Effects of Changing Handlebar Height

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by g00se, 13 Apr 2010.

  1. g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    Hi,

    I'm thinking of making some change to my stock Kona Dew Plus. Particularly, dropping the height of the flat bars.

    AS standard, it has 620mm riser bars - and quite a few spacers (4-5cm) under the stem (8deg-90mm) on the steerer.

    So there's a lot to play with. To really throw the position forward, I could install proper flat bars, invert the stem, and place it at the bottom of the steerer (with either the spacers above or cut the steerer down). In total, I could possibly drop my hand positions more than 12cm, though I'd probably play with it gradually.

    Now, my question is what effect will this have? I know it'll be a more aerodynamic position (for a hybrid) but what other effects?

    The Dew's frame is quite compact with a small wheelbase so I'm certainly not stretched out. so dropping the bars will throw my weight well onto the front. Will this make the bike more twitchy or more stable?

    I'm guessing the lower centre of gravity will make cornering easier but have I got this right?

    Any thoughts welcome.

    Cheers.
     
  2. buddha

    buddha Veteran

    I did this with my pompino, which is also a compact frame, just to make riding into a headwind easier.
    As you suggest I did it in stages. Though only by around 60mm and I've now gone to drop bars anyway. It did feel twitchy at first. But you get used to it, and after a month or so, when your body had adapted, it feels normal.
    One unforeseen benefit (for me at least) was that it also made climbing easier:thumbsup:
     
  3. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Location:
    Auchtermuchty Fife
    One effect that it will have will be to reduce the distance between the saddle and the bars.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich

    Thanks - but I'm not sure it will? The bars are already level with the seat, so dropping the bars down will take them further away (the seat and steerer tubes appear parallel, so inverting the stem will not bring them in on it's own).

    Anyway - if I can get away for 20 mins at lunch - I'll have a play with the stem alone and see what happens.

    Buddha: Cool about the climbing, could be useful on the 1 in 6 on the way home from the station.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Your proposed handlebar position change is likely to transfer pelvic weight forwards from the ischial-tuberosocities to the 'notcha'. Generally, the more upright the position the wider the saddle and verse visa.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    To be honest, in my current position, I tend to fall forward a bit on the saddle - as if I'm slipping forward but the saddle is level. My ischial-wotnots are too far forward and my knees are further forward of the pedal spindles at 9:15.

    I'm hoping that dropping the bars will keep me in the right position. Well, tea break from work for 15, so I'll give it a go....
     
  7. OP
    OP
    g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    Bingo - seems to have worked a treat. Feels faster but hasn't compromised the handling. The positioning on the saddle is better and wrists feel more relaxed.

    I've got a reasonable run tomorrow to see how it feels after more miles. If that's OK, then I'll try moving the spacers too - to see how that changes things.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Jolly good show.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    If my nads turn blue and fall off, I'll put it all back....
     
  10. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Location:
    Auchtermuchty Fife
    Ooops. Yes, you're right, other way round. It's good that it seems to be working out for you.
     
  11. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    If you have all your body dimensions sorted ( noted down on your frame-fit spreadsheet which gives Reach and Drop ), you can use a measuring tape and a calculator to determine the handlebar position.

    The set-up is about 4mm long in the reach on my new hybridized MTB, but I'm not going to shell out on a new stem for that :biggrin:

    The 'quick and dirty' method used by some LBS men is:-

    45 Deg lumbar and you shouldn't see the front spindle.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    Any link to such a spreadsheet?
     
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