Question: My new bike is great, except that the reach to the handlebar is excessive. I know I could put on a shorter stem, but I don’t want to reduce the present 100 mm for aesthetic reasons. How can I get the brake hoods closer? — Michael S.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: You have at least three options.
- You could loosen the face plate on the stem and rotate the bar upward. This will put the brake levers higher and closer.
- You could move the brake levers farther up the bar. This would require removing and reinstalling bar tape.
- You could replace the handlebar with a model that has a shorter reach, a “compact bar.” If you set several handlebars with their open ends resting on a table, you’ll see that some are “taller” than others. Shorter models, the compact bars, will put your brake levers closer.