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Thread: raising stem

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    raising stem

    Hi all, Looking for a little help. I am trying to raise the heigth of my stem but not sure if i am doing it right. I have loosend everything and raised the stem (maybe a 1/8"-1/4") but the spacers that are on the bike are now loose. Do i need to add more spacers to pick up the slop or do i need to move the stem back down and accept what was given to me. I raised my seat awhile ago but am now getting REALLY bad neck pains after my rides. I am now assuming i need to raise the stem a little. This is why i am now asking for help. Any suggestions would be great. Hopefully i don't need to buy a new stem. Attached a few pictures so that you can see what i am talking about. Thanks. Brad
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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    you could try flipping the stem over so the stem is angled upwards.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Hey Cyclist, Still fairly new to the bike repair aspect. Could you explain. Thanks.

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    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gageplate View Post
    Hi all, Looking for a little help. I am trying to raise the heigth of my stem but not sure if i am doing it right. I have loosend everything and raised the stem (maybe a 1/8"-1/4") but the spacers that are on the bike are now loose. Do i need to add more spacers to pick up the slop or do i need to move the stem back down and accept what was given to me. I raised my seat awhile ago but am now getting REALLY bad neck pains after my rides. I am now assuming i need to raise the stem a little. This is why i am now asking for help. Any suggestions would be great. Hopefully i don't need to buy a new stem. Attached a few pictures so that you can see what i am talking about. Thanks. Brad
    You are not doing the entire process correctly.
    Looks like all the spacers you have on the stem are on the bottom already you do not just add more at this point.
    You would need to flip the stem, loosen the remove the bars, loosen the 2 pinch bolts on the stem, remove the cap slide the stem off flip it over, replace the cap and set preload once you have done this correctly tigthen the 2 pinch bolts on the stem.

    You can not just loosen the stem and raise it up as you did.

    This may also help you also to understand the adjustment process
    http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-threadless-headset/
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

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    Hey JT thanks. couple questions, after i unscrew the cap and the pinch bolts, will i loose anything down the tube? More specifically do i undo the cap screw all the way or just partially to release the wedge (?) inside the tube. Also, i know you said flip the stem, but what does this really do for me? I asume it is giving me a little more height. How much? Hope you don't mind me picking your brain. Thanks again. Brad

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    if you remove the cap and loosen the pinch bolts the entire fork is now loose. Don't do any thing to the Star Nut (wedge inside steerer tube). remove the face plate and from the stem so the stem can be flipped 180 degrees without turning the handlebars over.

    The reason to flip the stem is to have the stem angle turn upwards instead of downwards as it is presently shown. You cannot just add spacers to the bottom of the stem since the steerer tube is already near the top of the stem and it is not good to have more than a couple of mm of space at the top of the stem. Now if you need raise the stem more than a the 0.5" rise (this is just a guess) that you will get by flipping the stem there are a couple of options.

    1. get a threadless stem raiser adapter

    2. get a new stem that has a greater angle so the change in angle will raise the stem further.

    also look at the park tools web site on how to install a stem.

    How much flipping the stem will raise the handlebars depends on the current angle of the stem (if it is 90 degrees, you will get zero rise) and the length of the stem. (simple trig problem)
    from the looks of the photo it appears not to be a 90 degree bend, more like 6 degrees (so that would make it a 84 or 96 degrees).
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    consider an LBS for this adjustment (imo)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    consider an LBS for this adjustment (imo)
    +1 Having the bars, headset and stem properly adjusted is vital for your safety. Based on your posting you are not familiar with any of these adjustments so a trip to the LBS is well advised for your continued well being.

    If the mechanic is a nice guy he will explain what he is doing so you can learn how to do this type of thing in the future.

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    Ditto LBS advice by HillRider et. al. On the other hand, I was able to understand and install/adjust stem and headset load without any prior experience by reading headset adjustment on the Parktool website. I believe Sheldon Brown has something on this too.

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