How to Replace a Bicycle Stem. Threadless
How to adjust the height of the bike handlebars?
Often, the factory-set handlebar height is universal and not tailored specifically to a particular person. Cyclists often experiment with saddle height, tire pressure, handlebar tilt and suspension settings, but few are aware of the benefits of handlebar height adjustments. The height of the rudder is sometimes referred to as the position of the saddle relative to the rudder, that is, the interval by which the seat is above or below the rudder.
For professional riders, this interval is usually long, with the handlebars below the saddle, while for amateur cyclists it is not. Simply put, a lower handlebar height lowers the center of gravity. By placing more weight on the front wheel, you increase traction. In addition, the low handlebar height provides a more centered rider position between the wheels, improving bike handling, especially when going uphill. This effect is more noticeable off-road, mainly with 29-inch wheels.
A too low handlebar position can make it difficult to control the bike, so a limit is set. Fortunately, experimenting with steering positions is easy and mostly free. This manual is suitable for owners of modern bikes with adjustable stem and headset. If a bicycle stem is bolted to the steering column, it is most likely adjustable.
Steering Column Spacer Rings Adjustment
The first and simplest way to adjust the rudder height is to reposition the steering column rings. The headset rings slide over the bike fork stem and help adjust the handlebar and stem height. Typically, the standard spacer ring size is 20 to 30 mm. They can be freely rearranged along the entire stem length. The extension bolts are tightened according to the general scheme (unscrewed counterclockwise, screwed clockwise).
First, secure the bike wheels firmly, and then loosen the clamps on the back of the stem. Now is the time to grease the bolt securing the steering column cover a little so that it locks in more easily. 2. Remove the top cover fixing bolt (it goes into the star nut of the steering column armature) and set the cover aside. 3. Disconnect the steering column and stem from each other. 4. Now it’s time to decide how high you would like to raise or lower the steering wheel. Depending on the decision made, you should add or, conversely, remove the required number of rings from the lower part of the steering column, located under the stem of the steering wheel. 5. Then insert the steering column back into the stem mount, and move the loose rings that were previously located under the stem to the top of the fork stem above the stem. Make sure that the distance between the upper edge of the ring and the fork rod is at least 3-5 millimeters, otherwise it will not be possible to securely fix the steering column without backlash. 6. Next, replace the steering column cover and tighten the bolt, but not too much to avoid backlash. Thus, you will pre-fix the structure. 7. Next, align the stem so that it is flush with the front wheel and at right angles to the handlebars. This step takes patience, but will allow you to adjust the position of the handlebars in relation to the top tube of the bike frame. 8. Now that the stem is in the correct position relative to the front wheel, gradually and alternately tighten the stem bolts using a torque wrench, typically 5. 8 Nm. 9. It’s time to check the stem settings. To do this, use a simple trick. Apply the front brake with one hand, place the other on the steering column, then turn the steering wheel slightly back and forth. Feel the fork stem moving inside the steering column? If so, loosen the steering column fasteners and tighten the bolt on its cover more firmly, then tighten the fasteners again.
Repeat these steps until all signs of free play in the steering column disappear and the steering wheel is free to turn. If you tighten the bolts too tightly, it may be difficult to turn the steering wheel. If nothing comes out and your steering column is hard to adjust, it may be time to replace it. 10. Test the new handlebar height
Expand the stem
If rearranging the rings does not fully satisfy your requests, we recommend that you resort to another trick. You can turn the stem in the opposite direction. In mountain bikes, this part is turned mainly upward, that is, by expanding the stem, you will change the height of the handlebar. The procedure is the same as before, but in this case the steering wheel is removed from the steering column.
Place the bike on a level surface and secure the wheels firmly. Remember at what angle the steering wheel and brake lever were located. Remove the bolts connecting the handlebar to the stem. Remove the front stem cover and set it aside in a safe place. 12. Carefully put the handlebars aside, then follow the procedure for replacing the lantern rings in steps 1-4. 13. Disconnect the stem from the bike body, turn it upside down and insert it back into the fork stem. 14. Reinstall the steering wheel, keeping the same angle of the brake lever and the steering wheel itself. Secure the front stem cover with the manufacturer’s recommended torque (typically 4. 8 Nm). Make sure all bolts are evenly tightened and the spacing of the stem fasteners is the same everywhere. If the gaps are uneven, the functionality of the steering wheel will be impaired.
Now follow the procedure for tightening the steering column and stem in steps 3-7.
So it’s time to test the new rudder height in action. Debugging the height of the rudder for a specific person takes some time. But the result is worth the effort. If the setup is successful, you will unleash the full potential of your bike.
Why remove and raise / lower the steering wheel?
Before we come to the question of how to raise and lower, remove and put back the handlebars on a bicycle, let’s decide why this is usually done? Let’s not be distracted by the not-so-frequent cases when the bicycle wheel has broken down and needs to be replaced. It is already obvious that in cases of repair, a broken bicycle handlebar will have to be removed and replaced with a new one. In the overwhelming majority of cases, manipulations with the height of the bicycle handlebar are resorted to to regulate the height of the cyclist’s seating position.
The zero, or universal level of a bicycle handlebar is its height, which is equal to the height of the saddle. If the level of grip on the handlebars is higher than the level of the saddle, the handlebars on the bike are considered high. If the hand grip is below the level of the saddle, the handlebar is considered low. The interdependencies are as follows:
- the higher the handlebars, the straighter the cyclist’s seating position, the more relaxed the back and arms, and the more comfortable but slower cycling. This position is suitable for long and comfortable riding, but not suitable for high-speed.
- the lower the handlebar, the lower the position of the cyclist’s body, closer to the horizontal, aerodynamically streamlined, the ergonomics of the muscle frame approaches the most effective, but the muscles of the back and arms in this position are constantly tense. This position of the cyclist is used for short-term high-speed riding, but is not suitable for prolonged stay in the bike.
Types of mounting a bicycle handlebar
It turns out that the design of the bicycle handlebar mount is different, so the approach to its height adjustment is also different for different types of bicycles.
Threaded mount, with the stem secured in the steering column using a wedge lock. This design is most often used on budget, but the most popular city bikes or road bikes. It is characterized by the simplicity and clarity of the approach to the issue of removing, installing, adjusting the bicycle wheel in height. But this design is heavy, and therefore it is not used on sports bicycles popular today.
Threadless mount, with the stem fixing in the steering column using an expanding anchor, and additionally with a stem clamping collar. This bicycle handlebar design is characterized by its structural simplicity and lightness. Most often used on modern sports bicycles. But in the matter of adjusting the steering wheel in height, it is characterized by ambiguity and multivariate approaches.
Removal, installation and height adjustment of the steering wheel with a threaded fastening
In order to remove or adjust such a bicycle wheel in height, you must:
- using a wrench of the appropriate size, loosen the fixing nut on the top of the steering tube;
- with a wrench of the appropriate size, loosen the expansion screw of the wedge-retainer (in the upper end of the structure) so that there is a play in the bicycle steering wheel attachment;
pull out the steering wheel assembly and remove it from the steering tube, or adjust it to the installation height (raise or lower), then tighten the wedge-retainer screw and the fastening nut in sequence.
Removal, installation and height adjustment of a handlebar with a threadless mount
In this design, the removal / installation of a bicycle wheel and its height adjustment are often different concepts and operations.
With the removal and installation of such a bicycle handlebar, everything is more or less clear and monotonous, it must actually be disassembled into parts:
- loosen the armature screw (at the upper end of the steering tube) with a hex wrench;
- we also loosen the stem mounting clamp screws with a hexagon or wrench;
- remove the stem with the steering bar assembly.
But the regulation of its height is not so unambiguous, and has options:
- After removing the steering wheel, by placing washers-spacers between the stem and the head tube. But the range of such adjustment is insignificant, limited to a few centimeters.
- By purchasing an adjustable stem. Everything is clear here. on such a stem, the adjustment is made by a built-in mechanism (there are different designs), easily and quickly, literally on the go or at a short stop.
- By adjusting the stem height. Conceptually, everything is simple. a new stem of the required height is bought, the old and new stem are swapped. But you won’t be able to do it quickly. maximum, just before each trip.
- By selecting the steering bar, according to the lifting height of the handles. The principle is the same as in the selection of the stem. I bought the right steering wheel, installed it, took a ride, got tired. replaced it with another one, with a different lifting height of the handles.
How To Remove And Install A Road Bike Stem
Thus, if you have a sports bike and would like to be able to change its height adjustment quickly, right while riding, there is practically no alternative to an adjustable stem. Although, as an option, you can purchase and install a multi-position bicycle wheel. a ram, a butterfly and others. Multi-position handlebars allow you to get away from the problem of changing the position (position) of the cyclist during the trip even easier than the adjustable stem.