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Raising handlebars on old AMF
#1
Hello... I have an old AMF Texas Ranger from around 1970 and recently cleaned and fixed it up to ride again. However, the handlebars are a bit too low for me and I'd like to know if there is a way to raise them. I read some of the other posts about this, but have no idea if I have a "threaded" or "non-threaded" bike, and admit I am new to the forums so am at a bit of a disadvantage. Can anyone give me some advice on this, or at least tell me if the handlebars can be raised at all? Thanks a ton!
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#2
Have a look at this explanation:-
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#headset

The left one is threaded and the right one an "Aheadset" (non=threaded)

No matter you generally can raise bars by one or two means.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#3
(01-26-2010, 09:00 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  Have a look at this explanation:-
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#headset

The left one is threaded and the right one an "Aheadset" (non=threaded)

No matter you generally can raise bars by one or two means.

Thanks for clearing that up--guess I have a threaded style. However, mine only has the threaded top race and no spacers or lock nut at the top. Is this normal for an older bike, or do you think I am missing some parts? I have tried to loosen the threaded top race, but then the whole "post" comes out, which doesn't seem to be right. Any advice?
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#4
I'm not familiar with the AMF so not sure if there are some bits missing.
If by the "whole post" you mean the stem and bars then you will probably have to change the stem anyway.
If it's possible to post a photo or two, then that may help.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#5
(01-26-2010, 10:07 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  I'm not familiar with the AMF so not sure if there are some bits missing.
If by the "whole post" you mean the stem and bars then you will probably have to change the stem anyway.
If it's possible to post a photo or two, then that may help.

OK...thanks for the advice about possibly having to replace the stem. Attached in a zip file are some (not so great, I know) pics, hope that helps!
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#6
Anything from the 70's would be "threaded". Your not necessarily missing any parts. To raise the bars on this type, you normally loosen the single bolt on the top of the stem that runs into the center of the stem where it inserts into the fork. Once this is loose, you should be able to slide the stem up or down. You don't need to loosen anything on the headset to move the bars.

On the side of the stem, there should be a mark saying "minimum insertion" or something similar. You should make sure that that mark is inside and not above the top of the headset. I can't tell from the photo, but I see some writing that may be that mark showing already. If so, unfortunately, you may actually need to LOWER your stem for safety. The stem can snap off if you have it too high.

If you can't get enough height from the stem, you may need to find a new stem or change bars. You can also slide your seat forward a little which may help, but will not be a big change.
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#7
(01-26-2010, 11:16 PM)DaveM Wrote:  Anything from the 70's would be "threaded". Your not necessarily missing any parts. To raise the bars on this type, you normally loosen the single bolt on the top of the stem that runs into the center of the stem where it inserts into the fork. Once this is loose, you should be able to slide the stem up or down. You don't need to loosen anything on the headset to move the bars.

On the side of the stem, there should be a mark saying "minimum insertion" or something similar. You should make sure that that mark is inside and not above the top of the headset. I can't tell from the photo, but I see some writing that may be that mark showing already. If so, unfortunately, you may actually need to LOWER your stem for safety. The stem can snap off if you have it too high.

If you can't get enough height from the stem, you may need to find a new stem or change bars. You can also slide your seat forward a little which may help, but will not be a big change.

Thanks for the advice--I will loosen the bolt and see what I can do. I really appreciate the expert opinions!
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#8
Definitely a threaded headset.
Is there a knurled nut / washer / top locknut?

There looks to be a thin knurled "nut" under the yellow paint ??

Also have a read of Sheldon on raising stems.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#9
(01-28-2010, 04:19 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  Definitely a threaded headset.
Is there a knurled nut / washer / top locknut?

There looks to be a thin knurled "nut" under the yellow paint ??

Also have a read of Sheldon on raising stems.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html

Not sure if that is a knurled nut--seems the only portion that will move (unscrew) is the top nut; however, it moves the whole stem when loosened. What I mean is, what looks to be a knurled nut/washer/top locknut do not move independently of each other--when you use a wrench to try to loosen the top nut, all of it moves.
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#10
PICS!!! WE NEED PICS!!!!!Big Grin
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#11
(01-28-2010, 10:02 PM)ksrmc Wrote:  Not sure if that is a knurled nut--seems the only portion that will move (unscrew) is the top nut; however, it moves the whole stem when loosened. What I mean is, what looks to be a knurled nut/washer/top locknut do not move independently of each other--when you use a wrench to try to loosen the top nut, all of it moves.

Yes, that is the point. Raise the bar (if it is not past the minimum insertion mark as DaveM wrote) and retighten the nut.
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#12
Loosen the single bolt on the top of the stem that runs into the center of the stem where it inserts into the fork. Then take a block of wood and tap with a hammer this will help you set it free to let you pull it up a little just don't over do it. I have a old AMF as well nice old bikes for sure wish I had your hand brake set up you can't find them any more around here anyway.
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#13
(02-11-2010, 09:48 AM)Surly LHT Wrote:  Loosen the single bolt on the top of the stem that runs into the center of the stem where it inserts into the fork. Then take a block of wood and tap with a hammer this will help you set it free to let you pull it up a little just don't over do it. I have a old AMF as well nice old bikes for sure wish I had your hand brake set up you can't find them any more around here anyway.

Thanks for the additional suggestion. The weather here has not been cooperative so I have not tried to raise the stem yet, but will give it a try soon. As for the hand brake set---this is the original, but I could have sworn I saw some at REI, if you have one close to you. Smile
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