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Old 03-16-08, 08:46 AM   #1
JoeOxfordCT
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Where's your bar height in relation to seat height ??

Hi All,

I've been having trouble with hand numbness on my mtb for quite some time, specifically my thumb and first two fingers.....I'm currently riding a Cannondale Caffeine F3 (large). I ride primarily on the road but also do some fire roads and pull my daughter from time to time in her Burly Solo. One of the few changes I made since purchasing the bike last year was to swap out the riser bars for a set of the old Scott AT-2 bars. My hands are now currently about 2 inches below my seat height. This mimics my bar/seat height setup on my road bike when I'm riding on the hoods.....I experience no discomfort with this setup on my road bike. On my mtb I mostly rest my hands on the bends or the bar end sections. I'm waiting for Ergon to release their GC3 barends which I'm hoping will give me some additional hand positions but in the meantime I'm wondering if I should try swapping my stem out for something to bring my handlebars even with my seat....I notice, for instance, on the Cannondale site all their mountain bikes are pictured with the bars and seat at the same height....

I dunno....I'm getting new shoes as well, perhaps my fit person can give me some advice on fit.....

Here are the GC-3's:


Here's what I'm running for bars currently:
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Old 03-16-08, 12:04 PM   #2
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It's worth a try. I have a hard time getting comfortable on any bike when the bars are more than a centimeter or two below the seat.
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Old 03-16-08, 12:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
It's worth a try. I have a hard time getting comfortable on any bike when the bars are more than a centimeter or two below the seat.
It's frustrating because the position on my mtb seems very close to what i have on my road bike and if I could get my position on my mtb comfortable enough....I would swap both my road & current mtb for a 29'er and have one bike that meets all my needs....
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Old 03-16-08, 01:42 PM   #4
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Have you tried sliding the saddle forward and backward to try different positions? My road bikes tend to have a much shorter cockpit than my MTBs, maybe that could have an effect on your hands?
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Old 03-16-08, 05:31 PM   #5
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It's frustrating because the position on my mtb seems very close to what i have on my road bike and if I could get my position on my mtb comfortable enough....I would swap both my road & current mtb for a 29'er and have one bike that meets all my needs....
Geometry on the road bike and the mountain bikes are different? Second vote for sliding the saddle back a bit. Sometimes even tilt of the saddle may affect how your weight is distributed. Adjust ever so slightly each time.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:52 PM   #6
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Yes, check your saddle position. Make sure that the nose is angled up, not down.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:56 PM   #7
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what they ^^^ said about saddles.

i always keep my bar at saddle height. even with susp. i like a bit of bend in my arms. without this i start to ache in my upper arms / shoulders.

this actually got my thinking of going back to riser bar (higher & wider) more lazy position but more fun esp. on downhills. but then i'm a lazy (slow / easy gear) climber.

there you go. give risers a try. you might be pleasantly surprised!
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