Adjusting The Stem On Your E-Bike

08.22.2022

14.8 min

Adjusting The Stem On Your E-Bike

Most (but not all) bikes and e-bikes have adjustable features to allow for a comfortable ride. One of the most common adjustable features is the stem, which changes the handlebar height and angle on your e-bike.

Let’s take a look at why stem adjustment matters, different types of adjustable stems, and how to adjust the stem on your e-bike.

Want to jump ahead? These are all the topics we’ll cover here:

Advantages Of E-Bike Stem Adjustment

Comparing Fixed, Tool-Free Adjustable, And Tooled Adjustable E-Bike Stems

Fixed Electric Bike Stems

Tool-Free Adjustable E-Bike Stems

Tooled Adjustable E-Bike Stems

Magnum Summit Tooled Adjustable Stem

Top Tips for E-Bike Stem Safety And Maintenance

Watch The Video

Advantages Of E-Bike Stem Adjustment

Since not all e-bikes offer stem adjustment, it’s a matter of personal preference whether that’s important to you.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of an adjustable stem is the ability to put the handlebars in the most comfortable setting for your unique physique, upper body comfort, and arm length.

But stem adjustment isn’t just about the length of your arms or the most comfortable angle for your back. Different stem heights and angles are actually optimal for different riding styles.

While adjustable stems give you a wide range of options for stem and handlebar positioning,  there are 2 main paths you can use as your baseline.

Relaxed Stem Positioning

For casual rides on the boardwalk, through parks, or any other leisurely outing, you can adjust your stem and handlebars to take it easy on your lower back and hamstrings.

To get this effect, you want your stem and handlebars positioned high and upright — think a classic cruiser position. When your stem and handlebars are aligned this way, you can sit upright, reducing stress on your back.

Performance Stem Positioning

If you're looking for a more aggressive ride — heart pumping and really putting the miles in — you don’t want that same relaxed stem and handlebar setup. Instead, push the stem forward and down to get in a more streamlined, athletic body position. This will engage your core and put your legs to work too; it allows you to put in the work to ride farther. 

Remember: fixed-stem bikes don’t allow you the flexibility to customize your handlebar positioning, so if moving between a relaxed position and a high-performance position on a single e-bike is important to you, make sure to choose an adjustable-stem bike.

Comparing Fixed, Tool-Free Adjustable, And Tooled Adjustable E-Bike Stems

Nearly all Magnum e-bikes feature either a tool-free or tooled adjustable stem. But we do offer some models with a fixed stem, and another model that has a unique stem and handlebar adjustment system. 

So why go with one stem type over another? Let’s get into the differences.

Fixed Electric Bike Stems

As we mentioned above, fixed stems mean that you aren’t able to adjust much about the handlebar setting on your e-bike. But there are advantages to this!

Why We Love Them

  • The stability of a fixed stem is great for aggressive trail rides; many mountain bikes and e-bikes feature fixed stems
  • Stem and handlebar positioning are just one less thing to think about on a fixed stem e-bike

What You Should Know

  • Since you’ll need some tools, you’ll either need to perform stem adjustments at home or bring a small tool kit with you on rides
  • While we always recommend test rides, it’s especially important for fixed-stem models to ensure that the frame size and fixed stem setup are a comfortable choice for you
    • Schedule a test ride at your local Magnum dealer

Magnum e-bikes with fixed stems include:

Peak T5

Scout

Tool-Free Adjustable E-Bike Stems

Tool-free adjustable e-bike stems are a bit of a misnomer… you actually do need an Allen wrench to secure your stem and handlebars in place. But, the wrench doesn’t come in until after you’ve made your adjustments. So technically, it’s still a tool-free adjustment, right?

Why We Love Them

  • Tool-free (except for locking it into place after adjustment)
  • One-bolt system is easy to learn

What You Should Know

  • The latch that holds your stem in place won’t be able to lock if the stem is too far upright. You can still have a relaxed stem position; just angle it forward a bit.

Magnum Bikes featuring tool-free adjustable stems include:

Cruiser

Low Rider

Metro 750

Metro S

Metro X

Navigator S

Navigator X

Ranger

How To Adjust Your Tool-Free Stem and Handlebars

You will need:

  • 5mm Allen wrench

Now wait a minute — why do you need an Allen wrench for a “tool-free” adjustment? Well, the process of adjusting your stem and handlebars really is tool-free! However, once you’ve made the adjustments you want, you will need to tighten a bolt to safely secure your stem in place.

With a tool-free stem, your stem and handlebars can both be adjusted at the same time. Here’s how to do it.

1. Find the release latch on the lefthand side of the handlebar stem. 

2. When facing the front wheel, you can see an arrow on the latch; this way, you never forget what direction to pull. Using your thumb or fingers, pull the stem cover upward toward you. 

3. Now, there are two spots you can pivot: 

A. At the base of the stem

B. At the junction where the handlebars connect to the stem

On a tool-free adjustable stem, you can adjust both the stem angle and handlebar angle at the same time.

4. Play around with the angle of each pivot until it’s comfortable for your body and your riding style. Just don’t leave it in a fully vertical upright position — on a tool-free adjustable stem, the latch can’t lock in place in that position.

5. Now pick up that 5mm Allen wrench and completely tighten the bolt at the base of the stem until, as you’re straddling the bike, the stem and handlebars can only turn the front wheel — they should not be able to move away from or toward you at all.

You will need a tool just to tighten one bolt once your stem and handlebars are positioned the way you want them.

6. Now press that stem cover back down. You’ll hear it lock into place, and you’re ready to ride.

Tooled Adjustable E-Bike Stems

E-bikes with tooled adjustable stems may require a little more forethought in order to make adjustments, but they’re a great reliable option for many riders.

Why We Love Them

  • Even though you may need a tool or two, you don’t need to be a bike mechanic to learn to adjust your stem
  • You can lock in any stem or handlebar position you want with a tooled adjustable stem

What You Should Know

  • Since you’ll need some tools, you’ll either need to perform stem adjustments at home or bring a small tool kit with you on rides

Magnum models with tooled adjustable stems include:

Cosmo

Cosmo+

Cosmo S

Cosmo X

Low Rider 1.0

Nomad

Pathfinder 350

Pathfinder 500

Pathfinder T

Payload

Ranger

Voyager

How To Adjust Your Standard Tooled Stem and Handlebars

You will need:

  • 5mm Allen wrench

With a tooled stem, you’ll typically adjust your stem and handlebars separately. Different bolts are responsible for these unique adjustments.

Stem and Handlebar Angle:

1. On the righthand side of your bike stem, you’ll find a bolt — use your 5mm Allen wrench to loosen it.

2. Next, look on the underside of the handlebars near where they connect to the stem and loosen that bolt, too. Watch your cables!

Loosening the stem Allen bot and handlebar Allen bolt on a tooled adjustable stem.

3. Now you can adjust the stem. You’ll hear clicking as you reposition; each click is a different stem position that you can choose to lock into place.

4. When you’ve found the position you want, fully tighten up that handlebar bolt again, followed by the stem bolt on the righthand side of your stem. Again, be careful of your cables; use whatever side of the Allen wrench is most comfortable and easiest for you to keep the cables out of the way.

Handlebar Roll:

1. Loosen up the four faceplate bolts at the center of your handlebars using an X pattern (e.g. front left bolt, then rear right bolt, then front right bolt, then rear left bolt).

When loosened, the 4 bolts on top of your handlebars let you roll your handlebars forward or back for comfort.

2. Now you can roll the handlebars forward or back until you find a comfortable position.

3. When you’ve got the handlebars angled the way you want, completely tighten the bolts back up in an X pattern again.

Magnum Summit Tooled Adjustable Stem 

Our Magnum Summit models have a unique bolt configuration, requiring 2 different Allen wrench sizes. Apart from that, the function is largely the same as on other tooled adjustable stem e-bikes.

Summit 27.5"

Summit 29"

How To Adjust Your Magnum Summit E-Bike Tooled Stem and Handlebars

You will need:

  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 6mm Allen wrench

Here’s how to adjust your Summit stem and handlebars.

Stem:

1. Grab your 6mm Allen wrench and loosen the bolt on the righthand side of your stem.

Loosening the stem bolt on a Magnum Summit.

2. Now adjust your stem forward and backward to find your preferred position.

3. When it’s where you want it, thoroughly tighten that same 6mm bolt back up.

Handlebars:

1. The display on the Summit can get in the way of handlebar adjustment a bit, so start by rolling your display downward, facing toward the seat of the bike.

2. Behind the display, you’ll see a faceplate with 4 bolts; grab your 4mm Allen wrench and loosen those bolts, taking care not to snag your cables.

The 4 bolts on top of Summit handlebars can be loosened to roll the handlebar positioning forward or back. Be careful of the display cables.

3. Now roll your handlebars until you have the position you want.

4. Once the handlebars are angled to your liking, thoroughly tighten those 4mm bolts back up.

5. Now roll your display back up until it’s angled where you can best see it while riding.

Top 4 Tips for E-Bike Stem Safety And Maintenance

The stem is essential to your e-bike’s functionality. Here’s how to take care of it (and yourself).

1. Pay attention to your body. 

  • Is your back or neck hurting?
  • How about your shoulders? 
  • Too much strain on your hamstrings when you ride?
  • Believe it or not, your stem and handlebar positioning can impact all of these points on your body
  • Try making stem adjustments until you’re in a comfortable position

2. As much as you loosen each bolt, tighten it back the same amount (or more). 

Loose stem bolts can cause your stem or handlebars to change position while you ride

  • This can result in…
  • Tweaking your wrists
    • Straining your back
    • Losing control of your bike
  • So always tighten your stem and handlebar bolts until they no longer turn

3. Check your handlebar alignment with every ride. 

  • Make sure handlebars: 
    • Are in a comfortable position
    • Don’t roll forward or back when you grab them

4. Check all bolts monthly. 

  • With regular rides, any part of your bike can become loose over time
  • Inspect and tighten all the bolts on your e-bike monthly, including the stem and handlebar bolts

Watch The Video