How To Raise The Handlebars On A Mountain Bike?

One of the things with mountain bikes that are often overlooked is the handlebars. The handlebars can have a big effect on the rider’s comfort and biking experience. If the handlebars are too low can strain your back. And too high can affect performance, especially if biking on the trails.

Getting the handlebar set at the right height makes your biking experience more comfortable and can improve your biking performance. It is also important to make sure that you have a comfortable grip on the handlebars. Raising or lowering the handlebars on your mountain bike is a reasonably straightforward process.

In this post, we will go through how to raise the handlebars on a mountain bike. Let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked

Main Types Of Handlebars

If you are deciding on what handlebars you might get for your bike or are just curious about the different types of handlebars that are available. Each type is designed with a specific purpose. Racing bikes, for example, are designed in such a way that riders can pedal quickly.

Different handlebars will give you a different posture while riding. In general, there are three main types of handlebars for bikes. Now there are more types of handlebars available. The main types are.

  • The flat handlebar – This type of handlebar makes the body position slightly bent forward. Its main benefit is so that the body does not feel sore when biking for a long time. This is widely used for touring bicycles and is commonly used on mountain bikes.
  • The riser handlebar – This type of handlebar tries to dampen the vibrations. The ability to reduce vibration is very important to help reduce fatigue in the arms, due to buzzing when passing through off-road terrain. This rise handlebar is recommended for mountain biking and downhill and dirt jump bikes.
  • The drop handlebar – This is the type of handlebar that is suitable for those who like speeding on a bicycle. This is because the drop bar design makes the rider’s body position more bent so that the weight is more burdened towards the front.
  • Cruiser bars – This type of handlebar makes the biker sit upright on a bike while holding the bars. These are commonly on cruiser bikes and some comfort bikes.

Difference Between Threaded or Threadless Headsets Handlebars

The handlebars headset stem is the connection between the handlebar to the bike frame. It holds the handlebars in place while allowing it to steer the bike.

The threadless headset system is found in modern mountain bikes that can be identified by one large bolt on top with two smaller ones at the bottom. While the threaded headset system can be identified by a continuous piece of metal connecting the handlebar with a single large bolt at the top stem.

There are a few keys pros and cons with each of them. These are as follows.

Threadless Pros

  • Lighter weight and stiffer.
  • Easier to change headsets without having to unwrap bars and undo the brake.

Threadless Cons

  • Difficult to find a good balance on bikes with skinny tubing.

Threaded Pros

  • Vertical adjustment is easy.

Threaded Cons

  • Easier to damage your steerer.
  • Changing headsets is more difficult and involves more work.

What Height Should Handlebars Be?

The height you should have your handlebars is that they should be at least equal to or higher than your seat. The problem is that the handlebars are lower than your seat, you’ll place more stress on your wrists, arms, neck, and back.

In particular for mountain biking the handlebars and saddle at roughly at the same height. This is a neutral position that is good for trail riding.

downhill mountain biking

Why You Should Adjust Your Handlebars?

There are a number of reasons you should adjust the handlebars of your bike. These are for comfort and to protect your health. These are as follows.

  • Reduces pain in the lower back.
  • Reduces neck pain.
  • Improves biking performance.
  • Increases visibility.
  • Improves biking comfort.

What Tools You Will Need?

There are a couple of tools and materials needed for adjusting the handlebars These are as follows.

How To Raise The Handlebars On A Mountain Bike?

The process to raise and lower the handlebars on a mountain bike is a fairly straightforward process. The handlebar height can offer a better-centered place between the wheels. This improves bike control mostly when cycling up a hill.

The importance of the handlebars been at the right height can not understate because the terrain used by mountain bikes can be hilly and steep, the handlebar position must be adjusted. Unfortunately, there are times when buying a mountain bike, the handlebars are too low or too high.

Let’s get started on raising the handlebars on a mountain bike.

Raising Handlebars With Threaded Headset

  • Use a measuring tape to determine the height of the handlebar you want. Then look for the top bolt on the threaded headset and loosen it.
  • Once the bolt is loosened, the continuous metal piece is free to move up and down.
  • With a wrench loosen the locknut, once the locknut is loose enough it should be able to move the stem up and down, even pull the stem free from the bike.
  • If it is still hard or cannot be lifted, turn the bolt again using a wrench. You can also hit the bolt lightly with a hammer, to loosen it so that the handlebar is easy to lift.
  • Raise the stem to the height you want it at, then tighten the locknut and top bolt.
  • Now you should be able to lift the handlebar by means of deflecting or twisting it. Note that if your mountain bike is old, you will see crust on the stem handlebar. It’s a good idea to clean up the crust first because if you leave it can interfere with the function of the handlebar
  • Once clean, adjust the height of the handlebar to your liking.
  • When you are happy with the height of the handlebars, tighten the locknut and the bolt on the handlebar stem again.
  • Test that it is at the correct height and that everything is working. Add oil or grease to handlebars if you need you need it.

Raising Handlebars With Threadless Headset

  • Use a measuring tape to determine the height of the handlebar you want. Then look for the head of the top bolt on the handlebar.
  • Using the Allen key, turn the bolt loose and remove the bolt and the stem cap.
  • With the Allen key remove the smaller bolts on the threadless headset. Once this is done you should be able to completely remove the handlebars.
  • Now loosen the handlebars until it feels like you can move them freely.
  • Raise the stem to the height you want it at, then tighten and reattach the bolt and the stem cap.
  • Test that it is at the correct height and that everything is working. Add oil or grease to handlebars if you need you need it.

Wrapping Up

Finally, I hope this article covering how to raise the handlebars on a mountain bike was helpful. It turns out that it is not difficult not to raise or lower the handlebar of a mountain bike. If you can’t raise or lower the handlebars you may want to visit your local bike shop.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on how to raise the handlebars on a mountain bike was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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raise the handlebars on a mountain bike