How to adjust the height of the bicycle handlebar?

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The fit of the bicycle is the most important thing. Choosing the right bicycle seat may only be the beginning of the fit. You also need to learn how to fine-tune the bicycle to make yourself more comfortable to ride.

The bicycle handlebar is a key fine-tuning part. By adjusting the handlebar, you can put yourself in a more comfortable riding position. It will even improve your riding efficiency and help relieve back pain while riding, so it is important to learn how to adjust the height of the handlebar.

Tools needed to adjust the handlebar height.

Adjusting the handlebars is relatively simple, usually requiring only a multi-tool or a set of Allen keys, or a torque wrench is more suitable for carbon fiber handlebars.


The easiest way to adjust the height is to add or remove spacers.

1. Loosen the nut. There will be two screws on either side of the stem, use an Allen key to loosen these two stems (it doesn’t have to be unscrewed completely). (If you have a carbon fiber bike, you may notice that the steerer tube has an expansion wedge. Called a plug, this is non-adjustable and has no effect on height)

2. Remove the bowl top cover. Use a hex wrench to unscrew the top cover and a 4 or 5-mm wrench is required for the bag cover (you can buy a good-looking top cover and replace it by the way).

3. Adjust the height of the handlebar. The height of the handlebar can be adjusted by adding or removing spacers, spacers are usually readily available in 20 or 30-mm sizes.

4. Install it back at your desired height. When installing, you should make sure there is a 3-5mm gap between the stem and the spacer/stem (this will make the stem stronger), and this will ensure that the top cap has enough room to tighten.

5. Install the headset top cover. Install the headset top first, then work on the alignment of the wheels to the handlebars, preferably checking the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings.

6. Tighten the screws on both sides. Once aligned, try turning the handlebar back and forth, left and right, if the handlebar does not turn smoothly, you can tighten the screws on both sides of the stem, usually around 5 to 8Nm. If the rotation is not smooth, continue to adjust the headset screws.

7. Simple detection. You can clamp the front wheel with your legs and shake the handlebars to adjust. If the handlebar is stable, it is a good fit.

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