View Full Version : Need to Raise Handlebars 4-6 Inches ...

10-15-2009, 08:54 AM
How can I raise the handlebars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker 4-6 inches? I am having problems with my back, and also strain on my wrists from leaning forward too much.

I took my LHT into the lbs, but they told me the best they can do is raise the bars maybe one inch. That will not even be worth the effort ....

10-15-2009, 09:34 AM
You can get a super high reach stem... something like this: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=14856&category=630

Most of the time when you buy a new bike they've cut the fork steerer tube because they come really long from Surly. You may be able to replace the current fork with one that has not been cut and use a truck-load (pun intended ;)) of spacers. 4-6" is a whole lot of rise though so probably a combination of these 2 is in order.

10-15-2009, 10:26 AM
Looked at your Surly online...do you have drops? Change them to plain straight bars, which would bring you up about 5.5 inches. Want to go higher?...hmm-m, just a wild idea, but how about putting some Bmx handlebars on for awhile? They would bring you up even further, and they look more cool and practical than simple Stingray risers. I didn't check whether dimensions would allow this to be easily done. People seem to improvise every conceivable thing though.

VitalBmx (http://www.vitalbmx.com/product/guide/Handlebars,9)

10-15-2009, 11:47 AM

This would help get the job done. I'd be really surprised if you need a full 4-6" rise, but one of these "stem risers" with a stem that rises up at an angle should work fine.

10-15-2009, 04:15 PM
i would try something like the Nitto Albatross bar. they rule.

the Wumpus
10-19-2009, 07:11 PM
Don't be afraid to try out something different. I've tried several sets of bars, and haven't drawn any definite conclusions. My LHT has north road bars, which work great for the geometry. The backup bike is a little short in the top tube for me, so mustache bars are a perfect fit there. The added extension is exactly what I need on that frame. But for starters, if you're not all that attached to the drop bars, I'd suggest something like the north road bars. Maybe the Soma "Sparrow" bars, they're similar but look like they might have a little more extension.

But check the width. Poke at your shoulders, the bony part right around the joint is a good reference for bar width. Hold your hands out in front of you with your elbows bent like you've got a hold of the bars, parallel with that width, and take a deep breath. Should be just enough room without being too tight? I've got wide shoulders, so I had to pick up about two dozen sets of north road bars before I found a set wide enough! The angle is nice, too. If you hold your hand out in front of you, palm towards you, and close the fingers, you'll notice the angle that falls through your fingers into your grip isn't at 90 degrees. It's at a negative angle, out and back towards the saddle when you turn your hand over. Which may explain a lot about why "randonneuring" bars usually curve back on the flats and out just a little on the drops like they do. Those are the bars I'd suggest if you like the drops.

Watch the extension, too. Too far out puts a lot more stress than you'd expect on your hands, elbows, and back. Too far back will do the same, although it's not intuitive until you think a while about angles and leverage. Think about doing push-ups against a raised surface, like the edge of a countertop, with your hands too far forwards or too far back from a good angle. Maybe even try that out, if it gives you a feel for a good angle, and pay attention to how you feel about your current bars for a few good rides. Take that perception in to the bike shop, and see if they'll let you lay a prospective set of bars across the bars already on your bike so you can get a direct feel for what they'll feel like and if they'll be in the right place with your current stem. And if you make a change, keep the cable housings on the long side, in case you decide you need to move those bars around with a different stem!

I hope this helps!

10-28-2009, 11:49 AM
The easiest and cheapest test is to buy the "stem risers" that RonC suggests. Cheap and simple. You may need to add some length to your cables and housing, which could make this expensive. If you like it, then buy a replacement fork from Surly that is un-cut as Boneshaker suggested.

I'd also suggest getting a professional bike fit at Bike Gallery or some other properly trained bike fitter. Many LBS' claim to fit your bike for free, but really don't do much for you. It's best to spend the $100 or so and have it done right.

Maybe the cheapest thing to do is sign-up for yoga classes and learn to improve your flexibility and strength. You body will thank you for it.