How to Raise Handlebars on Bike in 7 Easy Steps?

Are you somewhat uncomfortable with the height of your bike’s handlebar? Do you think that your bike’s handlebar has been undercutting your performance? Probably, the handlebar on your bike is too low for you. Have you tried raising the handlebar? Do you not know how to raise the handlebars on a bike?

Well, worry not. While raising the handlebars on a bike may seem like a daunting task, it is not as long as you know what you are doing. All you need to do is to determine whether you have a threaded handlebar or a threadless one. After that, there will be some unscrewing, optimum adjustment of the handlebar, and screwing of the unscrewed screws. That’s it.

Sounds pretty easy—too easy to be true?

Well, that’s exactly what you get by following our easy guide about how to raise the handlebars on a bike.

Just follow the right steps and raising the handlebars on a bike would be quick and easy, even for novice mechanics.

Bike Handlebar Adjustment: Why Is It Necessary?

The height of the bike handlebar is imperative to the rider’s posture. Where properly adjusted bike handlebars enable the rider to achieve their maximum performance while having a comfortable ride, poorly adjusted handlebars would not only make ones ride excruciating but would also negatively affect their performance. Too low handlebars also make it difficult to control the bike, especially in steep terrain.

Therefore, if you think that your handlebar is too low, you should learn how to raise the handlebars on a bike and do some experimenting with the handlebar height until you find the position that fits you best.

Threaded or Threadless: Identifying Handlebars

Telling threaded handlebars from threadless handlebars is a no-brainer.

Where threadless handlebars will have spacers above and below the handlebar stem, there will be none to find on threaded handlebars.

Where the threadless handlebars will have screws at their backs that attach the handlebars to the stem, threaded handlebars will have no stem—they will have long stems that will be fitting into the bike frame.

If you have screws on the back and spacers above and below the handlebar stem, you have a threadless headset system. Otherwise, what you have is a threaded handlebar.

How to Raise Handlebars on Bike?

Read to learn to bike handlebars adjustment in easy steps. We have provided a guide for raising threaded as well as threadless handlebars.

How to Raise Handlebars on Bikes That Have a Threadless System?

If your bike has a threadless headset system and your heart is not content with the current height of the handlebar, this guide is for you. You can also consider this “how to raise mountain bike handlebars,” “how to raise handlebars on road bike,” and “how to raise handlebars on trek bike’ guide provided that your bike has a threadless headset system.

1. Locate the spacer

  • If your bike has a threadless system, then you will be able to find spacers above and below the handlebar stem, which is a rod that connects the handlebar to your bike.
  • If you are unable to find these spaces, then probably what you have is a threaded handlebar system.
  • If you are still not sure about what type of handlebar do you have, look for additional screws on the back of your handlebars. If you find these, it’s a threadless handlebar.

2. Loosen the pinch bolts

  • Pinch bolts are located at the back of the handlebar and they keep your handlebars from rotating.
  • Now get a hex or Allen wrench that fits screws and loosen them.
  • Now you will be able to move the handlebar side to side without moving the wheel.

3. Unscrewing the top cap on the handlebar

  • With the Allen key or hex, loosen and remove the top bolt—it will make the top cap come off.
  • Now remove the spacers that are above the stem and put them and the top cap aside for a while.

4. Removing the handlebar

  • Now that you have removed the top cap and spacers above the stem, you can easily remove the handlebar by lifting it.
  • Put the bike handlebar aside with the other parts.

5. Placing spacers on the handlebar stem

  • Put the spacers that you removed earlier on the spacers that were below the handlebar stem.
  • This will raise the position of the bike handlebar when you put it back.
  • If there were no spacers over your bike’s handlebar stem, then you can buy them from your local bike store. Or maybe you can order them online from Amazon.

6. Reinstating the handlebar

  • Before you pick up the handlebar and put it back onto the stem, make sure that the center of the handlebar is aligned with the tire.
  • Now put back the handlebar onto the stem.

7. Putting the top cap back

  • If there is any spacer left put it above the stem before putting the top cap back.
  • Now tighten the bolt at the top and screws at the back of the handlebars.
  • Firmly tighten the screws so that you cannot move them up, down, or left and right.

8. Test ride

  • Hop on your bike and take it for a test ride.
  • If the handlebar height is exactly what you wanted, then pat yourself on the back and pack your gears.
  • If your heart is not content with the new height of the handlebars, repeat the entire process and add spacers below the handlebars to raise it further, and if you want to lower the height, remove a spacer.

Adjusting Threaded Handlebars: How to Raise Handlebars on Bike?

Threaded handlebars are most common in vintage bikes and they are very simple to adjust. They have a long stem that is attached to the handlebars at one end and their other end is in the frame. 

1. Confirming if it’s the threaded handlebar

  • If you fail to locate spacers above and below the handlebar stem and screws behind it, as discussed above, then you have threaded handlebars.

2. Measuring the stem from the bike frame to the top

  • Measure the length of the stem extending from the bike frame to the top and note it on a piece of paper or maybe on your mobile.
  • If you do not like the new height of the handlebars, you will use this measurement to revert to the old height.

3. Loosening the bolt at the top

  • Pick up a hex or Allen wrench and unwind the bolt at the top of the handlebars until you can freely move handlebars up and down.

4. Raise handlebars

  • Now that handlebar is loose, lift it up.
  • If you are having a problem lifting handlebars, try moving them left and right while lifting.
  • There will be markings on the stem indicating how high it should go. Do not raise it higher than that marked level.

5. Lining up the wheel with handlebars

  • Now that you have raised the handlebars, align the wheel and handlebars. Otherwise, it might feel funny when you ride.

6. Retightening the bolt at the top

  • Once the handlebar is at the desired height and you have straightened the wheel with the handlebars, firmly tighten the bolt at the top.

7. Test ride

  • After a test ride, if you don’t like the new handlebar height, repeat the process and readjust the height.
  • If you want to go back to the previous height, use the measurement that you noted on a piece of paper or your mobile.

Now that you know how to raise the handlebars on the bike, keep experimenting with different handlebars heights until you find the perfect height for you.