How To Adjust Bike Handlebars

When riding a bike, many people experience discomfort. What many people don’t realise is the significance of the handlebars and the importance of adjusting them to be in the correct position for riding. This article aims to help guide you step by step regarding how to adjust bike handlebars correctly. 

Firstly, making sure that your handlebars are positioned centrally, that is, so that the same amount of handlebar is sticking out each side, is a sign of a well-built bicycle and ensures it will be comfortable to ride. The rotational position of your handlebars is largely a matter of preference, although manufacturers will often have a recommended position. The difficult part is knowing how to adjust bike handlebars so they are in the right position for you. Cycle Maintenance Academy have put together this step by step guide or you can watch our YouTube video.

Step By Step Guide

  1. Any cycle maintenance issues can be challenging if you have not been faced with them before. But they don’t have to be. Our tips on how to adjust bike handlebars are here to help. The first thing to look out for are sometimes, positional markings are already on the handlebars which will assist you with the adjustment process. See the image attached below to see an example of positional markings:
  1. There are often lines along the front of the bars.  This is designed to help you line the bars laterally so that they are central, and also for the correct rotation. Once you have identified these markings, put the bars into the stem. The stem of the bike is the part that connects the handlebars to the steerer tube of the bicycle. It is also sometimes known as a ‘goose neck’.
  1. Once you have put the bars into the stem, you can now adjust them. For lateral alignment, the front plate needs to cover the lines with an equal amount showing either side of the face plate. If there is an equal amount showing this means the bars are central. 
  1. To achieve the recommended rotation position of your handle bars, put the middle line in the centre of the face plate. Now you are able to tighten the bars and secure the handlebars in the right position.
  • Sometimes, the name of the manufacturer is printed on the handlebars. You can use the printed brand name to identify the correct rotation. First, fit the bars into position and angle yourself so that the writing on the bars is directly in your sightline. Then, move the bars so that the writing faces directly forward. Once you have done this, tighten the bars.

Overview of how to adjust bike handlebars

There you have it, how to adjust bike handlebars using markings in 4 steps. If you have no markings on the handlebars then you will need to work out how to align them correctly using a different method. Come back here over the coming weeks to see our next video and blog tackling how to adjust bike handlebars, except this time without positional markings. We hope this article has assisted you in adjusting your handlebars correctly. Let us know on our social media and YouTube channel if this was helpful to you. Thanks for reading.

If you are looking for a more detailed guide on all things bicycle maintenance related we also provide in depth beginners courses that you can view on our cycle maintenance academy courses page.

How to adjust bike handlebars?

Using the positional markings on your handlebars to guide you, insert the handlebars into the stem of the bicycle. We suggest using the positional markings for lateral alignment. The front plate of your bike should be covering the lines with an equal amount showing either side of the face plate. If there is an equal amount showing, this means that the bars are central.

What are positional markings?

Positional markings in terms of a bicycle are the markings on the bikes handlebars. These are great way to guide you when adjusting your bikes handlebars.how to adjust bike handlebars

What is the easiest way to adjust handlebars?

We recommend using positional markings as a guide. The best way to check you have adjusted your bike handlebars correctly is by making sure that your handlebars are positioned centrally. That is, so that the same amount of handlebar is sticking out each side. This will make sure your bike will be comfortable to ride.

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