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  1. #1
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    I believe I read somewhere that traditionally, handlebars should be positioned so that the bar ends are parallel to the ground, is that right?

    In any event, I am experimenting with handlebar angle and I've found that I am a bit more comfortable if the handlebars are tilted up somewhat -- so that the bar ends point down toward the ground by about 10 degrees or so (pointing almost at, or slightly above the rear axle.

    To be more specific, I find it more comfortable to ride the hoods this way... which easily accounts for at least 90% of my riding. Not being a racer (yet), I rarely use the drops... although I will admit that the more traditional bar angle (parallel to ground) felt a bit more comfortable when using the drops.

    Since I almost always ride the hoods, should I go with the higher bar position? How do most of you folks handle this issue? What is the angle of your bars? (Mine are ergo bars, btw)

    I suppose I could lower the bars and then raise the position of the hoods to have the best of both worlds?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    Ned

  2. #2
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    Here's a pic of my bike as currently adjusted, for reference:


  3. #3
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    I would bring the shifter up the bars slightly, perhaps 1/2"~3/4", then rotate your bars slightly down. It appears that you like the tops of the bars to be horzintal all the way out to the hoods.

    Nonetheless, the correct position for the bars is the one that is most comfortable to you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NV5200

    To be more specific, I find it more comfortable to ride the hoods this way... which easily accounts for at least 90% of my riding. Not being a racer (yet), I rarely use the drops...

    Since I almost always ride the hoods, should I go with the higher bar position? How do most of you folks handle this issue? What is the angle of your bars? (Mine are ergo bars, btw)
    Whtever spins your beanie.I've seen worse,and it just indicats someone should have probably bought a different frame or bigger size. If you aren't a racer why buy a race frame and then try and cobble a fit?

  5. #5
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    that's pretty much the same bar position i use! i rotated mine up so i could get a better angle at the hoods. unfortunately, now i can't grab the "ergonomic" portion of the handlebars (the diagonal bit right by the brake lever) without being really uncomfortable...seeing as that was my whole reason for getting anatmoic handlebars in the first place, i'm a little bummed. i use the salsa pro road bars, and have no complaints, other than that. i'm going to look at different bar models with slightly different bends to them to find one that works for me (allows the tops to be flat and the hoods to be angled, without having to tilt the drops so far down).

  6. #6
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Whtever spins your beanie.I've seen worse,and it just indicats someone should have probably bought a different frame or bigger size. If you aren't a racer why buy a race frame and then try and cobble a fit?
    I don't understand your negative reply. All the guy was asking about was handlebar postition, not a critique of his choice of bikes.

  7. #7
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    that's pretty much the same bar position i use! i rotated mine up so i could get a better angle at the hoods. unfortunately, now i can't grab the "ergonomic" portion of the handlebars (the diagonal bit right by the brake lever) without being really uncomfortable...seeing as that was my whole reason for getting anatmoic handlebars in the first place, i'm a little bummed. i use the salsa pro road bars, and have no complaints, other than that. i'm going to look at different bar models with slightly different bends to them to find one that works for me (allows the tops to be flat and the hoods to be angled, without having to tilt the drops so far down).
    Bontrager makes a bar that has a flat top all the way to the hoods. http://www.bontrager.com/bars/detail.asp?id=38&pt=2

  8. #8
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I think Davet has it right.....you need to move your shifters up higher then tilt bars down. Incidently many of the pro riders prefer that set up too. (Shifters high on the bars.)

  9. #9
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    Thats nice if your a pro. Put them how YOU like them and screw all the racer wantabe's.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Thats nice if your a pro. Put them how YOU like them and screw all the racer wantabe's.
    g'day,

    the only problem with that advice.....is the guy asked for advice on how they SHOULD be!...If he just wants to leave then like that...fine...but don't postsaying 'is this alright?....cos it's not!. The flat bit in the drops should be parrallel with the ground...no 'if's' no 'but's' no 'maybe's'. If you need the hoods closer to you, move them up the bars, (shimano have a little screw under the rubber hood cover...loosen it & slide them...you need to unwind the bar tape first). The 5200 is a nice bike, set it up properly.......

    cheers,

    Hitchy

  11. #11
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    It just bothers me when regular riders need help and then we get,the pro's. Whats good for them as pro's wont work for us,most the time. With the rise on that stem,i'd like to see him ride it with them parrallel. It kill me but i'm old.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitchy
    g'day,

    The flat bit in the drops should be parrallel with the ground...no 'if's' no 'but's' no 'maybe's'.
    And where is that inscribed in granite?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    It just bothers me when regular riders need help and then we get,the pro's. Whats good for them as pro's wont work for us,most the time. With the rise on that stem,i'd like to see him ride it with them parrallel. It kill me but i'm old.
    G'day,

    I'm only what you might refer to as a regular rider...& i'm old too!....but that set up is just wrong, wrong, wrong........set up your $200 commuter anyway you want...but this guy has a 'decent' race level bike.....it needs to be set up properly.....apart from the 'asthetic's' of the thing....I reckon he'll end up with sore hands, shoulders & probably back as well if he spends anytime in the drops at all.The only reason he gives for having the bar like that is to get the hoods 'higher' on the bar.......moving the hoods up is a 10minute job (BTW...don't forget to put a 'straight edge' across the hoods when adjusting them so you can make sure they are level. a spirit level on the 'straight edge' & voila....pro mechanic job!)

    cheers,


    hitchy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    And where is that inscribed in granite?
    g'day,

    hmmm.....maybe 'Road bike 101'?......but i'll concede the point if you can show me a picture of any racer, (doesn't need to be a pro) or a bike shop...that recommends differently....the guy has a race level bike, he asked for advice...he or you don't wanna take it...ignore it...but don't then start a thread "my hands & back are sore when i'm in the drops..why?"...if you don't wanna set your bike up right...don't...but it's a bit like putting mag wheels, lumpy cam & lowering the front of a Rolls Royce isn't it?

    cheers,

    hitchy

  15. #15
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    I actually read once from a bike setup article that the end of the bar should point towards the rear wheel hub which is exactly what yours is doing.
    I also prefer this position myself. At 47 I am less flexible than before and like to ride on the hoods. In the drops I also find it more comfortable with the bar ends pointed downwards. Davet suggestion is a good one though.
    In the end you are the one riding your bike and you should be comfortable doing it. Don't worry about what other racer wannabees say or do. Looking at your bike you seem to be like me, long legs and short torso.

  16. #16
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    I also use a similar setup to NV5200, with the compromise of comfort on the hoods vs comfort in the drops. If you move the brake levers higher up on the bar, though, then they are difficult to use from the drops -- the ergo-bend places your hands too low, and you have to reach up with the forefinger to shift or brake. What I'd like to see is a bar with a sharper angle from tops to drops; so when the tops are roughly horizontal, the drops are also horizontal. Hard to tell if the Bontrager bar pointed out by Davet fits that bill.

  17. #17
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    Hitchy,

    If some rider wants to go out and set up their ride in a way that is just WRONG, so be it. I am sure that the only way that you will actually have your sensibilities offended is while passing them or looking over your shoulder. Leave them be, ignorance is bliss.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Hitchy,

    If some rider wants to go out and set up their ride in a way that is just WRONG, so be it. I am sure that the only way that you will actually have your sensibilities offended is while passing them or looking over your shoulder. Leave them be, ignorance is bliss.
    g'day,

    granted...his bike, his set up...I've had my $0.02 worth.......but its still wrong, wrong, wrong....lol

    cheers

    Hitchy

  19. #19
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldeneye
    I also use a similar setup to NV5200, with the compromise of comfort on the hoods vs comfort in the drops. If you move the brake levers higher up on the bar, though, then they are difficult to use from the drops -- the ergo-bend places your hands too low, and you have to reach up with the forefinger to shift or brake. What I'd like to see is a bar with a sharper angle from tops to drops; so when the tops are roughly horizontal, the drops are also horizontal. Hard to tell if the Bontrager bar pointed out by Davet fits that bill.
    The Bontrager Select Road Flat-Top bars are precisely that, tops horizontal with the drops horizontal.

    Hitchy: The correct thing to say would be: 'While your choice to rotate the bars upwards doesn't agree with what I think a race bike should look like, it's your bike and should should do what suits you."

    His choice is not ..."wrong,wrong,wrong..." just because you don't like it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davet
    The Bontrager Select Road Flat-Top bars are precisely that, tops horizontal with the drops horizontal.

    Hitchy: The correct thing to say would be: 'While your choice to rotate the bars upwards doesn't agree with what I think a race bike should look like, it's your bike and should should do what suits you."

    His choice is not ..."wrong,wrong,wrong..." just because you don't like it.

    g'day,

    if you bothered to read my previous posts, you would see that my reasoning goes beyond the asthetics of what the bike looks like. It is 'wrong, wrong, wrong!.....but he can do whatever he wants, it's his bike, i couldn't care less quite frankly, but the guy posted a thread called 'optimum handle bar angle?'....that's not what he's got!......that's all my $0.02...if you don't agree don't do it!...pretty simple really....& as far as ......
    it's your bike and should should do what suits you."
    ......that set up will cause more problems than it's worth...it doesn't suit anyone.....i assume the guy is asking for advice because he doesn't know any better....he's getting some very ordinary advice from other people who don't know any better....... but me , every bike set up 'guru' & 4 billion other cyclists are probably wrong.......

    cheers,

    Hitchy
    cheers,

  21. #21
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    Race bike is a broad term. Most of us non-racers ride "race bikes". You know,like a sports car for picking up the kids from pratice. Any nice road bike is a race bike i suppose. I belive that set up suits him. So does he want it to be set up like a "race bike" or set it up where he likes it.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  22. #22
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitchy
    .......but its still wrong, wrong, wrong....lol



    Hitchy
    Hummmmm...I don't seem to fnd that on either the first or second tablet.

  23. #23
    Senior Member NeoBinary's Avatar
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    This is probably the most twisted post I've ever seen. Multiple posts semi-flaming Hitchy for simply answering a question. Don't let your tender hearts be offended by an answer not directed to you. The post concerns "Optimum handlebar angle", not "Can you tell me what handelbar angle I prefer?". Little changes, such as handlebar angle affect overall form. If this does not concern you, simply look away.

    Quote Originally Posted by NV5200
    Not being a racer (yet)
    ...seems to me he's working towards correct form. Doing whatever feels right now, could affect that negatively in the long run.

  24. #24
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    I recall that the now AWOL Barnett's manual recommended initially setting up bars so that the downward angle of the top bars are roughly equal to the upward slope of the drops, and then adjusting for rider preference. Sort of a compromise position indicative of the idea that there may not be a single "correct" answer to this question.

    The Barnett's prescription didn't work for me. It was fairly good for riding on the hoods but it made riding in the drops uncomfortable. I ended up going the traditional "horizontal drops" route and moved the levers up on the bars as high as I could while still being able to reach them easily from the drops.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoBinary
    This is probably the most twisted post I've ever seen. Multiple posts semi-flaming Hitchy for simply answering a question. Don't let your tender hearts be offended by an answer not directed to you. The post concerns "Optimum handlebar angle", not "Can you tell me what handelbar angle I prefer?". Little changes, such as handlebar angle affect overall form. If this does not concern you, simply look away.



    ...seems to me he's working towards correct form. Doing whatever feels right now, could affect that negatively in the long run.
    g'day,

    ahh, thank you for the support....I was starting to wonder where everyone had gone.....it shouldn't worry me, but it does, when i see obvious newbies, getting advice that is poor from people who pass themselves off as knowing better...nevermind..all are entitled to there own opinions!
    This is probably the most twisted post I've ever seen
    ...lol...you need to get out more!!!...there was some bloke last week who reckoned p*ssing on his feet made them feel better & another bloke who was practising sh**ing his knicks in case he had to do it in a race.......now those guys are sick puppies compared to the amateurs on this thread!...they can flame my opinions all they like...unfortunately it won't help the poor bloke with the wrong bike set up....all he's gunna get out of it is a crook back, sore hands, probably slip & fall off the drops...& won't cycle as much as a result......very disappointing for him,

    cheers,

    hitchy

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