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Raising the bars

Old 07-22-07, 06:39 AM
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Raising the bars

I've been looking at a lot of touring bikes and the Cannondale seems to be the bike, with the most relaxed geometry, would that be right ? What I'm trying to do is, to see if I can raise the handlebars to be 2" to 3" above the saddle. I'm getting older and I'm looking for more comfort, thanks for any replies
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Old 07-22-07, 06:49 AM
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That's quite a bit of rise.

To get that you'll probably have to use a "steerer extender". They bolt onto your steerer tube and extends it upward about 3". I think that's the cleanest way of raising your handlebar but even that might not give you as much rise as you're asking for.
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Old 07-22-07, 12:09 PM
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I've got my bars up level with the saddle, which is exactly where I wanted them when I bought the bike a couple of years ago. I'm finding that this does not give the most comfortable riding position in most cases. I find myself riding in the drops most of the time, because getting lower just feels better. And if there is the slightest bit of headwind, riding the hoods gets me up to high. I am going to lower the bars and inch or so. I believe it will be more comfortable in most cases. And I'll bet you don't have anything on me in age. 67 here
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Old 07-22-07, 01:33 PM
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If there's one thing to remember, it's that individual tastes are....Individual. Just because rider "A" likes his bars one way and feels comfortable with them, does not mean you will.

We are all a little different physiologically.

I think it's safe to say that aside from saddles, the most common modification is to make the bars higher in some way. Look at the proliferation of "comfort" bikes on sale now with adjustable stems. Not to mention the huge numbers of old 10-speeds you see with the bars turned upside-down.....

I'm in charge of our police "fleet" of almost 20 bikes, and this is easily the most common request I get from the guys. "Can't we make the bars higher? My neck and shoulders hurt..."
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Old 07-22-07, 01:37 PM
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Try one of those adjustable hybrid/comfort bike stems and point it skyward.
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Old 07-22-07, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the replys, I'll just keep playing with them. I moved the bars down taking spacers out to see how it would feel and it wasn't to bad. I'm 67 years old, with Rheumatoid arthritis and that's why I wanted to keep them up there. The guy at the bike shop, that I just came from said, by having the spacers on top will wear the headset out faster. On the way home I was thinking about that and now I'm asking myself, why would they have all those spacers different sizes, if I couldn't put them on top. Thanks again, I'm still thinking about the Cannondale, but I took a Novara Randonee out for a ride and it was really a nice bike.
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Old 07-22-07, 04:27 PM
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Handlebars

I have a Cannondale T2000 that I put flatbars on due to a bad back. I put bar ends set backwards, and put on a high rise stem. I just completed a 3150 mile bike tour using this set up and it was very comfortable for ME. Others might not be comfortable at all. Try different things and see what works for you.
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Old 07-22-07, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Supertick View Post
I have a Cannondale T2000 that I put flatbars on due to a bad back. I put bar ends set backwards, and put on a high rise stem. I just completed a 3150 mile bike tour using this set up and it was very comfortable for ME. Others might not be comfortable at all. Try different things and see what works for you.
Thanks a lot, I think you may have saved me about $1500. All I have to do, is try and keep my wrist straight. I resting on the treking bars and that gets my ring finger and small finger tingling, but with a little work I should be able to get that squared away. Thanks again.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:14 AM
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George, you are finding out the main disadvantage of a threadless stem. You can't raise the bars up much. If you had a quill stem, swap a Nitto Technomic in and away you go. You can get about 6" of extra rise. The only other solution is use an uncut fork and put in a couple inches of spacers. I've never heard that extra spacers wear your headset out faster. Even if they do, just replace the bearings they're cheap. Good luck

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Old 07-23-07, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
... I'm 67 years old, with Rheumatoid arthritis and that's why I wanted to keep them up there. ...
I am 66+, and have a little osteoarthritis. Plus a lower back issue since about 1976.

I second the idea of playing with a lower bar. I was surprised to notice recently that my saddle was about two inches above my bars, while a friend - fourteen years younger, a much more experienced cyclist, and in much better shape than me - has his saddle almost even with the bars. You never know.

I used to get lower back issues when I hardly used the drops. Now I use them a lot, and feel much better.
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Old 07-23-07, 06:55 AM
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Another option is to change the handlebars. I changed out the flat bar for a 5" rise on my MTB and it made a world of difference!
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Old 07-23-07, 07:05 AM
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I tried the Randonee yesterday, but I have to order the Cannondale T800 and takes about 4 to 6 weeks. I had 5 bikes to chose from last week and now I'm down to 2, so I'm getting closer, thanks for the replys.
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Old 07-23-07, 10:30 AM
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BTW, I have found that it isn't simply a matter of higher or lower for me. There is a point - or perhaps a small range - in which my back kills me after a bit. Above or below that and all is well.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for all the replys. I have a Headsup stem riser to bring my bars up and the bike shop told me if I put the spacers on top I would wear out the headset faster doing that. So I took took them off of the top and put them on the bottom again. I just talked to another shop and he said it shouldn't hurt anything. Now I'm going to put yhem on top again. What I'm trying to do is keep lowering the bars, so I get use to it and to get in a more of an aero position. Anyhow we talked over different bikes and he said just keep what I got. Thanks again everybody.
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