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Old 04-20-14, 08:55 PM   #1
MAK
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Stem Raisers

Hello all,

I just got a 2005 Trek 520 in great shape. The fit is fine (seat height, KOP, reach) but I'd like to raise the bar up a few inches. I've heard that 520's were made with short steerer tubes and this is the case here. I've replaced the original stem with a 120mm 55 degree stem and it fits like my road bike. For touring, I'd like the bars to be at least even with the seat so I'm thinking of a stem raiser to gain another +/- two inches. Seems like a sound concept but I'm wondering about durability and functionality. What are your experiences and thoughts? Do you have any suggested brands, or brands to steer clear of? Thank you.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:32 PM   #2
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You may be incorrect about the reach being proper if you want another two inches of height. Stem raisers have been in use without rampant reports of failure, so go ahead if that's the solution you want. No idea hear of brands to recommend.

p.s. Knee over Pedal Spindle (KOPS) is not a reliable fore-aft criteria. Google it for more info.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:50 PM   #3
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Thank you. I will Google the KOPS as you recommended.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:26 PM   #4
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Trek 520s don't have any taller or shorter a steerer then many other production bikes. Not saying that you wish the steerer was taller, just that they tend to be tall enough (with stem swap outs) for the vast majority of the intended riders.

Biggest issues with stem risors are the extra hardware, the extra leverage on that hardware and whether the rider will do the greater diligence needed to insure all is kept tight and well.

Agreed that a stem risor need suggests a reach that is too great OR a rider falling off the Bell Curve of fit needs. Get the one that the LBS that offers fitting services with a return policy uses. Andy.
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Old 04-21-14, 12:29 AM   #5
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I've used a wraparound Zoom briefly. No problem but it sure looked clunky. And I've used a BBB quill type extensively, likewise w/o any issues.
Quill is a nono for carbon steerers, and may possibly not fit equally well in all metal steerers.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:00 AM   #6
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Q: is this a newer 520 with a threadless headset, or an older one with a threaded 1" headset?

2005 I imagine its threadless .. I have used the BBB parts BHP 21http://bbbcycling.com/bike-parts/headset-parts/BHP-21

as a quill stem raiser , and found it to work brilliantly .. the clever bit of design is making the quill bolt both 6mm hex to tighten the wedge

and internally threading the hex to 6mm x1 standard, so the top of the stem cap is still your headset preload.


I used the extra height to stack a second threadless stem under the main one , the lower of which has my Bar Bag QR mount on it ..


It is possible to use a steel tube quill stem raiser , those are easily available .. , stepped down tube, OD on the bottom, is the ID on the top,
you can stack a quill stem in it , or the OD on top is like the OD of the fork so a stem can grip around it

then the top cap adjustment needs another solution

you could put a star nut in , it blocks the quill bolt head, so would have to come out if you need bolt access ..

an expansion plug as used in CF steerers can be removed ..

so that offers a second possibility

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-21-14 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:41 PM   #7
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Not really enough info provided to be of much help. Mostly, is it a threaded, or threadless steerer? It's not really that the steerer tube is too short. The steerer length is determined by the heat tube lenght and enough extra steerer to accommodate to required hardware. You may not have enough steerer length to accommodate spacers.

Andy alluded to the fact that the "reach" may be too long. 120mm stems are longish, and a shorter reach would have the same affect in position as a more upright stem. There are stems that are both shorter in reach, and higher. Would something like this solve the problem? Universal Cycles -- Dimension 4 Bolt Stem Black
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Old 04-22-14, 09:34 PM   #8
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Good responses. Thank you. Yes, it is threadless. Since this is a touring bike and not a road bike for speed, I'm simply trying to get a more relaxed and less bent over position. Andrew, you're correct about the steerer. I should have said short head tube.

Quite frankly, I don't understand the relationship of the various tube angles with regard to how a bike fits. I do know that my Specialized Roubaix, Felt F80 and Schwinn Madison all are comfortable; but a look at them shows different seat to bar heights and different fore and aft seat distances from the bar. I've ridden both the Felt and Specialized in both RAGBRAI and the Bike Ride Across Georgia comfortably so I realize that you fit the bike to the person and not vice versa.

The likely reason that the 520's reach is comfortable is because it's a bit smaller (54 rather than a 56) but the next size up would be a 57 which just wasn't doable even with a shorter stem.

Since no one warned about catastrophic failure, (yes Andrew, I'll keep the bolts tight), for $25-$30 I'm going to try the stem raiser and see how it works. The bike is comfortable with the stem on it right now. I just want to see if it's more comfortable with the bars a bit higher.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 04-22-14, 10:10 PM   #9
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Satori Headsup 1,2,3, or 4; on eBay, silver or black. I've had one on a converted MTB with heavy trekking bars for 4 years, no issues.
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Old 04-23-14, 07:11 AM   #10
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Trek can supply the same 520 fork with an un cut steerer . ask Dealer. color may differ.
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