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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After fifteen years on an old Lemond Tourmalet, that weighed in at about 30 lbs, I pulled the trigger on a used Trek Madone 5.9, a $5,000 bike that I got on ebay for $1900. It was too big for the guy so he unloaded it and bought a new one.

I was able to duplicate the setup from my old bike except for one thing, the handlebar height. It seems that in the past 15 yrs the bike industry has abandoned the old method of loosening the top screw and pulling the post up or down to raise or lower the handlebars. Now you have to use different stems and spacers. What's the logic in that?

Anyway, how do you get the proper adjustment? Stems now have different lengths and rises. How do you add an inch to the handlebar height? Is is all about a new stem? I've got a "fitting" appointment at one of the better LBSs in the Boston area. I'm willing to pay to get it right. It's too important an issue for me.

But, I want to understand it. Can someone point me to some information on this topic?

TIA,

Bob
 

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Getting a fit is the best option as you'll be able to make one stem purchase (if needed). However, if you really want to have the ability to change handlebar height with the threadless systems, here are a few other options:

Buy an adjustable stem like this from Ritchey:


Or Specialized uses a shim system to allow height adjustment in an otherwise standard looking stem:


Hope this helps
 

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One thing to remember with the 'new threadless' system is that you must have enough steerer tube left to put spacers yet only have the top of the stem 'slightly' above the top of the steerer tube. Once you run out of steerer tube length, you have to increase handlebar height via a higher rise stem (or buy a new fork with a longer steerer tube AND NOT exceed the maximum allowable spacers above the head tube - usually 35-40mm).
 

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Threadless systems are one of the big jokes of bicycling "inovation". They basically took something that was simple and easily adjustable, and made it complicated and unajustable. Bike component makers are laughing all the way to the bank.

The easiest way to get the proper height would be to have a bike with an uncut steerer. But since you have a bike with a carbon fork you probably would not have been able to put more than 3cm of spacers on there anyway. So that leaves you with getting a grotesque up-jutter type stem.

Next time you are looking for a new bike, after you get tired of all of the neck pain and hand numbness, check out www.rivbike.com, you might like their stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks

I went for a fitting today. It was $50 well spent for the fitting and $40 for a new stem. Not only did I get everything so it feels really good, but I learned a lot about fitting. I asked a lot of questions and the fitter was a wealth of knowledge.

Thanks for your responses. I appreciate it and am learning a lot from the forum.

bob
 

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brianmcg said:
Threadless systems are one of the big jokes of bicycling "inovation". They basically took something that was simple and easily adjustable, and made it complicated and unajustable. Bike component makers are laughing all the way to the bank.
I think the threadless system is far easier to adjust than threaded. The only beef I have with it is that soemtimes I hit my knees on the stems pinch bolts on climbs. Headset adjustments are a breeze. No longer do you need 2x32mm wrenchs to properly adjust your headset. Plus the whole system is lighter because you don't have a quill inside the steer tube. However with that said I'm not going to see everything I got to convert. The last 3 bicycles I have built up have all been 1" threaded because I get good deals on everybodys hand-me-downs. Heck I even got a Kinesis 1" thread aluminum fork for $10. Cinelli 1/a stems for $10 . . . . there is nothing wrong with them. The threadless system is better, now switching to 1-1/8" was a scam.
 

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Word.

MCF said:
Rivbike.com stuff is good....IF YOUR 80...HEHEHE...
That's because by the time you're 80, you realized long ago how stupid you looked as a youth on a road bike with an extended headtube, a steerer extension and an upjutter stem—all so you could pretend to be a pro racer tearing up the roads at a blistering 22 miles per hour on a frame at least 5cm too small for you. :D
 
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