I would like to raise the handle bar of this bike so I can ride in more of an upright position. I tried searching for methods to accomplish this, but I'm not sure what I found were applicable to this bike. Do I just use an allen wrench to loosen the top nut in the picture below? The handle bar wouldn't budge though. Also does this fork look like it can be extended? Thanks in advance.

Bike handle bar

enter image description here

  • You might be able to coax a half inch out of it by loosening the clamp screws on the side of the stem, then wiggling the stem up on the steering tube. Any more and you will have to visit a bike shop to get a tube extender. May 11, 2020 at 1:53
  • 2
    @DanielRHicks: That’s dangerous! First of all the bearings will be loose if you don’t add spacers below. Secondly the steering tube should go through almost all of the stem (except maybe the upper 5mm). Loose bearings will cause wobbly steering, damage to the bearings and can even lock up the bar. Insufficient clamping surface of the stem can cause it to come loose or break off.
    – Michael
    May 11, 2020 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


You can't, really. It may be possible to get a few millimetres by adding another shim/spacer under the stem, but there's got to be a lot of steerer tube inside the stem too.

Your options are to extend the threadless steerer using an aptly named "threadless steerer extension" which look like this: From https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/44799/are-stem-height-extenders-safe-to-use
from Are stem height extenders safe to use?

But simply raising the bars will move their position relative to the seat - they'll go up but will effectively be CLOSER to your saddle... that is the position won't move in an arc. So your back will end up becoming more vertical.

You can get adjustable stems, but they're a little heavier because of the additional metal. These are often used to dial in a fit and then you buy a fixed stem with the same effective angle.

enter image description here

Your third option is to replace the handlebars with something a little more "raised" For example here are three different bars in the same brand, with various levels of "rise" but the same "upsweep"

enter image description here

Here's the difference:

From https://www.pinkbike.com/u/LTP-Sports/blog/handlebar-dimensions-explained.html
from https://www.pinkbike.com/u/LTP-Sports/blog/handlebar-dimensions-explained.html

Your best option here is to imagine where on the bike you want the bars to be, and then figure out how to get them there. Smaller movements will be better than bigger movements, so sit over your bike and visualise. Good luck!

  • 2
    Problem with the adjustable stem is that when you angle the stem away from the horizontal you are also shortening the effective length: l(eff) = l * cos(a). Which may cause the steering to become twitchy,
    – Carel
    May 11, 2020 at 7:56
  • 2
    "they'll go up but will effectively be further away from your saddle" - how so? Wouldn't raising the bar move it towards the seat, shortening the reach?
    – user430
    May 11, 2020 at 11:31
  • @user430 you're absolutely right - I got that bass-ackwards. If the shoulders were the pivot, keeping the bars the same distance away would describe an arc forward. By keeping the arms the same length, the pivot has to move backward, essentially the (straight) arms form a chord.
    – Criggie
    May 11, 2020 at 11:42

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