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  1. #1
    Site ***** HaagenDas's Avatar
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    Correct handle bar height?

    This morning's little soujourn on my brand new MTB gets me wondering a smidgen. Whilst I've been playing around with seat height, I do believe I may have to experiment with tilt angles too. The current adjustment seems to lack good clearance for the goolies. Is it standard practice for blokes to tilt the front bit down a bit?

    Next subject: handle bar height. Currently I seem to be leaning forward and so when indicating left, I put pressure on my right arm and tend to swerve into the traffic a bit. Should I be bringing the bar up a bit?

    Thanks fellas and fellettes.
    School years were the best days of my life. I used to get caned by middle aged women wearing high heels, stocking and glasses. Now I have to pay for it.

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  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Well, HD, I know you're a young sprout, but as we get older, some of us like the handlebars to be higher--even as high or a smidge more than the seat. If you surf around on this site, it can explain more: www.rivbike.com
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  3. #3
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    The way my bike is setup right now(for small jumps) the seat is slammed down and the handlebars are on a very short stem.

    When I had the bike stup for XC, my weight was distributed 60/40. 60% of my weight on the seat and 40% on the bars. I also tilted my seat up a little bit. I know it sounds uncomfortable but it forces you to scoot back to the larger part of the seat where you are supposed to sit and is actually really comfortable.

  4. #4
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    Common wisdom has it that MTBs have an upright riding position with a high bar, but in reality, riders have a variety of styles.
    Cross-country sporty riders often have the bars set very low, in a similar position to a road racer (up to 6" below the bars).
    Novice leisure riders have the bar level or higher than the saddle, but this can casue difficulties on steep slopes.
    For Just Riding Along, a good place to aim is between the saddle and 3" below. Use enough stem length so that you can ride with relaxed shoulders, straight but angled back and bent elbows.
    Your chosen bar position will probably change over time as you become accustomed to riding.
    An adjustable stem is a useful accessory for fine tuning your bars but once you are happy, get a fixed stem.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 03-12-05 at 09:21 AM.

  5. #5
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaagenDas
    This morning's little soujourn on my brand new MTB gets me wondering a smidgen. Whilst I've been playing around with seat height, I do believe I may have to experiment with tilt angles too. The current adjustment seems to lack good clearance for the goolies. Is it standard practice for blokes to tilt the front bit down a bit?

    Next subject: handle bar height. Currently I seem to be leaning forward and so when indicating left, I put pressure on my right arm and tend to swerve into the traffic a bit. Should I be bringing the bar up a bit?

    Thanks fellas and fellettes.
    Here's a thread on another forum where a bloke asks why his hands and wrists are getting sore from riding.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t219356...le-riding.html

    One guy says to put the seat back further and another says to level it off. Frankly, when I do that I still feel the pressure on my hands and wrists but then it also puts a good deal of pressure on the ol' naughty bits!!

    It's been my experience that the higher the handlebars, the shorter the top tube, the more forward the seat, the more upright the riding position the more comfortable I am. This, of course, is not the current trend in road machines. Unfortunately, gone are the days of standard road bikes with short top tubes, unless you fork out the big cash and have one custom built or get a Rivendell or something like that.

    Out of my three road bikes only one of them is comfy enough to ride for any length of time without being in pain. See the pic of the Specialized Sequoia. Notice the handlebar height as well as the longish head tube with extra spacers on top. It also has an adjustable stem so you can dial in various riding positions - upright for touring, lower for a more aerodynamic position.

    Out of my two mountain bikes only one of them is good enough for longish rides without feeling beaten up. See pic of how much higher the handlebars are than the seat.

    I think some of these cyclists must have extensive surgury to move their "packages" to some less obtrusive location so that they can ride in these racing positions. It just looks like torture to me.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I always try to have my handlebars higher than the seat and I tilt my seat down to spare the family jewels.

  7. #7
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I like my handlebars about level with the saddle. It gives me the best in speed and control. On my road bike I like it about 2 cm below the saddle...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  8. #8
    senile member
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    im going to swap my current stem to a shorter/steeper one because when i cycle on the drops i have to bend down quite a bit, the bar is already level with the saddle, by the way.

  9. #9
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    Higher bar more comfort, lower bar more streamline. Decide you want to race or to enjoy comfortable cycling and set your bar accordingly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jjmolyet's Avatar
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    Turn your bike around and swerve away from traffic
    2005 Giant OCR Composite3
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    .........that's how I Roll.

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