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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-04-12, 12:56 PM   #1
Axiom
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Saddle Height In Relation To Drop-bars

Personally, I don't follow the rule where you should have your seat higher than your handlebars. Even with a proper fit, I find it much easier to maintain comfort over long rides with the saddle slightly lower than the handlebars.

Opinions?
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Old 04-04-12, 01:02 PM   #2
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If that is what is most comfortable for you why not.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:04 PM   #3
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You have to ride the position that is most comfortable for you. If that means the bars are higher than the seat, so be it.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:05 PM   #4
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Rule 1 - do what works best for you

Rule 2 - refer to Rule 1
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Old 04-04-12, 01:08 PM   #5
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While there are general rules, fit is a very personal matter. Your build, flexibility, old injuries, riding style, etc. all influence your decisions. Very thin, 20-something road racers may like their bar way lower than the seat for going fast, but that doesn't mean a Clyde looking for pleasure touring needs to mimic them just because "it's a rule". If having your bar level or even above the height of your seat works for you who is to say it's wrong. On both my flatbar and my road bike the tops are about 1.5 inches below the level of the seat. Works for me and my riding preferences, doesn't mean it's right for everyone.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:16 PM   #6
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While there are general rules, fit is a very personal matter. Your build, flexibility, old injuries, riding style, etc. all influence your decisions. Very thin, 20-something road racers may like their bar way lower than the seat for going fast, but that doesn't mean a Clyde looking for pleasure touring needs to mimic them just because "it's a rule". If having your bar level or even above the height of your seat works for you who is to say it's wrong. On both my flatbar and my road bike the tops are about 1.5 inches below the level of the seat. Works for me and my riding preferences, doesn't mean it's right for everyone.
I agree 100%. Unfortunately, a lot of people b*tch at me because I don't follow the general rule.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:38 PM   #7
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I agree 100%. Unfortunately, a lot of people b*tch at me because I don't follow the general rule.
People b*tch because of how YOU ride YOUR bike?
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Old 04-04-12, 01:48 PM   #8
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Do what suits you, of course. But I'd suggest you keep it under review. You may find that your preferences change the more you ride, or if you lose weight, or whatever. Personally I like a substantial saddle-bar drop, find that both more comfortable and less effort, and the more time I have spent on the bike the greater my preference for the more aero position has become. But to each their own...
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Old 04-04-12, 01:51 PM   #9
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I agree 100%. Unfortunately, a lot of people b*tch at me because I don't follow the general rule.
what people? what general rule?
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Old 04-04-12, 02:09 PM   #10
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It is all about trade-offs. Bars higher than saddle gives you a more upright position that may be more comfortable but you catch more wind which will slow you down/take more effort. Saddle higher than bars gives you a more aero position which beats the wind better but may not be as comfortable, especially at first. As far as what is "right", it depends on what works best for you on your bike for your riding style.
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Old 04-04-12, 02:20 PM   #11
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The only reason there's a "rule" about bars being lower than the saddle is for those concerned with performance. As others have said, it promotes a more aero position and it can, if adjusted properly, bring more of your glutes into the action. If you're not concerned with wringing every last mile per hour out of your ride, it doesn't matter a whit.
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Old 04-04-12, 02:29 PM   #12
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You're fine as long as you don't go posting pictures of your bike on the Road forum.

higher bars is one reason I bought a Specialized Roubaix - that head tube is huuuuuuuuge. My bars are still lower than my saddle but it's not dramatic.
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Old 04-04-12, 02:31 PM   #13
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Do what works for you . many bike fit measurements and recommendations stem (pun intended) from racing . As long as your seatpost gets your sit bones far enough from the pedals , and you are not in pain over the long run, I think you're okay .
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Old 04-04-12, 02:45 PM   #14
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Lol if I read your post correctly you are 18. This of course now explains why you care what other people think. Somewhere around 40, you will simply not care any longer
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Old 04-04-12, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
Personally, I don't follow the rule where you should have your seat higher than your handlebars. Even with a proper fit, I find it much easier to maintain comfort over long rides with the saddle slightly lower than the handlebars.

Opinions?
Opinon? I'd say if you were riding a road bike of the correct size, your saddle should be at least slightly above the hb's or your sadde is way too low.

Unless you have an extremely tall stem setup or you have really really short legs?

I like an upright postion but there is now way I'd be able to get my hb's above my saddle on my roadies because of my leg length.


Uncut steer tube and stem flipped up. This was max height achievable on my roadie and still below the saddle on proper size bike.


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Old 04-04-12, 03:02 PM   #16
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I agree 100%. Unfortunately, a lot of people b*tch at me because I don't follow the general rule.
"One cannot be betrayed if one has no people."--Kobyashi
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Old 04-04-12, 03:05 PM   #17
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You're fine as long as you don't go posting pictures of your bike on the Road forum.

higher bars is one reason I bought a Specialized Roubaix - that head tube is huuuuuuuuge. My bars are still lower than my saddle but it's not dramatic.
I avoid the road forum like the plague. From my experience, they don't like Clydesdale at ALL.

@Mr. Beanz - Ironically, I have short legs AND a longer stem. The bike is the right frame size, but the guy who sold it to me bought a stem extender.

Also, the people "complaining" are some of the people I do group rides with. I don't know why, but someone always has to point it out, for whatever reason. I am new to the group, so maybe they are just giving me a newb a hard time?
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Old 04-04-12, 03:19 PM   #18
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@Mr. Beanz - Ironically, I have short legs AND a longer stem. The bike is the right frame size, but the guy who sold it to me bought a stem extender.
Out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size bike? Just a thought but you might want to try a less extended stem. The right position gives you more power when it comes to roadies. Not to say comfort is nice but unless you find out, you might be comfy and more powerful with a lower stem. If money is a concern, you might find a performance shop or the right LBS that will let you try out the fit before purchase for an idea.

Your set up looks like that of a hybrid. I myself have a hard time finding the power on a hybrid with high bars. Just a thought.

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Also, the people "complaining" are some of the people I do group rides with. I don't know why, but someone always has to point it out, for whatever reason. I am new to the group, so maybe they are just giving me a newb a hard time?
That the normal hassle the newbie guy thing. I get still get that meeting riders. Drop them on a hill, that quickly changes the comments.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:25 PM   #19
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Out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size bike? Just a thought but you might want to try a less extended stem. The right position gives you more power when it comes to roadies. Not to say comfort is nice but unless you find out, you might be comfy and more powerful with a lower stem. If money is a concern, you might find a performance shop or the right LBS that will let you try out the fit before purchase for an idea.

Your set up looks like that of a hybrid. I myself have a hard time finding the power on a hybrid with high bars. Just a thought.



That the normal hassle the newbie guy thing. I get still get that meeting riders. Drop them on a hill, that quickly changes the comments.
I'm not exactly sure what size, but when I stand over the top tube I have 1 inch of clearance. Oh, and I am 5'11.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:44 PM   #20
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I'm not exactly sure what size, but when I stand over the top tube I have 1 inch of clearance. Oh, and I am 5'11.
I'm 6'1 and ride a 58. I'd say the pics look like your bike seems to be a 58, maybe a 60 with the tall headtube. My guess is that the bike is a little big for you even as a 58. Might be the reason you like the feel of the tall short stem.

If the bike is not the correct size, I can see why ride partners critique the set up as most riders know, fit is #1.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:50 PM   #21
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I'm 6'1 and ride a 58. I'd say the pics look like your bike seems to be a 58, maybe a 60 with the tall headtube. My guess is that the bike is a little big for you even as a 58. Might be the reason you like the feel of the tall short stem.

If the bike is not the correct size, I can see why ride partners critique the set up as most riders know, fit is #1.
You are right, but I won't buy a new bike for a while so this is what I have for now. I can maintain a good average speed while maintaining comfort, but I am probably not as efficient as I could be. Once I hit my goal weight of 200 I *might* reward myself with a better bike. But that is 70lbs down the road, so I have quite a while.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:54 PM   #22
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The bars are supposed to be where you need them, to be comfortable and to have control over the bike.

But chasm is exactly right.
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Old 04-04-12, 04:01 PM   #23
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You are right, but I won't buy a new bike for a while so this is what I have for now. I can maintain a good average speed while maintaining comfort, but I am probably not as efficient as I could be. Once I hit my goal weight of 200 I *might* reward myself with a better bike. But that is 70lbs down the road, so I have quite a while.
Of course. We don't all have the cash to throw down on new bikes. Heck I started out doing 60 milers on a Huffy Mtn bike. Ride and be happy!
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Old 04-04-12, 06:48 PM   #24
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That the normal hassle the newbie guy thing. I get still get that meeting riders. Drop them on a hill, that quickly changes the comments.
Yep. When you let your legs do the talking, sometimes you find those same people trying to emulate you or your equipment, rather than screw with you. Of course....your legs have to be able to talk pretty darned good.
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Old 04-04-12, 08:13 PM   #25
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The Bar comfort height level is in proportion to the rider girth and age.
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