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Tech Raising handlebars?


Speeding Up
Dec 4, 2008
Recently started to suffer numbness in my hands after a longer than normal ride, and it has continued over the last couple of months. I know that I deliberately chose a smaller frame and raised the seat post, for 3 years this has been ok but now it's a problem. The bike I have is (I think) equipped with a thread less headset as per this one (same bicycle) freeze frame at 4.15

the question I have is, is there a limit to the max height of the spacers? i.e. I estimate might need 2" of rise to get a more comfy position. I don't think gel gloves are the best answer. and, will I need any special tools other than allen keys?

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
What @Robert says.

Another idea is an adjustable stem like this one.

Because of the extra hardware it's a little heavier than a regular stem, but it offers options; a fixed stem is so - well - fixed. Alternatively you can buy a clamp that lengthens the steerer tube. I've seen these two devices used to good effect by people recovering from a long time off the bike, as they build their flexibility back up.


Maximum Pace
Feb 13, 2008
What kind of bars have you got on your Bad Boy?
If they are straight consider getting some butterfly/trekking bars to enable you to move your hands around.


Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
another cheaper idea...

bend your elbows... should be no weight on your hands at all...or almost none....get those stomach muscles working and put the weight on your saddle...
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Maximum Pace
Dec 31, 2009
Have you been properly positioned on your bike? If your seat is too high or your balance is off you may have excessive weight on your hands. Raising your handlebar may increase the pressure on your hands if other variables are not correct. I see this with many of my clients. They go through and buy stem after stem, never being comfortable on the front because there weight distribution and balance is whacked. I start by setting your seat height and setback proper then use an adjustable stem during the fit so you can feel variances in stem length in real time, without having to wait for removal and installation of different sizes. It makes finding the proper size stem as easy as picking your nose. Check out my website www.cyclefitjapan.com and let me know if you'd like to book a fit. I will be in Tokyo in a few weeks or my workshop in Nagano is always open.

Cyclefit Japan


Speeding Up
Dec 4, 2008
The Bad Boy is an hybrid/urban bike, so it has a flat bar. You can raise the stem with spacers as high as the steerer tube will allow you. Just leave room for a 5mm spacer on top of the stem, below the stem cap.

If this is not sufficient you can flip the stem, if the angle is negative now, to get more rise at the handlebar. Lastly, you can replace the stem with one that offers a proper fit for you, not only in height, but also in length. This can be achieved by going to a knowledgeable LBS and spending somewhere around 8-10,000 yen.

As for comfort and to help with hand numbness, a set of bar extension offering additional hand positions should make your riding experience painfree and more enjoyable.


already have bar ends, and the stem has a positive rise. I had seen those adjustable stems on some bikes, could be part of the answer.

I think the bars are the bog standard flat models. And sometimes I will bend the elbows, but I dislike the hunched riding position that that brings.

Bike fitting will almost certainly tell me what I already know? i.e.. the frame is too small. I'm 6'2" but only with an M frame (the idea was to save a bit of weight and get a shorter chain stay - old MTB ploy)…which worked ok for a while. but now is borked

Charles, I went for a high saddle trying to get full leg extension, but as you doubtless know from your experience (I read your preface) this has knock-on effects. I've played around with the saddle position but there might only be a couple of inches front-aft available
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Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
Tho maybe not enough, various T-bars have lots of different options for how much rise, sweep, and overall width they offer. It can make a difference.

I think the bars are the bog standard flat models. And sometimes I will bend the elbows, but I dislike the hunched riding position that that brings.
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