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Does seat height determine how close your knees are to the handlebars?

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Does seat height determine how close your knees are to the handlebars?

Old 04-19-21, 05:18 PM
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Birdbikes
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Does seat height determine how close your knees are to the handlebars?

If you have very long legs, but short arms for your height and you buy a smaller bike, would the seat going up higher make you not have to worry about your knees hitting the handlebars?


i'm 5'10 (5'10.5-5'11 with shoes). I have a 69 inch wingspan and a 34.5-35 inch wingspan with shoes on.


am I right in thinking the higher the seat, the farther my legs are from the handlebars? Or will it not matter?

Last edited by Birdbikes; 04-20-21 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 04-19-21, 05:45 PM
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SkylerDakota
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That's a great question! I wish I had an answer for you and hope somebody can. I am definitely on the smaller side...(5'2" actually) and need to consider these things.
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Old 04-19-21, 06:08 PM
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Depends a little bit on the type of bike.

But in general, no. Not if the bike is about the right size for you and you have your saddle at the proper height. However if you are still riding the bike you bought when you were 12 yo, then there might be a problem with the size bike you have..

Is wing span your real wing span? Leg inseam from crotch to ground is useful. Shoulder to wrist might be helpful.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:28 PM
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UCantTouchThis
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I'm 6'1 and ride a 57 and 58 size road bike. Neither one will hit the knees at the stem/top surface area.

One time, I did hit my thigh on the bar end of the 58, the larger bike because of the shape of the hb's. It was a horn type with bar ends that extend pretty far back and more narrow width. I had gotten a new bike and had rode it for a month or so without the older bike. The new bike was a 57 but had wide bars and short ergo type extension handle are toward the back. So when I stood to climb on the narrow bars with the longer extensions, my thigh hit the bar end as I started to rock the bike up a steep climb. Startled me but once I realized the difference, never happened again.
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Old 04-19-21, 09:02 PM
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woodcraft
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Or you could not worry about your knees hitting the handlebars- nobody else does.
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Old 04-20-21, 02:30 AM
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I had an issue with my knees hitting the bar end plugs on my CAAD10, but only when out of the saddle.

Itís a 54cm, and I should probably really be riding a 56. So I got a longer stem; a 120mm to replace the stock 100mm. The position is more comfortable, I ride faster, and I donít hit the bars with my knees anymore.

I donít think your saddle height will affect your knees hitting the bars. Itís much more likely to be your bar position relative to the bottom bracket. Maybe crank length.
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Old 04-20-21, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Birdbikes View Post
If you have very long legs, but short arms for your height and you buy a smaller bike, would the seat going up higher make you not have to worry about your knees hitting the handlebars?


i'm 5'10 (5'10.5-5'11 with shoes). I have a 69 inch wingspan and a 34.5-35 inch wingspan with shoes on.

I was trying to decide between an 18 inch bike with a 57 cm top tube, or a 20 inch bike with a 58 cm top tube. Its an online order.

i ended up buying the 18 inch one because I read its better to get a smaller one with my proportion, but I am worried about my knees hitting the handlebars.

am I right in thinking the higher the seat, the farther my legs are from the handlebars? Or will it not matter?
I don't know if this will help but.....in my youth I was about 5'10 1/2" (barefoot) with a 32.5" inseam. My height is now down to about 5'9" on a "big" day but my inseam remains the same. I ride a "square 54" (54 frame and 54 TT) and a square 55 and I do not have the issue that concerns you.
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