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Raising my handlebars on my bike

Hey AshtrayHey Ashtray Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys, I don't know much about bikes, I'll try to be as descriptive as possible. The handlebars are just regular handlebars, they don't curve down or anything like that. I was told I could just loosen the bolt in the very middle of the handle bars and I should be able to pull up, but I was either misinformed, or it is rusted shut inside somewhere.

Am I missing something, or should I just spray some WD40 down there and see what happens?

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Hey Ashtray on

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    are you talking the ring or the bolt where the handlebars meet the stem?

    typically there is a ring nut where the stem meets the frame. loosen that and it should slide up.

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It depends what type of headset you have. A traditional headset can be adjusted the way you described, but (more common on modern bikes) threadless or "aheadsets" can't.

    If your bike has a threadless headset loosening the bolt in the centre will just take off the top cap.

    Can you post a pic?

    EDIT: Also if I'm interpreting the above post correctly, what is being suggested would result in you removing the locknut that holds the top race of a traditional headset in place, not loosening the stem.

    EDIT the second: Some Pics stolen from Sheldon Brown's website:

    Threaded:
    headsetthreaded.jpg

    Threadless:
    headsetthreadless.jpg

    japan on
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    Hey AshtrayHey Ashtray Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It's definitely threaded then. This is an old piece of junk, with no fancy parts. I sprayed WD 40 down the middle of the stem after removing the bolt and taking out the long piece that goes inside the stem. I have no idea what I'm doing though, haha.

    Should I be doing anything with the locknut, spacers, or threaded top race?

    Hey Ashtray on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If you've loosened the bolt in the middle of the stem quill and can't move it, chances are it's seized. Do you know how old the bike is and what it's made of?

    It's very common for aluminium stems to seize in steel frames because of electrolytic corrosion. If that's what's happened you probably aren't going to be able to shift it. I have a steel bike frame that had an aluminium seatpost in it and I had to get it out by dissolving it with caustic soda.

    If it's steel/steel or aluminium/aluminium then you might have a chance with some penetrating oil (which WD-40 kind of is, but there are more effective products).
    Should I be doing anything with the locknut, spacers, or threaded top race?

    Not if all you're trying to do is raise the handlebars. They're for adjusting the bearings that fit between the frame and the fork so the bike can be steered easily.

    The vertical part of the stem is a tube that fits inside the steerer tube of the forks, with an expanding bolt at the bottom to lock them together. If you spray WD-40 down the stem it'll just dribble out the bottom without touching the parts that are stuck together. You might be better off flipping the bike upside down and spraying into the steerer tube from underneath. If you have a length of wooden dowel or something you could also try knocking the stem out with a hammer.

    japan on
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    Hey AshtrayHey Ashtray Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    In that case, yeah I think this thing is seized up. I'm not sure what kind of metal it is, I'll take it by a bike shop and see if they have any tricks to get it out. Thanks for the help!

    Hey Ashtray on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Grey_AreaGrey_Area Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'd say buy a new bike. If you come to New Zealand I'll sell you mine...

    ;-)

    Grey_Area on
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    How much do you need the handlebar to be raised? If it's like an inch or so, and keeping the bikes original style with the flat bar intact is not too important, there may be another option. On mountainbike there are handlebars named raiserbars which are just that - most are pretty wide but not all so if the other solution ends up being new fork and all that you should look into that.

    b207704614.jpg

    Note! Not all have loud decals 8-)

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    or for 15 bucks you can just by a new handlebar pice to replace teh one you have.

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It isn't always possible to fit riser bars to quill stems, depending on how curved they are. Quill stems tend to have a single pinch bolt instead of a two or four bolt faceplate.

    japan on
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