Picked up a new Focus Mares Comp for my first "real" CycloCross bike. I've ridden a few races on my old flat-bar Trek Hybrid and wanted to move to an entry-level dedicated CX bike and turn the hybrid back into the grocery-getter.
My question is this: with the seat set at the correct height for me (I'm 6'4" tall with a 36" inseam), the top of the bars are 3.75" lower than the top of the seat. I've read a ton of articles on setting up CX bikes, but most don't give any sort of actual range/numbers, but just usually recommend setting the bar height to saddle relationship about an inch higher than your roadbike.
My roadbike is more of a tourer and set up with the seat height and bar height even. I don't race on the road and mostly do longer road rides (centuries) in the summer. My flat bar Trek is set up the same way.
So naturally, riding the new Focus with almost a four-inch drop to the bars isn't too comfortable -- I took it out to the park yesterday and it felt like I had way too much weight over the front of the bike and really felt every bump and ripple being transferred through my arms to my shoulders.
So, does anyone have their CX bike set up with that much of a drop from the seat to the bars? Where is everyone else at?
I have the largest frame Focus makes in this bike (XXL/60), so it looks like my only alternative to raise the bars would be to use a steerer extender (which I've never used before -- anyone else?) or a stem with a *really* steep incline.
Any thoughts/advice for a newbie?