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Old 12-10-06, 04:20 AM   #1
joe v
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You can't be serious!!!

I've seen some extreme handlebar-heights, but this one takes the biscuit! Not only would it make any bike look like a circusprop, but where the hell do you get a stem like that? Or no, I don't think I want to know. Bike in question looks like cheapo 70's crap, btw, but I couldn't resist showing you guys this ... thing!
p.s. suppose you buy it & then notice the stem is STUCK - doesn't bear thinking about, does it!
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Old 12-10-06, 04:52 AM   #2
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i gotta admit it,i,d grab it in a second !lol
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Old 12-10-06, 07:22 AM   #3
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I'll be honest, the main problem with those bars is they need to be tilted up a few degrees.

Some of us want the multiple hand positions of drop bars, but don't care if we look like a racer.

I'll admit that is even a little higher than mine, but the top of my bar is above the seat by a fraction of an inch.

It looks strange, but it works for me.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:02 AM   #4
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Joe,
If, down the road a few years, life has given you so many aches and pains that the only way to keep riding is having your bars several inches above the saddle, will you just give up?

I finally decided it made no sense to collect great old English bikes I could only ride a few miles, while needing recumbents to go any distance. I spent quite a bit of time and money experimenting with different bars and stems and ended up with all my bars at least as high as those in the photo. In some cases I had to make a stem to get the position I wanted.

Now, despite a bad back, arthritic hands and damaged shoulders, I'm enjoying cycling more than ever before. If the sight of my immaculate Jack Taylor, with the bars 5" above a B-67 with big coil springs, irritates some moron, that's just icing on the cake.

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Old 12-10-06, 09:20 AM   #5
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And in addition to all the aches and pains of the older cyclislt, if one happens to be a Clydesdale, sometimes the gut gets in the way. So the bars go higher.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:24 AM   #6
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I see what you mean and respect your views, but isn't it then better to buy a citybike - much easier to adapt AND with a much more appropriate geometry? My point with the 'stempicture' is simply that here's a roadbike (designed to go fast - that's the point, isn't it) with a completely ruined geometry. There ARE other bikes better suited to other uses and I'm sure I too will ride a different bike once I'm not comfortable with that race-geometry anymore.

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Old 12-10-06, 09:34 AM   #7
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The other trick is to buy a bigger frame size. Bars above seat doesn't mean needing 9 miles of stem!
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Old 12-10-06, 10:25 AM   #8
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I bought a 25" schwinn world sport that must have been owned by a giant, the stem is bottomed out and sticks out 3" and look what I pulled out of the seattube....
you can get 12" of seat post before you get to the limit mark. On the brightside the WS is about 1lb lighter.
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Old 12-10-06, 10:41 AM   #9
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Leave it to the professionals at Gazelle for a more definitive solution: a 75 cm frame. (wishbone seatsays too!)
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Old 12-10-06, 11:38 AM   #10
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s70rguy: Now thats interesting! It would look sorta neater if the top tube met at the seat tube normally I think though.
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Old 12-10-06, 12:01 PM   #11
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When I bought my Miyata it had flat bars that were higher than that. The stem had a cool extender thing.
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Old 12-10-06, 03:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe v
I see what you mean and respect your views, but isn't it then better to buy a citybike - much easier to adapt AND with a much more appropriate geometry? My point with the 'stempicture' is simply that here's a roadbike (designed to go fast - that's the point, isn't it) with a completely ruined geometry. There ARE other bikes better suited to other uses and I'm sure I too will ride a different bike once I'm not comfortable with that race-geometry anymore.
I think either you or I misunderstand bike geometry issues. And probaby the purpose of a road bike as well.

First off, speed is relative. If I can only do 14 mph on a city bike, and can do 15 on a road bike with a tall stem, then that is a reasonable option if I want to go 15...

Also, stem height has little to do with the geometry from a handling perspective. A road bike with a tall stem is NOT the same as a comfort frame. Especially when you consider that most comfort frames come with a suspension fork and other changes that make it significantly different from a road bike in the handling realm.

Why should one have to give up a crisp handling light bike just because one can't acheive a Lance type riding position?

Unfortunately there aren't many bikes that combine road geometry with a tall head tube... Having taken a 60+ mile ride on a city bike/comfort bike a couple of times, I am looking forward to doing it on a road bike with a tall stem.

Another factor, as one ages, a light bike can be more important than it is for a youngster wanting to cut 3 seconds off their 60 mile ride time... I know a woman with arthritis that is having trouble putting her bike on her car's rack because of the weight. If I modify a road framed bike for her (she wants riser bars) I can cut 5 pounds or more from her current comfort bike, and make it possible for her to drive to a riding location and stay in the saddle for more years...

So, in my opinion, a road bike is not exclusively about speed, and staying with a road bike is beneficial to some, with whatever modifications are needed to make that happen.
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Old 12-10-06, 04:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin

Why should one have to give up a crisp handling light bike just because one can't acheive a Lance type riding position?
That says it all.
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Old 12-10-06, 04:40 PM   #14
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I also have some physical issues that make riding drop bars difficult, if not impossible. On one bike, a Raleigh Competition GS with fairly "racing" geometry, I have the extended stem solution: a Nitto Dirt Drop w/ Nitto Olympiade bars and Tektro aero levers. I haven't quite gotten used to the look, but the comfort is great. I feel more upright than on some of my bikes with upright bars, and I have lots more hand positions to choose from (including the drops, which feel pretty good, actually).

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Old 12-10-06, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CV-6
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
Why should one have to give up a crisp handling light bike just because one can't acheive a Lance type riding position?

That says it all.
+1 on that!
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Old 12-10-06, 08:02 PM   #16
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I saw this bike on a big organized ride last year. I asked the guy riding it what was the deal. He said he had been a long time tourer and century rider and he broke his back in a car accident. He said he was about to give up riding because he couldn't bend over to reach normally placed handlebars. He had someone build this extreme rise stem and found that he was able to ride. He did a metric that day.

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Old 12-10-06, 10:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s70rguy
Leave it to the professionals at Gazelle for a more definitive solution: a 75 cm frame. (wishbone seatsays too!)
Been there. Done that. 20 years ago. Note extended HT.



Of course now it has an even taller stem with less extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
The other trick is to buy a bigger frame size. Bars above seat doesn't mean needing 9 miles of stem!
Done that too. Sold my 22" DL-1 and bought a 24" since there is no practical way to raise the bars with rod brakes. My '58 Raleigh RRA Moderne is a 23" though a 21" would be a better fit. My plan is to make a taller clone of the original stem. When showing it off, the stem will be all the way down to the butted part of the long steerer. But it will look like the stock stem at max. height. Fortunately the Brits used to ride large frames, with little seat post showing, so it won't look too odd.

But in most cases I'd rather have crotch clearance at the cost of another 2 inches of stem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe v
I see what you mean and respect your views, but isn't it then better to buy a citybike - much easier to adapt AND with a much more appropriate geometry?
Not when one has a passion for old British iron. (Remember, this is the Classic & Vintage forum.) A modern "Made in China" city or "Comfort" bike wouldn't satisfy that. If comfort were my only criteria, I've got 5 recumbents.

But I do think that those comfort bikes are "Plan A" for a large segment of the population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe v
My point with the 'stempicture' is simply that here's a roadbike (designed to go fast - that's the point, isn't it) with a completely ruined geometry.
Given the equipment and the cheap looking frame I don't know that he's "ruined" much, and he's done nothing irreversable. I assume it suits him better than it used to.

However, geometry is a valid concern. As the bars go up, the seat should go back. My Taylor wasn't as nice to ride with the high bars as my as 3 speeds with their shallower angles. When I figured out why, I went to a stem with less extension and a Brooks B-67, which can be mounted rather far rearward.

If you start with a lightweight touring frame, the longer stays mean that moving up and back won't screw up the weight distribution, as would happen with racing frame.

BTW I will be selling my Paramount track bike. Even I agree that there's no justification for putting high rise bars on that.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:25 PM   #18
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I am still trying to get past the "cheapo 70's crap" bit. Did Eddy Merckx really make cheapo crap bikes? I thought his were well respected.
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Old 12-11-06, 01:03 AM   #19
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Guys, guys, PLEASE, for the record : I was NOT (repeat NOT) judging any rider, only a bike (read the original post), merely pointing out the - to me - not very pleasing aspect of the bike's geometry. Come on, is it not possible to critisize a bike without threading on someone's toes??? It's very frustrating when a (not even serious - doesn't the title remind you of somebody?) thread goes somewhere so removed from your intention. Isn't the whole point of C&V to talk about what you like AND dislike about vintage bikes? IOW express a personal opinion about how a bike LOOKS, how it can be restored etc... And no, of course a giant stem will not ruin your bike, but IMHO it ruins its looks - am I allowed to say that? Same as someone is allowed in these same pages to say he doesn't like these wheels or that saddle or whatever?

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Old 12-11-06, 02:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatdesigner
I am still trying to get past the "cheapo 70's crap" bit. Did Eddy Merckx really make cheapo crap bikes? I thought his were well respected.
There were cheapo crappy bikes made with his name on. The ones actually built at his factory are a different story, but plenty of gas-pipe Falcons were around that said Eddie Merckx on them.
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Old 12-11-06, 06:30 PM   #21
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I learn something new everyday. I guess EM allowed his name to be used on the high volume bikes to help subsidize the good ones. Not uncommon in other businesses. Must have worked, as he is still in business. By the way Joe, I agree the stem looks silly, but I imagine the owner must have had a good reason to cobble it together that way. To each his own! My bars are about even with my seat on both my bikes, my bad back and middle age paunch combining to keep me from a more aggressive position. I think I'd buy a recumbent before resorting to the super sized stem though.
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Old 12-12-06, 05:18 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by joe v
Guys, guys, PLEASE, for the record : I was NOT (repeat NOT) judging any rider, only a bike (read the original post), merely pointing out the - to me - not very pleasing aspect of the bike's geometry. Come on, is it not possible to critisize a bike without threading on someone's toes??? It's very frustrating when a (not even serious - doesn't the title remind you of somebody?) thread goes somewhere so removed from your intention. Isn't the whole point of C&V to talk about what you like AND dislike about vintage bikes? IOW express a personal opinion about how a bike LOOKS, how it can be restored etc... And no, of course a giant stem will not ruin your bike, but IMHO it ruins its looks - am I allowed to say that? Same as someone is allowed in these same pages to say he doesn't like these wheels or that saddle or whatever?
I can see where, if you think the person did it out of choice merely to be perverse or get a reaction, then your reaction is as legitimate as any. But I think it gets trickier once you see it as an adaptation to physical limits. Then if you criticise it, or say get a comfort bike, your reaction begins to look like you're saying that people should hide their disabilities and maybe even not ride any more, if the alternative is to adapt their bike in an unconventional way. Which raises all sorts of questions about good taste, sensitivity, value systems, etc. Which is naturally going to generate a lot of feedback.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:54 AM   #23
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Last effort : I did not see it as a reaction or adaptation, or ANYTHING else; I was only commenting on the Bike itself, an OBJECT we can like or dislike without it turning into a moral discussion I should think! Reading things into people's words is very frustrating and has turned this thread into a discussion it was never intended to be so can we drop this now and keep writing about vintage bikes. I respect anyone riding any bike, but some bikes are nice-looking and some are not in my humble opinion (and yours, I'm sure), please let's stick to that, nobody in these pages judges any riders as far as I know, and certainly not intentionally. Don't forget there can be a (medical or other) reason for almost anything you do to a bike; if you have to consider that every time, you may as well stop posting ANYTHING negative about any given bike. And these pages would be a lot poorer for it too.
I mean, really, you post a thread about a STEM and all of a sudden people are discussing physical disabilities & who should or should not ride which bike??? I can only repeat the title of this thread (which was supposed to be funny -- funny does NOT equal making fun of people).

Peace & love to all bike riders (vintage or not)

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Old 12-12-06, 08:39 AM   #24
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I concur that road bikes with ultra high stems are butt ugly, but I also think that bikes that are a couple of sizes too small for the rider (with the seat jacked way up in the air 8 or 10 inches) are equally ugly.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:55 AM   #25
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I concur that road bikes with ultra high stems are butt ugly, but I also think that bikes that are a couple of sizes too small for the rider (with the seat jacked way up in the air 8 or 10 inches) are equally ugly.
Exactly. And that's another opinion about bikes, not riders.
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