I am currently demoing a 2019 Cannondale Fat Caad 2. Never owned a fat bike before. This bike is relatively light and they are on clearance right now at a local bike shop that I ride with and do business with.

The problem I am running into (and it seems to be a common complaint of this particular model) is that the front is too low. The bike shop owner says I can raise the handlebars using a different stem and handlebars. I get that. I've done it with my Fuji Jari and my cheap mountain bike.

But I think it would need to be a bit more extreme with this bike, and so I'd like to understand the effect from a riding perspective that this will cause. I'm not a bike geometry expert, but I get some of the general idea.

I'll mostly be using this bike for 2 things: Winter snow riding (not on extreme terrain) and all season all-terrain riding (not on extreme terrain). I'm not big on technical stuff, but I like to explore and ride a bike in all weather and wherever I can.

I generally keep my center of gravity over the pedals (light on the hands) and spend a decent amount of time out of the saddle.

So my question boils down to: What effect will raising the handlebars have on how the bike will handle, and ultimately, is this a legit thing for me to do for my riding style or would I be better off looking into a different fat bike with a different geometry?

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    For head up, seeing the sights and exploring, i'd suggest you perhaps want a different fat bike. It looks very much to me like Cannondale have aimed to make the Fat Caad like an XC race bike with giant tyres
    – Andy P
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 15:24
  • Stems aren't very expensive -- especially compared to what you'd lose trading in this bike for a different one. Unless somebody comes along and explains why it would be a bad idea, it's probably worth trying it. Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 15:26
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    @DavidRicherby - the shop owner just put like a 25deg stem on it. I'll see how it feels. I haven't actually bought the bike. He's letting me ride his demo for a few days. I need to decide if the clearance price is worth needing to modify it, and if what I have in the end will be a geometric nightmare or something solid for me to ride.
    – MikeJansen
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 18:37
  • @MikeJansen Ah, I didn't notice you were just demoing it. Makes sense. Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 18:40
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    A threadless riser adapter is one way to do it, but its another point of failure, and allows the bars to make more leverage on the stem.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


Generally fat bikes seem to have the bars at about the same height as the saddle, which the Fat Caad complies with. If you personally want the bars a little higher that's fine.

The Caad stem length is quite short so it has limited potential for raising the bars. Riser bars in conjunction with a different stem will help.

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