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Old 08-25-04, 04:39 PM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Need tips/sites for proper handle bar and hood position

Need tips/sites for proper handle bar and hood position

Trying to get the best set up for me but would like to read any guides or hints/tips I can find before I mess with them too much

This is for a road bike
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Old 08-25-04, 05:37 PM   #2
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The angle of the bars is primarily personal preference. If you ride mostly up on top and on the hoods, then rotate the bars so the top is relatively flat. If you ride in the drops, then rotate down so you have a comfortable wrist angle when in the drops.

I prefer to locate the brakes so the levers are more or less vertical but not so far that it's a stretch to rest my hands on the hoods. Once again, personal preference dictates the best compromise.
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Old 08-25-04, 08:59 PM   #3
Michel Gagnon
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Agreed. If you have no starting reference, simply install the bars and brakes and tape a bit the cables in place, but don't install any handlebar tape yet. Ride around the block and fiddle with your position. Adjust.

Then tape the bars with old bar tape. I might be finnicky, but if/when I adjust a bike, I know I will have to fine-tune it again within 1-2 weeks. It's only at that point that I install new, good-looking tape.

As for my preferred position:
- handlebar tops at same level or slightly higher than the saddle;
- drop section pointing down by about 10 degrees;
- brake levers very low in the curve, so the lower tip of the levers is about level with the lowest part of the drops (makes the brakes easier to grab without moving my hands when I am on the drops);
- bars taped first with a short strip of "cork" lengthwise on the upside of the bars, then with "cork" tape.
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Old 08-25-04, 10:31 PM   #4
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IIRC, the drops should usually be about 15 degrees up from horizontal, for optimum drop-riding position. For riding on the hoods, position the brake levers so that your wrists aren't pivoted up or down while you're riding on them. Your elbows should be slightly bent, and the angle between your back and your upper arms should be about 90 degrees.

Whatever you do, DON'T position the bar such that your elbows are locked.

It looks, from the site in your sig, like you've had a pro fitting done. D'you think that, for a nominal fee, they'd do a follow-up with you, to set these angles? A good pro fitting should include this anyway. We spent a good 45 minutes on bar height/position and hood position at my fitting.

Last edited by madpogue; 08-25-04 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 08-25-04, 11:21 PM   #5
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There's 15 zagillion photos of pro bikes on this site:

Scroll down about half way, and on the right you'll see "Pro bikes", and "Bikes of the Peloton", etc, etc.
I know it's not the be-all and end-all, but at least you can see what ther pros do
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