 AM   #2
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It's a goofy solution,but maybe better than buying a new fork.It clamps to the steerer like the stem. Probably not a good idea for CF steerers. Tried a higher rise stem,??
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Old 11-01-05, 11:51 AM   #3
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Why not just buy a taller stem? I bought a Nitto tall column (225 mm) aluminum alloy stem with 110 mm extension from Harris http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/stems/index.html for $40 and it gave me an extra 2 1/2" height.
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Old 11-01-05, 12:11 PM   #4
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No workee with a threadless system.
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Old 11-01-05, 10:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
I saw in the Performance catalog a stem height extender for $19.99. I was thinking of raising my bars, but the catalog says that the extender will raise the bars up to 3 inches. How exactly does this thing work. Do I remove shims from my IS integrated headset in combination with the extender to raise the bar to the desired height? My LBS tells me that I can't add any more shims to raise the bars, hence the need for the extender. Anyone use one of these things before? Comments? Thanks
I used one of these briefly to see the effects of raising my handle bars. My 62 cm frame was not big enough for me, so the highest I could get my bars was still 3" below my saddle. On long rides I was having a lot of back, neck and shoulder pain. Getting the bars to the level of the saddle transformed the bike. It convinced me to buy an appropriately sized frame (68 cm).

With a steel fork and steerer tube the setup was quite sturdy. I definitely would not do it with a carbon steerer. If there was anyway to get the same effect without using one of these, I'd recommend it.

Ron
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Old 11-01-05, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
I saw in the Performance catalog a stem height extender for $19.99. I was thinking of raising my bars, but the catalog says that the extender will raise the bars up to 3 inches. How exactly does this thing work. Do I remove shims from my IS integrated headset in combination with the extender to raise the bar to the desired height? My LBS tells me that I can't add any more shims to raise the bars, hence the need for the extender. Anyone use one of these things before? Comments? Thanks
I use one of these on one of my bikes. It's quite simple. The extender bolts to your fork steerer tube lie a stem. It comes with an extra long bolt to screw into the star nut to adjust the headset bearings. Your stem then simply clamps to the extender at the desired height. No spacers are required on the extender itself, however, because the extender can only fit so far down on the steerer tube, you will probably need to use spacers between the headset and the extender so it does not bottom out.
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Old 11-02-05, 12:04 AM   #7
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The above poster described the installation of the extender accurately. Once installed, you can mount your stem onto the extender with the stem's own clamp. There are several inches of extender available, so you can slide your stem up or down as needed to reach the desired height before tightening the clamping bolts.

When I used the stem extender, alarming creaking noises continually came from the device, and I eventually removed it for safety concerns. Although I haven't heard of any of these failing, the mechanics of the extender undeniably increase the bending moment of the stem/fork interface.

I believe that my extender's instructions specifically warned against using the device with any but a metal steering tube. Since the extender itself is aluminum, if you choose to use one, I'd suggest changing it out with a new extender every year or two to avoid metal fatigue. This precaution may be totally unnecessary, but those creaking noises really alarmed me.

Last edited by FarHorizon; 11-02-05 at 12:05 AM. Reason: sentence structure
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Old 11-02-05, 12:16 AM   #8
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Maybe a stupid question, but can you just turn your current stem over? Some of them can work this way and will raise the handlebars significantly.
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Old 11-02-05, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
Maybe a stupid question, but can you just turn your current stem over? Some of them can work this way and will raise the handlebars significantly.
Not stupid. Yes, you can turn a lot (most) stems over. How much the handlebars will rise depends on the angle of the stem. A 6 degree stem flipped over is not going to move the bars up by more than a couple of cm. Of course, the length of the stem figures in, as well.

Some stems, like my common-as-dirt Easton EA70 have the logos on rightside up and upside down so you can get the full effect of the advertising even if you flip the stem ;-)))
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Old 11-02-05, 09:38 AM   #10
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If you need that much raise, you're probably on the wrong size/style frame (like the 68 guy riding a 62). If you just need an inch or so, flipping the stem or getting one with a higher degree rise is best. Did that for my wife's bike. It was an ex-pro bike set up very low (no spacers). Flipping the stem wasn't enough so a new stem with a 15 degree rise was perfect to give her more comfort on longer rides.
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Old 11-02-05, 10:00 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. I'm not even sure I need to raise the bars. I just like to fiddle around with bike adjustments. The frame fits fine.
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Old 11-02-05, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
I saw in the Performance catalog a stem height extender for $19.99. I was thinking of raising my bars, but the catalog says that the extender will raise the bars up to 3 inches. How exactly does this thing work. Do I remove shims from my IS integrated headset in combination with the extender to raise the bar to the desired height? My LBS tells me that I can't add any more shims to raise the bars, hence the need for the extender. Anyone use one of these things before? Comments? Thanks
I have that same one on my bike. I can recommend it.
Can adjust the height from below stem to a couple of inches above.
Works just fine. No complaints. Doesn't work loose, very tight.
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Old 11-02-05, 09:53 PM   #13
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Same as Applehead... I have used mine for about 2,000 miles and have had no problems at all. I needed 3in. of rise and this was my best option. Resently, I had to adjust my headset, and if you ever do, just remember that the stem cap and screw is just used as a dust cover. It must be removed to gain access to the adjusting screw, which is found "deeper" down the tube.(the top stem mounting screw needs to be loosen to remove to stem dust cap)
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Old 11-03-05, 05:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
I'm not even sure I need to raise the bars. I just like to fiddle around with bike adjustments.
If it is just to fiddle around you may have more success with an adjustable stem. This way you can raise and lower your handlebars and then when you find the height you like you can always buy a non-adjustable in that degree of rise. You probably won't get the same amount of height differential this way, but in the end I think you will be able to get more adjustability.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capwater
If you need that much raise, you're probably on the wrong size/style frame ...
Hi Capwater!

I must respectfully disagree. Most manufacturers design their bikes for racing use, despite the fact that the majority of customers will never race the bike. Racers, being lighter, limberer, and fitter than the majority of us "regular Joes," like their bars much lower for aerodynamics.

The average, non-racing rider often perfers bars significantly higher than what comes stock. With threadless stems, this is mostly impossible without the "stem exetnder" that the OP asked about.

I have a frame that fits, but I still wanted my bars about 2.5" higher than what came stock. I eventually ended up with a "comfort stem" with a 45 degree rise. The stem extender was my only other option (except for a new fork).
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Old 11-03-05, 12:19 PM   #16
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Good point, FH. I use the Delta stem extender on our C'Dale tandem. My seat position over the pedals was good, my seat height was good, and my "reach" to the handlebars was perfect, but the height had me so low over the bars (about 2.5" below seat height) that my neck and back really started to ache after 40 miles or so. My first century on the tandem about killed me. After installing the extender things became wonderful. I have no concerns about safety, it clamps really well, and works like a charm. I could have probably found a stem that would have gotten me a bit more upright, but then my reach would have been messed up. I certainly would prefer a cleaner look without it, but what the hay, it's a tandem (the Kenworth of the bicycle set). Next "improvements," some of those mud flaps with chrome naked women with a 10" waist line and an air horn!! OHB
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Old 11-06-05, 10:50 PM   #17
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I used a Delta stem riser on a Windsor that I had. It worked fine. It looked nerdy, though. I dumped the Windsor and got a Specialized Allez Elite that had a much longer head tube. This made the bars much higher than the Windsor had and made the need for a Delta gizmo unnecessary. Now I look cool (at least I think so ) I've still got the Delta gizmo, in new condition if anyone is interested.....
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