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Old 07-06-06, 07:54 AM   #1
danimal123
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Raise the bars!

Howdy!

My bike (Trek 2100, 2006) is super comfy for sub 100-mile rides, but I've noticed that when the miles pile up, I get some numbness in my wrists. My bars are about 2" below the saddle....I'd like to make it so that my bars are level with the saddle, but the stem is already at the top of the post (and yes, I've flipped the stem).

Do I a) get a more severely angled stem, b) instal a stem riser or c) get a new fork and cut the tube to fit?

C is probably the best, but it sounds really expensive
A might affect the handling if the effective reach of the stem is shortened
B would be easiest (really easy), but I'm nervous about damaging the carbon post and about long-term long-distance reliability

Any thoughts? Anyone ever use a riser?
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Old 07-06-06, 11:33 AM   #2
supcom
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You can do any of the three. As you surmise, replacing the fork is the most expensive route.

You could try a 45 degree angled stem. Shortening the reach will not affect the bike's handling though it may be uncomfortable depending on how much shorter it becomes. You might want to get a longer stem to compensate for this.

A stem riser is another perfectly fine method. The stem riser bolts to the steerer tube just like your current stem and should not pose any reliability issue. Using the stem riser will also shorten your reach so you may find the need for a longer stem. I have used a stem riser. The only pitfall is to make sure that the steerer tube does not bottom out inside the riser or you won't be able to properly adjust the headset bearings. They are also not very elegant looking.
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Old 07-06-06, 07:37 PM   #3
Michel Gagnon
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In terms of handling, all three approaches will give you the same result. However:

– A stem cannot be installed too high on a carbon fork, so if you want a new longer fork, it will have to be steel.

– There should not be any stress difference on the fork between using a 45-degree stem and a stem riser since both clamp at the same point on the fork; unless I'm missing something in the design of a stem riser.


All in all, I would much prefer the 45°-stem approach :

– It looks as nice as what you presently have, whereas the stem riser + stem make for a very busy front end.
– You only need to buy one piece whereas with a stem riser, you will also need to buy a new shorter stem (by placing the bars higher, you straighten up, therefore you need to place the bars slightly closer to you).

BTW, when you compare your 17° stem with the new 45° stem, compare the horizontal reach. IOW, if your present 17° stem is 100 mm long, it puts the handlebars 100 mm forward of the fork. However, a 110-mm 45°-stem puts the handlebars 97 mm forward of the fork.
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Old 07-06-06, 08:40 PM   #4
Richard Cranium
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Why not figure out why you have "numbness in your wrists?" Focusing on the height of your handle bars is a very limited investigation of your problems.

No doubt, there are other aspects of your bicycling posture, and how your bicycle fit and fitness for long distance apply to your "wrist numbness."

If your bike fits well, you should be able to lean forward and hold your hands beside your handle bars and ride "freehanded" for minutes at a time. Another "test" would be to ride for several minutes with "only the tip of your index finger" touching your brake hoods.

All that aside, my point is that your saddle position, relative to the bottom bracket, your seatpost setback and a half dozen of other factors contribute to the pressure you exert on your bars during total fatigue.

Give the problem more thought.
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Old 07-07-06, 04:24 AM   #5
danimal123
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The bike's been fitted to me and I can ride for awhile hands free in the normal riding position. Up to 70 miles is fine, I just think that as the miles add up, fatigue sets in and I start resting on my hands more.

My commuting road bike (also fitted to me) has the bars at saddle height, my "nice bike" has a 2" drop. Both have the same saddle height over the bracket and the same saddle position (knee over pedal spindle). The only real difference to me is the bar height, which is why I was considering making a change.

I once took my commuter on a 100 mile ride....no hand problems at all.
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Old 07-08-06, 07:31 PM   #6
Richard Cranium
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Well, now that I understand that your idea of a "bicycle fit" means you can't ride over a hundred miles without numbness in your wrists.

Okay, I didn't know that a "bicycle fit" means you can ride for up to 100 miles without problems. I thought bicycles either fit you or they don't........I learn somethnig new every day.
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Old 07-08-06, 07:49 PM   #7
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How about one of the adjustable stems. Flat for the first 100 miles, then adjust it up for the post 100 miles. Best of both worlds:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=20044
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Old 07-09-06, 12:26 AM   #8
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I went with a Delta stem riser for $ 20, myself. My bars are now approximately equal to the height of the saddle, which is far more comfortable for this middle-aged, non-aero recreational rider.
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