View Full Version : Handlebar Height

10-29-2005, 11:02 AM
Hi...is there a certain handlebar height for each person or would it be safe to say the handlebars should be higher than on your road bike? I had 3 newbies in my class and I set their handlebars up high. I would say close to the highest setting on Lemonds. A person who started spinning(JG'er)at our gym, interrupted me and said those handlebars are way too high!:cool: She got off her bike and told me to get the class going and she would set them up. I have been teaching 7+ years. I looked to see where she set their bars and they were maybe an inch or two less than where I had them. I am really confused now. Does an inch or two make a big difference? I just wanted them to be comfortable and I honestly like my handlebars high on my indoor bike.

10-29-2005, 11:28 AM
I'm a JGSI and know nothing about LeMond (but that won't stop me from shooting off my mouth), however I am under the impression that handlebar height is a matter of comfort. It is certainly less stressful on the lower back to ride in a more upright position. Even though I road-ride on the hoods or drops, I have started raising my Spinner handlebars up to their highest position. I have a herniated lumbar disk and my back thanks me!

BTW, am I reading your post correctly...a student rider took it upon herself to change the settings of other students' bikes???? You have got to be kidding me! I'd even wonder if there could be some liability issues with an uncertified, non-employee setting up another rider. Not that handlebar height is a big deal but still...

10-29-2005, 02:48 PM
Hi Pink, the person who corrected me is no longer a cycle instructor. But she is the head of a department at our facility. He/She started the cycle program about 10 years ago and was JG certified. I am Reebok certified, but trained under them until they thought I was ready to teach and I went on to get Reebok certified by our facility 7+years ago. I would ask this person about the handlebar height, concerned I may be doing it incorrectly but I am afraid of confrontation, and I certainly do not want to rock the boat with my superiors. As someone on this bulletin board advised me earlier not to air my laundry on here. I confronted this person on another issue about resistance and they took it as I was debating them rather than trying to find a common ground and understanding.:cool: That is why I seek advise on here. ;) I thought maybe I missed some crusial information and have been setting the handlebars wrong allllll these years.:eek:

10-29-2005, 04:16 PM
I start out with a neutral setup of the bars at the same height as the saddle. I have the person sit on the bike and let THEM tell ME if it feels comfortable. Beginners generally want a higher bar position relative to the saddle. More advanced riders and especially outdoor cyclist seem to like a lower bar position. Now this doesnt mean that there arent any outdoor cyclist with high bar heights but i'm speaking in general terms here. I'll tell the riders that if they feel tight in the arm/shoulders/back - raise the bars marginally. I also state core body workouts in addition to the indoor riding will strengthen the upper body and allow a lower bar position which in turn gives the legs more power over time. Whew! Anybody else??

11-01-2005, 05:03 AM
I do the same as you, woodieknot.

11-01-2005, 06:21 PM
Handle bars are all about comfort. Members should put them where they feel comfortable. If someone asks for suggestion or has concerns about back pain then I would give my .02. I can't believe someone, I don't care who he/is or what their position is at the club interfered with your class. Talk about undermining your authority and possibly making you look bad in front of people who look to you as an expert. Even if she did this with good intentions I would have a little chat about this so it does not happen again.
just my .02

11-02-2005, 08:42 PM
Mike, I agree with you. But it happens all the time in my class. This person hasn't been teaching or involved in cycle since they took a higher positon at the facility. I think they are missing it and just want to make sure I know they know more than me:cool: . I want to print up some instructions sheets about setting up the bikes and leave them in the cycle room. Maybe this will quiet her down???:confused: It really makes me look dumb infront of my class and I have had some of the same folks for 5+ years.

11-04-2005, 01:19 AM
Perhaps the quickest way to resolve this would be to get her alone, then ask her to explain her system or reasoning. I mean, she's obviously got some method to her madness. Doesn't she?

If she can't explain why she's tweaking someone's handlebar position, then you have every right to demand that she stop.

And who knows? Maybe she does know something.


11-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Hi Raptor,
I am planning on attempting that this week.

11-12-2005, 12:38 PM
Darn...I was all prepared and everything on how I would approach it and all. I didn't see her all week.:confused: So now I am getting all anxious about next week. I will keep you up to date though.

11-12-2005, 09:40 PM
Maybe she reads this forum!! Seriously, maybe she's anxious about talking to you! Good luck and please keep us informed!

GoSpin :rolleyes:

11-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Maybe she does read this post? I haven't seen her at our facility since. At least not in cycle classes. She is in a director position and she has been working more evenings. I am there during the day. But I have researched and researched. I feel confident in my fitting people on the bikes.:D It was good to refresh my memory. It has been awhile.

12-12-2005, 03:32 PM
Bikerchick, good luck talking to this person, I hope you can both sort things out.

I do have to say though that it was wrong for her to interfere with your set up and class... whether she's right or wrong, it doesn't look very professional to contradict another instructor in front of a class... additionally, if she is wrong and somehow one of your participants gets injured, you are liable, not her... hence the urgency to make her understand that she should keep quiet and talk to you after class.

And, BTW, in my humble years of experience and training I can tell that you have the right approach to handlebar height set up.


12-12-2005, 06:36 PM
Hi Everyone
I am JGSI and Reebok certified. If you have the JG manual, it states on page 1.05 under Bike Set Up that "Handlebar Adjustment Height should be in a higher position for new students and people with back concerns. As students increase their flexibility and feel more comfortable on the bike, the handlebar position can be adjusted downward to approximately the same height as the tip of the saddle."

I have a ruptured disc L4/5 and I am much more comfortable with a higher handlebar position. I saw an instructor last week tell someone their handlebars were way too high and she quickly lowered them. There are so many different thoughts out there I was just sharing the one I was taught.

Hope that sheds some light.

12-13-2005, 02:41 PM
I keep tuning in, like this thread is a "soap opera", so BIKERCHICK2 any news?
We're waiting......

01-10-2006, 10:59 AM
First of all...you have to wonder when someone "moves up" in department position....how current is their knowledge. Sometimes the instructors are more current on information than the director....you know....

I agree with the comfort level. The standard has always been: neutral position...even with the saddle. Higher for beginners or people with back problems. Lower if a person is more flexible...or a major road rider who wants a set up like their road bike.

my 2 cents

good luck

01-11-2006, 04:07 PM
Funny you should say that snowbunny. Just this morning I had two brandy new people come into my class and while setting them up, I used the "starter" (higher) bar position and explained to them why. I told them to look at my bike and see how low it was in comparison. As a road rider, I try to mimic my position as closely as possible. These people cant handle the strain on their shoulders and backs. I always ask if there are any back injuries of any kind before I have them even get on the bike. Once on, I ask all new riders how the bar height feels prior to even zeroing in on the seat height. Most will ask to raise the bars which is fine. Then I'll conitnue with the remaining set-up.

02-18-2006, 02:04 PM
Hi all of you inquiring minds. I haven't had a chance to discuss it with the lady that got off her bike and changed the handlebars, BUT...I did discuss it with my director. I didn't say who did this at first(they are good buds), I just explained the situation. She said WHO did this? I told her who is was and her face turned red and she hemmed hawwed around and said I will ask her. I said I am not upset, I just would like to know the reasoning behind the change, because I have been setting people up like this for 7+ years. She said Oh..I understand. I haven't heard a word back about it???:confused: That was at least 2 weeks ago. So I continue to set people up the way I always have and never had had anyone hurt or injured.