Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

vintage bike handlebar

Old 03-14-19, 05:57 AM
  #1  
Luke147
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
vintage bike handlebar

I have a kind of bike fitting question but considering old, classic bike. I am 178 cm height and I have 84 inseam length and the frame on my bike (it's from the late 70's) c-t is 57 (c-c 56) and the lenght of the top tube is 57 cm. The thing is when I ride on the tops or on the drops it feels all right and comfortable and I don;t have the feeling that the bike is too big for me. But when I ride on the hoods I have he feeling that I have to reach too far and I feel like dropping on them. That is my natural feeling. I think I need about a 1-2 centimeters to feel comfortably - this when I grab handlebar a bit before the hoods.

What should I do? I've moved the handlebar a bit up (by rotating it not lifting the whole handlebar) and it is a bit better but not good for sure. Should I move Weinmanns levers up? Or maybe the frame is just too big, too long base?

Thanks for the reply!
Luke147 is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 06:27 AM
  #2  
TenGrainBread 
Senior Member
 
TenGrainBread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,614
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
For imperial readers, the OP is about 5'10".

I would say this is generally an appropriate height for a 57cm bike. You would probably fit fine on a 55cm or 56cm as well.

On modern bikes, the handlebars and brake hoods are generally designed so that the primary position is resting your hands on the hoods. The bars have shorter reach and the ramps and shape of the hoods are designed to have a flat transition.

On vintage bikes (pre-STI levers), the primary position for drop bars is generally the ramps, tops, or drops. While the hoods is a position used, it is only used briefly, perhaps mostly during climbing when more leverage and reach is needed to get out of the saddle.

So I would say your fit is normal, and it just might be a matter of getting used to using the ramps primarily. If the ramps of your handlebars are difficult to use because they are angled downward toward the brake levers, which is common on older racing handlebars, here are 3 solutions, in order of least work/expense to most:

1. You can tilt the bars up until the ramps are flat, which is a common thing to do.

2. Get a handlebar that has flat ramps parallel to the drops, or a set of randonneur-bend bars, which are meant to be mostly used on the flat ramps.

3. Switch to a modern compact bar (like the Soma Highway 1) with less reach and flat ramps, and perhaps even get modern-shaped brake levers like Tektro or Cane Creek levers.

I would prefer option 2 to keep the character of the bike, but option 3 is good if you really don't like using the ramps. I really like my modern bike with compact bars and big brake hoods so it's whatever you prefer.

Last edited by TenGrainBread; 03-14-19 at 06:40 AM.
TenGrainBread is online now  
Old 03-14-19, 06:40 AM
  #3  
jlaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 567

Bikes: 2015 Spec. AWOL Elite, 2007 Spec. Roubaix Elite, 2003 Spec. Big Hit 2, 1998 VooDoo Zobop, 1985 Trek 410, 1984 Trek 620

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 12 Posts
As you suggested - you can try moving the levers closer to you on the bars. Rotating the bars up as you have already tried can make riding the drops less comfortable.

And/or get a stem that is shorter.

Also, is the seat too far back? You can find plenty of bike fit ino. by searching this site.

Given your dimensions and the bike's dimensions you should be able to find a fit that works for you.

Good luck.
jlaw is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 07:16 AM
  #4  
Luke147
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for advices! In fact I just didn't know unitl now that riding on the ramps is a normal way of riding... As I said when I ride on the ramps (then my index finger is kind of resting just a bit on the hood, which is a bit further, but my hand lies naturally on the ramps) it feels comfortable and natural. It wasn't that comfortable when they were rotated down. I rotatetded it just a bit and now they are almost flat. So I think when I will rotate it jus a bit more they will be flat and the end of the drop bar would be pointed more or less toward the rear hub at about 15st degree. I read somewhere that this is fine tuning. Also just now when drops are not parallel to the ground, they feel better than when they were parallel. I think my wrists are straighter, not bend that much.

Anyway, thanks for the advices one more time and I think by now I will go for adjusting the rotation of the handlebar a bit more and see if it is even more comfy!
Luke147 is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 07:49 AM
  #5  
TenGrainBread 
Senior Member
 
TenGrainBread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,614
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Sounds good. Looks like tilting the bar worked perfectly.
TenGrainBread is online now  
Old 03-14-19, 08:47 AM
  #6  
Aubergine 
Bad example
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Seattle and Reims
Posts: 2,919
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 762 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Luke, I love riding on the hoods, so what I wound up doing was raising the levers in the bar so that they angle up. Not ideal perhaps, and looks odd if you are used to the way things were set up in the 70s. But they are easy to hold and comfortable. This photo should give you the idea.



__________________
Keeping Seattle’s bike shops in business since 1978
Aubergine is online now  
Old 03-14-19, 08:59 AM
  #7  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,652
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Just make sure that if you use the drops much, you can still easily reach the brake levers.
I have moved to either rando bars or Noodles on most of my bikes, both of which have nearly parallel ramps and drops. I just can’t seem to get comfortable on a Cinelli type bend any more.
due ruote is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 09:37 AM
  #8  
Luke147
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice bike! That solution looks nice, thanks! But I have a bit differently shaped handle bar (more deep i guess) and don't have rubber hoods on them. I guess I could lift them up (levers) maybe an inch to get optimal leght from the drops to the brakes and definately need to buy rubber hoods and new bar tape, because of changing the levers position. I think I'll try that solution in the future, considering stuff that I need to do in order to get this solution. By now I'll ride on the ramps, comes out that it isn't that bad.
Luke147 is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 09:39 AM
  #9  
Luke147
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, by now when I have my ramps almost flat I can still reach easily the brake levers and I think that if the levers would go up about half an inch, maybe bit more it would be still easy. They are quite quite low, almost where the bend od the drops ends
Luke147 is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 12:28 PM
  #10  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,652
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Luke147 View Post
Yes, by now when I have my ramps almost flat I can still reach easily the brake levers and I think that if the levers would go up about half an inch, maybe bit more it would be still easy. They are quite quite low, almost where the bend od the drops ends
The traditional starting point for positioning levers is to hold a straightedge on the bottom of the drop section, and place the levers such that the tip rests against the straightedge.
due ruote is offline  
Old 03-14-19, 02:25 PM
  #11  
ed4406
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: The Motor City
Posts: 80

Bikes: Fuji Finest, Trek 460, 970, Miyata One Ten, Maruishi 606, Univega Alpina Uno LX, Browning Grade V

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'd consider a shorter stem. I like to ride on the hoods and that change has helped a bike that's a bit long for me feel great.
ed4406 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.