Handlebars seem too far away...causing discomfort.


Über Member
Had a bit of lower back pain which has improved but still a few twinges. Never been an issue before but now realising that my handlebars feel too far away from me and I have to sit in an uncomfortable hunched position to reach them rather than sitting more upright. It's only since I had pulled my back a few months ago that the inability to sit upright and reach handlebars has become an issue.

Here is the bike:


I can't change the height of the handlebars. When I bought it at Evans the sales guy was unsure if I should get L size or XL....I got an XL, maybe should have got L.

Anyway is there anything I can do about this barring buying a new bike? I was riding without holding the bars for short stretches today just to sit up for a bit. Just an 8 mile commute each way so not so far but feels like my back will go again at anytime.

Chippy Dave

Active Member
I have limited experience but in my own experience the first road bike I had gave me the same problems that you describe and I’m 90 per cent sure it was because the bike frame was too large for me, my size is always on the range of 2 frames but after doing some research before I bought my latest bike everything pointed towards buying the smaller frame as it seems it’s easier to make the smaller frame fit you correctly. I have to say my new bike on a smaller frame is a much more enjoyable ride.


The Monch
Inside my skull
You can get swept back and / or riser bars which work with flat bar brakes and shifters.

But given lockdown prices of second hand bikes and that your bike is now out of stock. You may be able to recover the cosy of the bike by selling. Then get something a better fit. This may mean you have a period without a bike.


You got the wrong bike size - unfortunately there isn't much you can do with the stock 90mm stem as it doesn't give you much option to change the stem length, you might be able to get a 70/80mm stem but it might make the handling a little livelier.


Your reference to being "hunched up", makes me think that perhaps you need a longer stem, which would allow you to ride with a straight back. May be against your current train of thought, but worth considering.

After any injury, a static turbo is useful to regain fitness and to experiment with positioning.

Good luck


Legendary Member
Was the bike ok before the back injury? If so, try some pilates or yoga to help core and thus your back. Plus other exercises for back strength (did you see a physio at time of injury?)


Über Member
If your saddle is in the right place (the guide linked to by @lane is very good for determining this and is not aimed at "racing" bike fits), you should be able to sort your issue with different bars without much ado.

SJS have a plethora of bars which might suit. Personally, I never got on with flat bars - I like a grip at right angles to the flat. If you fancy an alternative route to a riser bar, take a look at these:



This bar looks interesting but not cheap!



Started young, and still going.
Is there any scope to push the saddle forward on the rails at all? I know that could possibly lead to other problems such as knee pain but try moving the saddle if possible and see what happens.
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