Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Ride & Smile
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just picked up my 2011 Kona Unit 22" and the bar height is lower than I like. The top of the handle bar is 3" below the top of the seat and I would like to raise the bar as close to even as possible. Is this appropriate for a mountain bike?

The stock Kona stem is a 90mm with a 6 degree rise.

I added a 120 mm Bontrager Race Lite 4-bolt 40 Degree rise stem to my 24" Fargo which had the same issue and it has worked out well. My Fargo has drop handle bars and this change brought the handlebar top to 1" above my seat.

If I were to buy a Bontrager Race Lite 4-bolt 40 Degree rise stem for the Kona Unit, should I order the 90mm, 105mm or 120mm length?

I think the 105mm would be closer to what I have because changing from a 6 degree rise to a 40 degree rise will shorten the distance from the seat.

I will be receiving a LUV Handlebar for this bike later this month, but I think it is designed to have the same distance from the seat as a straight handle bar.

I may also add a 100mm suspension fork. If the Kona Unit is designed for a 80mm suspension fork, would adding a 100mm raise the bar height?

Are there any other alternatives or issues I should be aware of?

Photo of current height issue.

 

·
trail rat
Joined
·
7,825 Posts
Well, it depends on body proportions. It is hard to compare a flat bar MTB to a drop bar adventure bike exactly. Here is a good stem calculator; plug in what you have and the stem you are asking about to see what will happen to rise and reach. A riser bar will help, but it tougher to calculate. You can get them in 1 to 3 inch rise.

I am long legs, long arms, short torso, so about 2-3 inch drop on my MTBs is good for me. My Rock Lobster (made before the Fargo was designed) still has more drop than someone with "normal" proportions, but my hands in the "hooks" are just slightly lower than my MTB grips. If this saw mostly offroad use, I would have shallower bars like Woodchippers; these are Salsa Bell Lap bars since the bike sees about 80% road vs trails.





 
G

·
Would you local shop help with a fit? It looks like you are WAY off from level, so being able to swap out stems and bars at the shop may be very helpful.

Just guessing, but the 105/24 stem and a 30-40mm riser bar might get you close if the top tube length is already where you want it. Make sure you do at least a 27-in wide bar, too.
 

·
Ride & Smile
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
slocaus said:
Well, it depends on body proportions. It is hard to compare a flat bar MTB to a drop bar adventure bike exactly. Here is a good stem calculator; plug in what you have and the stem you are asking about to see what will happen to rise and reach. A riser bar will help, but it tougher to calculate. You can get them in 1 to 3 inch rise.

I am long legs, long arms, short torso, so about 2-3 inch drop on my MTBs is good for me. My Rock Lobster (made before the Fargo was designed) still has more drop than someone with "normal" proportions, but my hands in the "hooks" are just slightly lower than my MTB grips. If this saw mostly offroad use, I would have shallower bars like Woodchippers; these are Salsa Bell Lap bars since the bike sees about 80% road vs trails.
Thanks for the link to the calculator and information! It was easy to plug in the numbers. I plan to buy the 120 mm Bontrager Race Lite 4-bolt 40 Degree rise stem for my Kona Unit. That is the same stem I put on my Fargo. It will raise the top of bar by 2 1/2" and bring to top of bar to 1/2" below the top of seat. The reach will only be reduced by 3/4".

Just for reference I am 250lb 54 year old that is 6'5" with a 36" inseam. The single speed will be a primary tool I plan to use this year in order to lose 40lbs.
 

·
Ride & Smile
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
davidcarson48 said:
Would you local shop help with a fit? It looks like you are WAY off from level, so being able to swap out stems and bars at the shop may be very helpful.

Just guessing, but the 105/24 stem and a 30-40mm riser bar might get you close if the top tube length is already where you want it. Make sure you do at least a 27-in wide bar, too.
The Kona Unit was a complete bike for $849. For that price I figured I could upgrade the bars and add a suspension fork cheaper than building up from a frame only. I plan to sell any leftover parts on the local CL or http://forums.earthriders.com/. The stem was the only unexpected item that I will need to sell.

I ordered a 28" LUV handle. Rody sent me the following info:

David,
thanks for the inquiry.
The design of the Luv is such that the stem to grip centerline is maintained so that a change in stem length is not necessary when replacing a standard bar. The center section sweeps forward before the grips return toward the rider, effectively negating the sweep when factoring overall cockpit length.
If a bar wider than the standard 26" width is utilized, the width is added to the grip sections. In this case, you will experience an incremental shortening of the cockpit as the increased width exceeds the designed compensation of the center sweep; less than .250" in the case of the 28" bar.
Hope this helps,
rody
 

·
trail rat
Joined
·
7,825 Posts
KanzaKrūzer said:
Thanks for the link to the calculator and information! It was easy to plug in the numbers. I plan to buy the 120 mm Bontrager Race Lite 4-bolt 40 Degree rise stem for my Kona Unit. That is the same stem I put on my Fargo. It will raise the top of bar to 1/2" below the top of seat which is close enough for me. The reach will only be reduced by 3/4".

Just for reference I am 250lb 54 year old that is 6'5" with a 36" inseam. The single speed will be a primary tool I plan to use this year in order to lose 40lbs.
I use that calculator frequently, a great resource! I'm glad it helped.

I am three inches shorter than you in height with an inch longer inseam. My bikes are usually 19.5 to 20.5 in size, since I need the short top tube (24.5 is optimal) - you can see how my torso is short when I am shorter than you with slightly longer legs. I also have about 8 years age on you, but 55 fewer pounds. Just ride and get the miles on the Fargo and the Unit, they will help your goals. :thumbsup:
 

·
Ride & Smile
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Flynnster said:
The second photo you posted shows that it is correct, with the rise going up. The first pic makes it look flat though.
All the photos were taken at the same time right after I brought it home from the LBS.

Thanks for clarifying which way is up. It is hard to tell with a 6 degree rise. The ground was also uneven which changes the perspective.

I ordered a 40 degree rise stem which will be easier to tell which way is up and bring the handlebar height close (1/2" under) to the same height as the seat top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
I'm very surprised that the shop let you leave with the bike in such an unsuitable configuration for you. You have every right to be dissatisfied and expect them to do any remedial work that you don't feel comfortable doing yourself.

As has been said, the obvious first step is to turn the stem the right way up, as it is currently upside down and making your problem worse.

The second obvious step is to fit a riser bar, which with all due respect to Rody (which is a lot) will cost you a fraction of the price and be much lighter.

Be wary of using that stem calculator or departing from Kona's 90mm stem length. The stem length is a vital factor in the handling of the bike - if you make it longer, you will slow the steering down, and it's slow enough on a 29er anyway, so that's not good.

Indeed, if you fit a longer fork, that in itself will slow the handling, so you will actually need a shorter stem to compensate - shorter stems liven the handling up.

I would have thought though that with a longer fork, a 70mm stem the right way up and a riser bar, you should have both the posture and the handling characteristics that you need.
 

·
nothing to see here
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
anthonyinhove said:
As has been said, the obvious first step is to turn the stem the right way up, as it is currently upside down and making your problem worse...
For what it's worth, the pictures of the Kona Unit on their website show that they now fit the stem inverted as such, with the writing the right way up, so it looks correct. Obviously they were getting feedback that most riders preferred an inverted stem.

The OP will still need to flip the stem and adjust the bars.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top