How to Raise Handlebars on Trek Mountain Bike

Trek is one of the biggest and most popular bike manufacturers in the globe. And there’s a good chance you might ride one!

If so, you might have asked yourself how to raise handlebars on Trek mountain bike. Well, you’ve just found the perfect place.

Because here, we’ll show you the right way on how to raise handlebars on Trek mountain bike. We’ll also tell you the tools needed and some tips to adjust your handlebar.

Tools needed

  • Allen keys
  • Torque wrench
  • Grease
  • Cloth

Related: What Mountain Bike Tools Do I Need

How to add headset spacers?

Step 1

The best way to raise your bike’s handlebar is to add spacers. The first thing to do is to place your bike on your workstation stand.

Make sure that the wheels are firm on the ground. Then slowly loosen the clamp bolts on your stem’s rear area. Add a bit of grease on the top cap’s bolt. This is important to avoid seizing especially if you always ride on gnarly trails.

Step 2

The next thing to do is to remove the top cap. This is the one that sits directly above the stem’s top part. Then slowly slide the stem away from the steerer tube. You’ll see that it’s like how the bolt and top cap looks like.

Thread these into a star nut. This holds them in place and ensures it won’t topple off when hitting jumps and drops.

But you need to use a bung if you have a carbon handlebar. This is an expanding wedge which makes the adjustment process easier and more accurate.

Step 3

Decide how many centimeters you’ll raise your handlebar. You need to add more spacers if you want to have a very high handlebar. You’ll usually need 2 or 3 additional spacers if you ride downhill trails.

This provides better maneuverability and control when tackling technical sections. Add a bit of grease so that the two surfaces won’t rub and damage each other. Then slowly slide the stem directly into your steerer tube.

Step 4

Make sure there’s enough gap between your stem, spacer, and steerer tube. This gap usually measures around 3 to 5 mm. This ensures that there is enough space for the top cap headset to clamp back on your headset bearing.

It also allows the headset to preload. Then slowly palace the bolt and top cap on top of the stem. Tighten it until you feel some kind of resistance. But make sure it’s not too tight as this can break your stem. It’s best if you use a torque wrench to get the right tightness.

Step 5

The next thing to do is to align your stem with your front wheel. This ensures that the handlebar is at your wheel’s right angle. It also makes it easier for you to straddle on the bike’s top tube. This makes your ride more controllable and comfortable, especially if you always ride downhill.

Get your torque wrench once you’ve aligned the stem and front wheel. Use the torque wrench to clamp the bolts back to the bar.

We recommend you set the torque around 5 to 8 Nm. This isn’t tight or loose, but just right. This is important because a very tight stem might break your handlebar especially if it’s carbon.

Step 6

Then check the adjustment of your headset. Hold your front brake with one hand, while the other is on your headset. Then slowly rock the handlebar sideways and back and forth.

Get a feel of the rocking motion to see if it’s installed properly. Loosen the clamp bolts again if you feel any rocking motion. Then tighten the top cap bolt again. You’ll usually need just a quarter turn. Then use your torque wrench to tighten the bolts again.

How to flip the stem on a Trek mountain bike?

Step 1

The most popular way to raise your handlebars is to add spacers. But if these aren’t enough, then you can just flip the stem. This changes the bar height because the shape of the stem is upside down.

Note that most stems are in a positive position which creates an upward angle. But you can flip it so it goes the other way around. Unbolt the handlebar from the stem’s front part. Make sure that both your bike’s wheels are on the ground so it won’t move.

We also recommend putting it on a workstation stand to secure it in place. Remember the angle of the handlebar and brake lever. This is important so you can keep your preferred angle later.

Step 2

Use masking tape to mark the handlebar and face plate’s original angle. This will help you get the correct angle when refitting. Then undo the bolts which connect the handlebar to the stem’s frontal section. Remove the faceplate of the stem.

Then slowly release the handlebar and let it gently drop to the side. Then follow the steps mentioned above on how to add spacers. Flip the stem that is off the bike and slide it back to its original place on the steerer tube.

Step 3

Reinstall the handlebar and follow the original angle of the handlebar and brake lever. Tighten the stem to the recommended torque. This is usually around 5 to 8 Nm. Make sure that all bolts are tightened evenly so there’s no gap.

This is very important, so your cockpit won’t rattle and get loose when you jump your bike. There should also be an even gap from top to bottom. The handlebar is pinched if the gap isn’t even. This can damage the bars if left unfixed in the long run.


Knowing how to raise handlebars on Trek mountain bike is important. Not only does this ensure that you are comfortable on your ride. But it also gives better control and safety.

The steps on how to raise handlebars on Trek mountain bike isn’t really difficult. In fact, it’s easy as long as you follow the right steps!

Just remember to take good care of your bike, use the right tools, and ride safely. When you do, then you’ll surely have a fun time riding your Trek mountain bike.


How to Change Handlebar Grips on a Mountain Bike

How to Cut Carbon Handlebars

How to Measure Mountain Bike Handlebars