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handlebar(drop) rotation

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

handlebar(drop) rotation

Old 04-23-04, 07:22 AM
  #1  
dexmax
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my drop bars are positioned almost horizontal at the top. (see pic below)

One of the most experienced rider in our group told me that my handlebar tilt is wrong.. He told me that the top part must be tilting down, and the drops slightly just pointing down. And my brake lever should be moved up a little to compensate for the tilt. He said, in this setup it is very difficult to rest your hand on the part leading to the hoods. He said it will improve my ride position as well as comfort.

I have been riding my bikes w/ the handlebars this position for a while now(about 2yrs), I'm just concerned if it will do more harm than good.

I was just wondering what would be the pros and cons if I do(adjust tilt) so.

Has anyone done this?

Thanks..
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Old 04-23-04, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dexmax
my drop bars are positioned almost horizontal at the top. (see pic below)

One of the most experienced rider in our group told me that my handlebar tilt is wrong.. He told me that the top part must be tilting down, and the drops slightly just pointing down. And my brake lever should be moved up a little to compensate for the tilt. He said, in this setup it is very difficult to rest your hand on the part leading to the hoods. He said it will improve my ride position as well as comfort.

I have been riding my bikes w/ the handlebars this position for a while now(about 2yrs), I'm just concerned if it will do more harm than good.

I was just wondering what would be the pros and cons if I do(adjust tilt) so.

Has anyone done this?

Thanks..

He is correct, it should be like this.
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Old 04-23-04, 07:31 AM
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when i first had my bike i set it up similarly... riding the tops were okay, but it wasnt as pleasant riding on the drops or the straights on the drop (track style)

since you have the new style sti/ergo levers with a longer hood, you can still tilt your handlebar down, and have a flat surface on top on which to ride the hoods.
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Old 04-23-04, 08:48 AM
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I'd say do what you like and don't go by anybody elses rule book. If your comfy with it why change? It may be worth your time to experiment with it but all that jazz is just general rules of thumb...
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Old 04-23-04, 09:16 AM
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Hey-

I raced back in high school, stopped racing in college, med school and residency and am now getting back into it. I followed the racing scene avidly in high school and have started following it again the past couple of years. If you look at the older pictures of racing, you see that the top point of the brake hoods were level with the flats of the handlebars - this created that downward slope to the handlebar immediately behind the brake hood and where you rest your hands. Of course, this was how I positioned my handlebars. Now, I noticed that the vast majority of racers have a much shallower slope to that portion of the handlebar. Most of the pros brake/shifter hoods are well above the level of the flats and some have no slope at all. I am not sure why the change....
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Old 04-23-04, 10:25 AM
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Since most of us ride in the hoods most of the time, get your handlebars rotated/set up so the hoods are as comfy as they can be (ie, wrists are straight, and hands aren't numb). My handlebars are rotated slightly less than yours, but the drops are certainly not parallel w/ the ground either.
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Old 04-23-04, 11:26 AM
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My drops are roughly in the std position, ie pointing to the rear axle. Yours are pointing just in front of the rear axle.
My brake hoods are rotated so that the hood rests are rising, rather than flat. I also cant the levers inwards a bit. I did a lot of messing around with bars and brakes to arrive at this.
Rules of thumb are good starting points for your own experimentation.
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Old 04-23-04, 01:13 PM
  #8  
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saying your bars are in the "wrong" position strikes me as odd, considering that they are comfortable to you and you aren't having problems reaching the levers or anything. bodies are unique. go with what works for yours.
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Old 04-23-04, 01:31 PM
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then why not just flip them totally, like the old guys that ride around the park at night. did they come like that from the shop? if so find a new shop.
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Old 04-23-04, 01:39 PM
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You may want to consider adjusting them, but go with what is comfortable for you. My bar ends point to just above the rear dropouts.
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Old 04-23-04, 01:51 PM
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I used to ride with my bars set so that the brake levers were perfectly verticle and the ends of the drops were perfectly parallel to the ground. I started noticing that the pros were using a slightly tilted bar setup so I angled up a little. Now the ends of my drops are a couple of degrees from horizontal and I feel much more comfortable when I place my hands on the very ends of the drops. This doesn't seem to detract from my comfort in the middle of the drops or thhe hoods and tops.
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Old 04-23-04, 06:13 PM
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I like where yours are now. Mine are almost identical and it make riding on the hoods my most comfortable position.
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Old 04-23-04, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by otoman
Hey-
Most of the pros brake/shifter hoods are well above the level of the flats and some have no slope at all. I am not sure why the change....
Good question. Anyone know?
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Old 04-23-04, 07:34 PM
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thanks for all your input.

I have decided that I'll experiment on positioning/rotation. I feel it would take time since I have to remove and redo the bar tape and reposition the levers as I rotate the bars.

I like the top of shifter hoods above the level of the bar, I'll stick with that so my reach won't be changed so much (as my riding buddy so advised).

But, if ever, I don't like the position I'll go back to my old setup.
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Old 04-23-04, 09:41 PM
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One other aspect of the bar position: a look at the bar will show several flattened
areas, one in the first 5-6" from the end, then another in the next 4-6", then the
curve on which the brake/shifter is mounted. These flats are where your hands
naturally fall, and the second flat should, it seems to me, be at such an angle
that when you ride on the drops your wrist and hands are gripping without any
need to bend the wrist to an uncomfortable angle. Adjust the bar to this angle
then put the hoods where they feel comfortable. Pros use a high placement,
possibly because when climbing long hills it gives them a more comfortable
uprite position. Steve
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Old 04-23-04, 10:37 PM
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For years the standard rule for handlebar adjustment was that the barends be pointed at the rear hub, now they want the barend to be pointing straight back. The real question is: WHO CARES?! As one poster said, just do what is comfortable for you and don't let some "racer" tell you what is comfortable for you...how do they know? Their trying to make you into a clone of themselves.

By the way the reason in the older days the hoods were position level with the bars is because back in those days they did not have STI or ERGO which creates a noticeable hump where the hand can now rest without sliding off, the older hoods do not have that noticeable hump therefore you needed to keep the hood level with the bars to keep the hands from sliding into the brake cable which of course is not there anymore...unless your a retro crouch like me and still use the older style brakes as I do! Does that explaination at least sound plausible?
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Old 04-23-04, 10:39 PM
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I run mine with the lower part level with the ground. Then I slide the brake levers around until the lower tip of the blade touchs a straight edge placed under the bars. That makes it easier to operate the brakes when you're in the drops. Adjust stem length,height and saddle position if required. Oh yeah, most people just do what the newest fast guy is doing. I say run em where you feel best and drop anybody that tells you your bars are wrong on the next ride.
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Old 04-23-04, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by froze
just do what is comfortable for you and don't let some "racer" tell you what is comfortable for you...how do they know? Their trying to make you into a clone of themselves.
Are they really? I somehow doubt they care either. Of course you should do what's best and comfortable for you but maybe some of the racers are on to something. There's nothing wrong with trying some of their tricks. If it works for you then great. If it doesn't then move on. Not doing something just because some "racer" does it is as bad as doing the opposite.
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Old 04-23-04, 10:52 PM
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I just got my new bike and took it out for a spin today. My handlebar positioning was exactly like yours, and my wrists were KILLING me. I was going to post about it when I came across your thread. I decided to change the handlebars per your friend's recommendation, and wow... my initial spin down the hall and back is the difference between night and day. I'll see tomorrow if there's a difference when I go out for a few hours ride, but seriously, if you're feeling stress on the wrists, it may do you some good to change the tilt of the handlebars, but if you don't feel any problems now, why mess with it? Who was it that said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."?

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Old 04-25-04, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
Are they really? I somehow doubt they care either. Of course you should do what's best and comfortable for you but maybe some of the racers are on to something. There's nothing wrong with trying some of their tricks. If it works for you then great. If it doesn't then move on. Not doing something just because some "racer" does it is as bad as doing the opposite.
My point was to do what is comfortable for them-not for someone else.
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Old 04-25-04, 02:18 PM
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I have to laugh at what some people think or say, its like them telling you that you have to have your bike computer set up on the left and not the right or visa versa, or you cant put your front wheel skewer on the left and not the right, who cares as long as its what you want and you are comfortable with it, its your bike not theirs, there is no written rule that says you have to do any of these things.. If you do what everyone else says you wont be comfortable, you will probably get hurt and then hate cycling, but most importantly you wont be you, you will be what they think you should be and how they think you should be.
Its your bike, you ride your style, ride whats comfortable for you.
I look at the picture you posted and the picture is not level so the ends of the bars are more down in the pic then they probably actually are. dexmax its your bike and if you have been riding it comfortably for two years with no problems dont waste time and money by changing it. Some people want to be just like the pros, but they are the ones you definately dont want any advise from because the other name they could be called is "perfectionist or wanna be" and they probably dont even ride as much as you.
Just be yourself ride your style and whats comfortable to you and enjoy your bike and your sport...
Ride safe
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Old 04-25-04, 03:47 PM
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Yeah, the next time someone reminds you to close your quick releases, tell 'em that it's your damn bike and you can do whatever you want!!
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Old 04-25-04, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard
Yeah, the next time someone reminds you to close your quick releases, tell 'em that it's your damn bike and you can do whatever you want!!
no, that is courtesy to "INFORM" someone their release is not tight, I would hope everyone would have the decency to inform someone of that or another safety issue that could cause bodily harm, Like if the guy would have informed him his stem was too high and could break or informed him his skewer was loose, those are helpful things to mention to someone. Not to mention Laggard you said "next time someone REMINDS" NOT TELL !!!
BUT to "TELL" someone that their handlebars are not rotated correct is plain ignorant!!!!!
There is absolutely no significance in how someone chooses to have their handlebars set or what side their computer should be on, if its not to your liking then too bad, its not your bike and you dont have to ride it.
The guy said he had ridden his bike comfortably for two years, (the bars were probably set that way from his LBS) and if he is an avid cyclist I am sure he can do just as good if not better than half these guys telling him what they want because he is comfortable and used to his bike and his style.
I read alot of what you say in threads Laggard and i agree with a lot of what you say, but not in this case.
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Old 04-25-04, 04:58 PM
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Couple of things.

Way back when men were men and bikes were steel, it was fashionable to set up handlebars so that the ends pointed at the rear axle. The current style is more likely to have the bottoms parallel with the ground.

Now here's the interesting part. There is only one person in the whole world that your bike has to please. Frankly, I think that you should experiment with the tilt of your handlebars until you find the position that you like best - it's easily done. Then leave 'em there and don't pay attention to anybody's comments including mine.

If you start fiddling with handlebar tilt because somebody else told you to, next he'll have you removing stem spacers, using different pedals, wearing a different jersey, criticizing your socks or handlebar tape color, etc. etc. etc.. Do you see what I'm getting at? The fashion police are NEVER satisfied NEVER rest and are NEVER in doubt that they're right. I think that it takes the place of sex.
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Old 04-25-04, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Couple of things.

Way back when men were men and bikes were steel, it was fashionable to set up handlebars so that the ends pointed at the rear axle. The current style is more likely to have the bottoms parallel with the ground.

Now here's the interesting part. There is only one person in the whole world that your bike has to please. Frankly, I think that you should experiment with the tilt of your handlebars until you find the position that you like best - it's easily done. Then leave 'em there and don't pay attention to anybody's comments including mine.

If you start fiddling with handlebar tilt because somebody else told you to, next he'll have you removing stem spacers, using different pedals, wearing a different jersey, criticizing your socks or handlebar tape color, etc. etc. etc.. Do you see what I'm getting at? The fashion police are NEVER satisfied NEVER rest and are NEVER in doubt that they're right. I think that it takes the place of sex.
Well said....
Thank You
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