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Stem extender for handlebars on touring bike

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Stem extender for handlebars on touring bike

Old 02-25-23, 01:51 AM
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Stem extender for handlebars on touring bike

I bought a stem extender to raise my handlebars a couple of inches. The extender fits well although the fluid brake cable and gear cables are too short. I contacted my local bike shop, the best in town, and asked if they would increase the length of my brake cables. They wrote back that stem extenders are unsafe and they would not modify my bike. It was the same shop that recommended I buy an extender online when I talked to them about raising the handlebars, and gave me the link to where I could buy one. Can you let me know if a stem extender is safe or should I just ask them to replace the fluid brake and gear cables without mentioning the extender?

I do not want to buy a bigger bike as this is likely to be my last long distance tour, 2,500km, at age 74.


STEM extender fitted. No wobble at all.
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Old 02-25-23, 02:34 AM
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Is the original fork steerer steel or carbon? Using these on carbon is questionable. Steel is no big deal.

Last edited by Kontact; 02-25-23 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 02-25-23, 03:12 AM
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I have extenders on at least three bikes. One of them has had an extender on it for years. If they weren't safe they wouldn't exist. I have heard about the incompatibility with carbon steerers. That probably isn't the case here. That said, I never had to involve a bike shop in my business. If you bring the bike in without mentioning the extender they will see it anyway. It's not worth the hassle or expense of redoing hydraulic brake cables even if you could do it yourself. Are you sure there isn't 2" of give in the present cable runs? I would push that envelope or not bother. TBH that doesn't look like a bike I'd want to do 5,000 miles on anyway.
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Old 02-25-23, 04:28 AM
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The bike is steel, and solid. Last year I cycled from Lisbon, Portugal, to London, over 2,000 km on it, no problem at all. I will have another go at repositioning the brake cables, the gear cables are easy to replace.
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Old 02-25-23, 08:21 AM
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I say try another bike shop or check out some YouTube videos and check out some of the various articles on the web to learn how to do your own brake lines. It would be very good to know how to do it yourself if something were to happen in the middle of your tour as you might be able to fix some problems on the road.
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Old 02-25-23, 09:26 AM
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The main problem is not that I want to add an extender, but I want to add butterfly handlebars as well. Last year, the butterfly handlebars worked well but there was not an extender. The combination of butterfly handlebars and extender stretches what can be done with the brake cable. I may be able to adjust the position of the handlebars and the location of brakes so the cables fit.

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Old 02-25-23, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bkkboy
The bike is steel, and solid. Last year I cycled from Lisbon, Portugal, to London, over 2,000 km on it, no problem at all. I will have another go at repositioning the brake cables, the gear cables are easy to replace.
I wasn't commenting on the quality of your bike. Admittedly, I can't see much of it in that photo, but it looks like a 29'er setup. Taller, yet shorter and needing bigger rubber than a 'classic' touring spec frame. But that's just me. The takeaway really is that the LBS's are loath to think outside the box. Bike co-op's are a little more adventurous IME.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 02-25-23 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 02-25-23, 03:18 PM
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I think the question was whether the fork's steerer tube is metal or carbon fiber.
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Old 02-25-23, 03:29 PM
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A friend of mine owns a shop that will not work with stem extenders. The excuse is the same as the OP's shop, unsafe. The real reason is that they do not want to work on bikes that are compromising fit for the rider. It is a snob attitude and they are proud of it. They also stopped selling bread and butter bikes and only work with mid-grade and up bikes.
Find a different shop to assist you!
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Old 02-25-23, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mitchmellow62
I think the question was whether the fork's steerer tube is metal or carbon fiber.
No, that wasn't the (o.p.) question. Doesn't matter anyway, the steer tube on the o.p. bike is not carbon. The o.p.'s question was: is an extender safe, period. If so, how do they convince their LBS to install it? IMO the answer is not to try. Either do it themself or find a bike co-op because they are (usually) more willing to think outside the box.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 02-25-23 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 02-26-23, 06:43 AM
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Is there another bike shop in town? Iíve installed these at several shops Iíve worked at over the years without issue, assuming you donít have a carbon fiber steerer.
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Old 02-26-23, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
No, that wasn't the (o.p.) question. Doesn't matter anyway, the steer tube on the o.p. bike is not carbon. The o.p.'s question was: is an extender safe, period. If so, how do they convince their LBS to install it? IMO the answer is not to try. Either do it themself or find a bike co-op because they are (usually) more willing to think outside the box.
My question was to the OP and I didn't make that clear. My bad.
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Old 02-26-23, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bkkboy
They wrote back that stem extenders are unsafe and they would not modify my bike. It was the same shop that recommended I buy an extender online when I talked to them about raising the handlebars, and gave me the link to where I could buy one. Can you let me know if a stem extender is safe or should I just ask them to replace the fluid brake and gear cables without mentioning the extender?
STEM extender fitted. No wobble at all.
Remove your brake lines. (or cut)
Take the bike to the shop and have them install new brake lines and bleed..
They might wenge over the extender. You tell them that you installed the extender to your satisfaction not they so they have zero liability even in a nanny state and you will sign a release if they require it.
All they are doing is installing *new* brake lines, not extending yours.

Last edited by Schweinhund; 02-26-23 at 07:44 AM.
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