How to raise the handlebars on a bike – Bike riding is a very personal thing, to ensure you can cycle safe and comfortable, you need to adjust your bike to suit your height, weight, and needs. For some lucky people, they may be able to find a bike that fits them perfectly and buy it straight away without having to worry about adjustments but for others, it can take time to adjust the bike to make it the perfect fit.
All bikes are made to be adjusted with both the handlebars and saddle on adjustable poles. When you get a new bike you should play with different heights and adjustments until you find what works best for you.
The handlebar plays an important role in the way a bike can be managed as well as how it travels on different terrains. Adjusting the handlebar height is very useful. Lowering the handlebars makes the bike easier to ride because it increases traction and also gives a better centre of gravity.
This improves how downhill and uphill rides can be handled by both the bike and the rider.
In this guide, we look at how to adjust the handlebars on a bike as well as the type of handlebars you may find on a bike.
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Type of Handlebars on a Bike
Different models and brands of bikes often have different types of handlebars. You can find many types of handlebars on the market today. Some handlebars are made from carbon fibre while others are made from aluminium. Adjustable handlebars can be found on most bicycles, and they are great as they allow for quick adjustments.
Another common feature on handlebars is threadless stems. Threadless stems use a system called ‘threadless’ to attach to the steerer tubes which allows them to be adjusted without tools.
Lowering the handlebars is often done to increase the distance between the seat and handlebars. This allows for more room when sitting down and also helps to prevent back pain, which is a common problem riders face when riding ill-fitting bikes.
If you are a recreational rider, you should be able to easily adjust the opposition of your bar, ensuring you do not need to overreach and that you feel supported by the handlebar. For elite riders a significant drop is used to enable you to crouch down over the handlebars, helping you to travel at a faster speed while maintaining control and balance.
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How to Raise the Handlebars on a Bike
There are several ways to adjust the height of a bicycle’s handlebars. In most cases raising the handlebars on your bike is a straightforward process. If you need to adjust the height of the handlebars on a bike you will need to consider the following before you begin.
- Check the type of handlebars that are on your bike and if you need any tools to make the adjustment
- Consider what type of cycling you will be doing on the bike as this will influence the height you should have
Before you get started, find a space where your bike can lean against a flat surface, like a wall, to support your bike standing upright as you work on the handlebars. Read through the below techniques to find one that applies to the handlebars on your bike, get your tools ready and then dive in.
Tools You Need:
If your bikeâ€™s handlebars do not have a threadless stem you will need to have the following tools to adjust the height of your handlebars. For the below technique you will need tools from the below list.
- A screwdriver or pair of pliers or a wrench.
- Oil to grease any bolts that are stuck.
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1. Remove the wheels from your bike. This will help to stabilize the bike as you work on it while also preventing any damage to the wheel frames and tubes
2. Place your bike in a standing position against a flat, supportive surface
3. Taking a screwdriver, a wrench, or pliers, slowly begin to loosen the bolts out from the top of the handlebars, where they connect to the stem of the bike. With one hand hold the handlebars to prevent them from shooting down and becoming stuck once the bolts are loosened.
4. Once the bolts are loosened, pull your handlebars upwards until you reach the new raised height
5. Re-tighten the bolts to lock the handlebars in their new position. Make sure the bolts are tight.
6. Place wheels back on the bike and test the new height of the handlebars while you are sitting on the bike. If the newly raised height of the handlebars is not as high you need it to be, simply repeat the above steps. Test your new handlebar height by taking a short cycle, not venturing too far from home in case there are any issues.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing the above steps all bike shops will be able to adjust the height of your handlebars for a small fee.
Raising Handlebars on a Threadless Stem
For this technique you will not need any tools, simply use the levels built into the stem of your bike to adjust the height. All bikes will differ, so there is no one set of instructions that can be applied to threadless stem adjustments, but they are incredibly straightforward to raise once you use the levers.
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Now that you know how to raise the handlebars on a bike and it’s perfectly fitted to suit your height, it is time for you to get out and enjoy riding your bike.
Donâ€™t forget to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road if you are cycling in a built-up area.
If you are mountain biking it is always worthwhile carrying an Allen key or a small wrench to quickly adjust your handlebar height and saddle height as cycling on uneven terrain can cause bolts to loosen and the levels on your bikeâ€™s frame to slightly change.
Keep your bike maintained by cleaning it frequently, tightening bolts, and applying grease to the pedal chains to keep your bike pedalling for as long as possible.