MTB positioning - high bars?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Kbh, May 13, 2003.

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  1. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    I'm well versed in the science/art of road bike positioning but I'm slightly puzzled by mountain
    bike positioning. I've been riding a 19" Rockhopper (I'm 6'2") for many years now, where the bars
    are about 6-8 inches below the saddle. I always thought this was more or less normal, and preferable
    for off-road riding as my weight was spread way out over the length of the bike. Now I notice that
    most mountain bikes I see have the bars level with the saddle or even higher than the saddle. Is
    this a recent phenomenon brought on by the prevalence of downhill bikes and hybrids? I know I know -
    go with what's comfortable for me yeah yeah yeah, but I'm just looking for some insight and
    commentary on the topic.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Now I notice that most mountain bikes I see have the bars level with the saddle or even higher
    > than the saddle. Is this a recent phenomenon brought on by the prevalence of downhill bikes and

    A lot of those guys with high handlebars do ride them mostly downhill. Then they get their mothers
    to drive them back to the top of the hill, or they walk most of the way. A lower, longer riding
    position will give you much better climbing speed, though at the expense of some high speed
    downhill control.
     
  3. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >I'm 6'2") for many years now, where the bars are about 6-8 inches below the saddle. I always
    >thought this was more or less normal, and preferable for off-road riding as my weight was spread
    >way out over the length of the bike. Now I notice that most mountain bikes I see have the bars
    >level with the saddle or even higher than the saddle. Is this a recent phenomenon brought on by the
    >prevalence of downhill bikes and hybrids? I know I know - go with what's comfortable for me yeah
    >yeah yeah, but I'm just looking for some insight and commentary on the topic.

    I'm one of those "high" bar people but trying to reform.

    Periodically I lower them by various increments but so far I've always come back to where I am now:
    almost a full inch above saddle height.

    I've got one bike set up with the bars 4.5 inches below saddle height and I do ride it periodically;
    but when I do, I feel like an accident waiting to happen because of the limited sideways visibility
    and the lack of fore-aft balance when going down something steep over smooth rocks or tree roots.

    My experience is that the part about more power on hills is right on the mark. Although I can't see
    what the diff is between having the bars two inches lower and bending my elbows a couple more inches
    - there does seem to be a diff.

    Also, when I go from my usual inch above to the same height as the saddle, my balance seems to get
    better - as when inching my way between obstacles. Again, just bending the elbows more doesn't seem
    to achieve the same end.

    OTOH, maybe it's all in my mind...
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  4. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    KBH wrote:
    > I'm well versed in the science/art of road bike positioning but I'm slightly puzzled by mountain
    > bike positioning. I've been riding a 19" Rockhopper (I'm 6'2") for many years now, where the bars
    > are about 6-8 inches below the saddle. I always thought this was more or less normal, and
    > preferable for off-road riding as my weight was spread way out over the length of the bike. Now I
    > notice that most mountain bikes I see have the bars level with the saddle or even higher than the
    > saddle. Is this a recent phenomenon brought on by the prevalence of downhill bikes and hybrids? I
    > know I know - go with what's comfortable for me yeah yeah yeah, but I'm just looking for some
    > insight and commentary on the topic.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Kyle
    >

    I've found the that lower posision is an endo waiting to happen in the terrain that I ride -- and it
    has for me -- which is why I use a more upright position with bar ends (and elbow bending) for when
    I want to get down and/or forwards.

    David
     
  5. Van Bagnol

    Van Bagnol Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > My experience is that the part about more power on hills is right on the mark. Although I can't
    > see what the diff is between having the bars two inches lower and bending my elbows a couple more
    > inches - there does seem to be a diff.

    It depends on the pull/push force you're putting on the bars. Less elbow bend = lower cantilever
    forces required from your back and shoulder joints to stabilize your position. Grabbing my bar end
    tips on a climb lets me do something similar.

    > Also, when I go from my usual inch above to the same height as the saddle, my balance seems to get
    > better - as when inching my way between obstacles. Again, just bending the elbows more doesn't
    > seem to achieve the same end.

    If the weight distribution is the same, then again I'd think it's the stabilizing forces you put
    from your shoulders and arms. Which positions is easier for you to do a track stand?

    Van

    --
    Van Bagnol / v a n at wco dot com / c r l at bagnol dot com ...enjoys - Theatre / Windsurfing /
    Skydiving / Mountain Biking ...feels - "Parang lumalakad ako sa loob ng paniginip" ...thinks - "An
    Error is Not a Mistake ... Unless You Refuse to Correct It"
     
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