Help with bike set up

flyer Posts: 608
edited May 2008 in Road beginners
I have a Specialized S-WORKS and after around 40 miles I start to get an ache on my shoulder blades. In a book I read it said the test for handlebar height was if you could bend over and keep your legs straight and touch the floor with you finger tips, then your hadle bar should be below the height of the saddle. If you can't then you should adjust the height to be the same as the saddle. Needless to say I can't, as such I am stretching and arching my back too much.

Do many people have the hadle bars at the same height as the saddle?

This I am sure will give me a much more up right position, not a problem as I don't race its just for fitness and enjoyment. Do I increase the height of the head tube or buy a flat bar bike?




  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    Being able to touch the floor is more about body proportions and how tight your hamstrings are. Do you feel as if you have too much weight on your arms or do you feel too stretched out. If you fell too much weight then you can 'flip' the stem over to raise the bars. If too streched then try a shorter stem. Personaly I would not go for a straight bar bike as it is too restricted in hand positions. I use at least 4 hand positions with drops but can only find 2 on my MTB with bar ends.
  • morrisje
    morrisje Posts: 507
    I don't have my handlebars the same height as the saddle, in fact they are quite a bit lower. I find that allows my weight to be evenly balanced between arms and backside.

    Aching shoulders can happen if your toptube or handlebar stem are too long, i.e. too much reach.
  • flyer
    flyer Posts: 608
    Thanks for the help.

    How can I establish if the stem is too long, would that be if arms are locked fully, ie straight?

  • dcab
    dcab Posts: 255
    i can put my hands flat on the floor with my fingers facing my feet & legs streight(although i do eat bananas,no i dont live in a tree!)but after a fitting with a well known dealer was advised to go for something more upright? have you thought about a fitting ?
    veritas vos liberabit
  • Erasmus
    Erasmus Posts: 48
    There are a couple of old fashioned ways to ascertain if stem length is right. One I doubted for many years was to put your elbow on the tip of the saddles, and if the stem length is right your fingertip should reach middle of h/bar where it joins the stem. I kept on experimenting with overall position for ages, and when I finally got it right, lo and behold the above was true.
    This is subject to your position over bottom bracket, seat height etc being correct, and is still individual to your body proportions. Might be a good starting point though - if you are more than a centimeter from this then either your body proportions warrant it, or you have the set up wrong - give it a try! God luck, John