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Thread: Handlebar height

  1. #23

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    Is there a benefit to lowering the handlebars (for more experienced riders)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcquist View Post
    Is there a benefit to lowering the handlebars (for more experienced riders)?
    More experienced riders - more experienced because they ride outside a lot or more experienced because they have been riding indoors for years?

    For the ones who ride outside a lot:
    • More aerodynamic. Oops, that only works outside.
    • Might put them into a position that is more 'natural' for them - closer to what they ride outside.
    For the ones who are experienced because they ride indoors, some say it might help with core but pilates classes would be better.

    I believe that it is really just a matter of what is comfortable. Outdoor (road) riders likely will feel more comfortable with lower bars. The casual urban beach cruiser rider will be more comfortable with higher bars.

    What I look for is the overall body position. Because I teach on the Keiser M3s at two facilities, higher handle bars mean a longer cockpit (distance between the saddle and the handlebars). This will leave some riders too stretched out, with an angle greater than 90 degrees at the shoulder. This can cause upper back, shoulder and/or neck pain. Also looks like they are leaning out a window about to pass a tray of food to someone in a car. Barring lower back problems (always check), I bring the handle bars down to the point where they are less then 90 degrees when they reach for HP 2.5.
    Work and train smart, not hard. But be smart enough to know that sometimes it does take hard work to accomplish your goals.

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  3. #25

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    Thanks for the feedback CycleGuy - I guess I wasn't specific there in that I meant "people who have been riding inside for years with good fitness levels." I have always told riders in my classes that handlebar height is just for comfort (since that's what I was taught in the Mad Dogg training). But, I have personally always felt that I was in a 'more athletic position' with the handle bars slightly lower when I am climbing... I just wanted to know if my 'feeling' had any merit or if it was just fooling myself.

  4. #26
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    One more....

    Lowering the bars closes the hip angle thus adding more glute involvement in the pedal stroke.

  5. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleGuy View Post
    I believe that it is really just a matter of what is comfortable. Outdoor (road) riders likely will feel more comfortable with lower bars. The casual urban beach cruiser rider will be more comfortable with higher bars.
    And if your my size or taller (6'1"), on some brands of bikes (Star Trac comes to mind) the lack of knee clearance when out of the saddle will force the rider to set up with higher bars to keep their knees from hitting the handlebars.

  6. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd S View Post
    And if your my size or taller (6'1"), on some brands of bikes (Star Trac comes to mind) the lack of knee clearance when out of the saddle will force the rider to set up with higher bars to keep their knees from hitting the handlebars.
    Sadly, I have no issues with this.
    "If Ida seed youa comin Ida knowed what to do, Ida riz both arms and wove at you" ……….Ernest T Bass



    Kelly

  7. Default

    I was told that your handle bar should not be below the saddle height. Would this be correct

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    I was told that your handle bars should not be lower than you saddle when cycling indoors. Would this be correct

  9. #31
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    Maybe yes maybe no. Have you looked at a typical road bike? It's not uncommon for the bars to be 2" or more below saddle height. It's all about the rider and the bike's geometry in relationship to the rider you're fitting.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd S View Post
    Maybe yes maybe no. Have you looked at a typical road bike? It's not uncommon for the bars to be 2" or more below saddle height. It's all about the rider and the bike's geometry in relationship to the rider you're fitting.
    Right. Most road bikes are set up like that in part for the aerodynamics, bringing the rider a little lower to reduce the frontal area. Not needed indoors. As Todd states in part, "It's all about the rider..."
    Work and train smart, not hard. But be smart enough to know that sometimes it does take hard work to accomplish your goals.

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  11. #33
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    May 2007
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    Belfast, Northern Ireland
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    001cy2-300x300
    Likewise - I was explained that the saddle (on a spin bike) should not be able your standing hip height.
    Thanks

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