I haven't cycled before (ever) but I'm just starting. I acquired a road bike cheaply - it's great but I'm sure set up all wrong. Using drop bars for the first time is proving unnatural and uncomfortable (I guess I need to persevere) and instinct is telling me that they would be better if I raised them a couple of inches.
Despite reading Lennard Zinn's book (plus others), I'm not confident I can do this without advice. It seems to be an entirely conventional threaded stem arrangement. Where the stem passes into the frame, there are two large nuts, one on top of the other, the lower one is wider. In the centre of the top face of the stem is a hex bolt head which I can undo easily.
According to the books, I need to undo the bolt about 0.5 inch and hammer it down using a drift. Something should come loose at the stem/fork union which will allow me to loosen the UPPER of the two nuts and withdraw the stem some unspecified but useful distance.
I'm not unmechanically minded but I can't get my head around how the stem grips the fork - consequently I have anxieties that I wont be able to get everything back together.
The bike is a 1970s/80s Peugeot steel frame 22 inch. I'm 6ft 0in 182lb 50yrs. I think the frame size is ok for my height.
Words of encouragement please.