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  1. #1
    Biking 4 Life vja4Him's Avatar
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    Need to Raise Handlebars 4-6 Inches ...

    How can I raise the handlebars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker 4-6 inches? I am having problems with my back, and also strain on my wrists from leaning forward too much.

    I took my LHT into the lbs, but they told me the best they can do is raise the bars maybe one inch. That will not even be worth the effort ....

  2. #2
    Internal gears FTW! zoodude's Avatar
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    Two easy ways to do it. You could grab an extender for you steerer tube, Zoom and Dimension both make cheap ones, they're called steerer extenders. Any bike shop can order one from the Quality catalog--they cost around $20, come in various lengths as well as both black and silver finishes. Or look into your actual handle bars have a large upwards swoop to them. Both will probably require new cables and housing. If it is back problems you are suffering from the handle bars will get you straightened up better but there is also the possibility that you just simply need to shorten your stem a little bit to find the coveted "sweet" spot.
    Share the road!

  3. #3
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    This the one? http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_gsEKLC0p5W...ht052909aa.jpg

    Looks like a short, rising stem already, so I guess a steer tube extender would be the next step.

    Hard to tell from the angle but maybe your brake levers could move up on the bars a bit?

    You'd be surprised how much difference an inch actually makes when you're close to the right fit, though.

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    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    4-6 inches says something is very wrong, either wrong size, or maybe just wrong bike. Or maybe just outside of the bell curve, I shouldn't judge.

    I'd suggest stem raiser, as everyone else has first, but also remember, as the handlebars come higher, they also come closer, and this can give a really cramped feel to the cockpit.

    For that amount of height you are going to need new cables and housing, I really can't imagine yours being long enough.

    Changing the handlebars should be your last alternative( it's fine to do, just not to remedy fit issues). There aren't many handlebars that offer the positions of drop bars as well as a good bit of rise and upward sweep.

  5. #5
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    Before you change anything talk to a shop that specializes in fitting or custom bikes... they might have some ideas or strategies to help. There are things besides handelbar height that can cause some of the problems you are having.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    How about some bars like these:

    http://www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk/products/main/HB235.jpg

    You can rotate them forwards or back to adjust rise and reach as necessary.

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
    How can I raise the handlebars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker 4-6 inches? I am having problems with my back, and also strain on my wrists from leaning forward too much.

    I took my LHT into the lbs, but they told me the best they can do is raise the bars maybe one inch. That will not even be worth the effort ....
    Either you weren't fit, or fit improperly for your bike or you bought the wrong size bike if you need 4-6 inches higher. Let's see a picture of the current setup please. And with you on it if possible.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Got my new bike, went riding, came back, back is killing me. Hmph. Went the next day, not near as bad. Now, basically, okay. Some adjustment may be in order, but if you're sitting differently from what you're used to and only tried it a time or two, a bit more riding may help.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    on your left.
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    got a picture of you on the bike?

    I have a stem extender on my bike, and I really like it. but if you actually need 4-6 extra inches, you might need a new frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    As for extenders, delta makes one and it is sold at REI and other bike shops

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    On another note the LHTs come with the steerers uncut and are normally cut to fit. If this steerer only has an inch of rise you may be able to get another fork that has a few more inches or rise. I like this idea with the extra length of rise you add an extra stem and short bar for the extra accessories like a lowered front bag or lights or computer, ect.

  12. #12
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
    How can I raise the handlebars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker 4-6 inches? I am having problems with my back, and also strain on my wrists from leaning forward too much.

    I took my LHT into the lbs, but they told me the best they can do is raise the bars maybe one inch. That will not even be worth the effort ....
    Is this a temporary situation?
    If yes, extenders and maybe a adjustable angle stem may get you close 'til your back gets better.
    If not then yes, you need to think about a new, bigger frame.
    1996 Bianchi Veloce
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    On another note the LHTs come with the steerers uncut and are normally cut to fit. If this steerer only has an inch of rise you may be able to get another fork that has a few more inches or rise. I like this idea with the extra length of rise you add an extra stem and short bar for the extra accessories like a lowered front bag or lights or computer, ect.
    This is the best solution I have read in this thread.

    I have considered getting an LHT because I need a tall head-tube to be comfortable, and while the LHT frame is not particularily long for the larger sizes, the fork is nice and long, and there is no law against putting a couple of inches of spacers under your stem before you cut the steerer to size.


    I was going to write a little paragraph on how you shouldn't put your threadless stem more than a couple of inches above your headset, but then I remembered seeing this mentioned in a SHeldon Brown article on Handelbar height adjustment.. The headset in the picture is, I think, a little unsightly, but that would be improved with some nice spacers that match the stem or the headset - these can be chosen and put in place after the bike has been ridden the bike and the ideal stem height determined.

  14. #14
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    Hi,
    After looking at the pictures on your blog, it doesn't appear that you bought too small of a frame. Rather, the drop bars may be exceeding the limits of your flexibility. Also, your comments on your blog ("bars needed to be rotated," "knees hitting shifters," "raising saddle height") indicate you've been trying to fit yourself to the bike. Did the shop do anything to help fit the bike for you? It doesn't sound like it. Like others mentioned, you'll probably want the services of a shop that can help you with a proper fitting.

    Given your desire for a more upright riding position, you might end up abandoning the drop bars altogether and getting a bar that's more natural for riding upright. One bar in particular is the Albatross by Nitto. It comes in both aluminum (see here) and CrMo (see here) versions. Albatross bars should accept your current bar-end shifters, but you'd need to replace your brake levers. They don't offer all the hand positions of drop bars, but it doesn't sound like you've been able to utilize all those positions as it stands. FYI, I'm just passing this along as a possibility for you; you and the person fitting you will decide what works best for you.

    For example:

    from boxdogbikes.com



    from www.ecovelo.info


    (...hope posting the above pics with credit to sites is okay. If not, please remove pics and scold me.)

  15. #15
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
    How can I raise the handlebars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker 4-6 inches? I am having problems with my back, and also strain on my wrists from leaning forward too much.

    I took my LHT into the lbs, but they told me the best they can do is raise the bars maybe one inch. That will not even be worth the effort ....
    Your lbs should have suggested an extender. I have them on all three of my bikes. The handlebars are significantly higher than the seats on all three. Maybe this is all "wrong," but it allows me to ride long distances without lower back discomfort which is all right with me. It won't win me races but my concern is maintaining comfort over several miles.

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=SM1977

    Don in Austin

  16. #16
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
    Your lbs should have suggested an extender. I have them on all three of my bikes. The handlebars are significantly higher than the seats on all three. Maybe this is all "wrong," but it allows me to ride long distances without lower back discomfort which is all right with me. It won't win me races but my concern is maintaining comfort over several miles.

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=SM1977

    Don in Austin
    Any particular reason you chose to write in an obnoxiously large font
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Any particular reason you chose to write in an obnoxiously large font
    He probably just thought 'obnoxious' was the most appropriate tone to take in this forum. I wonder why.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    You kids crack me up.

  19. #19
    Senior Member vettefrc2000's Avatar
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    What a rube.

  20. #20
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Any particular reason you chose to write in an obnoxiously large font
    Any particular reason you chose to write in such an obnoxious style?
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    I have a Surly Crosscheck with Albatross bars that are slightly higher than the seat height. After I bought the frame I did not cut anything off the fork steering tube until after I had assembled the bike with all components and ridden the bike for several weeks with the bars set at various heights. The great thing about threadless stems on a long steering tube is the ability to play with spacers to easily set the bars higher or lower until finding the "just right" height. I have 70 cm (about 3") of spacers between the top of the headset and the bottom of the stem clamp.

    It's possible that the stem on the OP's bike is also too long, causing even greater discomfort. When I look at most bikes sold as complete bikes in the store, I realize why I have always preferred to build my own bikes instead.

  22. #22
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
    I have a Surly Crosscheck with Albatross bars that are slightly higher than the seat height. After I bought the frame I did not cut anything off the fork steering tube until after I had assembled the bike with all components and ridden the bike for several weeks with the bars set at various heights. The great thing about threadless stems on a long steering tube is the ability to play with spacers to easily set the bars higher or lower until finding the "just right" height. I have 70 cm (about 3") of spacers between the top of the headset and the bottom of the stem clamp.

    It's possible that the stem on the OP's bike is also too long, causing even greater discomfort. When I look at most bikes sold as complete bikes in the store, I realize why I have always preferred to build my own bikes instead.
    Please tell me that's a typo, 7 cm not 70.

    I've always kind of taken stems sold on bikes to be irrelevant, they are only their on a stock bike to hold the handlebars in place while on display, since most any good bike shop will immediately swap out the stem on purchase for one that fits.

  23. #23
    Biking 4 Life vja4Him's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Any particular reason you chose to write in an obnoxiously large font
    Their font looks just fine on my computer (iBook G4). Not too large here ....

  24. #24
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vettefrc2000 View Post
    What a rube.
    Hey, y'all! We're having a rube-barb!

    It does sound like the OP is adapting to a new bike, but a good fitting session is what's really needed. A good bike fitter will take the rider's flexibility into account. Since I'm Mr. Inflexible, I'm more comfortable with my handlebars near or above seat level: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...es/bike032.htm
    Last edited by Jeff Wills; 10-16-09 at 11:55 PM.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  25. #25
    Biking 4 Life vja4Him's Avatar
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    Here I am riding my Surly Long Haul Trucker ....
    Last edited by vja4Him; 01-16-13 at 10:09 AM.

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