Bike Setup

RYOUNG78 Posts: 19
edited February 2008 in Road beginners
When on my road bike I am finding that my arms need to be at full stretch to reach the handlebars, which after a period of time on the bike is uncomfortable. Is this correct or do I need to look at my position on the bike?


  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Are you saying on the hoods or the drops. If on the hoods then I suggest the bike is too long for you, this can be sorted by (preferably) getting a shorter stem, sliding seat forwards, or rotating the bars slightly upwards (if they are not yet horizontal to the hoods). Of course a bike with a shorter top tube would do it too (maybe you bought too big in the first place). I would say when riding on the hoods you should have a gentle bend to the elbows for ideal comfort.

    Changing the stem is very easy and needn't cost too much, I got a Cinelli Vai for £16 at Wiggle, for example. Of course you can spend £100 or more if you want! If changing the stem take into account both length and rise, a higher rise will also bring the bars effectively nearer.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    IMO "uncomfortable" does indeed mean " need to look at my position on the bike?"

    And likely solutions as alfablue says!
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • Nuggs
    Nuggs Posts: 1,804
    alfablue wrote:
    I would say when riding on the hoods you should have a gentle bend to the elbows for ideal comfort.
    That's good to hear as that's how mine are. I've only had the bike a week and it still feels very strange. Hopefully I'll get used to it before long!
  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    Hi, i think you will find it takes a while to become comfortable with the more stretched / lower riding position. Try this, ride for a while on the lower part of the drops then go back to the top position / hoods, suddenly that seems less of a stretch. Obviously you become more flexible the more you ride. However as mentioned above you might want to try a shorter stem (i have a 90mm on mine) and move the saddle forward a little.
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • find your nearest specialist and book a fitting. This SHOULD be done as part of your purchase
  • Doobz
    Doobz Posts: 2,800
    A few weeks ago I got a new road bike and after riding it the first few times I only felt 70% comfy on it. I guess I had a few issues with my arms being straight and legs not extending at the bottom of the pedal stroke and rolling correctly at the top of the stroke..

    I first moved the seat up and it got a little better. Then Seat forward and then tested the ride.. Still felt a bit unusual so I rotated the bars upwards a bit and went for a short ride I would say about a 10 mile ride. Things now feel good.. I still need to mess with the seat angle to get things to 100%.

    Before with the seat post too low I would get slight calf cramp from my legs not extending correctly. My arms would also feel uncomfortable from being fully extended - almost in a fidgety sort of way like I was always looking for new places to try and put my hands on the bars..

    One thing you will notice when you start adjusting the bars, seat and post is that you might start feeling your muscles strain in different places.