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Whats your handlebar to saddle height difference?

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Whats your handlebar to saddle height difference?

Old 01-29-07, 01:40 AM
  #1  
powerglide
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Whats your handlebar to saddle height difference?

Guys, I just got my first road bike in 18 years (as you may have seen me bragging in my other thread

.... I rode it 50 miles this weekend and really like it. No big pains except palms (new glove has padding in all the wrong places), sit bones (not used saddle yet)

BUT, my saddle is 6 INCHES above my bars right now....looks cool but is this right? (did LBS get me wrong size? 5'10-5'11 frame is 58cm...stand over and top tube lenght is good.

Doing my first century and getting the feeling this is asking for pain....please advise
(more spacers and a slanted stem should get me up to about 4 inch differential...still seems like a lot)

Whats normal?

Here's a pic (does it look strange to you? note the rear wheel is in stand and slightly off carpet:

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Old 01-29-07, 01:55 AM
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The last time I measured mine it was 5". It shouldn't be too much of a problem if you ride the hoods and tops more often on centuries. on longer rides I tend to reserve the drops for downhill sections or headwinds only. I use them on flats on shorter rides.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:11 AM
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Are you comfortable? No tinglies behind your elbows or crick in your neck?

Then don't worry about it. We're all built funny.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:16 AM
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whew....what a relief!

I'm SURPRISINGLY comfortable. I expected a much rougher transition to a road bike but so far pretty good. (neck and wrist are tird but not hurting...I'll double check in the morning)

I just stood over the bike and my 'you know what' barely touches the top tube so going bigger isn't viable.

When I ride the drop position, I felt crunched though....so only able to hold it for short bursts....normal 'till you get used to riding road bikes?
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Old 01-29-07, 02:24 AM
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Should you ever need to increase your bar height, your current 8 degree stem can be flipped.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:25 AM
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I have a flat-bar roadbike, and the bike shop set my seat up a good 5 inches or so higher than the bars.

It feels comfortable to me, so I think it must be correct.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:30 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Should you ever need to increase your bar height, your current 8 degree stem can be flipped.
I didn't think of that!! I was resigned to dropping $$$ on another CF stem...thanks!
I'm probably gonna give that a try next.

Originally Posted by Gimpdiggity
I have a flat-bar roadbike, and the bike shop set my seat up a good 5 inches or so higher than the bars.

It feels comfortable to me, so I think it must be correct.
That's the thing, I spent a long time at the shop. Had allkinds of measurments/microadjustments.
The owner/head mechanic/mechanic were all helping. (a cycling coach acquintance and others watched on) In the end they all agreed this was a good start position.

I specifially recall the coach saying "Perfect! You WANNA see seatpost like that."
....didn't think about that till now.
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Old 01-29-07, 03:22 AM
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if it's your first bike in 18 years, it seem completely over the top to me.
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Old 01-29-07, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by botto
if it's your first bike in 18 years, it seem completely over the top to me.

1st ROAD bike in 18 years


Originally Posted by powerglide
Guys, I just got my first road bike in 18 years....
{edited cuz I may have misunderstood your point...sorry**
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Old 01-29-07, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by powerglide
Real helpful thank you...

1st ROAD bikr in 18 years

....doesn't mean I haven't been riding

Thanks again really.
first road bike, same thing. that's what i meant. you obviously have your concerns, otherwise you wouldn't have created the thread.

the point remains - that's a ridicuously large drop.

Last edited by botto; 01-29-07 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 03:39 AM
  #11  
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Gotcha!
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Old 01-29-07, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by botto
if it's your first bike in 18 years, it seem completely over the top to me.
+1

We seldom agree but botto is 100% correct. Post this in the Lond Distance and Touring forums. You will see that most of the hard core distance riders have significantly less drop. I would suggest some shorter rides to get used to the severe drop. Maybe you can try a half metric or 50 miler to get used to it. Good luck the bike is nice looking though.

Tim
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Old 01-29-07, 04:31 AM
  #13  
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A lot of the handlebar-drop can be addressed with bent elbows. I prefer a higher handlebar so that my elbows will be bent almost 90-degrees when in the drops. This allows my forearms to be horizontal to the ground to block the least amount of wind. Also the bent elbows absorb shock and keeps the shoulders and back happy.

I think a lot of people use low handlebars simply because they don't have enough stem-reach to bend their elbows. Or they lack the positioning awareness to keep their elbows bent.
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Old 01-29-07, 05:06 AM
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What's your inseam?
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Old 01-29-07, 05:42 AM
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I'm guessing you have unusually long legs for your height, hence the 58cm frame and mile of seatpost showing for your 5'11" height. In the future, you might consider a custom build so you can specify the amount of drop you want before they cut the steerer tube.

If you flipped the stem, you'd probably cut the drop to around 5". A different stem with a greater angle could cut that even more. You say you put 50 miles on the bike over the weekend. Was that one ride or two 25mi rides? I suspect the longer the ride the more that 6" drop is going to bother you so I'd do something before you ride that century.

I'm 5'11", average build, with a 33" cycling inseam (32" pants inseam) and usually take a 55cm frame. The bar drop is on my Merlin is 4" and I can feel it in my hands after about 30mi. The bar drop on my Sequoia is less than 1" and it's much more comfy for the longer rides.

Last edited by Proximo; 01-29-07 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 06:22 AM
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It seems to me that if you need to have your saddle at that kind of a down angle to be comfortable you've probably got too much drop. That falls well outside of the realm of "I tilt the nose down a little bit because it's comfier." I would flip your stem up and see what happens, or drop the saddle.
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Last edited by DrPete; 01-29-07 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cs1
+1

We seldom agree but botto is 100% correct. Post this in the Lond Distance and Touring forums. You will see that most of the hard core distance riders have significantly less drop. I would suggest some shorter rides to get used to the severe drop. Maybe you can try a half metric or 50 miler to get used to it. Good luck the bike is nice looking though.

Tim
Its a beautiful bike but something doesn't seem to add up. You say the top tube brushes your privates which is about right but with a 5 degree sloping geometry...agree you are on the right frame...but can't believe your saddle is at the right height for one. On a 58cm Bianchi you aren't that long legged or you wouldn't be that close to the top tube. Handlebar drop is a very personal thing and tends to go with what you plan to use the bike for. I couldn't ride it for long without hurting my neck and back but you maybe freakishly flexible. I like 2-3 inches of saddle drop for a bike I will ride 30 miles or more. Others on here like a bit more and some a bit less. Depends on your body condition, flexibility and preference.
Your drop is that of a full bore racer or even a track bike, not a road bike for sustaining longer distances.
When you straddle the bike and it fits like you reference, the good news is you can adjust your stem and likely your saddle for less drop if that is your wish. It sounds as though you are on the right frame size and Bianchi has one of the most forgiving geometries to fit a variety of different body types.

By contrast, shown below is a bike I just built which will be used for longer distance fitness riding. I am 6' 1" with longish 35" inseam. The frame is a 57cm c-t-c or eqivalent to a 59cm c-t-t relative to a Bianchi only with a horizontal top tube and hence much less seat post showing. Note that I run a fair amount of spacers under my 6 degree stem (modest rise) which is turned up. This gives me even with my long legs about a 2" drop from the saddle to the handlebars. I could flip or opt for different angle stem and use less spacers and achieve up to a 4" drop or so. By contrast I could have purchased a larger 59cm c-t-c frame with tighter stand over and longer top tube and 20mm longer head tube. But for me, this is the right size frame...particularly with my torso length. BTW, your 58cm c-t-t Bianchi and my Look frame have roughly the same head tube length of 170mm which is a major determinant of saddle to handlebar drop. In mid season after my body is condtioned from riding, I will likely flip the stem down for closer to a 3 inch drop or so....but will see how my body feels.
Bike fit is a puzzle and if you pay very close attention, you hone your fit with each bike you purchase.
Hope that helps.
George

Last edited by biker7; 01-29-07 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
I think a lot of people use low handlebars simply because they don't have enough stem-reach to bend their elbows. Or they lack the positioning awareness to keep their elbows bent.
I think it's more probable that they're doing it for the "racer look".
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Old 01-29-07, 06:58 AM
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Lesson #1: Don't post a "fit me better to my bike" thread. Ever.

But to answer, ride and see how you feel. If you had a professional fit done, chances are, what you have is a good place to start. Tweak it on your own once you figure out what works for you. It will take time to get used to each adjustment.

And why do you want to know what [my] saddle to handlebar difference is? How can that possibly help you?
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Old 01-29-07, 07:25 AM
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The one thing I noticed, is that your saddle is angled down, and you said that you had pain in your palms. The saddle should be level, or at least allot closer to level. If you try and sit on the bike with no hands and feel like you are falling forward, then your saddle tilt is off. Adjust your saddle nose up, and the hand pain should go away.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:54 AM
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Are you sure you have a 6" drop? How are measuring this, I have a 4" drop and my saddle looks like it is higher than yours.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
It seems to me that if you need to have your saddle at that kind of a down angle to be comfortable you've probably got too much drop. That falls well outside of the realm of "I tilt the nose down a little bit because it's comfier."
Agreed, that was my first thought when I saw the pic.

Nice bike though
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Old 01-29-07, 08:04 AM
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Seat angle looks all wrong. For a first bike/road bike, no serious riding in last 5+yrs, even if I had fitted you for this particular bike, I would have sent you off riding with a flipped up/more commfortable stem with the advice that you should do a couple thousand miles first before flipping it down.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:22 AM
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Level the saddle, flip the stem, take a 70 mile ride and report the results.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
It seems to me that if you need to have your saddle at that kind of a down angle to be comfortable you've probably got too much drop. That falls well outside of the realm of "I tilt the nose down a little bit because it's comfier." I would flip your stem up and see what happens, or drop the saddle.
Thats's what I thought, 'til I reread the OP and realized the back tire is slightly off the floor. I suspect the saddle is actually level. I have to have my saddle slightly more up than level to keep everything in the right place. But that's the diff, perhaps, between men's and women's anatomies on saddles. <shrug>
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