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How To Raise Bike Handlebars

Whether you are looking to raise the handlebars on your hybrid bike to improve comfort, or to bring the front higher on your downhill bike for the steep stuff, there are a number of different things you can try to improve your ride. Here we will run through a few options available to you.

Try Riser Bars

If you pondering how to raise handlebars on a mountain bike and are using flat handlebars, an easy way to raise the height at the front of your bike is to add riser handlebars. These are handlebars that have a bend around the centre of each side of the bars that give the rider anywhere between a couple of millimeters right up to around 4cm of height gain. With so many different variants available from manufacturers such as Syncros, Renthal and RaceFace, it is easy to get exactly the amount of rise you want.

Use Stem Stackers

Stem stackers, also known as spacers, are rings of metal or carbon fibre that go around the steerer tube of your bike's forks between the headset in the headtube of the frame and the handlebar stem. When considering how to raise bike handlebars, this is probably the cheapest and easiest way to achieve that goal. Be careful not to place too many stackers under the handlebar stem though as you must ensure that the stem has enough of the fork's steerer tube to securely clamp to. If the steerer were to only come halfway through the stem, it wouldn't clamp securely and you could risk injury riding like this. Always check your stem manufacturer's manual regarding stem stackers as some require a small stacker to be used on top of the stem too, to ensure maximum clamping area.

Raise A Quill Stem Up

If your bike is equipped with an older style headset and a quill stem, then you can simply loosen the headset nut and raise the stem up. Make sure not to raise the stem further than the manufacturer's minimum insertion line, which is marked in a similar way to the marks found on seatposts. Once at the desired height, remember to tighten the headset nut back up.

Flip Your Stem To A Positive Angle

When considering how to raise handlebars on a road bike, one of the simplest ways is to flip your stem over. Most road bike stems have an angle to them, and depending on which way up you put the stem on your bike, you can have the handlebars lower or higher. As standard, most road bikes will come with the stem positioned for a negative rise, so flipping the stem over will give it a positive rise, and likely raise the bars up a good few centimeters at no cost.


If you would like more advice on how to set up your bike, please get in touch and our friendly staff will be happy to help you.

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