How to Fix Crooked Bicycle Handlebars

How to Fix Crooked Bicycle Handlebars
Adjusting the handlebars is a routine part of bicycle maintenance. Either by hand or using one simple tool, even novices can master this task. Whether assembling a bike, fixing an old one or reassembling a bike after transport, adjusting the handlebars takes just minutes to accomplish.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Y-hex wrench
  • Y-hex wrench
Step 1
Face the frame while straddling the front tire. Hold the grips. Draw your legs close to the tire, securing it in place. While doing so, try to twist the handlebars into alignment. Twisting with some force may be necessary.
Step 2
Use the Y-hex wrench to loosen the stem bolt if twisting doesn't work. The stem bolt can be found inside the stem, the part that attaches both to the handlebars, keeping them upright, and to the head tube of the frame, holding them in position. The stem bolt descends into the head tube. Turn the Y-hex key to the left to loosen it.
Step 3
Adjust the handlebars so they line up perpendicular to the front wheel. Keep the Y-hex wrench inside the stem bolt. When the handlebars are straight, begin to re-tighten the stem bolt, turning the Y-hex key to the right, clockwise.
Step 4
Loosen the hex screws at the front of the stem with the Y-hex wrench to move the handlebars either closer to the rider or farther away. On many modern mountain bikes, stems have a plate with four hex screws. Older bikes often have just one. Loosen and tighten stems with four hex screws a few turns at a time for each screw. After repositioning, re-tighten each hex screw in the same manner.

Tips & Warnings

 
Before re-tightening the stem bolt after adjusting the handlebars, be sure that the stem remains in the same vertical position it was beforehand.
 
Before re-tightening the stem bolt after adjusting the handlebars, be sure that the stem remains in the same vertical position it was beforehand.
 
If adjusting the handlebars by twisting, be careful not to use too much force, as there is a risk of stripping or permanently twisting metal parts.
 
If adjusting the handlebars by twisting, be careful not to use too much force, as there is a risk of stripping or permanently twisting metal parts.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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