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  1. #1
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    Road Bike Comfort

    Hello. I am a newbie to this forum idea and had a question about the positioning of a bike's seat, handle bars, and petals in relation with the rider.

    Would this be a generla question of preference, or are there stantard positions that would cater to different styles of bike riding. I would like one that allows me to excert a fair amount of force while still seated yet comfortable while going slower speeds.

    I also was wondering how a naturally lower center of gravity affects a rider.
    Thank You

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyRose
    Hello. I am a newbie to this forum idea and had a question about the positioning of a bike's seat, handle bars, and petals in relation with the rider.

    Would this be a generla question of preference, or are there stantard positions that would cater to different styles of bike riding. I would like one that allows me to excert a fair amount of force while still seated yet comfortable while going slower speeds.

    I also was wondering how a naturally lower center of gravity affects a rider.
    Position depends as much on riding style and rider conditioning as it does on skeletal structure.

    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/pain and http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing

    The position that is best for an out-of-shape newby is different than what the same rider would want after a few thousand miles of riding.

    Center of gravity differences on upright-type bikes (as opposed to recumbents) make little difference, but, surprisingly, the higher the center of gravity, the more stable the bike turns out to be.

    Sheldon "It Depends" Brown
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  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    LadyRose:
    1) Welcome to the forum.
    2) Do consult Sheldon's website for a remarkably comprehensive education on bicycles.
    3) If you are using standard "drop" type road handlebars, the easiest initial position for you may be with your hands atop the brake levers. You may also want to start with a short-reach handlebar stem, switching back to the original longer one as you get more confident and comfortable with the bent-forward position.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Lots of good advice for non-racing cyclists at
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I second consulting Sheldon's site as well as other web resources (try doing a search on this site for "fit"). To answer your question, yes, there are certain standards that are used as starting points. These usually relate to 1) seat height, 2) seat fore-aft position, and 3) reach (handlebars in relation to saddle). Handlebar height would be another relevant measurement. I think that seat height and seat fore-aft positions would probably be more-or-less independent of style. Reach and handlebar height will probably be the ones that you need to consider the most in terms of "comfort" versus "speed". But bear in mind that the "standards" are only starting places, and that little "tweaks" can make big differences in comfort. If you're just starting out, it's good to work with someone at your LBS (local bike shop) on these issues. I've done this and it resulted in a much more comfortable fit for me; I'm more confident making some of these adjustments on my own now.

    BTW, welcome to the forum.

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