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  1. #1
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    Raising handlebars on a Cannondale R300

    I am about to purchase a 94 Cannondale R300 for my wife to ride. It is in great shape and is an excellent deal, so we are jumping on it. However, I think she will find it a little uncomfortable to ride in the long run, so I anticipate selling it (and making a little profit) in the future and getting her something else. In the mean time, how difficult would it be to raise the handlebars or replace them to get her in a more upright position? I ride a Giant OCR1 and while I have drop handlebars, I am not nearly as bent over as I am when I ride the Cannondale. I would like to make the riding position of the Cannondale closer to my Giant. Any suggestions? I have done minor work on bikes before, but it has always been related to the drive train and wheels, so I am new to handlebars and headsets. Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
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    The R300 model has been around awhile, and has had both quill stems as well as aheadset stems(according to a google image search). Quill stems can rather easily be raised, as long as you don't go past the minimum insertion mark. Undo the the screw pointing into the fork a few turns, tap it down, pull up on the bars. Tighten up, done!

    If you get to the minimum insertion mark, there are longer stems available. Usually though, you'll have to unwrap and uninstall one set of brakes/shifters to slide the old stem off and the new stem on.

    Aheadset stems are easier, but more limited. If the stem is sitting some ways down on the steerer tube you can undo the top cap, slide the stem off, move spacers from above to below the stem and then remount the stem. If there aren't any spacers above the stem you'll either have to buy a so-called riser stem that's angled upwards, or get a steerer tube extender. You might want to get a shorter stem while you're at it.

  3. #3
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    Raising handlebars should come after adjusting saddle height and fore-aft and then determining a good stem length. Raising the bars makes them marginally reduces reach but has a significant effect on weight distribution. If your wife is sitting too hard in the saddle that will not be comfortable either.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamps06 View Post
    I am about to purchase a 94 Cannondale R300 [...] I would like to make the riding position of the Cannondale closer to my Giant. Any suggestions? I have done minor work on bikes before, but it has always been related to the drive train and wheels, so I am new to handlebars and headsets. Thanks in advance for any advice!
    I've not seen any R300 (especially in 1994) that came stock with threadless setups. 98% sure you're dealing with old-school quill.

    If is indeed a quill and the stem is already raised past the minimum insertion point:
    1) quill with longer insertion
    OR
    2) quill with more angle (90 degree or more) rather than the normal-ish 73
    OR
    3) quill adapter (they tend to run quite tall) and install a threadelss stem
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  5. #5
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    Thank you, everyone, for your input. I appreciate the help!

    cny-bikeman - I will make sure saddle height and other positioning changes are proper before moving forward with adjusting the handlebars.

    dabac and dwellman - I will take a look at my quill stem tonight and see if I am able to raise that at all or if I am already at the minimum mark. I can then go from there if I need to purchase any components.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    I wanted a different ride position on my Cannondale I also picked up as a deal off of CL. It was set up pretty aggressive also and I also didn’t want to make any major changes I couldn’t reverse in case I wanted to flip it. I took the aluminum bars off and stem and replaced the stem with a taller one as someone mentioned above and replaced the bars with a junk set of drop bars steel I chopped off and made bull horns. It’s a fun bike to ride now.

    Not saying these bars are for everyone and I didn’t know if I would like them but I have been riding them and still enjoying the fit. Like mentioned above you still have to get the overall fit right.



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    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  7. #7
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    As it turns out, I DO have the threadless Aheadset. So it looks like I am stuck with the stem at its current height, at least without purchasing something new. I was able to tilt the handlebars up more, and I think that will help with positioning. The saddle height is good and the fore-aft looks to be good as well. Thanks again for everyone's help!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamps06 View Post
    As it turns out, I DO have the threadless Aheadset. So it looks like I am stuck with the stem at its current height, at least without purchasing something new. I was able to tilt the handlebars up more, and I think that will help with positioning. The saddle height is good and the fore-aft looks to be good as well. Thanks again for everyone's help!

    Tilting the handlebars up so the flats are more then ~10 or 15 degrees above level is not the correct solution. New stems can be found for $10 online that will be a very easy swap and the bars can be left in the correct orientation. If the bike is not comfortable with normal adjustments and stem lengths, etc, then the bike may be simply the wrong size, in which case sell it (at a profit if possible) and buy your wife something that fits. An ill fitting bike is a very bad gift.

  9. #9
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    I've nothing to add. The above is the correct solution.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  10. #10
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    What is the stem's length, and how far below the saddle is the top of the bars?
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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