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More Upright Road or Gravel Bike?

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More Upright Road or Gravel Bike?

Old 01-22-21, 01:43 PM
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Kogaman5
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More Upright Road or Gravel Bike?

I have developed Arthritic Elbows and can't stay on the drops for long periods. I would like to find a road or gravel bike, where I have about a 15% lean when on top of the drops and 30% - 40% when I am in the drops. Thus probably a bike with a shorter reach and a taller head tube. Would like to spend around $1500 - $2000, aluminum/steel frame is good, maybe a softer carbon front fork. Am about 5' 10.5" so maybe a 54 or 55cm frame. Either disc or rim brakes. Most of my riding is on paved surfaces.
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Old 01-22-21, 04:33 PM
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The diamondback haanjo models don't look too bad, e.g., https://www.diamondback.com/road-bik.../haanjo-4-4482

I've got a black mountain cycles mcd, which is very upright but likely to be outside of your price range when built up. https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/mcd-frames/
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Old 01-22-21, 04:54 PM
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I don't know about your price range but the bikes with an upright type fit are the Trek Domane and the BMC Roadmachine. Gravel bikes like the Cannondale Topstone or Trek ALR Checkpoint are also more upright.
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Old 01-22-21, 04:57 PM
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One thing that really helps is when buying a NEW bike, be sure to have the assembler leave the "fork tube uncut". It will add a little height to the hb's. I did it on my last build. Got a few spacers but more upright and comfortable. Doing 100 miles on a comfortable bike is much better than doing it on a bike set up to impress others with the racer look.
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Old 01-22-21, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kogaman5 View Post
I have developed Arthritic Elbows and can't stay on the drops for long periods. I would like to find a road or gravel bike, where I have about a 15% lean when on top of the drops and 30% - 40% when I am in the drops. Thus probably a bike with a shorter reach and a taller head tube. Would like to spend around $1500 - $2000, aluminum/steel frame is good, maybe a softer carbon front fork. Am about 5' 10.5" so maybe a 54 or 55cm frame. Either disc or rim brakes. Most of my riding is on paved surfaces.
I suspect you won't find a stock drop bar bike that will put you that upright. But you can get a high-rise stem to raise the bars a couple inches.


Google "high rise stem".
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Old 01-22-21, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
One thing that really helps is when buying a NEW bike, be sure to have the assembler leave the "fork tube uncut". It will add a little height to the hb's. I did it on my last build. Got a few spacers but more upright and comfortable. Doing 100 miles on a comfortable bike is much better than doing it on a bike set up to impress others with the racer look.
I asked about this at a BMC dealer a couple weeks ago and he said most bikes come with the steer tube cut. I think most forks have come with 300mm steer tubes before cutting.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kogaman5 View Post
I have developed Arthritic Elbows and can't stay on the drops for long periods. I would like to find a road or gravel bike, where I have about a 15% lean when on top of the drops and 30% - 40% when I am in the drops. Thus probably a bike with a shorter reach and a taller head tube. Would like to spend around $1500 - $2000, aluminum/steel frame is good, maybe a softer carbon front fork. Am about 5' 10.5" so maybe a 54 or 55cm frame. Either disc or rim brakes. Most of my riding is on paved surfaces.
I think your quest is for bars with a very large drop.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
One thing that really helps is when buying a NEW bike, be sure to have the assembler leave the "fork tube uncut". It will add a little height to the hb's. I did it on my last build. Got a few spacers but more upright and comfortable. Doing 100 miles on a comfortable bike is much better than doing it on a bike set up to impress others with the racer look.
You just need to make sure the steerer is cut no longer than the manufacturerís recommendation. Thatís generally 30-35 mm of stack between the stem and headset. If itís too long it can lead to catastrophic failure of the steerer, which obviously can be a really serious safety issue......itís better to use a stem with more rise than a steerer that is too long.

Last edited by jppe; 01-23-21 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-31-21, 03:01 PM
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As Iíve reached 60 and though in better shape than many my age...... Iím still 60🙁
I have been putting extended stems on a few of my bikes just so I can continue to enjoy riding them. On my Orbea Terra gravel bike I went with a simple and inexpensive steer tube extension that works wonderfully.
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Old 01-31-21, 08:37 PM
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My comfort/gravel/utility machine is my Schwinn mountain bike (see signature), with perpendicular extensions on the ends of the regular Ritchey mountain bike bars. These give me a much-needed additional hand position with the wrist-neutral axial rotation provided by drop bars. Best of all worlds, and it's even Team USA red, white, and blue.
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Old 02-01-21, 01:45 AM
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edit: Welcome to BF 50+ @Kogaman5

Pavement rides, rim brakes, steel frame acceptable, short top tube.

Handlebars called short and shallow should not be overlooked, regardless of the drop bar bike you choose.

If you can swing your leg over a level top tube, then I would look at the used bike market for half your price. A quill stem Nitto Technomic (?), allows the bars to be raised several inches. Or spend the money saved on better tires/riding shorts/shoes/gloves/bar tape.

Or size up a bit and enjoy a tall head tube.

6'1" on a 62cm frame.

Here's an example of a Nitto Technomic stem on a vintage gravel ready upright rider, with easy step thru..
This is a project test set-up that got changed to shorter upright stem with upright bars.


Price = waaaaaaaay below your target. Find one in Reynolds 531 tubing with lighter weight for a few $$$ more.

Last edited by Wildwood; 02-01-21 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 02-01-21, 02:56 PM
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both of course
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Old 02-01-21, 05:13 PM
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Another idea that would give you 30mm more height is the Surly Truck Stop Bar with it's built in 30mm rise.
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Old 02-01-21, 07:31 PM
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Rivendell Roadini has a pretty high stack. Not sure about the reach. Never seen a picture of one where the bars are lower than the saddle. With a Nitto Technomic you can get the bars up even higher and have a nice upright riding position and realistic access to the drops.
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Old 02-01-21, 07:55 PM
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I can offer this adjustable stem. It worked for my GF. https://www.amazon.com/FOMTOR-Adjust.../dp/B07QRPVKKL
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Old 02-01-21, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Rivendell Roadini has a pretty high stack. Not sure about the reach. Never seen a picture of one where the bars are lower than the saddle. With a Nitto Technomic you can get the bars up even higher and have a nice upright riding position and realistic access to the drops.
With 6 inches of stem sticking up there! The last quill stem bike I had got one of those Nitto stems the last time I used it. I sold it last summer. Hope I don't regret that.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kogaman5 View Post
I have developed Arthritic Elbows and can't stay on the drops for long periods. I would like to find a road or gravel bike, where I have about a 15% lean when on top of the drops and 30% - 40% when I am in the drops. Thus probably a bike with a shorter reach and a taller head tube. Would like to spend around $1500 - $2000, aluminum/steel frame is good, maybe a softer carbon front fork. Am about 5' 10.5" so maybe a 54 or 55cm frame. Either disc or rim brakes. Most of my riding is on paved surfaces.
I don't think I have that problem yet, but I would look toward Rivendell. I don't think they are in that price range, but some people sell theirs.
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Old 02-14-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
As Iíve reached 60 and though in better shape than many my age...... Iím still 60🙁
I have been putting extended stems on a few of my bikes just so I can continue to enjoy riding them. On my Orbea Terra gravel bike I went with a simple and inexpensive steer tube extension that works wonderfully.
Try a stem riser like Tomm did. I have them on two bikes and they work well. They are about $20-$25. If it does what you need, you save the cost of a new bike. If it doesn't work, you're only out a few bucks.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:27 PM
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Another option would be to get a bike, and replace the fork with that carbon fiber one you wanted. A new fork will come with the steerer tube uncut.
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Old 02-14-21, 10:07 PM
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Adding stem spacers and a riser stem is effectively increasing the frame's stack. You want to start with a frame with maximum stack. It's a little tedious to find, but the information is available. Bikes marketed as gravel, adventure, all-road or endurance tend to have more stack, but not always.

From there, your options are spacers and riser stem for more increase, or go with a French fit. which essentially means buy a taller frame than normal. With sloping top tubes, that's even easier. This effectively lowers your saddle with respect to the bars. Taller frames will have a little more reach, which you might need to compensate for with a shorter stem.

I can't tell you what bike to buy; there are too many preferences and options.
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Old 02-14-21, 10:14 PM
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He might not be coming back.
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