Adjusting the handle bar stem (new member)

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Adjusting the handle bar stem (new member)

Postby coon_oz » Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:51 pm

Hi All,

Firstly, I have been reading the forum since early January and gained heaps of info in a short time thanks to you all.

As I am in Adelaide I was able to take advantage of the JT sale that ended last week, and picked up a new Avanti Blade Sport :) . Which I intend to use as a comfort/commuter bike. (I looked at the hybrid bikes but didnt like the cheap front suspension on the discovery 8 and couldn't really justify the price of the Blade 8 )

Since picking it up on Friday I have had a few short rides (short because of the heat! :oops: ) around the streets and noticed that the handle bars seem a bit low which is putting extra weight on my arms.

Can someone with an Avanti blade tell me how to raise the height of the stem/handle bars? I have losened the centre bolt but the stem doesn't move up. Maybe I am not putting enough effort into it, scared that I may do some damage. Also even if I do get it to move is there usually much height adjustment available in the stem? Or will I need to buy a longer stem from the LBS?

Cheers

Chris

Sorry about the photo album! :wink:
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by BNA » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:22 pm

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Postby commi » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:22 pm

I have the same bike. I asked the same question about mine at my LBS and the sales person said "you don't". I'm not sure if he meant, you "can't" or "shouldn't".

In any case, the default (only?) height is right for me. I'm 175cm and it is comfortable.

Only thing I've found is the suspension thing on my saddle is squeaky. Otherwise I love it
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:26 pm

Does sound like you simply aren't use to the bike yet.

You shoud be able to take the head stem off and reverse it, which will make it point upwards.
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Postby europa » Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:16 pm

Unlike earlier bikes with the quill type head stem, you can not raise the bars on your current setup - the bars bolt straight to the steering tube which has been cut off at that height. However, if you must shift the bars upwards, you can buy an extension that bolts to the steering tube and to which you bolt the bars - you can see it hereon my Sow's Ear (I had to do the same thing). They cost about $30 and while it's probably not as good as having the steering tube longer, it's shown no sign of flex or movement on the Sow's Ear - it works well.

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Postby sogood » Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:46 pm

The bar already seemed to be at the highest position. One solution is to get an adjustable stem that can be elevated for angle.
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Postby coon_oz » Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:05 pm

I will give it a little longer and see if my arms become used to the position. I thought I was doing something wrong when I tried to adjust it.

If I need to I will get the extension when I get the first service.

Apart from that the bikes been great! Having not had a bike for about 10 years I am impressed with the speed and the smooth gear changes.

Chris
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Postby europa » Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:11 pm

Things have changed in the last ten years haven't they. About the only tools you can still use are your chain breaker and the big, heavy hammer :shock:

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Postby LuckyPierre » Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:20 pm

Most of the things that you can do are already covered - 'flat bar' bikes are just that - flat. You could try a different stem - especially an adjustable one, as the head height isn't any more adjustable that it already has been. What about some 'mtb' bars? They usually have a bit of rise in them, so they'll sit you up a bit straighter.
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Postby europa » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:12 pm

Assuming your bike is set up correctly for seat height though, the photos suggest that the bars are at about the same height as the seat which isn't a bad place for them to be. With that set up, your hands take part of your weight as well as your tail end. As you raise the bars, more weight goes onto your bottom and you become less aerodynamic (unless you want to be an air brake). I'd suggest riding with what you've got for a while. Get a good pair of gloves. Learn to change between the bars and the bar extensions, then decide. The answer might lie in a pair of trekking bars (those horrible looking things that loop around back to the bars like a giant oval that's gone wrong).

That's assuming your seat is the right height now - if the seat has to go up, you're in strife.

Before you spend money on the steering tube extension, give a yell and I'll give you a look at the Sow's Ear, just so that you know what you're looking at.

Richard
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Postby beauyboy » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:35 pm

Like the LBS side, "you don't". By the looks of things you seam to be sitting on it right you may just not be use to leaning forwards. After that amount of time (10 years) things have changed. To be completely honest you don't look over thirty (being male i am teriable at guessin age) and it is more than likely (guessing) that your last bike was a mountain bike of some sort. These have a more up right seating position and well this is a Flat bar. An adjustable handle bar stem is proably the best answer.
I now have two hybrids now an Avanti Discovery(2005) and Avanti Pionear (2007). When I first got the Discovery the seat was low and the handle bar stem pointing 45degrees up. As time went by the stem angle dropped and the seat went up, give it some time. Also after some fine tuning and wrong parts being fitted my Pionear, it now sports the Suspention post off the blade range. Yes it does develop a squik over time but only needs some grease.

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Postby Bnej » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:52 pm

You can get a set of "riser" handle bars for $40 to $60, which can give you 25mm to 40mm of extra rise depending on the bars.

But you might find just getting into the habit of using the bar ends a bit more will make your arms feel better. Your arms are supposed to take a fair bit of the weight, and if you lean it too far back you can find yourself getting a sore bum from too much weight on the saddle - esp when starting as you will get tired and have a harder time keeping your weight on the pedals.
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Postby europa » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:55 pm

Bnej wrote:You can get a set of "riser" handle bars for $40 to $60, which can give you 25mm to 40mm of extra rise depending on the bars.


Not wishing to undercut Bnej, but I got the riser bars on the Sow's Ear off ebay for $10 plus a couple of bucks postage. The message is, it's worth looking about a bit sometimes (but not always)

Richard
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Postby stryker84 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:28 pm

This mostly has already been covered, just thought that since I actually own one of these machines (the Blade Sport) I'd toss my say into the pool. :)
Re: adjusting the headstem height/angle, as your (or someone's) LBS said, you don't, i.e., you can't. It's not got an adjustable headstem. Having said that, if they've done the right thing and sized the bike properly for you, it shouldn't be too much of an issue, and sounds more like having to get used to the lower riding position.
I went from a comfort/hybrid bike to this, a flat bar road bike, and was also quite surprised at how different the riding position is. In general, MTBs and their hybrids will have a more upright position, and road bikes, including the flat bar roadies will have you more leaning forward.

One last point, make sure your saddle height is properly adjusted, makes a world of difference.
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