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How many shims can I put under these handlebars?

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How many shims can I put under these handlebars?

Old 03-20-24, 12:51 PM
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How many shims can I put under these handlebars?

I'd like to make the drops on this 56cm bike a little taller to hopefully take some pressure off my neck. How many shims could I safely fit?


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Old 03-20-24, 02:00 PM
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You need some width of spacer on top.So not much, say about half that top spacer. I'd grab that ~2mm, plus I'd look for stem with a steeper angle. The last bit of height could come from bars with about a cm of rise, but that's the most $, so last in line.
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Old 03-20-24, 02:18 PM
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You might try looking for some riser drop bars to get you a little higher. You aren't going to raise that stem and handle bars by more than what's on top of the stem. If your steerer tube is steel, you might can put that spacer on top the stem underneath. But that isn't going to get you much useful height to make a difference. If that is a carbon steerer, then for sure you should leave a spacer on top and 2mm is about as small a spacer I've seen for steerer tubes.

Make sure you know how it all goes back together. That stem is what's holding the headset bearings in proper compression so there isn't any play. When you take that stem off, your fork might fall off if the bike is hung in work stand.
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Old 03-20-24, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
You might try looking for some riser drop bars to get you a little higher. You aren't going to raise that stem and handle bars by more than what's on top of the stem. If your steerer tube is steel, you might can put that spacer on top the stem underneath. But that isn't going to get you much useful height to make a difference. If that is a carbon steerer, then for sure you should leave a spacer on top and 2mm is about as small a spacer I've seen for steerer tubes.

Make sure you know how it all goes back together. That stem is what's holding the headset bearings in proper compression so there isn't any play. When you take that stem off, your fork might fall off if the bike is hung in work stand.
Gotcha! Yeah I watched a YouTube video on raising the bars so I know exactly what you mean. I may go ahead and put that last spacer under. I bought his bike used for $300 so I'm guessing the stem is not CF. I'll see what a steeper angle stem would cost. Is that easy to replace? I have basic tools and basic abilities and no work stand.
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Old 03-20-24, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
You need some width of spacer on top.So not much, say about half that top spacer. I'd grab that ~2mm, plus I'd look for stem with a steeper angle. The last bit of height could come from bars with about a cm of rise, but that's the most $, so last in line.
Is the stem change something a newbie could do? I have basic tools, used to fix/maintain my own motorcycles but I have no work stand.
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Old 03-20-24, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
Is the stem change something a newbie could do? I have basic tools, used to fix/maintain my own motorcycles but I have no work stand.
Yes, only issue I can see is maybe the brake cables being too short.
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Old 03-21-24, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
Is the stem change something a newbie could do? I have basic tools, used to fix/maintain my own motorcycles but I have no work stand.
Definitely! Below is a great vid from Park Tool. (Also, my comment about needing a thin spacer on top only applies if the steerer tube is carbon.) New stems are inexpensive, I think a 35 degree stem is the practical max for height increase.


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Old 03-21-24, 08:04 AM
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Technically this is more a thread for the Bicycle Mechanics sub-forum.

While moving the bars higher will impact the fit of the cyclist, the actual moving of the spacers, stem and related things are mechanical issues.
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Old 03-21-24, 08:57 AM
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You might try an adjustable stem like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Ritchey brand has two bolts on the pivot which makes it a lot more secure (and quiet) than most of the other brands.
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Old 03-21-24, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Technically this is more a thread for the Bicycle Mechanics sub-forum.

While moving the bars higher will impact the fit of the cyclist, the actual moving of the spacers, stem and related things are mechanical issues.
Are you saying this forum is for theory only?
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Old 03-21-24, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
Are you saying this forum is for theory only?
No, I'm saying this sub-forum is for discussion about how a person fits themselves to their bike. Not how you fit parts and components to your bike and adjust them.

While discussion about how high or low the bars should be for any person is a valid topic. The actual mechanics involved for changing the bar height is not.

Besides, theory requires some scientific facts. We don't always work off of facts. At best maybe a hypothesis.
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Old 03-21-24, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
Is the stem change something a newbie could do? I have basic tools, used to fix/maintain my own motorcycles but I have no work stand.
Before purchasing more stuff, try rotating your handlebar so you have a flat spot to place your hands. As it is now, your hands are probably sliding down the bar into the crook of the STI levers. The reach portion of a compact style bar is ideally perfectly horizontal but may be tilted slightly upward in front. You can also go for a horizontal bar while moving the STI levers upward a degree or two.
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Old 03-21-24, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat
Before purchasing more stuff, try rotating your handlebar so you have a flat spot to place your hands. As it is now, your hands are probably sliding down the bar into the crook of the STI levers. The reach portion of a compact style bar is ideally perfectly horizontal but may be tilted slightly upward in front. You can also go for a horizontal bar while moving the STI levers upward a degree or two.
Good point. I've had to show a few people how to ride the hoods.
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Old 03-31-24, 05:01 PM
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no you do not need a spacer on top. depending on the how long the top bolt is, he might be able to go twice the size of the spacer on top placed under his stem. but that is about it
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