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Old 08-02-07, 11:05 AM   #1
Hanu
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Raise the handlebars?

I was given a straight handlebar by a friend of mine.
It's a bar off a high-end Specialized bike, therefore very light.
I replaced the crowbar handlebar on my wife's Trek 4500 with this one.

The thing is that now the handlebar is just a bit too low for her, causing neck pain.
Is there a way to keep the straight bar but somehow raise it a bit, or is it not possible?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:16 AM   #2
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Why is it so important to use this bar? I believe the 4500 comes with a Bontrager bar so the weight savings will be minimal at best.

If your wife liked her seating position the way it was put it back, leave it alone and mess with your bike.
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Old 08-02-07, 02:39 PM   #3
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+1 I agree. Flat bars are more fashion than they are practical for most folks. They force the rider into a road-bike drop bar position, but without the advantages of multiple hand positions and the ability to drop low when heading into the wind.

Sure her neck gets sore. Her hands probably get sore too with all her weight on the palms of her hands for the entire ride.

I guess that flat bars make some sense for folks that are really doing mountain biking in actual hills and where you have to pull up on the bars hard to jump fallen trees and stuff, but that is a very small population of the bicycling public. For most people who ride on the streets and smooth wooded paths, flat bars make no sense at all. I guess flat bars and springer forks are like four-wheel drive SUV's for city drivers in Los Angeles. Change them back for her.
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Old 08-02-07, 02:45 PM   #4
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Ok, here goes:
1. You have a quill stem.
a) it's not already at the max height: Raise it.
b) it's already at the max height: replace it by a longer quill stem (Google Nitto quill stems)
2. You don't have a quill stem, so you have some sort of a threadless headset.
a) there are spacers above the stem: Move them below the stem.
b) there are no spacers above the stem: Replace the stem by one with higher and/or adjustable rise.
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Old 08-02-07, 04:11 PM   #5
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Ok, here goes:
1. You have a quill stem.
a) it's not already at the max height: Raise it.
b) it's already at the max height: replace it by a longer quill stem (Google Nitto quill stems)
2. You don't have a quill stem, so you have some sort of a threadless headset.
a) there are spacers above the stem: Move them below the stem.
b) there are no spacers above the stem: Replace the stem by one with higher and/or adjustable rise.
Or get an adjustable quill stem. I have one that is not only very long, but adjustable. Bu++ ugly, but effective.
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Old 08-02-07, 05:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input!

The reason we looked at the flatbar was because the crowbar limits how close we can move the controls towards the center.
The LBS guy said he brought them in as much as he could, but that they could stand to come in a bit more for her to be properly positioned as far as hand placement versus shoulder width.

The idea of the steeper angled/adjustable stem is the way to go I think.
Bontrager makes a 17 degree stem as opposed to her existing 10 degree.
I'll check other makes as well.


The reasoning that most people never see trails on their MTB is a sound one, as I'm sure it's probably the case in many instances.

... just not this one.



As you can see... we enjoy going offroad.
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Old 08-02-07, 06:19 PM   #7
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Bu++ ugly, but effective.
What? We can't say "butt?"
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Old 08-03-07, 07:11 AM   #8
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A new riding position can also take some time to get used to. her neck will probably be sore as she will need to bend it more to keep it in the proper position with the new lower bar. If she likes the bar you may want to see if she will be willing to leave it be for a bit until her body has time to adapt. Most adjustment made to a bike will need an adaptation period.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:41 AM   #9
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Raising the handlebar alone will probably not cure the issue. When mounted as designed the crowbar handlebar extends not only up but back toward the rider. Using simple geometry, even if you use a stem that can extend 2 more inches upward the straight handlebar will only be .34" closer to her horizontally. You could actually make the problem worse, or at the least substitute a different set of muscle problems, because her arms will be in a more horizontal position, which can be harder on the shoulder and arm muscles. I agree with the idea of going with a steeper angle stem, to both raise and move back the bars.
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Old 08-03-07, 06:35 PM   #10
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