Seat to Handle bar length

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Seat to Handle bar length

Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:35 pm

Hello Team.

My first post, Yipeee.

Well story is I just bought a new bike after 15 years out of the saddle.
A S/H Avanti Monza RB.
I am 5'10" and was wondering what a good seat tip to handle bar length for some one my size on a Road Bike.

I have had great luck setting cleats and seat pole for a very comfortable stroke but I feel like I am leaning to far forward when I have my hands down on the brake levers. It may be right as I have been riding a MTB for quite some time, but it sure doesnt feel like it.

Cheers Team.
I know that the length is dependant on more than my height but I need a good estimate so I can replace the neck bracket and then adjust the saddle postion to fine tune.

Thanks in Advance.
Last edited by Marv on Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by BNA » Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:43 pm

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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:43 pm

ATM the measurement is 55cm from seat tip to the centre of the bar.

:?
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Postby europa » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:05 pm

The problem is more likely to be the height of the bars relative to the seat. The modern road bike, based on racing thinking, places the bars far too low for comfort and require a lot of getting used to IMO. Personally, anything below seat height is uncomfortable which is why the bars on my Trek520, despite being the highest they can be set, are going up another 2" to put them level with the seat. Unlike 15 years ago, you have to buy new necks or stem extenders to do the job - yet another price modern riders pay (I prefer the old quill system)

The low handle bars are to improve aerodynamic position - ie to reduce drag. In that, they do a very good job. The pay off is a lot of weight on your hands.

That isn't to say your problem may not be reach. The best way to check is to have someone experienced in bike set up look at you on the bike. Numbers give a starting point, they do not give a final position.

Richard
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Postby MountGower » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:15 pm

Marv
Last edited by MountGower on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:19 pm

Thanks europa.

I'm hearing what your saying.
Yeah matey, off to a bike shop tomorrow to get them to help me on this one.
I could always go and see my old coach but that is a fairly long drive.

All good.
I'm enjoying the rides so much.
Just given up smoking after around 12 years.
Still got a bit of steam in me yet though.
In a ride today I was struggling up a climb so burst into a sprint and got to the top easy, great feeling.


8^)
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Postby MountGower » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:21 pm

Just
Last edited by MountGower on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:34 pm

Hello MountGower
Thanks for your reply.

I just done some more measuring.
From the centre of the head tube to the centre of the seat tube is 54cm.
The neck stem (centre of handle bar to centre of head tube) is 11.5cm.

From the top of the seat to the handle bar there is a drop of probably 5cm (very hard to measure exactly)

I may still have my seat a little high but the extended leg angle is looking pretty good ATM.

Cheers matey.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:45 pm

Marv, MountGower's measurements are a good base point, to refine past this measurement, we need to consider the following;
  • Gender
  • Length of your upper body
  • Length of your arms
  • Flexibility
  • Personal preference

Are you male or female and how does length of upper body, length of your arms and flexibility compare with others of the same height and gender?
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Postby MountGower » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:45 pm

Marv
Last edited by MountGower on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gururug » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:53 pm

Hello,

I was / am still in the same situation. The truth is you will not really be able to know what is right after a several hundred km's in the saddle. To make matters worse, by then you will probrably require a slightly different setup.

Here is my advise;

1. Use the services of a good LBS (bike shop) to fit this for you. If you are lucky the place where you bought your bike will change a stem if neccissary pro-bono. As I said I am still finding my way. What you should aim for is a mix of what feels comfortable and what the LBS recommends.

2. Get your saddle fore / aft right before playing with stem length / height

3. Try to bend at your hips and keep a fairly straight lower back. As a newbie the tendancy is to bend lots on the top of the back. This will make the handlebars seem further way. You will probrably find some stretching / core strength usefull in this regard.

4. Revisit your measurements and teak them every 3-5 rides. As a newbie, you flexibility / strength will improve thus adjustments are neccissary for optimal fit.


My avanti giro came with a standard stem (90?) after returning to the shop where i bought it (saying i had neck pain a it didn't feel like it fit right) the guys there put on a 60mm (pro-bono). This also fells a bit out. But am still tweaking my saddle fore/aft and just dropped my bars down one spacer. Moral of the story.

SEEK GOOD ADVICE (much of which can come from a forum but nothing beats having someone qualified see you in the flesh on your bike)

POSTURE / COMFORT TRADE OFF (err on the side of comfort starting out)


Good Luck - Keep us informed of your progress.
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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:03 pm

8)

Well I must say what a Great Forum.

Thanks mikesbytes.

Yep, Male - 33 - very well proportioned and just your everyday joe.
If anything I would say I am more flexible and agile than the norm.

It may just be the fact that I am not accustomed to the modern bike.
I really feel forward of the front wheel after riding my MTB.
If I have my hands up on the bar I feel quite comfortable but when I sit down on the brake grips I feel a little too forward.

Anyway I will find someone tomorrow to take a look.
I know the frame is a Medium and everywhere I looked on the net was telling me a 54cm should be about right. My inner thigh height measurement is 79cm.

It good to hear that the seat height to handle bar height is about right.
I have only had the bike two days so I maybe jumping the gun a bit because of inexperience.

I'm sure I will enjoy visiting here.
Thanks team.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:07 pm

Yeh MTB and road bikes feel really different.

There's a web site that you put your measurements in and it advises frame size, perhaps it can help towards answering your question. As usual I can't remember where it is, so you'll have to wait for sogood to post the link.

What kind of discomfort are you having?

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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:17 pm

"What kind of discomfort are you having?"

No real physical discomfort but more of a mental uneasiness of being too far forward.
If the neck was 4cm shorter I know I would feel more comfortable, if you know what I mean.

I was just trying to gather thoughts on where I should typically be on the bike to find out if it is real or imaginary and either fix with a part change or fix with more time in the saddle.

I should take her out on a decent ride to find out how my body reacts to how it is.
I have only ridden her 10km on Saturday.
I went on a 50km ride today but went on the MTB as I wasn't sure how my butt would handle the extended peroid in the Road saddle.
I was with friends and didnt want to cause a drama halfway through the ride.
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Postby Mulger bill » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:37 pm

G'Day Marv, welcome :)

I've been riding an MTB for years, but only went back onto skinny tyres a short while ago, while the fit and setup from the shop was very good, just about everything except the seat height has been tweaked by a poofteenth every which way in the search for ultimate comfort. Roadies feel waay different to ride, every time you swap, it'll take a few minutes just to get used to the different bar width.
Perservere mate, you'll find what works best for you, and have fun finding out :wink:

Shaun
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Postby Marv » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:48 pm

Thanks Shaun.

I had forgotten how much I loved skinny wheels.
When I was 12-15 my trainer was Terry Clark.
We all know his son.
Wish I had never stopped.
Kids dont know how good they have it most of the time.

:oops:
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:19 pm

Hi Marv,

You really haven't ridden it enough to know if the riding position is incorrect. Perhaps you could get the LBS where you purchased to check you fitting.

Off topic - did you see the penny farthing racing last month ?

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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:36 pm

Found the link, have put it in my signature, so I don't forget it agian. Enjoy.

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Postby Halfanewb » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:26 am

Hey marv welcome to the forums, a rough guide - place your elbow against the seat and extend your fingers , the handlebar should be between approx 1 and 3 cm further than the tip of your middle finger.

Happy trails :)
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Postby Bnej » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:28 am

I've recently bought and started riding an OCR C3 road bike, and found the change in riding position a bit awkward at first. However, after doing about 50 km on the bike it's starting to feel more natural.

It could be just a matter of getting used to it. When I got back on the hybrid to pick up some stuff with my panniers, it felt like riding a lounge chair in comparison.
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Postby Marv » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:38 pm

Hello All.

Sorry but I missed the Penny Farthings a little while back but I did see one on Sunday.
I cant imagine trying to do a hill climb on one of those babies.
They look like a torture device in real life.
I suppose you dont have to worry about getting a flat though 8^)

Anyway, got to the Bike Shop after work and without giving too much away I was told that I had the seat height spot on and the neck could come back a bit.
We found a stem that was 3.5cm shorter with a slight angle up.
After I put it on I done the elbow to finger trick (Thanks Imanewbie) and found it to be down to 2cm. Before I changed the stem it was 6cm because it was lower down as well.
So far it feels very comfortable sitting.
It wont be until Wednesday that I will get out for a 35km ride.
The shop are happy to let me get the feel and go back again if Im not happy to exchange again.
All good and at last I feel like Im sitting on my bike and not somebody elses.

Cheers Team.
I hope I can call in often.
Great responses here and a great feeling of community.

8)
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Postby Mulger bill » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:33 pm

Glad it worked out Marv :)
Sounds like you've got a great LBS too 8)

Shaun
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Postby Marv » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:32 pm

Hey Team.

Just got back from a 25Km ride and all went pretty well.
My neck was a bit sore when I first got back but that didnt last long.
May have something to do with looking around for cars.
During the ride my hands got a bit of an ache but changing position now and then got me through.
All in all though I really love the bike.
For $575 think I did pretty well.
Tried for the life of me to keep my Cadence around the 80 mark.
A hard thing to do by yourself but got a great workout trying.


:D
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Postby europa » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:42 pm

Marv wrote:A hard thing to do by yourself but got a great workout trying.


You're probably running too high a gear. You adjust cadence by changing gears, not by applying more pressure or trying to slow your legs.

People used to riding a low cadence become used to the amount of pressure they need to exert on the pedals and this is the mindset you need to overcome to increase your cadence. Just click down a gear - it'll get immediately easier and your cadence will increase. Do it again if necessary. Practice on the flats and forget about speed. Once you get the feel for it, it's easy and you'll find it translates to your normal riding very quickly.

Richard
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Postby Halfanewb » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:45 pm

excellent stuff marv ! :)

the cadence thing will improve itself over time, when i first started to ride for cadence it was between 70 and 80 and i had to work hard at keeping it there. Now i am getting to the stage where reaching that magic 92 is getting closer, i can sit on approx 85 without much thought and it feels very natural to do it.

A good tip i read here - when you find yourself starting to bounce on the seat because of the higher revs start scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes at the bottom of the stroke - this will make your action smooth and deliver that bit more power.

keep us posted on your rides mate always good to read someones experiences , gets the juices flowing.

Happy trails :)
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Postby Marv » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:53 pm

Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement.

Now I know why my coach, all them many years ago, would have me training on my track bike with a really small gear.
Before a race he would tell me to change it to a certain bigger gear.

Im sure it wont take long to sit on 80 without thought.
92 does sound a bit bouncy :wink:
Looking at the stats on my computer the maximum was 109 so there is hope.
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