Last Updated on September 22, 2020 by Michael J. Branco
According to the Expert Biker blog, regardless of whether you’re a pro biker or love biking, it’s necessary to know how to maximize bicycle performance, safety, and comfort. In this article, we will discuss how to raise handlebars on a mountain bike for improved comfort and performance.
There are a couple of various strategies for raising handlebars on your bike. Your bike (particularly the headset type) will dictate the method to use when raising handlebars. When it comes to mountain bikes, we have two types of Headset; threaded and threadless. So, first, establish the type of Headset your bike has before you embark on raising the handlebars.
Why Would You Raise Your Handlebars?
Many bikers prefer to have their handlebars low. This will assist them in crouching for good aerodynamics. However, having handlebars low than recommended can result in some health problems and discomfort.
Below are some of the common signs that should tell you when to raise your mountain bike handlebars.
Pain in the lower back
This is the most common sign that many cyclists (both expert bikers and beginners) encounter. When your bike’s handlebar is positioned below the horizontal line from the seat, it means you will always lean forward. If you do this repeatedly, the chances are that you will have back pain.
Numbness in the hands
The more your handlebars are lower, the more you struggle to reach them. This thus puts a greater burden on your hands, potentially prompting numbness. By raising your bike handlebars, you reduce the tension on your hands and shorten the reach.
Pain in the neck
Pain at the neck, just like pain at the back, is additionally due to leaning forward for a long time. The sound method to lean forward is by exclusively pivoting with your hip; however, if your handlebars are excessively low, this may not be sufficient. Rather, you’ll likewise need to curve your back, making your neck protrude also.
Apart from the health problems mentioned above, you may likewise raise your handlebars to improve mobility. You ought to have the option to reach your bike handlebars comfortably so that you have good control of your bicycle when riding.
Read More: Mountain Bike Maintenance
Know what Type of Headset your mountain Bike has
First of all, do you know what a headset is? A bike headset is simply a set of bearings that enables a rotatable link between a bike fork and the head tube. This rotation allows you to steer the bicycle fork along with the front wheel.
In most cases, when the Headset is functioning properly, it is not easy to notice it. You will only notice it when your steering becomes stiff because of wearing out.
How to adjust Nike Mountain bike Threaded handlebars
- Above the adjustable lock nut, there is a portion of the handlebar stem. Measure it using a tape.
- Locate the expander bolt; it is normally hexagonal-shaped. Use an Allen key to unscrew it a few turns. It will loosen the handlebar.
- After loosening the expander bolt, now use a wrench to loosen the lock nut.
- Position yourself in front of your bike handlebars and straddle the front tire to make the bike steady. In case they don’t turn, use a hammer to tap down the head of the expander bolt. Now you are at a position of pulling out your bike handlebar from the frame by simply turning and twisting.
- Adjust your bike handlebar to a height that works best for you. Don’t forget to put your bike handlebar in line with the frame and front tire.
- Having positioned your handlebar to the desired height, now lock the stem in place by screwing the expander bolt.
How to Raise Handlebars on Mountain Bike (Threadless Headset)
- Handle spacers
- Allen Key
- Find out where the stem cap is located and get its bolt that holds handlebars. Loosen it by using an Allen Key. At this point, you will be able to undo the stem cap. Keep the stem cap and bolt safely so that you don’t have them lost.
- Two other bolts on either side need to be loosened and then wriggle out the handles and the whole frame.
- You will need to slowly remove the handlebars so as not to cut the wires attached to it. They may also be attached to derailleurs or brakes.
- Stem spacers should be added in plenty. They should be done over the cover of the bearing. This is a section that attaches the frame and the stem. It is conical in shape. Do this as you raise the bars to the level you prefer. You can get stem spacers at your local store
- The handlebar stem should be placed over the spacer. Put in the bolt you had removed. You can make it tight using your hands. You will realize that the handlebars are not well aligned but don’t worry. Since this bolt does not prevent handlebars from moving side to side, you can tighten it and later do it. However, too much tightening is not recommended. Though, ensure that handlebars can still turn without any resistance.
- Ensure you have straddled the front tire. Check whether it is aligned with the frame of the bike. Make some adjustments so that the centerpiece is in line with the tire. Do some checking whether you have achieved the perfect alignment by closing one eye. Once you click the right position, continue to tighten the bolts even more until they are firm.
With either threaded or unthreaded headsets, this article has given the best explanation on how to adjust the height of handlebars on your mountain bike. The methods provided above cut across the board on all bikes. Due to aerodynamic advantage, many mountain bikes handlebars are adjusted to lower levels.