Generally, BMX bikes have a smaller geometry. So, if you admire the bike so much and are 6 feet or so, you may want to know beforehand, ‘can BMX handlebars be raised?’
BMX handlebars can be raised, but it depends on the handlebar type. Threadless BMX bike handlebars can be raised using extensions, while threaded options will need you to adjust or change the stem.
While you can raise BMX handlebars to align with your shoulder’s width, you need first to know if your BMX stem is threaded or threadless for it to be possible.
That is because threadless options make it possible to raise the height of the handlebars, while on the other hand, you can extend the threaded stems by adjusting or replacing their stem.
This guide will not only give you the procedure to raise your BMX handlebars but will also help you know if the raised bars are in alignment or not.
Let’s dig deeper:
Can BMX handlebars Be Raised?
As stated above, it is indeed possible to raise the height of your BMX handlebars so that they can be in alignment with your shoulders. That will improve your ease of riding and comfort, and you need that to have fun BMXing even if you are tall.
However, you need first to know if your BMX stem is threaded or threadless. Most old-style (vintage) BMX bikes have threaded stems, and you can only raise their handlebars by either replacing the stem/quill.
On the other hand, the new models come threadless, and in their case, you can get extensions rather than replacements.
How to Raise BMX Handlebars
Now that you already know your BMX stem type (threadless or threaded), it’s time to raise the bars. Since BMX bikes are naturally compact and small-size, you may not achieve 100% success by raising the handlebar.
So, the bike may feel slightly odd, especially during the first few days of riding. Nonetheless, there is a maximum limit for raising BMX handlebars, which you cannot go past.
Having said that; let’s jump to the process:
The Process of Raising Your BMX Handlebars (By Raising the Stem)
- Adjustable wrench
- Allen key
With the above tools at your disposal, you can follow the process below to raise the height of your BMX handlebars:
Step 1: Adjust Your BMX Stem
Let me mention this very quickly, when buying a new bike, you should always ensure that it has an adjustable stem. If the stem is adjustable, you can adjust the handlebar height, but you may have to buy a replacement stem if it’s not.
That’s an advantage when buying for kids, which means they can grow with the bike as you’ll only need to adjust the stem.
So, in this step, you need to raise your BMX stem. The stem is the individual component that connects your handlebars to the bike.
Step 2: Loosen The Stem Screws
Position the wheels on the ground firmly, locate the stem bolts at the stem back, and unscrew them using an Allen key like the TEKTON Key Hex Wrench.
Step 3: Raise The Handlebars
Now, it’s time to raise the bars. But before you can raise them, you need to know the rider’s height. If you are doing it for your kid, let them sit on the bike to measure how high or low you should raise the bars.
Ensure that the bars are in alignment with the rider’s shoulder width. That will ensure that the rider does not strain to get hold of the bars while riding.
Step 4: Place The Stem
Now that you have gotten the height right, it’s time to place back the stem. While doing this, you should make sure you leave at least a 3 – 5 mm gap for the headset to clamp perfectly. Then tighten the stem bolt until you feel some resistance.
Stem 5: Align Your Stem
After screwing back, the stem, you should not forget to align it. You should use the front wheel and ensure that your BMX handlebars are at 90 degrees with the front wheel.
You can use an adjustable wrench like the CRAFTSMAN Adjustable Wrench Set to properly ensure your stem clamp torque.
When done, ensure you test the bike before hitting the road. That would be to ensure there is no wheel or handlebar wobble.
If you notice any wobble, tighten it thoroughly so that the bars do not fall while on the road. You can also try flipping your stem to be sure.
How to Check If Your BMX Handlebars Are in Alignment?
Checking your BMX handlebars alignment is an easy task. After raising the BMX bars, they may feel off when test-riding.
So, if this is your case, you need to check their alignment by first lining up the front and rear wheels.
Are you wondering how you can line them up?
The easier way to do it is to place metal trusses or two flat boards on each side of the wheels and ensure you clamp them closely.
Then, you can use a tape measure to check the distance between the handlebars to the center of your bike and the ground. If the difference between the two is just by some millimeters, there is nothing to worry about.
But what if the asymmetry difference is too broad? If so, you can read below on how to align your handlebars.
How to Align Your BMX Handlebars?
If you measure the difference between the handlebars to the bike center and that of the ground and find out if the asymmetry difference is significant (more than a few millimeters), it is time you align them.
First, you need to position your BMX firmly on the ground. You can have a friend help you. Second, remember that your BMX handlebars should be easy to reach and turn 180 degrees seamlessly without straining your chest or knees.
While aligning them, put the interest of the rider first. If the rider has a short stature, ensure to remove the spacers. On the other hand, if you are 6 feet tall or thereabout, add spacers, and you can opt for the Sumind 11 Pieces Headset Spacers.
This spacer pack comes with 11 spacers of different sizes made of carbon, thus good quality and lighter.
How High Should BMX Bars Be?
Ideally, your BMX handlebars’ height is determined by the type of BMX bike you own. For Example, if you have the performance BMX, your handlebars should be low for excellent execution of jumps and stunts.
But if you have the race model, you can raise the bars a little high. However, you should not exceed a 10-inch rise on your BMX handlebars even though you are tall.
Mostly, if you are 5 feet and above, the handlebars should have a 3 – 5 inches rise if you own a junior frame, while if you own the pro frame, the handlebar rise shouldn’t exceed 10 inches.
But how can you know the height of your BMX handlebars?
Well, you can measure the height of the handlebar raise by following the steps below:
- Tape measure
- Penetrant oil
- Flathead screwdriver
Step 1: Loosen Your BMX Handlebars
Before measuring the height of your handlebars, you need first to loosen them by using a flathead screwdriver.
Step 2: Slide Your Brakes
After the handlebars are loose, slide the brakes to get a good hold of the bars.
Step 3: Spray Some Penetrant Oil
Once the brakes slide away from the handlebars grips, generously spray penetrating oil like the WD-Specialist Deep Penetrant Spray Oil.
The oil will lubricate and prevent damage when twisting your handlebar grips and brakes back in position.
Step 4: Measure Your Handlebars Width
First, before measuring the handlebar rise, measure the width. You can do this using a tape measure.
Place the tape measure from one flat bar edge to the opposite end across the handlebar. Ensure that the tape is straight and measure the width.
Step 5: Measure Your Handlebar Height
Once you get the width right, it’s time to calculate your handlebar rise. Remember, the raise of your handlebar is a determining factor in how comfortable you can ride your bike.
Your handlebars usually rise from the bottom bar center to the straightedge (handlebar end). Their handlebar’s actual rise is about 8.8″ – 10″ for most standard BMX bikes.
People Also Ask
1. How High Should BMX Handlebars Be?
When raising the height of your BMX bars, you should not exceed 10 inches. If you have a junior frame, the height of your handlebars should be 3 – 5 inches, while if you have a pro frame model, the handlebars shouldn’t exceed 10 inches.
2. Can I Raise My BMX Handlebars?
It’s very much possible to raise the height of your BMX handlebars. But before you do, check if the stem is adjustable. If it is, then go ahead and raise the handlebars so that they can align with the width of your shoulders.
In Conclusion – Can BMX Handlebars Be Raised?
As seen above, BMX handlebars can be raised. However, you need to know if you own a threaded or threadless stem model before you do. While at it, ensure that you raise your bars to align with your shoulder’s width. That will give you better bike control and utmost comfortability.
Relevant: Why Are BMX Bike Seats Low?