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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:30 pm 
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I try to figure out what will be the better position between the height of the saddle vs the handlebars. I tried all kinds of combinations but I didn't get a solid understanding of what will be the best one. In most of them I felt pretty the same in terms of comfort. Anyone there would know to tell what the common range of different between the two?


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Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:30 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Not really sure how this will help you but -

my saddle height is 81.5cm - handlebars are 16cm lower.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:51 pm 
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I would advise you to get a professional fit done. Easily the best money you have ever spent on something cycling related short of actually purchasing a bike.

There are several sites/blogs/rules of thumbs to determine the ca. seat height that will suit you but ultimately a proper fit will get the job done just right. As for the drop, trial and error is the best way forward short of getting the previously mentioned fit.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:06 pm 
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shinyboy wrote:
Not really sure how this will help you but -

my saddle height is 81.5cm - handlebars are 16cm lower.

you are very tall guy, is the 16cm you refer to is the flat bar or the place where the drop bar are?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:22 pm 
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shinyboy wrote:
Not really sure how this will help you but -

my saddle height is 81.5cm - handlebars are 16cm lower.

Like someone esle said, you've got to figure that one out for yourself.

This definitely WON'T help you, but in comparison to what shinyboy's drop is, my saddle height is 806mm and my saddle to handlebar drop (top of bar next to stem) is 83mm, about half that of shinyboy.

Only saying that to point out the personal differences. You've just got to try it. I've never been uncomfortable on a bike with less drop (higher bars, even level with the saddle in the case of my touring bike), but if the bars on my road bike are even a centimeter lower than where they are right now, that's too much drop for me. I tried it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:52 pm 
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fabiancanchelara wrote:
shinyboy wrote:
Not really sure how this will help you but -

my saddle height is 81.5cm - handlebars are 16cm lower.

you are very tall guy, is the 16cm you refer to is the flat bar or the place where the drop bar are?



I'm not really that tall - 1.87m (6ft 1.5inches) - but my legs are long for my height, also I don't carry a lot of weight and am quite flexible.

The 16cm drop is to the (flat) top of the bar.

It seems to have become very popular to go to a fitter these last few years - especially for people new to the sport - and from the results I've seen it often yields a massive compromise for the bike part of the bike/rider combo.
People seem to think riding a road bike should be as comfortable as sitting on the sofa, that's not the idea - you have to make the effort to adapt to the bike, not expect the bike to adapt to you.

Looking at the way the pros set their bikes up is always a good starting point - there are always certain rules that are followed and the proportions are almost always pleasing to the eye as well as being biomechanically efficient.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Set the saddle position for best power, then set the handle bar height and reach for aerodynamics and comfort.

For saddle position, the Lemond formula for seat height is a good starting point. Knee over pedal spindle is the traditional seat fore-aft position starting point but for road racers, 1-2cm behind KOPS is probably better. Slightly too low reduces power less than slightly too high, so err on the low side.

Reach and bar height are more a personal preference. It depends on your core strength, flexibility and how long you will spend in the saddle.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Next time you go for a ride, time yourself between 2 fixed points .I would say the distance should be at least 5 miles.Make a note of your seat, seatpost ,handlebar,stem position and go from there. Give your body a chance to adjust and you will eventually find a good position. If you can find any info on a pro rider who is a similar size to you, you could use his bike set up as a place to start. A bike fit will help a lot and a good way to start but like in all sports with time you will feel for yourself what is of benefit and what is not. good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:39 pm 
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The most common range for saddle to handlebar drop is 5-10cm. 16cm is huge and not common. I ride a 51cm frame and use something in the 9-11cm range, which is greater than average.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:22 pm 
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DaveS wrote:
The most common range for saddle to handlebar drop is 5-10cm. 16cm is huge and not common. I ride a 51cm frame and use something in the 9-11cm range, which is greater than average.



DaveS is correct my saddle to bar drop is greater than average.

Further to my post further up the page - I should also add that as well as my legs being long, my arms are also long relative to my height.


As artray mentions -
Look at professional rider's setups who are of similar stature to yourself and use this as a starting point.

There IS a proper way to fit on a road bike and it is the same efficient and fast position you see the vast majority of pros using, there are very few moderately fit people who can not sit on a race bike the way those guys do - and they sit on a bike that way because it is efficient and comfortable for different road conditions, tempos and speeds, don't believe the hype- it isn't complicated.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Location: New York, NY
I was under the impression that this is directly related to flexibility. If you bend over and can touch the floor you can tolerate a much lower bar and then the opposite of if you can only touch half way down your shins then the bar needs to be much higher.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
there is no right answer for this.

Go see a fitter

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:35 pm 
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Whatever feels comfortable or right to YOU will be the right amount, and a bike fit won't tell what that is. A bike fit will involve taking body measurements and putting them into a computer, totally ignoring the most important factor which is your flexibility. Take 10 people with all exactly the same body dimentions and they will all require different bike set up. Just my opinion.

Go with the widest gap that FEELS the most comfortable and most efficient.


Last edited by konky on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:44 am 
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Location: California's country side
My fitter put me at 4cm drop at first :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:59 am 
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It is really very simple: take a -17deg. stem and slam it. :lol:


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Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:59 am 


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