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Another "raise the headset" thread (but I couldn't find answers)

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Another "raise the headset" thread (but I couldn't find answers)

Old 05-25-19, 08:53 AM
  #1  
annabanananana
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Another "raise the headset" thread (but I couldn't find answers)

Hi there! Iím Anne, new to the forum! A heartfelt thanks to anyone who will bother to read and answer. Iím not bikeknowledgeable (obviously) so Iím not sure that I will be of great use to this forum, but itís so cool to have people over the internet that are willing to share their knowledge and give advice, it takes time and I really appreciate that so thanks!
I want your opinion on altering the height (and reach) of handlebars on my bike. I had a look at past threads, and while the info I need might be in it, I might be too bike uneducated to find it, so I am asking a few specifics here... I did my best to be fairly succinct and not ramble much (hopefully not failing too badly)

My current bike was given by a friend who moved to the land of kangaroos. Itís a sonder bike (a UK brand linked to alpkit), and model is camino. Apparently not allowed to post link or images before I reach 10 posts here, so type in "sonder Camino Al apex hydraulic" for the specs of my bike.
I have been complimented a lot on the handlebars that came with it, mainly on how ridiculously daft and uncomfortable/unpractical they looked haha, but truthfully it never bothered me, maybe because I never toured long distance I guess (although I cycled two weeks in France with it but it felt fine) and itís better than the previous bikes I had (whatever was free, never bought a bike in my life)....

Anyway enough background info, back to raising the handlebars, 10 months ago I fell 25m to the ground while rockclimbing (bad belayer) and among other things I broke my back. Additionally to a renewed appreciation for life, I gained a rad physiothe****** for the few years to come who has a some proper opinion on how Iím allowed to be on my bike. I trust her very much. She told me to get a new bike with a large backsweep (hopefully Iím not messing up my words) or butterfly barsÖ. Something to pedal like the Dutch, upright... The thing is I donít really want to spend too much, and there are some luxuries to my current bike that I got used to and Iím not sure if I can ďdowngradeĒ now. Mainly the fact itís relatively lightweight (since I handcarry it on stairs all the time, which is even more important now my backís been broken) and the easy low gears (since I live in a seriously steep town). Of course I checked some of the 2nd hands alike the Dutch-style ones my physio recommended, they were heavy and had no low gears. Keep in mind I am very greedy with the little money I have (haha) and also very limited in my knowledge (but hopefully not in my abilities to follow a youtube tutorial).
And I donít want to be totally absolutely upright. I trust my physiothe****** but I also trust the feedback my body gives me. I need something slightly more upright than my current position, but I donít want to be sitting like a perfect Dutchess (ha ha) either.

SoÖ. I thought about altering mine instead! And this is where you lovely people let me know whether Iím stupid or whether Iím stupid but maybe it can still be done.

a) Handlebars: For sure I will get new bars, but donít want to change my brake shifters so I was thinking about moustache or drops with high hoods (is it even a thing?). The cables have quite some slack, Iím not too worried about them being too short. Any bars recommandation that would help with the upright stance (and be compatible with my hood brakes and shifters). Also I really appreciate pedalling out of the saddle with a lot of support on the bars, so a bar shape that have both close reach for the upright stance and far reach for support when pedalling out of the saddle would be the best of both things! (Not sure itís possible though).

b) Stem riser for threadless headset like something called "delta threadless stem riser" (again, not allowed to post links).
Anyone tried this? Is it a really bad idea? It saysitís not recommended on a carbon fork, which is what I have. Why is it so? Is it wise to follow this bit of advice or could I ignore it?
Iím thinking of getting it just to try it out mostlyÖ

c) New fork, with uncut stem. Iím seriously considering this. Is it better than rising the stem in terms of stability (I load my bike with at least 20kg every week). Is it worth it or should I just buy another bike?? I know the brand of my bike (sonder) makes an alloy fork to remote travel (the idea being itís ďsaferĒ than a carbon fork if you abuse it, but they donít do steel)Ö
If I get another fork, what is there to consider? I understand diameter of stem, tyre clearance and crown-axle measurements, anything else? I feel like I must be missing something, it sounds like a too easy (although costly) fixÖ

What are you thoughts? Would you consider something entirely different? I feel like getting something equally good would cost me more than altering it. Am I wrong?
Additionally, my back might not be forever ruined, and I could potentially eventually heal and get better (=getting back to a standard drop bar position), so Iím not throwing my bike away (yet).
THANK YOU FOR READING. Even if my post is too confused for you to offer any advice, thanks for attempting

PS: Any hardened cyclist who's been through the same sort of injuries? please reach out I could use the support.
PPS: I know I used italics instead of bold, I hate bold
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Old 05-26-19, 10:17 AM
  #2  
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First, I'd love to see what a "daft handlebar" does!! And comfo

Sorry about your injury! I've had a few, have needed physio, but no fractures. I did have one, but that was slipping on ice while just walking around!

It is definitely possible to raise handlebars, but your bike will have limitations. I'd also want you to avoid having to simply guess and buy a part, try it, buy another one, try it. As a technical type (professional engineer), my questions are really "how far up do you want to go?" and "how far back do you want to go?" Seems like you're in EU somewhere? If I were to help you, I'd put you and your bike on a training stand, have you assume the position you want to be in, carefully measure the new position and photograph you. Seeing as how you seem to still be under medical/physio care, I'd want you to use these pics to negotiate with your physio for acceptance of your target position, versus having to buy a real Dutch bike and upgrade the gearing!

To start, if you have a friend with a camera and a training stand, you can put the bike on the stand (level the bike by propping up the front with books), squirrel your body around until you have a decent position both for health and comfort, and take photos. Mark up the photos (photoshop or pencils) with the current positions of the bar grips and the desired positions of the grips. With that guide you can talk to actual bike technicians (or smart friends), and perhaps see if your bike is capable of the modifications you want. It sounds like there is a lot on your current bike that is good for you.

I think that is how to start.
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Old 05-26-19, 07:12 PM
  #3  
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The bike in question


The biggest issue with a stem riser or high angle stem (like a +30ļ riser) is going to be that the brake lines and shift cables will likely be too short, and will need to be replaced. Good news is, external routing and Shimano, so it's pretty straightforward.

You can easily raise the cockpit several inches without changing the bars/levers. A stem riser or adjustable stem would both be good places to start-- but as I mentioned, new brake lines and shift cables almost certainly required.
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Old 05-27-19, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
First, I'd love to see what a "daft handlebar" does!! And comfo
Haha well people seem to agree the flared drops made sense (I loved it for the stability on snow days) but everyone told me the hoods placement was ridiculous (they came set up this way). So I guess "daft" in the sense of daft designing... I don't know I'm not picky enough to care
Haha slipping on ice is a classic, I personally think injuries are more painful when they're kind of silly 😜
The photograph thing is actually a brilliant idea. I think I've figured that to heal slowly, I need about a 10cm rise (could also increase reach up to 5cm, depending on whether I choose something with a back sweep or not). Seems like more than a stem riser can offer. But anyway photos might even help more to thanks!

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The biggest issue with a stem riser or high angle stem (like a +30ļ riser) is going to be that the brake lines and shift cables will likely be too short, and will need to be replaced. Good news is, external routing and Shimano, so it's pretty straightforward.
You can easily raise the cockpit several inches without changing the bars/levers. A stem riser or adjustable stem would both be good places to start-- but as I mentioned, new brake lines and shift cables almost certainly required.
Thanks, I had already tried an adjustable stem with a 45 degrees angle which got me to gain about 5cm in rise I think. Actually I had just enough slack in cables for turning the wheel up to 180į so all good on that side I think... but damn it felt (and looked as I got a few comments) so unstable when taking "sharp" turns (sharp by my own standards)! That's why I was thinking about the stem riser. It's just that Delta bikes, the only company that appears to make them for threadless systems, warns it's not recommended for carbon forks. Was just wondering why?
Do you reckon a new uncut fork would be much more stable than the adjustable stem or the stem riser? I'll see about the cables... Thank youuu!
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Old 05-28-19, 11:22 AM
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Cool raised up

It may be time to wean yourself of the carbon fork , as incompatible with your lessened flexibility

at least go metal for the steering tube.. so you can use a taller stem steerer..


My Steel steerer fork lent its way to let me add a stem Raiser under the stock angle adjustable stem

on my Koga Trekking / tour bike .. BBB BHP 21.. an internal system..



Last edited by fietsbob; 05-28-19 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-05-19, 12:35 PM
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Curious about your the******'s reasoning, because there's only one the****** who's also a bike fitter whom I aware of, and he's nowhere near you. The relationship of a person to a particular bike fit is not obvious.

The reason I'm a little uneasy about this is because the more vertical the back, the greater the shock loadings on it. Back comfort is really the reason for the traditional road position, not aerodynamics as is mistakenly assumed. MTB riders use the same position. The forward-leaning position puts the back in flexion rather than compression. If flexion, not compression is your the******'s worry, then fine. Do what you have to do.

If that, go with the new carbon fork. Have a bike shop advise you on its purchase and install it for you. Then any errors are on them and not financially on you. I'd say keep the bars and shifters and move them around with the combination of spacers on the fork and a different stem. Ask the bike shop about the spacers. It may be that you will be limited in how high you can raise the stem by the fork steerer's construction.

I would say another thing along that line. It's best to ride with the back almost straight in the usual road position. One rolls one's pelvis forward so that the back is straight or very nearly so, all the way from the top of the shorts to the back of the neck. This is by far the most comfortable once one gets used to it. However this may be exactly what your the****** doesn't want to do:

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Old 06-05-19, 12:59 PM
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Thanks fietsbob, I love your old washed out saddle bag (random I know but it reminds me of a handlebar one I've lost long ago ... )

Curious about your the******'s reasoning, because there's only one the****** who's also a bike fitter whom I aware of, and he's nowhere near you. The relationship of a person to a particular bike fit is not obvious.
Your answer is gold. About the rad the******, roughly it's about making sure that certain muscles group don't overtake other muscles which could eventually create unbalance. I have been immobilised in a quite strange position for month, a resulting in my upper back muscles being completely melted but the lower back and hips muscles being overworked, so we're working on that.
For the position I should also state I'm wearing some sort of corset most days, so I can't go too wrong and I don't spend days on end on my bike currently anyway. Regardless, I'm (maybe irrealistically) aiming for a perfect recovery (and ideally back to climbing in a year or two).
She's not a bike fitter though, works with athlete in general but nothing bike specific. Where is your guy? I'm still in a lot of pain and I don't ever see myself using any other mode of transportation than a bike, so if he can help out in anyway I'd sure like to know.

And you are right, my the****** wants me to use as little shoulder as possible for now, so maybe not this classic road position (although I get always back to it because it's so tiring and inefficient to cruise like a dutch in a city as hilly as mine). The straight back is okay regarding little bumps, because anyway since it hurts so bad I'm out of the saddle any time the pavement is less than perfect (which fortunately isn't often in Switzerland).

Hope that explains it. I trust this the******. And again, your answer is gold (and very pink as well... loving that lycra warrior outfit). You are right, I'll get someone to fit a new uncut fork for me for once. I'm too scared to charge with the stem riser I've installed anyway.
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Old 06-05-19, 02:57 PM
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BBB BHP 21 is what I found.. 1" quill, shims back out to 1,125" ,
the stem bolt is internally threaded..
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Old 06-06-19, 12:39 AM
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the stem bolt is internally threaded..
YESSSS this is brilliant I'll give a try before installing a new fork! I had already bought two stem risers from a local shop: the bolts of the first one broke while tightening, and I currently have the other one on my bike but this time the bolts have come slightly loose after a few commutes (ok I'm paranoid/obsessive but I'd rather mend my injuries before trying on new ones). I'm no engineer but I like the look of this bbb one much better (and by look I mean the system obviously).

Thank you all, I think you provided me all the answers I was looking for and a few more. I'll get on with your solutions till I'm rich enough to afford a 2nd bike or till my back gets better.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by annabanananana View Post
Thanks fietsbob, I love your old washed out saddle bag (random I know but it reminds me of a handlebar one I've lost long ago ... )



Your answer is gold. About the rad the******, roughly it's about making sure that certain muscles group don't overtake other muscles which could eventually create unbalance. I have been immobilised in a quite strange position for month, a resulting in my upper back muscles being completely melted but the lower back and hips muscles being overworked, so we're working on that.
For the position I should also state I'm wearing some sort of corset most days, so I can't go too wrong and I don't spend days on end on my bike currently anyway. Regardless, I'm (maybe irrealistically) aiming for a perfect recovery (and ideally back to climbing in a year or two).
She's not a bike fitter though, works with athlete in general but nothing bike specific. Where is your guy? I'm still in a lot of pain and I don't ever see myself using any other mode of transportation than a bike, so if he can help out in anyway I'd sure like to know.

And you are right, my the****** wants me to use as little shoulder as possible for now, so maybe not this classic road position (although I get always back to it because it's so tiring and inefficient to cruise like a dutch in a city as hilly as mine). The straight back is okay regarding little bumps, because anyway since it hurts so bad I'm out of the saddle any time the pavement is less than perfect (which fortunately isn't often in Switzerland).

Hope that explains it. I trust this the******. And again, your answer is gold (and very pink as well... loving that lycra warrior outfit). You are right, I'll get someone to fit a new uncut fork for me for once. I'm too scared to charge with the stem riser I've installed anyway.
The local revered fitter in Seattle, WA is Eric Moen of Corpore Sano. He's internationally licensed to assess and class para-Olympic riders.

To reduce shoulder loading, always bend your elbows 15į or so. If the weight on your hands seems too great, reduce it by moving your saddle back until you can lift your hands from the bars while riding without sliding forward on your saddle. Like in the photo, have your upper arms form ~90į angle with your straight torso. That will produce enough reach that your elbows will be about at or slightly in front of your knees if you dropped down to make your forearms horizontal. Enough reach also reduces shoulder shock loading because your arms are hinged and out in front of you so that they flex and serve as shock absorbers. You hold your torso steady with your core rather than supporting it with your arms.

We were 13-0 in our first match! I love to see all the young women climbing now, skiing, all that stuff. Cycling, not so much yet, but I think it's coming. A new female rider came out with us this past Sunday. She's a VP in some big financial management firm and strong as hell, stronger than her boyfriend. It's a new world.
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