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Raising Handlebars

Old 08-14-21, 01:21 PM
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Robert Dini
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Raising Handlebars

I've been told that I can't raise the handlebars on my Cannondale SuperSix any higher for safety reasons. Is this true? There are a few spacers on them already.
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Old 08-14-21, 03:28 PM
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If there are no spacers above the stem, no...you obviously can't go any higher.
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Old 08-14-21, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
Is this true?
Yes, probably.
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Old 08-14-21, 04:31 PM
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You could conceivably get a stem that has a greater angle, but both bolts of your stem should always clamp the steering tube. Other solutions might include using a riser drop bar, like the Specialized Hover, Soma Condor, etc.
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Old 08-14-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
...Is this true? ...
Don't know your bike but us old guys raise our bars all the time, flip your stem if you have it dropping a few degrees, get another stem, Specialized Hover Expert Alloy Handlebar will give 15mm and others will give you a rise, and do a search over on the + Fifty forum and get ideas and ask for input.
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Old 08-14-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
...Is this true? ...
Don't know your bike but us old guys raise our bars all the time, flip your stem if you have it dropping a few degrees, get another stem, Specialized Hover Expert Alloy Handlebar will give 15mm and others will give you a rise, also do a search over on the + Fifty forum and get ideas and ask for input.
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Old 08-14-21, 09:12 PM
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As others have posted you can flip your stem (if you haven't already) OR buy a stem w/ steeper rise. But as I posted before you can't raise your current stem if there are no spacers above it at this time. Google 'threadless stem/headset' and see for yourself. It's a very simple system.
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Old 08-15-21, 07:32 AM
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We need a photo or more info on what year/model your SuperSix is. Lots of variations for these and some have proprietary stems making flipping and changing them more complicated.
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Old 08-15-21, 08:01 AM
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I put this on my Trek 520 to raise the height. I had put 1000 miles riding with it without any issue. The purists may not like it but it works great for me. YMMV.

https://www.amazon.com/Wake-Extender...9035801&sr=8-3
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Old 08-15-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mars2020 View Post
I put this on my Trek 520 to raise the height. I had put 1000 miles riding with it without any issue. The purists may not like it but it works great for me. YMMV.

https://www.amazon.com/Wake-Extender...9035801&sr=8-3
You can't do that on a carbon steerer.
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Old 08-15-21, 09:16 AM
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I've raised the bars on several of my bikes, and I've used all of the methods listed - a "stem riser" like in post #9, an extended and angled stem, and handlebars with a built-in rise.

The "safety warning" may have been about getting your input weight too far from the headset - especially if you have a very light go-fast bike, or on the other end if you do a lot of big jumps. I believe this can be a real issue, but of course it depends on your bike, the type of riding, and the component quality. I have a pretty sturdy bike and I don't do any jumping at all, so I'm not concerned on that point.

The component quality can matter too. The cheapest method to raise the bars is a stem riser, and some of them are awfully cheap (like $10). I have had a cheap one strip a clamp thread (I have a torque wrench, I wasn't applying too much), and from comments I'm not the only one. A better one could be something like this one from Delta: (whoops, I'm a newbie and can't post links. You can search "delta stem riser" on Amazon).

Yes, it's twice as much - but $10 ain't much, Delta has a better rep for quality, and it's important for this part to work right. I also prefer how the stem bolt works on this one - it's mounted low inside the riser, so it's not nearly as long - physics was a long time ago, but it seems to me that should reduce torque and failure modes as well.

These days I have a set of bars with built-in rise that I move from bike to bike, and I generally buy bikes with no suspension and then add a suspension stem with a built-in rise. Something like the Kinekt suspension stem with 30-degree rise, at least when it's on sale. As long as I'm replacing a part, I might as well have it do double-duty...(btw the Redshift Shockstop stem is a good alternative to that Kinekt stem - cheaper, lighter, and similar results. It works around a pivot point though, so only works with flat or drop bars).
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Old 08-15-21, 09:19 AM
  #12  
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Stem calculator

Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net is a good tool for calculating the effect of different stems on handlebar position. The most angled stems commonly available are 45° . There are also a few drop handlebars with some built in rise.

Sometimes we need to adapt our bikes as our bodies change, but a supersix has very traditional race geometry intended for a fairly low position. If you can't get in the position you need with a high rise stem and bars, you really are very far out from the design intention of the bike and would have a better riding bike if you bought something with a higher front end.
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Old 10-13-21, 04:55 PM
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Raising Handlebars

Originally Posted by cpach View Post
Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net is a good tool for calculating the effect of different stems on handlebar position. The most angled stems commonly available are 45° . There are also a few drop handlebars with some built in rise.

Sometimes we need to adapt our bikes as our bodies change, but a supersix has very traditional race geometry intended for a fairly low position. If you can't get in the position you need with a high rise stem and bars, you really are very far out from the design intention of the bike and would have a better riding bike if you bought something with a higher front end.
I have installed a Delta stem raiser. It has basically solved my problem, although the 3-1/2" it adds to the handlebar height seems to be a little too much. I will fiddle with it until I have it where I want it.
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Old 10-13-21, 04:56 PM
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Thank you all for your helpful advice!
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Old 10-13-21, 06:28 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
I've been told that I can't raise the handlebars on my Cannondale SuperSix any higher for safety reasons. Is this true? There are a few spacers on them already.
I do not have a SuperSix but I do have a Synapse, for which Cannondale specifies a 55 mm maximum stack height "[m]easure[d] from the top edge of the head tube to the bottom edge of the stem." This is intended to prevent a cyclist from exerting too much leverage (via the stem) and damaging the carbon steerer tube. Now, of course, the likelihood of such damage also depends on the cyclist's weight, the fore/aft weight distribution, the length of the stem, the terrain, the severity of the impact on the front wheel when landing a jump, etc. Plus the specified maximum stack height is hopefully conservatively stated to include a margin of error. That said, the combination of a heavy rider and a stem riser seems inadvisable. A stem with a greater rise angle is a safer (and better looking) alternative, and not significantly more expensive than a stem riser.
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Old 10-14-21, 02:55 PM
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Robert Dini
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Your advice is well taken, but, upon looking at stems, it is difficult to determine what length and what rise angle to buy. For example, this one:

Dimension 31.8 Threadless Alloy Stem - 70mm, 31.8mm, 35 Degree, Alloy, Black

My bike has a 54 frame and the head angle is 73. How much will this stem raise the handlebars and how does the stem length affect the equation?
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Old 10-15-21, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
Your advice is well taken, but, upon looking at stems, it is difficult to determine what length and what rise angle to buy. For example, this one:
Dimension 31.8 Threadless Alloy Stem - 70mm, 31.8mm, 35 Degree, Alloy, Black
My bike has a 54 frame and the head angle is 73. How much will this stem raise the handlebars and how does the stem length affect the equation?
Read cpach's link in post #12. Plug in your numbers and it does the math for you. Just know that as you raise the stem your position changes enough that you may have to shorten the stem length (reach) in most cases as your body becomes more upright but at least the link gives you an exact measurement to work with.
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Old 10-15-21, 02:34 PM
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This tool will help you figure it out:
https://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
Note how the high angle reduces reach. I use a high angle stem like that in 110mm length.

Originally Posted by Robert Dini View Post
Your advice is well taken, but, upon looking at stems, it is difficult to determine what length and what rise angle to buy. For example, this one:

Dimension 31.8 Threadless Alloy Stem - 70mm, 31.8mm, 35 Degree, Alloy, Black

My bike has a 54 frame and the head angle is 73. How much will this stem raise the handlebars and how does the stem length affect the equation?
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