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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 07-09-09, 05:14 AM   #1
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Bikes: Downtube Mini '08
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DT Mini: Fitting a handlebar directly on the handlepost, ditching the extension tube?

First of all, I am small... really small. Even when my saddle is way up until my toes barely touch the ground while I'm seated, the handlebar at its lowest is about 2-3 inches higher than the saddle.

And lately I've noticed that the quick release that tighten the handlebar extension tube to the handle post tends to give away very slightly if the handlebar is all the way down; so the handle tends to rotate very slightly to the right (my dominant hand) after some riding, and that puts some strain on my right shoulder. I have to keep re-aligning the handle and re-adjusting the handlepost QR during riding.

Now, that doesn't happen if the handlebar is extended up a little bit; maybe that's what the QR was designed for in the first place. But I don't need the extra inches, when it's already high enough without the extension. Hence my question...

On the 2008 Downtube Mini, could I remove the extension tube/handlebar assembly altogether, and fit a stem & handlebar directly on the handlepost? If then, what kinds of parts would I need? Would a normal threadless stem work, and what parts would I need to seal up the top of the post?

I also thought of chopping off a few inches from the handlepost itself, but that doesn't sound safe... and I don't have any power tools either (not even a hacksaw ).

Well right now the likely solution is either ditching the extension tube or leaving the extension up a little bit. My right shoulder has been quite hurting in the last few days and it really bothers me. Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old 07-09-09, 10:22 AM   #2
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First things first, have you tried tightening up the QR using the thumbscrew to prevent rotation when the handlebar is dropped to the maximum? You should be able to get it REALLY tight.

If that doesn't work, I suggest bringing your bike to the LBS and have them trim down the steerer tube (this is what I'm calling the vertical tube that the stem clamps to, not sure if it's the right terminology.. you are calling it an extension tube, I think) I did this and they cut mine down quickly and cheaply using a seatpost cutter.

I replaced my stem and steerer tube completely. 1" OD 7/8" ID 6061T6 aluminum tube from is just the thing you need. With a shim it fit a 1 1/8" stem perfectly, and the top cap from the stem fit right on the top of the tube. I will post a picture if you like.
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Old 07-14-09, 04:23 PM   #3
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dschwarz, Thanks for your reply. My main line of reasoning was that I don't need the extension from the steerer tube (the tube that extends up and is attached to the stem & the handlebar) due to my small physique. I did try to tighten the QR as much as possible, but the handlebar would still skew to one side when the tube was all the way down. I don't have the mechanical skill or tools and am not into overhauling a budget bike anyway, so I ended up just pulling up the steerer tube an inch and tightening the QR. That took care of the steering problem (although I have to ride more upright), but then now I'm getting the finicky SA hub problem. Oh well...
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Old 07-15-09, 07:52 AM   #4
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Soseono, do you need the bike to fold? If not, you can certainly replace the folding stem with a 1 1/8 quill stem, which will bring your handlebar down as much as a foot; and you can recover as much of that distance as you need by changing the handlebar to one with some rise -- the stock bar is about 2", but 4", 6" and others are probably available.

If you do need the bike to fold, I think dschwartz is on the right track. Another option would be to replace your handlebar with one of the ones I mentioned, with some rise; but put it on upside down, to bring your hands down. A bar with 4" rise, upside down, will bring your hands down 6" or so (but watch your chin!).

By the way, I too want my hands down lower (due to my riding style, though; I'm not small) so I have my handlebar on upside down. This brings the grips down by about 3"
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