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  1. #1
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    How do I get my bars up A LOT?

    I ride a Gary Fisher Mendota. 22.5" frame and I'm 6'2", so it should be the right size for me. I have adjusted the seat height using the 'leg is straight with heel on the pedal' method and my seat height feels good. My problem is that the handlebars are now a good inch to inch and a half lower than the seat and I want to get them up to at least seat level. I have already gone from the stock 7 deg stem to a 25 deg stem. I bought a 40 deg stem (all Trek components), but in order to use it you have to remove a couple of the spacer rings on the steering head effectively negating the extra rise. What is the proper way to get such a large increase in handlebar height on a hybrid bike? I'm kinda new at this, so still learning. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You can buy "stem risers" on ebay quite cheaply, i've only used a quill type not a modern one, but i've seen them for sale.

    Just curious as to why you feel the need though, all my bikes have drops from seat to bars of more than that, but i guess it's your bike and you can do what you want.
    Colnago CX-1 Record 11sp. Carbon Epic Expert 29er

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    don't mean to hijack... if you want to get rid of the 25 degree stem I may be interested. I have a '12 8.5 DS and it comes stock with a 10 deg stem. I'm thinking the extra inch up may be good for my neck.

    if your 25 deg becomes surplus to you shoot me a note and we can work it out.

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    A really good site for examining stem length vs height is here:

    http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php

    You can plug in various combinations of reach, rise angle, and spacers to compare to your baseline setup.

  5. #5
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
    ... but in order to use it you have to remove a couple of the spacer rings on the steering head effectively negating the extra rise...
    I may have the wrong image here, but to me this is the correct method. Nothing wrong with removing spacer rings, that's why they are there, to help with height adjustment and to make up the space. Just move them top to bottom or vice versa.

  6. #6
    Old, SLOW bike rider! ;)
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    I have a 120mm, 40 degree stem on our Trek Tandem as with having Reiter's Syndrome I don't bend at the back well. On my new Jamis Coda Sport, I did a handlebar swap from "0-degree rise" to "80mm (3 in.) rise" and that made the bike comfortable without changing the stem. Yes, it gives the bike a bit more of a "hybrid", than a "flat-bar road bike" look but it works!
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 09-25-11 at 09:35 PM. Reason: re-phrase
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Lexi01's Avatar
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    Can't he just flip his stem over?

    I'm assuming it's an angled stem.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Road - Cannondale SuperSix
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  8. #8
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jezmellors View Post
    You can buy "stem risers" on ebay quite cheaply, i've only used a quill type not a modern one, but i've seen them for sale.

    Just curious as to why you feel the need though, all my bikes have drops from seat to bars of more than that, but i guess it's your bike and you can do what you want.
    With the bars so low, I get neck pain from holding my head up to see. I've tried keeping my neck straight and tilting my eyes up to see, but this just isn't comfortable. I also have the ulnar nerve problem in my left hand and need to keep the weight off my hands and wrists to help that problem. Even though it's not aerodynamic, it would suit me better to sit more upright.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
    Can't he just flip his stem over?

    I'm assuming it's an angled stem.
    If I flipped it, it'd be angled more down than it is now.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
    I may have the wrong image here, but to me this is the correct method. Nothing wrong with removing spacer rings, that's why they are there, to help with height adjustment and to make up the space. Just move them top to bottom or vice versa.
    The spacers are already under the stem, raising it as much as is possible. Good thought though!

  11. #11
    Old, SLOW bike rider! ;)
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    Stems come in "different" lengths and degrees, your OEM/stock stem might be a 10 to 25 degree, you might want to look into a new stem, say in the 30 to 40 degree to "raise" the bar up and look at different lengths, to bring the bar closer to you. Say your stem is a 120mm length, if you went to a 105 or 90mm, that would bring the bars back towards you for "less strech" and go with a 30 to 40 degree to bring the bars UP, FYI, YMMV.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
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    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  12. #12
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    25 and 40 degree stems, wow. Those are not exactly standard spec.

    I would first wonder about the head tube height of your new bike. It seems that despite picking a frame seemingly appropriate for your 6'2" body, you have picked one with a head tube that is far too low for the riding position you are after.

  13. #13
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    ape hanger bars seem to be in order here.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  14. #14
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Jokes aside, there are enough types of bikes in the world that you should be able to find something to suit you.

    The Mendota fits like a typical MTB, designed around a rider's torso between 45-60 degrees from horizontal. Flat bar road bikes offer a more aggressive position. City bikes offer a more relaxed position and you can sit nearly upright.

    There should be hybrids that are MTB-ish (suspension fork, able to use relatively large tires) and can fit the OP without using a 40 degree stem.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    I've ordered a cheap'ish MTB bar with a 50mm rise. That'll let me know if that's going to do what I want and, if so, I can buy a nicer one down the road. Looks like it ought to be a good solution.

  16. #16
    Old, SLOW bike rider! ;)
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    Hope it works for you, as stated before, I had to go to a 80mm rise alloy bar to get comfortable on my 2012 Jamis Coda Sport, LOL, at least it's not quite in the "Ape Hanger" catagory!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  17. #17
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    Also take a look at Dimension stems. They come in a large variety of lengths and rises, and the clamp is only 40mm tall--about as short as they come (and as you referred to, a taller clamp negates some of the effect of the rise)

  18. #18
    Senior Member choclabman's Avatar
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    I wanted to do the same thing to my bike and my LBS suggested an adjustable stem. I had one on a previous bike and it worked fine. I don't know if it will work in your case or what the cons might be for an adj. stem.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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  20. #20
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Wow, that looks like a great solution. I ended up getting a MTB handlebar with a 2" rise and also have an adjustable stem coming Friday. Between those two and the other 2 stems and 2 handlebars I have, I think I can have a solution. I'm going to add that stem raiser to my Wish List though just in case. Thanks!

  21. #21
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Watch out for steerer tube damage when/if you crash with tall or extended stems.

    I don't think you will be putting enough force on the bars to worry about breaking the steerer during normal riding, but if you hit something hard with the front wheel I would start to be concerned. The tall bars multiply force like any ordinary lever.

  22. #22
    Junior Member VoyagerAl's Avatar
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    I just added a 5" riser bar to my Trek 730. I cant stand to have all my weight on my palms, so now i ride with an upright back, and comfy! Looks like a comfort bike, well, it IS!

  23. #23
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Latest update, what I've ended up with right now is an adjustable 95mm stem with the angle probably up around 60 degrees and my awesome elite trekking bars back on. I ordered the shorter stem length thinking it would get the bar closer to me, which would be desireable. Now that I've ridden it, I realizeded that once the stem angle is above 45 degrees a longer stem would also start getting the bar higher, so I've ordered a 125mm stem and we'll see which one I like better. I'm pretty sure just the adjustable stem will be all I need though, so I won't need to get the stem raiser.

  24. #24
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    Mendota has a unusual bar shape, mine feels sort of flat to me... but I like the ride,, almost tour worthy...
    Phil P.
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    How Old would you be if you didn't know how old you are ?

  25. #25
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    I look at mine as a sport hybrid. Nice to see a fellow Mendota owner. Not many of us out there

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