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Raising my handlebars

allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
edited November 2013 in Commuting general

Old age, fatness, eyesight, general infirmity, make me want to sit up straighter on my bike.

I've done all I can to the adjustable bit in the middle of the bars, i.e. making it point straight upwards, twisting the bars so that the bar-ends are highest, etc., but I'd still like another 2 or 3 inches of height.

What's the simpler way? (a) to buy bars that go up at the ends (mine are fairly straight)? Or to put in a height adapter - it would seem that the best place for one would be between the top of the frame and the existing headset. Either way, any recommendations would be useful.

If photos would help the answer, shout and I'll organise some.


Allen (riding a Wisper 905 electric bike).


  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    I assume all the spacers are underneath the stem?

    If so then you have two sensible options:

    1. New stem with an even higher raise.
    2. New handlebars which have a higher bend and also perhaps swept back a little more.

    Perhaps post a pic of your bike as it is now.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Loun88Loun88 Posts: 29
    On that bike, if you haven't angled the stem as high as possible (underneath the stem is a bolt which you can loosen then angle up) you can raise the stem by undoing the bolt in the middle of them, then raising it to the limit which is marked.
  • You could get an adjustable stem. I have done this for my wife recently as she wanted to try a road bike out.

    I fitted one of these.

    I used the shortest one to not only decrease the stretch but but raise the bars until she gains a little more confidence.
    The doctor said I needed to start drinking more whiskey. Also, I’m calling myself ‘the doctor’ now
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    daz, loun: pics of the existing set up below. The easiest place to put an extension would be where the headset goes into the top of the forks, I suppose. Is this a possibility? Changing the bars, with all that electrical clobber, would be possible but messy.

    woody - I think I've already got one (a built-in adjuster which I've got sticking straight up - see pic).

    Further comments eagerly welcomed!


    First two pics just show the set up from different angles. Third pic is just a close up of the existing 'quick release' adjuster.

  • Loun88Loun88 Posts: 29
    How much higher do you need it? is it that you are leaning to far forward and need a more upright position?
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    As I said, 2 or 3 inches would help - preferably 3.

    It's partly due to eyesight (one eye gone, the other not great) - and I see better with my head held up - and partly back aches. Again, life is easier if I have a slightly straighter back. Moral: don't get old.

  • Loun88Loun88 Posts: 29
    Unfortunately I can't think of a handlebar that would go as high as that. Have you thought about trying a bar like this: ... _handlebar

    It will bring the bars back, which in effect would give you a more upright position.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Thanks loun, I'll certainly look closely at that one.

  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    So is the answer that there isn't a way of raising my sort of bars?

    I can 'see' the part I'd need - a tube, which goes into the frame/front fork hole, with an expander of some sort inside it. Then the existing steering column would go into the TOP of this tube, and be tightened up with the EXISTING expander bolt. Finished. If I was an engineer, I could make it!

    But, alas, I am not, and it seems bike parts manufacturers don't see a place in the market for this simple device.


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    You may be able to get a longer height quill stem than that as the length to the pivot is quite short, such as ... 46112fbb08
    Or for a whole 33cm ... 2c6560cf7f

    Backache is down to holding your back straight, not sitting up straight.

    What may also work for you is old fashioned bars that bend the tips back, which will sit you more upright anyway, like the on-one Bingo's ... _handlebar
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Thanks Rookie, useful information.

    As it happened, I'd just got an email reply from the ever-helpful SJS Cycles, who also pointed me towards the Quill Stem Riser like this one (even though they - SJS - didn't stock it themselves):

    Mine is certainly unthreaded (undo the bolt and it just lifts out - I hope that means it's unthreaded anyway) - so once I get confirmation from the supplier (PowaBikes, another helpful gang) that I want a 1-1/8"-1-1/8" unit, I'll be well away.

    Thanks for the handlebars link - I like the idea, but with the electrical stuff on a Wisper, might be a bit awkward to fit.

    Thanks again.

  • jacknorelljacknorell Posts: 62
    There are aheadset (threadless headset) risers that clamp onto the fork steerer and extends it. My Google-fu fails me today so can't link to one, but have seen them.

    Should get you the lift you need, hopefully someone on here can actually locate a seller?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Threaded/unthreaded refers to the steerer tube (outside not inside!), not the stem, that is a quill stem in a threaded steerer in the photo, That extender is an option, but for similar price I'd get a high rise one as joints are always an inherent weakness!

    You ned to check the OD of the quill stem, older bikes are 22.2mm to fit inside a 1" steerer, later are 25.4mm to fit inside a 1 1/8" steerer.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Thanks for putting me straight on the threaded/unthreaded business, Rookie. Appreciated.

    Re. the extender. When you say 'a high rise one' is that just a longer extender?

    Sorry to be so ignorant.

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Sorry, I meant that I'd prefer to use a taller stem (as I linked to on ebay above) rather than an extender as you linked to from SJS on the basis that any joint is weaker than the part either side I'd rather not have the extra weak point (and extra weight and visual clutter for that matter).

    If you could get a plain quill stem the right size (height and diameter) it would look a lot neater than an extender plus your adjustable stem pointing skywards and probably weigh about a pound less as well!
  • How did you end up allen-uk?

    The combination of a longer quill stem and/or different bars could make a big difference to you.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Hello. I gave up on the quill stem. Very bad eyesight, and didn't want to either censored up the head set or make it dangerous, so I went for a different set of handlebars from SJS. A bit higher than the original Wisper ones, plus they are 7/8 internal diameter (unlike the dopey Wisper ones into which nothing will fit, at least no bar-end mirrors). Anyway, not too hard to change over, and they, plus making sure the adjustable original head set clamp is pointing as far north as possible, do make a difference. Can't measure it, but yes, they do help.

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