Bicycle Repair/Handlebar adjustment



Hi, can you give me a suggestion on how to raise the handlebar on a Columbia Trailhead bike?


The "threadless" or "clip-on" type stem found on your bike is already situated at its uppermost height  vis. the spacers between it and the bearing/frame.
Therefore, your options for a higher handlebar position are thus:

-Replace the fork. With a new fork, the steerer spindle will be uncut, allowing a significantly greater range of spacers to be employed. This is likely the most expensive option, with regard to parts and labor.
-Install a stem with a higher rise. Stems come in a variety of lengths and/or rises. The longer and steeper rise the stem, will place your existing handlebar at a higher position. Finding a suitably proportioned stem can be an arduous quest, however, as bicycle fit/fashion dictates have culled the range of commonly available dimensions to shorter and lower rise versions. There are many versions of so-called adjustable stems, equipped with some form of pivot which can allow for significant range of rise adjustments.
-Install a threadless stem extender. This is an attachment that fastens to your existing stem's place on the steerer, and then which provides an extra length of steerer to re-position your existing stem. The makers of such accessories are themselves explicit in the  limited integrity of this modification, however, so apply accordingly (light duty use).
-Install a higher rise handlebar. Searching for a suitable model, can , however be as fraught as the predicament regarding stems mentioned earlier.

Keep in mind that any significant rise in handlebar height (>3") is likely going to require lengthening/replacement of all handlebar-mounted control cable systems-2 X Brake Cable systems + 2 X  Shifter Cable systems.  

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James Novak


I can answer most inquiries with respect to bicycle assembly, repair, tuning and maintenance. I am less than inclined to speak on such questions as "What kind of bike should I buy?", &/or "What is this bike worth?", etc. Any answers to these types of questions may correlate poorly to an acceptable "fact/sarcasm" ratio.


7 seasons of "Professional" bicycle service/repair, etc. 4 seasons as Instructor, Professional Bicycle Mechanic training college. n-1 seasons of riding, cracking, crushing, mutilating and breaking bikes of any & all varieties, and thus requiring intense and at-hand skills development, etc.

Certified Professional Bicycle Mechanic; Winterborne Bicycle Institute/Conestoga College

Past/Present Clients
The Hub Bicycle Shop, Hespeler Winterborne Bicycle Institute

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