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Multiple road bikes - set up with same contact points?

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Multiple road bikes - set up with same contact points?

Old 05-19-21, 12:29 PM
  #1  
nathand
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Multiple road bikes - set up with same contact points?

For those with multiple road bikes - do you set them up with the same contact points (handlebar, saddle, pedals) because you know what you like, or set them up differently because otherwise why have multiple bikes? I have a gravel bike and a titanium road bike, both with similar setups, and I just bought a used carbon road bike (replacing a similar one that was stolen 2 years ago). What prompted my question is the new-to-me bike has a handlebar I don't like, so I'm trying to decide whether to put the same bar on it as I have on the other bikes since I know it works for me, or use this an opportunity to try something different.

The bar I have on the two other bikes is an older Easton anatomic design with a flat section in the drops which I like - feels secure in the drops - but seems to have fallen out of favor, if it ever was popular. I've tried continuous curve bars that I didn't like because I couldn't find a spot where my whole palm felt in contact with the bar, but perhaps I should try again?
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Old 05-19-21, 01:10 PM
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I've never bothered duplicating the make/model of handlebar on multiple bikes, but they all sport the exact same pedal and as similar-as-possible saddles. imho it's way more important to have all those contact points located indentically than it is to have them literally be identical.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:16 PM
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Same saddle height and set back on all.
Handlebar reach and height varies up to around 10mm.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:35 PM
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I think I am fairly picky about my contact points. I know what I like when it comes to handlebar shape and I have a couple of models that I always go to based on intended use (e.g. gravel bike vs. aggressive road bike). Saddles I experiment a little more with, but they all have the same basic shape (i.e. fairly flat, not too wide, pear-shaped more than T-shaped). For pedals I have one road-type system and one off-road-type system in use at any one time.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:47 PM
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I do not have the exact set up on all my bikes, different geometry, bars, stems, etc. But I do have the contact points as close to each other as I can get.
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Old 05-19-21, 03:44 PM
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On 5 out of 7, the saddle heights are the same within 3mm, and the setback is the same within 5mm. Handlebar drops are the same within 1 cm, and reach from saddle to hoods are within 2cm.

Then I got 2 vintage bikes with 170mm cranks instead of the 175s the other have, not to mention different saddles and the next size smaller frames, and I've had fiddle a bit. Still working on it, but they have higher saddles, more drop to the bar, and as a result maybe a degree or two of nose-down tilt, which surprised me by actually working, and not making me feel like I'm being thrown at the bars. Who knew?
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Old 05-19-21, 03:46 PM
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I try to transfer the same exact measurements to each bike.
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Old 05-19-21, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
I try to transfer the same exact measurements to each bike.
This.
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Old 05-19-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nathand View Post
For those with multiple road bikes - do you set them up with the same contact points (handlebar, saddle, pedals) because you know what you like, or set them up differently because otherwise why have multiple bikes??
As you will find out, your titanium bike will give a different feel to your carbon bike; and you'll use them in different places (road only, gravel, etc.) but you want yourself to be in pretty much the same position.
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Old 05-19-21, 04:13 PM
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I did put exactly the same saddle on a couple of my road bikes (and the same width & shape saddle on the third). I wouldn't normally put identical components on all bikes, as for me that's part of the point of having multiple bikes: one is 11 speed SRAM, one is 10 speed Chorus, one is 8 speed Record...
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Old 05-19-21, 04:25 PM
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It's impossible for me. One bike is for fair weather going fast and climbing a lot, so has 172.5mm cranks and 38cm bars. Another is the rainy weather bike with fenders, so shorter 170mm cranks reduce toe overlap, plus I will sometimes wear rain boots with a massive difference in stack compared to my road shoes, not to mention run the cleats further forward because Fizik didn't make the holes go back and aforementioned caution around toe overlap. Bars are 40cm and higher up because the conditions I ride it in are harsher, as is the ride compared to first bike.

Then the other bike is a tandem with totally different handling characteristics plus an even longer 175mm cranks that I don't ride enough to change. I have less reach and more stack, wider 42cm bars as well. Finally, it goes on gravel at times, so it's got SPD not PM pedals that I move between the other 2.
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Old 05-19-21, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
I try to transfer the same exact measurements to each bike.
This is what I aim for on just about every build Ive done for myself. I also try to use parts that are similar in dimensions in order to obtain that ideal fit. But Im also biased towards parts or brands Ive used.
I favor handlebars with deep, traditional drops and ended up with the 3T Superleggera Stealth on the Lynskey Helix and the Team version on the SBC 6061.
With the much taller head tube length on the SBC, I not only had to use a stem, flipped -17, I was lucky enough to find a 0 stack height carbon top bearing cover in my bike misc bins. This was even thinner and lower than a Slam That Stem headset cover.
Similar pedals too on both builds; Look X-Track Race carbon and X-Track race respectively.
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Old 05-20-21, 10:32 AM
  #13  
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My bikes are set up as close as possible with cockpit choice; same frame size, same saddle, stem, seatpost setback, similar bar reach/drop, crank length etc. Minor difference via frame geometry (stack and reach) with one having a less aggressive position by choice.
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Old 05-20-21, 04:19 PM
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My main road bike and back up road bike have the same bb-saddle height and the same saddle-shifter length.
The frame geometry on them is slightly different, so the saddles are in slightly different locations and one has a 10mm longer stem.

My gravel bike has nearly the same setup as my road bikes. Same bb-saddle height and nearly the same effective reach, but the bars are 10mm taller, I think.
The gravel frame is very similar to my road bikes because I wanted a similar ride. Gravel roads are still roads. I dont need slacked out frame geometey, I just wanted wider tires.

My touring bike is has a totally different setup with a different length crank and taller bar height. Its that way because I happened to set it up and never bothered to change.
The geometry is different from my road/gravel bikes too.


I would not want significantly different road bike contact points because...why? Thst would mean multiple bikes are ill-fitting. That'd be an odd goal to have.
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Old 05-20-21, 05:05 PM
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I have a big bunch of road bikes to ride. Ranging from 58 -62cm frames.

My answer would be - Why?
Are the head tubes of equal height?, if not you might need special stems to achieve the exact point for hands.

You gotta be somewhat close - for comfort on distance rides - but exact = never.
The 58cm 1971 Bottecchia, feels dissimilar to the 61cm 1982 Austro Daimler, which is different from a 60cm 2000 custom Calfee carbon fiber.

Maybe I'm flexible for an old guy or maybe just riding for 35years on many different bikes makes me glad to have a slightly different experience every time out of the stable. Different saddles, different handlebars (tho lots of Cinelli), different hoods/shifters.

But there is no Right or Wrong answer. It's all Preference.
edit: I'm not a rider who is training to race, i don't ride 'off-th-front' of group rides, i own no Strava KOMs, etc.

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Old 05-20-21, 05:18 PM
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Saddle height to the pedal at the bottom of it's stroke is pretty consistent between my road bikes. Frame stack is different so the bar drop is different. Reach to the hoods is kinda sorta the same. But the drop on the bars themselves as well as their reach is quite different.
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Old 05-20-21, 07:05 PM
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Saddle height and setback is same for me across two bikes a gravel bike and an MTB. Reach and stack is quite different though.
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Old 05-21-21, 07:16 AM
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The 3 measurements I use are:

BB straight line up ST to top of saddle.
BB straight line to middle of handlebar.
Front of saddle to middle of handlebar.

What will vary is the frame and stem length. That's on road bikes. That's all I ride.
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Old 05-21-21, 04:00 PM
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The OP's question seems to be about individual components, not measurements. To that, I say it depends on your preferences and how picky you are. It might even depend on your intended uses for each bike (a commuter for dense traffic might have narrower bars, a crit bike might have deeper drops, a climbing bike might have wider bars, etc.).

Originally Posted by seypat View Post
The 3 measurements I use are:

BB straight line up ST to top of saddle.
BB straight line to middle of handlebar.
Front of saddle to middle of handlebar.

What will vary is the frame and stem length. That's on road bikes. That's all I ride.
I would say seat distance aft the BB is important and not so much BB to the bar, but whatever works for you.
I also try to measure from the sit part of the saddle and not in line with the seat tube because one bike might have it positioned more fore/aft than another (different STA), but that's probably making less than 2mm of a difference there.
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Old 05-23-21, 09:34 PM
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Generally yes. I wouldn't want to change much if it is comfortable. Move the fits to each bike but generally will use the same bars and saddle pedals may change but usually will keep a similar theme. If I want change it would be a different drivetrain like 11 speed Di2 on my modern road bike, Fixed gear stuff (Sugino Zen, EAI Gold Medal) on the fixed gear and 7400 on the vintage road bike and a mix of stuff on the touring bike. Though I believe I went with a wider bar on the touring bike for off road stuff but I cannot remember all the widths but usually 42 on most things but I think there it was 44. Granted the vintage road bike is technically running a different bar because my favorite bar is 31.8 and the Cinelli A1 quill is 26.0 and I also wanted something in silver or grey so I swapped ZIPP for Nitto in a similar profile.
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Old 05-24-21, 03:05 AM
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Except for bar height which may vary by a spacer or two all of mine are the exact same measurements. My hands are in the drops the majority of the time and I like only classic bend bars with a long reach, not compact.
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Old 05-26-21, 12:51 PM
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Pedals I keep pretty consistent bike type to bike type (go Road to Cx or MTB and all bets are off), since that's pretty easy to keep straight. Saddles I keep at least to the same "family" shape-wise. So, if it fits, I sits.

Bars are wide open. I don't bother trying to keep them the same.
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Old 05-26-21, 12:58 PM
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Saddles and pedals are the same. That's it.
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Old 05-26-21, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nathand View Post
For those with multiple road bikes - do you set them up with the same contact points (handlebar, saddle, pedals) because you know what you like, or set them up differently because otherwise why have multiple bikes? I have a gravel bike and a titanium road bike, both with similar setups, and I just bought a used carbon road bike (replacing a similar one that was stolen 2 years ago). What prompted my question is the new-to-me bike has a handlebar I don't like, so I'm trying to decide whether to put the same bar on it as I have on the other bikes since I know it works for me, or use this an opportunity to try something different.

The bar I have on the two other bikes is an older Easton anatomic design with a flat section in the drops which I like - feels secure in the drops - but seems to have fallen out of favor, if it ever was popular. I've tried continuous curve bars that I didn't like because I couldn't find a spot where my whole palm felt in contact with the bar, but perhaps I should try again?
I have the same saddle and bars on my road and gravel bikes. The pedals are different and the geometry of the bikes are different - seat and chain stay length, some of the angles, fork specs etc... But I don't change and my measurements are the same on all my drop bar bikes because my body is the same dimensions when it's on all the bikes. The differences in the bikes come in their handling based on geometry. The other different is tire sizes. My road bike has pretty snappy handling. My gravel bike is plush and more stable to make it easier to handle on inconsistent surfaces.
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Old 05-26-21, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for all the opinions - this is a more interesting discussion than I expected and seems like most like to keep the same measurements between bikes but not always the same specific components. At this point I've got the same shape Easton handlebar on all 3 bikes in all the different levels (EA30,EA50,EA70), similarly-shaped but different saddles, same SPD pedals, and similar measurements other than that the gravel bike has a wider handlebar and the carbon bike is set up for a racier position.
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