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Old 03-29-08, 02:00 PM   #1
Raleigh71
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Is it correct that you can't adjust handlebar height on my bike?

I have a early '90's hybrid made in Japan but with Raleigh name on it that seems to have a fixed height handle stem. I would have to replace it with a longer stem if I wanted it higher.

Is this how it was designed or is the 'wedge' rusted in place?
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Old 03-29-08, 02:07 PM   #2
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Photos would help. There are two possibilities in my mind and I would need more detail to make a suggestion.
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Old 03-29-08, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raleigh71 View Post
I have a early '90's hybrid made in Japan but with Raleigh name on it that seems to have a fixed height handle stem. I would have to replace it with a longer stem if I wanted it higher.

Is this how it was designed or is the 'wedge' rusted in place?
An early 90's Raleigh. That says "1 inch quill stem" to me.

The short answer is that the handlebar on your bike can be raised. Unfortunately, you are probably going to have to spend some money to do it.

In most cases raising the handlebar more than a fraction of an inch will require buying a Nitto Technomic stem that has a long shank. That'll allow you to safely raise your bars around 2 1/2 inches. You'll have to remove your existing stem, remove the shifter and brake lever from one side of the bar and install the bar into the new stem. There's a good chance that you'll have to install longer cables and housings too. If you brought that bike into the shop where I work, we'd charge you $80.00 to $100.00 for everything.
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Old 03-29-08, 03:06 PM   #4
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If there's a bolt head at the top of the stem shaft then I suspect the wedge is rusted in place. Try dribbling some penetrating oil down between the two. Or if the stem was not greased way back then it could be suffering from the aluminium to steel corrosion that takes place similarly to what happens in seat posts. Again some penetrating oil will help.

Try totally unscrewing the bolt in the stem shaft and lifting the upper stem out. If you can do that then see if you can screw the bolt into the wedge and with some tapping and prying break it free from the rust holding it. Just don't go all "gorrila" on it. If it won't come loose let the penetrating oil work overnight.
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Old 03-29-08, 10:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post

In most cases raising the handlebar more than a fraction of an inch will require buying a Nitto Technomic stem that has a long shank. That'll allow you to safely raise your bars around 2 1/2 inches.
Can I just chip in with a word of thanks for that info? I was searching for something like this myself.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:49 AM   #6
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I'd agree with the photos idea. Is there a nut on top of the stem? If you can loosen this nut and bang it down with a mallet or something. Preferably with the penetrating oil overnight beforehand. I'm only speculating though. And i would go completely gorilla on it too but thats just me
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Old 04-15-08, 04:58 AM   #7
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If the expanding wedge is rusted in place, it's sometimes easier to just remove the wedge bolt completely, flip the bike over, remove the front wheel, thread the wedge bolt back into the stuck wedge from the underside, and pound it out with a hammer. Soaking it with penetrating oil beforehand can definitely help.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:00 AM   #8
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Besides the Nitto Technomic stem, you could use a stem extender or a stem with more rise.
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