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  1. #1
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Metal cross forks *and* other ways of getting handle bars higher

    I'm back on the bike after months off it with a trapped spinal nerve... and it looks like I need to get the bars higher. Maybe permanently, maybe not.

    So I'm interested in all ways of getting the bars higher. Including switching to OS bars and using an MTB stem, brands of high rise stem, fork extenders, etc.

    But I suspect that it will probably be best if just buy a new damn fork. I like metal for toughness and I don't mind the grammage. The only metal cross forks I can find in the UK are the Kinesis Crosslight 3 and the Cross Checky fork. Any opinions on how these ride? I'm 220lbs and ride a lot of light singletrack. Or hope to again.

  2. #2
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Two more obvious possibilities -


    - Get a severely downward sloping TT stem and flip it

    - Try an adjustable stem... But at 220lbs I'm wary of this for off road use.

  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Avenir makes a 40 degree stem. That would probably mess with your reach though. I use a Profile Design Aris stem with a 25 degree angle on two of my bikes, because I like my bars high.

    As for forks, is the Kona Project 2 fork available in your area? I've got that on my Kona Jake and I'm happy with it.

  4. #4
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Tange make a nice cross fork. I have one that I took off of this bike:



    Let me know if you are interested in it. I can give it to you for a deal, if you think it might work.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  5. #5
    Cat 4 roadkill
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    The Cross Check fork rides like a dream, but it weighs a ton. Have you considered a carbon fork with an alloy steerer?

  6. #6
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
    Tange make a nice cross fork. I have one that I took off of this bike:



    Let me know if you are interested in it. I can give it to you for a deal, if you think it might work.
    It's nice of you to offer, but I need a fork that hasn't had the steerer cut and I'm in the UK...?

    Also, what the bike? I like the look of the geometry.

  7. #7
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Avenir makes a 40 degree stem. That would probably mess with your reach though.
    I need a short reach at the moment anyway - shorter even than usual, and even normally I need a 90mm on account of my troll-like build. (My arms seem to be about two inches shorter than bike designers think proper, and my shoulders are wide enough so that Lemond and Armstrong could draft behind me at the same time and still not be quite close enough to hit each other.)

    I use a Profile Design Aris stem with a 25 degree angle on two of my bikes, because I like my bars high.
    Thanks - you've given me two more brands to search for.

    As for forks, is the Kona Project 2 fork available in your area? I've got that on my Kona Jake and I'm happy with it.
    To my moderate amazement, I can't find a P2 in the UK. A P2 was the first fork I thought (my MTB is a very early Kona Lavadome.)
    Last edited by meanwhile; 07-16-10 at 11:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelface View Post
    The Cross Check fork rides like a dream, but it weighs a ton.

    Have you considered a carbon fork with an alloy steerer?
    The Check fork weighs almost a kilo, a CF fork weighs half that, true. But me + bike = 240+ lbs. So an extra pound of weight in the fork will hold back acceleration and hill climbing by less than 0.5%. I can live with that for a fork that can't delaminate and has a non-claustrophobic failure mode. Between my weight and using the bike on root and rock strewn singletrack, I think I'm pushing my luck far enough! If I was a 160lb guy planning on racing, then my logic would be completely different - I'm not a luddite, I'm just realistic about how I use the bike. I hope.

    Thanks for the feedback on the Cross Check fork!
    Last edited by meanwhile; 07-16-10 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    IRD makes a nice riser stem, F4 Riser Stem:

    http://www.interlocracing.com/stems.html
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  10. #10
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm loath to try a new fork - imo there's never any telling how one will change the handling of a bike and my current fork is very nice (springy without being squirmy) so I want to keep it. So I'm going to try to fitting a 55 degree time trialling stem from Planet X. This was designed to put the bars super low, but I'm going to flip it to raise my bars and get a Rivendell* type riding position with the bars at saddle height.

    Also, forks with long steers bother me - they look you could nicely impaled. I feel much safer with a high rise stem.

    * Well, almost - Rivendell recommend having bars at least 2cm ABOVE your saddle! http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_...izing_position

  11. #11
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    IRD do a fork in steel, its quite light considering, and has a monster of a steerer on it.
    You can buy them from velodrama in the UK.

  12. #12
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    Sounds like you figgered it out, but just for consideration I use a Nitto dirtdrop stem - http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...irtdrop/16-100 - with moustache bars. This makes for a nice offroad rig. Puts the bars up higher and you don't get the drops, but if your back is bugging you might not be going there anyways.

  13. #13
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp1n View Post
    IRD do a fork in steel, its quite light considering, and has a monster of a steerer on it.
    You can buy them from velodrama in the UK.
    That's very useful - thanks.

  14. #14
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    Sounds like you figgered it out, but just for consideration I use a Nitto dirtdrop stem - http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...irtdrop/16-100 - with moustache bars. This makes for a nice offroad rig. Puts the bars up higher and you don't get the drops, but if your back is bugging you might not be going there anyways.
    Thanks - but the Dirt Drop will only work with quill stem bikes and mine is an ahead. I'm going to try getting my dropbars about 5cm up and 2cm back first. I've also found the changing my road bike style saddle for an MTB one has helped a lot; I have no idea why.
    Last edited by meanwhile; 07-23-10 at 10:49 AM.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Steerer of steel, threadless, they come .3meters long, 300mm , you can leave it uncut, add spacers above the stem, first, rather than cutting it off.

    I bought a Koga Miyata Trekking bike, they do more setup in the factory than I would want,
    including cutting the steerer tube. before shipping the thing out to world-wide distribution.

    I bought one stem riser, clamped on the outside of the steerer tube, as a Tourist, I wanted to mount a HB bag.

    Ideal setup 2nd stem, beneath the first, with a stub of tube to mount the bar bag mount on, So I saw these :

    http://www.bbbparts.com/headparts_bhp21.php pulled out the Starfangled nut, and installed it,
    quill tightens inside the steerer,

    then the unique, manufactured as part of the assembly, bolt, .. it is threaded internally at the top,

    so adjusting top cap functions just like any other threadless steerer/headset.

    [quill is ID, with a Keyway slot, shims in kit are Keyed to prevent rotating, using that slot,

    you can use a few shims and put the quill further in the steerer to adjust height, as suits you.

    Trekking (figure -8) Bars give you a number of hand positions , back, front and sides all on the same plane , rather than up and down like drops.

    got to double the amount of spacers add the 2nd stem and it was back to about as high as it would have been,

    As if i was at the NL factory supervising, personally, and slapped the guy's hand, who was reaching for the hacksaw.

    Noooo !
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-23-10 at 10:28 AM.

  16. #16
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    It's nice of you to offer, but I need a fork that hasn't had the steerer cut and I'm in the UK...?

    Also, what the bike? I like the look of the geometry.
    Oh, no problem! The frame is actually a newer aluminum Specialized Expedition, originally a 26" hybrid.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

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