Headset connections

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Andy in Germany, 16 Mar 2019.

  1. I've come to the conclusion my body is too short for my bike. I'm using the shortest headset that I can find, and at the moment I'm still using a slightly swept handlebar because I was having slight wrist strain with a straight bar.

    The current setup looks like this:


    Not the best picture, I appreciate, but you get the idea. I'd like to go back to the old bars which were like this:


    Because I found that more comfortable for longer rides: I feel like the wider bars make for more wind resistance.

    Does anyone have any idea how I could use a straight bar without the wrist strain? I now have stubby bar ends which helps, but I'm already using the shortest affordable stem that I can find. If I could use a quill stem I could get a shorted version but that would mean getting new forks as far as I know.

    Any suggestions welcome...
  2. tallbikes

    tallbikes Regular

    its hard to see that stem, maybe a shorter option is available , or you could weld one yourself,
    maybe you could bring the saddle a bit forward in its rails,
    but I think it the head tube is too far away from the seat post you might just need a new frame,
    unless you get some handlebars like this?
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  3. Rickshaw Phil

    Rickshaw Phil Overconfidentii Vulgaris Moderator

    It does look like that bike has quite a long top tube. Having had the same problem of an overly long reach on the knockabout bike my solution was to try a butterfly bar which I'm liking a lot:
    Worth considering?

    BTW, I sorted out the uneven bar tape wrap later on.;)
  4. Hugh Manatee

    Hugh Manatee Veteran

    Have you tried Ergon grips? They offer more support. Well, a larger surface area anyway.
  5. Vantage

    Vantage The dogs chew toy

    Is your stem as short as this?
    You might also benefit from an inline seatpost. That alone would shift you forward about 20-25mm...maybe more.
  6. Thanks for the helpful replies...

    The saddle is as far forward as I can get it. I have considered handlebars like the picture, but decided I look quite chic enough as I am...

    I wondered about those, but didn't get on with them when testing bikes at work.

    I use a sort of cheapo version with the wider grips, although the real ergons have the advantage they don't rely on hairspray to keep them in position...

    That's what I was looking for, weirdly I couldn't find anything affordable last time but having followed your link there are lots available now. I'll have to order one of the approximate length and try it out. thanks...
  7. meta lon

    meta lon Guru

    Andy in Germany likes this.
  8. Sharky

    Sharky Veteran

    Another line of thought could be your weight distribution between the saddle and handlebars, in relation to the bottom bracket. If you are too far forward, the weight of your body could be taken up by your arms & wrists. Moving the saddle back by a cm, could transfer some of the weight loading to the saddle and thus make the load on your wrists less.

    Worth experimenting?
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  9. alicat

    alicat Guru

    I think straight bars will give you wrist strain because they put your wrists in an unnatural position. I would experiment with slightly narrower bars that are the same or slightly more swept back than your existing bars.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  10. I've been using straight bars on the Xtracycle for nearly 20 years so I don't think it's that, mind you I've also always have bar ends (?) which I think helps a lot. I've just checked though, and this bike frame is about 30mm longer than the Xtracycle, so I think that's the problem right there.
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2019
    alicat likes this.
  11. alicat

    alicat Guru

    I agree the problem is the frame, but it's not really fixable. Bar ends will help, since you can shift your position.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  12. I'm thinking moving the saddle forward and /or butterfly bars will be the best bet.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  13. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    Weight distribution between saddle and arms is going to depend mainly on how upright your riding position is; the straighter your back the more weight will be on the saddle and less on the arms. Weight distribution between the front and rear wheels is down to where the rider's C of G lies within the wheelbase.
    My solution would be to raise the bars higher to effectively reduce the reach by bringing them closer to the shoulders and reducing the need to lean forward to reach them. Unfortunately, if you have a modern steerer you may not have that much height adjustment available. This is one reason all my bikes have quill stems and I outright refuse to own anything with spacer adjustments.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  14. 12boy

    12boy Über Member

    Casper WY USA
    I have always had hand and wrist issues with flatbars and so have used bar ends at least a palm's width long. The shaking hand position as opposed to the palm down position is so much more comfortable for me as my wrists are straight and less pressure is put on the nerve that comes up from the wrist into the palm. I have found bull horns, moustache bars and North Road bars all provide that position and North Roads and moustache bars also can provide rise and keep your hands as far back as flat bars or even more. Another strategy is to adjust the nose of the saddle up a bit which will put more weight on your Whig
    and less on your hands. There is a sweet spot fore and aft in terms at what point in pedaling you are pushing down vs forward. Simply pushing the saddle forward will change that a bit and if that is a problem moving the hands back and up may be better. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  15. Saddle now pushed forward as far as it can go, and a stubbie headset on order as a first attempt.

    Will have to see if it makes a difference...
    Gravity Aided and tallbikes like this.
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