Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Naperville, Illinois
    My Bikes
    Too Numerous (not)
    Posts
    2,329
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Handlebars higher than the seat

    This has sort of been my definition of aging. "You know you're too old when..." (love to hear some of these again, ..anybody have favorites). One of my unspoken ones has been:

    "your handlebars are higher than your seat"

    But to accomodate some shoulder pain issues, I just raised the handlebars on my commuter bike "above the seat." I've crossed that line, and... I kinda like it.

    [and now another joke I can't resist telling (somebody seriously ban me from this forum)..

    After repeatedly saying "sh*t, I missed" on virtually every golf swing, and being told by his golf partner --a priest-- "the lord will strike you down," after one final outburst from Mr. foulmouth, a bolt of lightning came down from the heavens and struck the priest dead. As Mr foulmouth stood there stunned, he heard a loud voice from above say, "sh*t, I missed."]
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  2. #2
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Villa Incognito
    My Bikes
    1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
    Posts
    2,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ha! Great story.

    Re: Handlebars--if it feels good, do it.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Dutchess County, NY
    My Bikes
    Fuji S-12s, Trek Navigator 200, Dahon Vitesse D7, Raleigh Sprite Touring ('70's)
    Posts
    826
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I gave up on drops years ago when I sold my old 10 spd and went for about 10 years without touching a bike. Back injury from a car accident took away any desire to ride. Then I discovered bikes like the Trek Navigator and Giant Sedona., and bought a Nav 200 in 2002. No, I will not do any centuries on a ride like that. But if there wasn't some level of consession - putting a relaxed position over optimum form, I'd still be walking.

    So do what works, and keep riding!

  4. #4
    Yen
    Yen is offline
    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    4,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whatever a person needs to keep riding, or walking, or whatever, to get fit and enjoy life to the fullest.
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
    Surly Long Haul Trucker

  5. #5
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Englewood,Ohio
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek Madone 5.0 WSD - 2007 Trek 4300 WSD - 2008 Trek 520
    Posts
    5,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    This has sort of been my definition of aging. "You know you're too old when..." (love to hear some of these again, ..anybody have favorites). One of my unspoken ones has been:

    "your handlebars are higher than your seat"
    Fantastic! Does this mean I'm not old since my handlebars are 1" below my seat

    Cute story.
    =============================================================
    My cancer updates:
    https://www.mylifeline.org/beverlyow...=myupdates.cfm

    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paoli, Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
    Posts
    9,980
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've never owned a bike in my life with the handlebars positioned below the seat.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northern Nevada
    Posts
    3,744
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My wife is recovering from knee surgery and can't quite get full extension on the affected knee yet, but her surgeon wants her to ride every day. I've lowered her seat about an inch so she can pedal comfortably. About every third ARP* we pass feels compelled to slow down and tell her, "Your seat's too low."
    She tried to explain to the first three or four, but it got tedious. Next guy who came by did a double take, rode along next to her for awhile, then said, "Did you know your seat's too low?"
    She looked him up and down and said, "Did you know your pants are too tight?"

    *Arrogant Roadie Pr!ck, the kind of riders you see (around here, anyway) in full team outfit, riding in a pack, three abreast, holding up cars, passing slower bikes close enough to brush shoulders as they go by. We've got dozens of them.

  8. #8
    Yen
    Yen is offline
    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    4,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    My wife is recovering from knee surgery and can't quite get full extension on the affected knee yet, but her surgeon wants her to ride every day. I've lowered her seat about an inch so she can pedal comfortably. About every third ARP* we pass feels compelled to slow down and tell her, "Your seat's too low."
    She tried to explain to the first three or four, but it got tedious. Next guy who came by did a double take, rode along next to her for awhile, then said, "Did you know your seat's too low?"
    She looked him up and down and said, "Did you know your pants are too tight?"

    *Arrogant Roadie Pr!ck, the kind of riders you see (around here, anyway) in full team outfit, riding in a pack, three abreast, holding up cars, passing slower bikes close enough to brush shoulders as they go by. We've got dozens of them.
    .... and doing double-takes then laughing at upright riders on hybrids.
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
    Surly Long Haul Trucker

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Up to 98- I had my bars 2" below the saddle and that was on the MTB. Then the Bypass and not only did the bars go up= I also had to get Front suspension. Last year I got a road bike and a change of stem to bring the bars up to saddle level and it then fitted. One year later and the new bike came along- A true racing frame and high bars just would not look right up high so just flipped the stem to bring the bars 2" below the saddle. Boy was that comfortable and after a couple of month rode the old bike and it was sit up and beg time.

    The other thing I noted was that when I got the road bike- I had some neck and shoulder problems but they passed. 1 years riding and the body had adapted to this new style of riding- But I am pleased to note that as I "Mature"- I will still have the option of raising the bars.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  10. #10
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    My Bikes
    Cinelli Supercoursa 69, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Mondonico Diamond Extra 05, Coors Light Greg Lemond (built by Scapin) 88, Scapin MTB, Stumpjumper 83, Specialized Stumpjumper M4, Lemond Poprad 2001
    Posts
    1,366
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Is there some Platonic Ideal of a cyclist...a "real" rider must ride light (CF or Ti), has to be a wt wiennie on the gruppo selected, can't ride a triple, and has to ride a prescribed seat to HB offset, and has to look like a NASCAR billboard??? Riding is one of life's great pleasures...Just Do It!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,742
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04 View Post
    Is there some Platonic Ideal of a cyclist...a "real" rider must ride light (CF or Ti), has to be a wt wiennie on the gruppo selected, can't ride a triple, and has to ride a prescribed seat to HB offset, and has to look like a NASCAR billboard??? Riding is one of life's great pleasures...Just Do It!
    Yeah, but at some point in time I think that you can earn an "exemption". Lugged steel bike frame, triple crankset, friction shifters, Brooks saddle, Nitto Technomic stem, 28mm puncture resistant tires, around 24 pounds. The techno weenies that I work with may shake their heads, but if they actually scoff they have the decency to do it behind my back.

  12. #12
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
    My Bikes
    Europa, Hillbrick, Road Chief, Repco Superlite (Ol' Rusty)
    Posts
    3,014
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The bars on my Black Beast are 2cm above the saddle and guess what, I can now use the drops

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,177
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I've never owned a bike in my life with the handlebars positioned below the seat.
    Same here.
    It's all relative, anyway. Go to Amsterdam or Beijing and try to find a bike with handlebars less than six inches above the seat. Bikes are supposed to be comfortable, however high or low the handlebars.

    Paul

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,262
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So my handlebars are slightly lower than the seat on my road
    bike and when riding with my hands on the hoods, my thighs slap
    my belly...OOPS. Guess I'll not be using the drops anytime too soon.

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2014 Specialized Crux EVO Carbon Disc, 2012 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross, 2011 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert Compact, 2009 Salsa Casseroll, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB
    Posts
    12,732
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Yeah, but at some point in time I think that you can earn an "exemption". Lugged steel bike frame, triple crankset, friction shifters, Brooks saddle, Nitto Technomic stem, 28mm puncture resistant tires, around 24 pounds. The techno weenies that I work with may shake their heads, but if they actually scoff they have the decency to do it behind my back.
    That sounds very close to describing my best bike. The bars on that bike are about 1" below saddle height, up from 3-1/2" when I bought it. Another road bike I have has bars level with the saddle, but I am probably going to lower them just a hair. You have to go with what works without regard to what others might think. Who cares what they think? They aren't the ones riding the bike.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2014 Specialized Crux EVO Carbon Disc, 2012 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross, 2011 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert Compact, 2009 Salsa Casseroll, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB
    Posts
    12,732
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    My wife is recovering from knee surgery and can't quite get full extension on the affected knee yet, but her surgeon wants her to ride every day. I've lowered her seat about an inch so she can pedal comfortably. About every third ARP* we pass feels compelled to slow down and tell her, "Your seat's too low."
    She tried to explain to the first three or four, but it got tedious. Next guy who came by did a double take, rode along next to her for awhile, then said, "Did you know your seat's too low?"
    She looked him up and down and said, "Did you know your pants are too tight?"

    *Arrogant Roadie Pr!ck, the kind of riders you see (around here, anyway) in full team outfit, riding in a pack, three abreast, holding up cars, passing slower bikes close enough to brush shoulders as they go by. We've got dozens of them.
    That's a tricky situation. There are so many people around cluelessly riding with seats so low they are damaging their knees and limiting their power to the pedals. No argument about the presence of ARP's, but well meaning, helpful people also offer that kind of advice. (At least that is what I think of myself when I do it.)
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sure, you have to make some adaptations with bike fit if there are some medical issues involved (ie. back problems, etc.), but other than that, and assuming you don't have a huge beer belly and very poor flexibility, there is no reason that because you're over 50, you automaticallty have to ride with higher handlebars. Good bike fit is still good bike fit. You may not want it too extreme in terms of the drop between saddle and handlebars, but if you have your handlebars higher, you definitely lose some power and efficiency in your pedaling. Handlebars about an inch below the saddle is not uncomfortable at all, and if the length of the cockpit is right for you, it should enable you to put more power down on the pedals with less effort, it should help you ride through headwinds more easily, it should take some potentially painful weight off your rear end and help you get off the saddle-buying merry-go-round, and ultimately, once you get used to it, it should make your cycling more enjoyable.

    Even when over 50, why would you want to set-up your road bike for less performance? Fit is always a compromise between comfort and efficiency, and how much you want to give up in either one is your decision. A road bike is about some performance. I mean, there's nothing like the feel of some spirited cycling, going up and down hills, rounding curves, etc. A road bike is very special in that regard, but you lose that if you set it up as a hybrid. If you want more leisurely riding, I would suggest keeping the road bike as a road bike and getting a fitness or flat bar hybrid for the rest of your riding.

    Keep in mind that higher handlebars are sometimes just a compensation for a bike that is too long for you. If it's the right length, having the handlebars an inch below the saddle should not be too different than having the bar higher and farther away. But what will be different is that the slightly lower but closer position will allow more comfortable and more natural riding on the hoods. Those drops are not meant for long distance riding.

    As an older rider, I still want to go as fast as I can within my limitations. Speed is fun. A good-handling road bike is like a fine sports car. As a person with some medical issues, as well as increasing age, I don't want to make my road bike more pokey, I want to make it easier for me to ride as a road bike. If I want to ride slow and exceptionally heavy, I'll get a cruiser for that.

    This is all assuming a person wants to ride a road bike. But if it's going to be more leisurely riding, nothing wrong with that, but then it can make more sense to get a bike which is designed more for that, and then, you get a wider suspended saddle and the higher handlebars.
    Last edited by Longfemur; 09-16-07 at 09:22 AM.

  18. #18
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Naperville, Illinois
    My Bikes
    Too Numerous (not)
    Posts
    2,329
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For my real roadies I'm planning to investigate shock absorption instead of raised handlebars, since I'm pretty sure long rides (100+ mi) and the pounding to my arms/shoulders is what caused my current problem. I won't give up good, efficient riding position easily. But I will stay on the bike whatever it takes.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •