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Advice on how to raise handlebars on road bike already at their highest point.

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Advice on how to raise handlebars on road bike already at their highest point.

Old 03-18-16, 01:53 AM
  #1  
Musician1
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Advice on how to raise handlebars on road bike already at their highest point.

Hi,

I'm the guy that bought the new Schwinn Solara a week and a half ago and I took it out riding a couple days ago and discovered one major issue. I am uncomfortable continually bent over riding it. And my seat is already at its lowest point. It was fine for half an hour, but then the discomfort began to set in.

All my searching on how to raise the handlebars appears to me that the stem is already at its highest point.

I thought from my childhood days that I could raise the steering tube, but alas, this bike does not follow that old technology.


Can I get some suggestions on what options are available to me, and the pros & cons thereof?

* Can I get a LBS to install a new and much higher capable steering tube?
* New handlebars that have a design that protrude several inches higher to steer by?
* A handlebar extension of some kind?

Thank you kindly for any ideas.

Last edited by Musician1; 03-18-16 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 03-18-16, 04:09 AM
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Take your licks and sell it, go to a bike shop and buy something that will work for you. Once you sort the bars (may end up costing as much as your BSO), you will be back inquiring about your knee pain, from riding with a saddle that is too low.
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Old 03-18-16, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Take your licks and sell it, go to a bike shop and buy something that will work for you. Once you sort the bars (may end up costing as much as your BSO), you will be back inquiring about your knee pain, from riding with a saddle that is too low.
Yeah, sorry - buying a bike that's the wrong size is kinda like buying a pair of pants that are the wrong size. You just need a bike that's the right size to begin with.
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Old 03-18-16, 05:56 AM
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Another victim of BSO (Bike-Shaped Object) "one-size-fits-none" sizing technology. I agree, it can probably be fixed, but fixing it may cost as much as the bike.

One thought: Since we're talking BSOs here, is the stem mounted to point up? It's reversible, so it may be mounted upside-down.

I am uncomfortable continually bent over riding it. And my seat is already at its lowest point.
The saddle height should be adjusted so that there is a slight bend to your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke, not to alter the relationship between saddle and handlebar heights.
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Old 03-18-16, 06:11 AM
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Going out on a limb here, but I might suggest that I'm not sure anyone new to biking would get used to riding a road bike after only 30 minutes.
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Old 03-18-16, 06:36 AM
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The steerer tube is only as long as it is on the fork. You cannot raise it. Can you post a picture of the bike, or you sitting on the bike so we can see?
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Old 03-18-16, 06:52 AM
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Read this thread for a few ideas. It's short, but answers your question.

http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...l#post18607528
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Old 03-18-16, 06:55 AM
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Some not good advice here. OP, pics please. Quill stem or threadless stem? Assuming threadless, just get a taller, shorter stem. And as said, adjust seat height to your leg length, should have a slight bend to your knee. They also make stem risers. Your LBS should be able to help you.
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Old 03-18-16, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
The steerer tube is only as long as it is on the fork. You cannot raise it. Can you post a picture of the bike, or you sitting on the bike so we can see?
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
is the stem mounted to point up? It's reversible, so it may be mounted upside-down.

The saddle height should be adjusted so that there is a slight bend to your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke, not to alter the relationship between saddle and handlebar heights.
As BlazingPedals suggests, make sure your stem is pointed upwards if that is what you want. There are also MTB stems that will raise the handlebars significantly. There are even adjustable stems.

Make sure the seat height is set right. You don't need to be able to sit on the seat with 2 feet on the ground. I usually go by the rule that the seat should be adjusted so one can barely straighten the leg with the heel on the pedal at just past the bottom of the stroke. There are also more sophisticated rules for setting the seat height as well as forward/back position.
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Going out on a limb here, but I might suggest that I'm not sure anyone new to biking would get used to riding a road bike after only 30 minutes.
I will second this. Even after riding "drop bars" most of my life, I lowered my bars by a couple of inches a year ago, and I had to put on a few hundred miles before I got used to it. I was a bit sore after that first 100 mile ride.

Get your seat set properly. Then you can adjust the bars to their natural maximum height. But, I'd then encourage you to ride the bike for a couple of months including a few longer rides before making any other big changes.

But, at the same time, don't just give up on the bike either.
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Old 03-18-16, 08:11 AM
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Surprised noone mentioned an adjustable stem. Look it up. I got one from Performance for less than $20. Goes +30/-20, 90 to 110mm. Should do the trick.
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Old 03-18-16, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Some not good advice here. OP, pics please. Quill stem or threadless stem? Assuming threadless, just get a taller, shorter stem. And as said, adjust seat height to your leg length, should have a slight bend to your knee. They also make stem risers. Your LBS should be able to help you.
Correct. There may be solutions if we know more about the specific stem.
Pictures ??
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Old 03-18-16, 11:16 AM
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Flip the bars.
It means you never wanted a road bike but its by far the cheap fix for what you want now.
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Old 03-18-16, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Musician1 View Post
Hi,

I'm the guy that bought the new Schwinn Solara a week and a half ago and I took it out riding a couple days ago and discovered one major issue. I am uncomfortable continually bent over riding it. And my seat is already at its lowest point. It was fine for half an hour, but then the discomfort began to set in.
You need to set your seat at an adequate height to avoid knee problems, where the old rule of thumb is where you can just touch the pedal with your heel with the crank arm at 6 o'clock. FWIW, it's possible to get that wrong.

Another classic is .883 x your cycling inseam. Measure that standing against a wall, put a book/level/etc. between your legs, and measure to the top. That can be about 2" more than your pants leg.

Handlebar height and reach is a separate issue.

Note that it takes some time to get used to a road biking position. After I herniated a disc and didn't ride one for a while the bike I'd ridden for 8 years felt strange.

If your elbows are bent (not straight) and you're not hunching over it's not too low/too far.

If it is too low you can buy a stem extender.

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Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-18-16 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-18-16, 11:24 AM
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Bars are too low (according to the OP much to low), raise the saddle to the correct height, the bars are even lower, how long of a stem extender will it take???

New stem extender, new stem, new brake and shifter cables, bike shop labor...
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Old 03-18-16, 11:34 AM
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Hey, given your newbie status somebody should ask if you're trying to ride the drops all the time rather than the hoods or cross.
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Old 03-18-16, 12:31 PM
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Yea New I suppose = threadless . up angled new stem.

or a stem raiser... My pick in 2008 was this one : wiggle.com | BBB BHP-20/21 Stem Extender | Oversize Stems

Back when I did mine there was a US distributor , that has since closed. so overseas and getting it mailed is the way.


New stem extender, new stem, new brake and shifter cables, bike shop labor...
yea This will be the quick and easy way, then you just pay them.
Can I get a LBS to install a new and much higher capable steering tube?
steering tube is part of the fork so to get a longer steerer you buy a New Fork.

I note that the bike is sold thru Target stores, not a Bike shop, and it appears they only made one size 20"..

maybe you got yourself what I call a 'Pyrrhic Bargain' now you have to double what you spent ,
or return it get your money back and shop for a Bike that will fit better, even though it may cost $400.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-18-16 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-18-16, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Going out on a limb here, but I might suggest that I'm not sure anyone new to biking would get used to riding a road bike after only 30 minutes.
This was my thought. I'll bet his legs are sore too. These things get better with time.
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Old 03-18-16, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
This was my thought. I'll bet his legs are sore too. These things get better with time.
Seat?

It also takes time to break in one's rear-end to a new seat.

Assuming an average rider weight of 100-200 lbs, there is no reason to buy a seat big enough for the Goodyear Blimp to land on.
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Old 03-18-16, 03:02 PM
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Man, I'd complain to whoever sized that bike for you, and ask for a refund! That person obviously did NOT know what they were doing...
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Old 03-18-16, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Bars are too low (according to the OP much to low), raise the saddle to the correct height, the bars are even lower, how long of a stem extender will it take???

New stem extender, new stem, new brake and shifter cables, bike shop labor...
$10 extender, free stem as a swap (at a bike co-op or whatever) or $25 online, under $10 for housing, $4 for cables = $25-$50. That's significant compared to a $200 bike, but doesn't make a dent in the price of a nice new one.

No labor needed because bikes are easy to work on especially in the age of Youtube with video instruction.
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Old 03-18-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Man, I'd complain to whoever sized that bike for you, and ask for a refund! That person obviously did NOT know what they were doing...
When you buy a bike in Target, you don't get help with bike fit. Either it works for you or you have to figure it out for yourself
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Old 03-18-16, 04:44 PM
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these should work
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Old 03-18-16, 07:46 PM
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Wow. What a lot of thoughts. heheh

Okay, I think I found a solution, and I also like the idea about a stem extender, which was my first thought about trying to raise the handlebars.

Regarding myself, I used to ride road bikes in my youth and loved them. The problem, as stated originally, is that I do not want to hunch over the whole time I'm riding. It's good for a while, but not the whole time.

The seat is perfect for me at its lowest point, and when I sit on it and pedal, I am perfectly seated on it. The only way my feet touch the ground, flat, is when I am standing and straddling the bar, which gives me barely any clearance, but enough. The bike is perfect for me, in my opinion.

I ordered something I found on Amazon that I think is going to do the trick for me. I'm reluctant to say, given how passionate some of you are about policy, form and look, but handlebar extensions that attach to my existing drop bar might look goofy to some, but I think it may be the perfect solution for me. I'll post a photo next week after I receive them and attach them. I'm not going to attach them where they were designed to go.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...ilpage_o00_s00

There are times I love riding like a racer bent over, and times when I wish to relax and sit upright. Where I intend to place the extenders will look bizarre to everyone, but it's me who is doing the riding.

I'll post again next week.

Thanks

Last edited by Musician1; 03-18-16 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 03-18-16, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by avidone1 View Post
these should work
Agreed. I thought about this, too, but the idea about having to rewire all the cables, etc., is not up my alley at this point. I do like to tackle projects, and at some time I hope to get good at reworking brakes and cable lengths. I suspect next year I may end up changing the brakes for better, more expensive kind with better brake pads, too, than what is on this inexpensive Schwinn.
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Old 03-18-16, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Musician1 View Post
I ordered something I found on Amazon that I think is going to do the trick for me. I'm reluctant to say, given how passionate some of you are about policy, form and look, but handlebar extensions that attach to my existing drop bar might look goofy to some, but I think it may be the perfect solution for me. I'll post a photo next week after I receive them and attach them. I'm not going to attach them where they were designed to go.

Amazon.com : Aluminum Alloy Sponge PVC Bicycle Handlebar bike accessories Cycling Mountain Road MTB Bike Split Vice Rest Handle Bar : Everything Else
Not sure exactly how you plan to mount those since you say they won't be used as designed. But I'd suggest you keep in mind that you want to be able to quickly apply the brakes in an emergency when you may have your hands on the extensions. I think you'd be better off with a stem extender or by using a stem that angles upward to give you the handlebar height you want while still keeping your hands on or right by the brake hoods.
There are times I love riding like a racer bent over, and times when I wish to relax and sit upright.
That's the idea of the drop bars you already have if you change the stem to move them up higher. Hands on the hoods for a relaxed position and hands on the drops for the more aero position. And able to apply the brakes from either position.
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