Generally speaking as weekend warriors we are slightly more tuned in on bike fit compared to your average mums and dads riding on kids bikes. That does not however mean we are experts or knowledgeable on this aspect. A recent self assessment has shown me that my knowledge on bike fit is purely basic stuff.
Ever noticed why pros have such a low handlebar to saddle height ratio? What are the reasoning behind them apart from a more aerodynamic position? Is your handlebars too high or too low? how do you know what is the right height? These question challenges consequently every other part on the bike ie saddle height/fore-aft position/cleat position etc etc
I always setup my bikes fairly similarly but i didn’t know the reasoning behind why. I stumbled across something yesterday which shed better light on the subject and sounded fairly reasonable *in regards to handlebar height*. Which one of these are you? This morning i am inflexiable :(. I will do the test tonight and hope my muscles are a little bit stretchier. :p
This is determined by the purpose of the rider and by some anatomical factors. We need to assume that you require maximum efficiency, highest speed with least effort. If you don’t require high efficiency, put your handlebars where they suit you. But I find the most efficient position is also the most comfortable and visa versa.
The height of the handlebars in relation to the seat is largely determined by a rider’s flexibility.
Sit on the floor with your legs together straight out in front of you, knees straight.
- Highly flexible:
- Able to reach your wrists to, or passed your toes.
- Able to reach your fingers to your toes.
- Unable to reach your fingertips to your ankles.
Some rough guides of thumb:
- Highly flexible:
- handlebars 0–5cm below the seat height.
- handlebars 0–5cm above the seat height.
- handlebars over 5cm above the seat height.