Manipulating handlebar height

dima_motel
dima_motel Posts: 26
edited April 2016 in Workshop
Hello everyone,

​My name is Dima Motel and I'm from Israel.
This is my first time using the Bikeradar forums, but I'm an avid reader of the site's articles, so it's not my first time here :)

My question is a bit complex.
I ride a second hand De Rosa King xs (carbon frame, 2015).
I'm 5'3 (1.62 cm) and quite flexible.
The guy I bought it from had cut down the steerer to a minimum so he could be in a more racy position.

Say I want to position my self in a less racy position and more touring /comfortable position.
So far I flipped my 100mm stem to a (+6 (84deg)) angle, but it still feels too low.

My question is - Is there another way I could heighten my handlebars?
Someone suggested me to shorten my stem to 80mm and changing to a +8 stem (82deg)).

Thanks a lot for all of your help.
Best regards,
Dima Motel.

Comments

  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,843
    yes, you can fit a stem with steeper angle

    unless you are reaching forward too far, i would not use a shorter stem as you would already be losing effective length with the increased angle
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rrsodl
    rrsodl Posts: 486
    By shortening the stem you will end up with a slightly more upright position, but if the bike is the right size for you then you might not want to do that. There are 17 degrees and even 35 degree stems available, I think that is a better route to try as you do both, you go up and also shorter distance to the bars.

    Check a stem length calculator
    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Fit_Calculator/stem_calc.php
  • RRSODL wrote:
    By shortening the stem you will end up with a slightly more upright position, but if the bike is the right size for you then you might not want to do that. There are 17 degrees and even 35 degree stems available, I think that is a better route to try as you do both, you go up and also shorter distance to the bars.

    Check a stem length calculator
    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Fit_Calculator/stem_calc.php

    Thx guys :)
    The bike is the right size.

    So what you're saying is, keep the 100mm length, but change the degree to a +17.
    Isn't it a bit excessive? Jumping from +6 to a +17?. What about the +8, +10 in the middle?
    I was thinking about this one - Thomson Elite X2.

    Just to elaborate the subject - Are there other ways to heighten handlebars? (on a carbon road bike, besides changing the stem and buying a new fork). Are there carbon extenders in the market?
  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    You could also consider this:-

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... tem-31001/

    The shims provided allow you to vary the angle (within reason) so you are not stuck with one height. Also a bit cheaper than the Thomson you linked :-

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... oC3V7w_wcB

    There are also stem extenders like this:-

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/bbb-bhp-22-stee ... 60445135uk

    they look a bit ugly IMHO but will certainly do what you want
  • Thank you so much arlowood.
    As much as I researched about stems, I've never encountered the Specialized Multi Position Stem. It's a great idea! (see in the image below). The problem is, because I have a carbon steerer tube I have to install a Specialized Long Expander Plug (which is more weight and another expense).

    Eventually you only use one of those shims once your setup is sorted! If, in future you require a slight change, then, yes, it's easy. But mostly you'll stick to what works.

    According to the instruction guide, it is recommended that the initial installation of the fork be
    done with the maximum allowed stack height (40mm) to allow the greatest range of adjustability.
    What does that mean?!
    The photo below - This is my bike.
    This is all the space I have...Would that be OK?

    2016-01-24_182143_zpsw3hyrjzu.jpg

    Stem_zpszz3d4luo.jpg

    post-182-0-89110600-1389193955.png
  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    I think what the diagram and instructions are indicating is, if your bikes steerer had not been cut down and it still had the full complement of spacers e.g.(4 x 10mm = stack height), you fit the stem on top of the stack of spacers so that the expander bung is located inside the stem body. Then experiment with the angle of the stem.

    That is not applicable in your case as the steerer has been cut down to negate the use of spacers altogether, apart from what looks like a 5mm spacer below the stem. Therefore as long as the stack height of the Specialized stem matches that of your FSA stem, you should be ok. You may or may not need to remove the 5mm spacer from below the stem.
  • Thanks a lot DJ58!
    I think you're absolutely right.

    Another question that bugs me is - Why do I even need the Specialized Long Expander Plug?
    What purpose that it serves?

    Wouldn't it be easier to buy an adjustable stem like these? A PRO adjustable Stem or a Deda ADJ Adjustable Stem or a 3T ArxA Team Adjustable Stem.

    Does anyone know where on earth could you buy the Specialized Long Expander Plug? (Separately).
    And what is the difference between the red and the black one? And why is the red one comes with another black thingy...
    What the hell?! This is the most unapproachable item I've ever considered buying. :evil:

    Is it even necessarily to have to buy the Specialized Long Expander Plug or could I just use the Deda Expander Bung?

    Don't I already have an Expander in my carbon steertube? (It's a De Rosa King xs).

    Sorry for the amount of questions, I just can't seem to figure this out (and I'm looking all over). :oops:

    99321_01_d.jpg

    item-lg-19709.jpg

    deda-exp-bung-med.jpg?w=430&h=430&a=7
  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    Dima_Motel wrote:
    Thanks a lot DJ58!
    I think you're absolutely right.

    Another question that bugs me is - Why do I even need the Specialized Long Expander Plug?
    What purpose that it serves?

    Don't I already have an Expander in my carbon steertube? (It's a De Rosa King xs).

    I think you are a little confused with the Specialized documentation. You don't need the Specialized Long Expander plug. As you've already surmised, you will already have an expander plug or star nut fitted into your steerer tube. If you unscrew the top cap on the FSA stem you pictured, you will see the threaded top of the expander plug (or star nut).

    If, as you state, your steerer tube is carbon it will be an expander bung. Star nuts are only fitted where the steerer tube is alloy. See this Park Tool document for an explanation

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... stallation

    The expander plug is there to "grip" the steerer tube so that you can pre-load the headset bearings. The correct procedure when fitting a stem is
    1. Make sure the clamping bolts are loose
    2. Slide the stem onto the steerer tube (with or without spacers as required) to ensure that the top of the steerer tube is below the level of the top of the stem. 3-5mm usually
    3. While the stem clamping bolts are still loose, fit the top cap and tighten the screw until the fork steerer is firmly held but not so tight that the the forks are difficult to turn from side to side.
    4. Once you're happy that the steerer is secure but still free turning, tighten the stem clamping bolts to the correct torque

    You should just be able to replace your FSA stem with the Specialized stem without worrying about their Long Expander bung.

    BTW - I would avoid the adjustable stems if at all possible. They will do the job but the are usually quite heavy and a bit ugly
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    if the frame is the right size for you @1.62 m then i think you should try a shorter stem, a 100mm is reasonably long for a small frame and that will increase reach to bars, making it seem as if they are too low - the former owner wanting to get low and aero possibly put on the 100mm one?

    Many std off the peg XS or XXS bikes would come with 80 or 90mm stems, spesh fit a 75mm to their 49cm Tarmac.

    Stems can be cheap and you might know someone who could lend you one?

    You have to face facts, a flipped stem looks terrible but an adjustable one would be a sin! :lol:
  • Thx arlowood, I appreciate the thoughtful explanation.
    I really was confused with the Specialized documentation.
    You've managed to clarify everything and I feel I could be buying this damn stem now.

    Thx for the recommendation mamba80. My next move is to determine the right length. As I said in the beginning - Someone also suggested me to shorten my stem to 80mm. The Specialized Comp Multi Stem is being sold in either 75mm or 90mm (bugger!).

    The best I can visualize it, I think a 12`degree, 90mm stem will give me more then enough options and will hopefully do the job.
    2016-01-25_190923_zpsu5a8b1ty.jpg

    And I'm off the idea of the adjustable stems, don't worry :)

    101006stems.jpg
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Buy a 80 and 90mm stem and sell the one you dont want, will give you 4 options for less than a spesh and you ll have 2 dif lengths.
    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... lsrc=aw.ds
  • It'll give me 2 options which I don't need - The negative angles.
    I know for certain that I need positive angels, either +8 or +10.
    Maybe a +6 with an 80mm will work...But like I said, The Specialized Comp Multi Stem is being sold in either 75mm or 90mm.

    My mechanic has a 75mm Specialized stem.
    I'll check it out and decide then.
    I'll update this post once I'll buy one.

    Thanks for trying to save me some money :-) Much appreciated.
  • As promised - I'm updating the post.
    I've bought the Specialized Comp Multi Stem from Bike24.com.
    It's now at a +14 degree angle with a 2`shim and the ride feels completely different.
    I don't feel any pain in my neck at all and the pain in the back is almost completely gone.

    Problem is that +14 is a very unusual angle.
    There are almost no "regular" stems with such a degree.
    There are mostly +-17 once or +-10.