I'm currently running a pair of clip-on aerobars (Syntace C2) on my long distance touring bike. I've set the aerobars up quite high, as for me they are not so much about the aero-part (though it still helps when battling strong headwinds), but mostly about giving my wrists some rest and a change of posture. So far, I really like them.

However, I feel like I could benefit from a bit more reach when riding on the flat bar, so I'm thinking about changing out the stem for a slightly longer one with a bit less rise. This is where the trouble starts, since that would bring the aero's way to far away from the saddle. In fact, they could already benefit from a slightly shorter stem.

Thus it seems like a double stem setup (such as some TD racers use) would solve this problem. 1 short stem up high for the aero's, and 1 long stem for the flats. However, the part of the steerer which sticks out is only 68mm.

  • Any suggestions for stems with a very low stack height (< 35mm) would be appreciated.
  • Would it be safe to run a double stem setup with conventional stems (with stack height of, say, 40mm). The lower stem would grab the steerer tube full-on, but the upper stem would stick out for 10mm or more.
  • Something like this (link) would help a lot, but they seem to be out of production. Does anyone know of an alternative?
  • Perhaps someone has a different suggestion?
  • 1
    Have you considered butterfly bars? They should give more hand positions, and seem to offer a lot of variation in height and reach.
    – Useless
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 0:39
  • I once tried them -- didn't like them. A lot of hand positions, but for me none of them felt quite right. I already like my flat bar + ergon grips + aerobar setup, and just want to tweak it a little. Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


A previous question regard rim and disc brakes had this link....

Essentially use a long steerer tube and mount two handle bars on the bike. Mount disc and rim brakes so you also have brakes on both handle bars (although you could one set of brakes off two levers.)

Edit: (The original Link now broken so I have now linked to a Sheldon page (which still has the the broken link) in hope they restore it.) and attached the pic (although too small to be really useful)

enter image description here

  • For the brakes I'd suggest considering interrupter brake levers. Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 1:38
  • (But your link to Sheldon's 2-bar setup is a good one, relevant to the original question.) Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 1:39
  • Indeed, something like that would help. However, I would prefer a solution which doesn't involve changing the fork. Maybe some low-stack stems? Most seem to have a stack height of at least 40mm. By the way, my current steerer tube is 260mm (uncut), which already seems pretty long. For example the Karate Monkey from the link has the same length steerer tube. However, my bike has a much higher head tube, hence there is only 68mm steerer tube sticking out. Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10
  • It is possible to get extenders or have an engineering shop permanently extent the tube. I have no experiance with this and have read concerns over strength and safety, so some homework would be needed.
    – mattnz
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 21:01
  • The link is broken for me now, try sheldonbrown.com/org/thorn/index.html Maybe his Surly was using two non-quill stems, but on the Thorn the upper handlebar is on a quill stem, so you don't need any more steerer exposed than a single stem.
    – armb
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 18:20

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