- How do you taller chaps get the bars high enough?
At about 6’3″ I am obviously gonna need the saddle quite high and to stop it feeling like I’m about to go over the bars everytime the track goes downhill the bars also need to be quite high too. So without the use of a massive stack of headset spacers how do you do it if the headtube isn’t very long?
I’ve had no problems at all with my trusty old Kona as it’s got a long headtube (140mm) and a small stack of spacers, but I recently transfered my forks across to a Merlin Malt 1 frame and the stack is huge and I still feel like I’m about to nose-dive.
I was going to order an Inbred frame (26″ geared – when/if they come back in stock) but I’m not so sure now.
Please Help!Posted 9 years ago
errrr… I am also 6’3″ and for some reason I don’t have this problem… I have a very small spacer stack on my hardtail (125mm head tube, 0 degree stem and a low-rise bar) but if anything I’d like the bars lower on my DH bike. lower handlebars give you more control, a more dynamic body position and a more aerodynamic profile – win all round. I suggest that rather than trying to raise the bars you invest in a Gravity Dropper or similar seatpost which will give you more space to move around and a bit more confidence when the track points downwards. a shorter stem will probably help minimise the “about to nose-dive” sensation too.Posted 9 years agojamesMember
“it’s got a long headtube (140mm)”
Thats not that long
My specialized is 146mm, and the giant 155ish I think.
Both have 35mm of spacers on (Rockshox say 30mm is the maximum) (since changing to a short steerer clamp hieght FSA stem) and are both too low.
The specialized has 130mm revelations (as high as a fox at 137mm) and mid-rise 685mm bars as well. Only got a 6 deg. stem on though
(The trek (21.5″) is about 220mm, but has an uncorrected rigid fork)
A more vertical angled stem sounds like the only option (since you’ve tried high rise bars), else its 29″er time!Posted 9 years ago
Cheers for the replies guys.Posted 9 years ago
James – OK so 140mm isn’t the longest, but most of the frames I’ve looked at were 120mm.
Looking at my bike set-up I prefer the bars to be roughly the same height as the saddle.
OK chaps, how would a 29er help?
Would I be right in thinking that a short top tube would make things worse?TooTallMember
29er would give you more suitable geometry for the larger frame – you’d have the bars higher off the ground than a smaller bike – look at some of the 29ers out there – some are running with flat bars and almost flat stems to give little people the right height bars – put risers and a better stem on and you’ll give yourself a really comfortable ride.
Trail rat is obviously comfortable riding almost doubled up!Posted 9 years agotrail_ratMember
flexibility is the key…..
poor flexibility leads to all sorts of problems
and its a good party piece ….when your playing the old biscuit box off the floor with your teeth without touching the ground with your hands …..when you tear the bottom off the box leaving a 5mm lip sticking up and picking that up with your teeth 😀
new bikes gonna get a more streamlined position !Posted 9 years agosimon1975Subscriber
It’s not the headtube length that matters so much as the toptube length – that’s why the Kona was comfy for you. Nice long bikes – you should try the On-one as the Inbred has almost identical geometry to steel Konas albeit with cheaper tubing, poorer painting but more tyre clearance 😈Posted 9 years agoSTATOMember
i’ve had no problems at all with my trusty old Kona as it’s got a long headtube (140mm) and a small stack of spacers, but I recently transfered my forks across to a Merlin Malt 1 frame and the stack is huge and I still feel like I’m about to nose-dive.
Simon1975 has the answer! (glad to see someone else on here actually reads a post before responding and saying ‘ive not got a problem, it must be you’) Basically your new frame is probably shorter so your bars are more tucked under you, meaning when you stand up your leaning over the front more.
Ask yourself this… If youve kept the same forks, not chopped the steerer and kept the stem as high as it will go, how can the bars be lower?? ok so more spacers to take up the room from the smaller headtube but the fork hasnt changed length, therefore your bars are still the same height.
What kona did you have? (size/model) we can check the Kona website and see if a different bike might suit you better.Posted 9 years agoscu98rkrMember
How about a 29″ wheel on the front 26″ on the back ?Posted 9 years ago
The Kona was a 20″ 2005 Blast and always felt great – only problem I ever had was the front end getting a bit wandery on steeper hills but Maz ETA forks sorted that no problem.
STATO – Good point, I think I’ve got two separate issue here (1) bike geometry causing me to feel like I’m going over the bars, & (2) Big stack of spacers being untidy.
Maybe I shoud try an Inbred then in the search for the replacement for my Kona and put the Merlin back onto spare bike duty.Posted 9 years agoChevinMember
I am 6’4″ and having gone through a collection of bikes I have settled on the Gary Fishers 29er. The G2 geometry stops the “I’m going to go over the bars feeling” that I used to have on downhills.
I can get quite “determined” when selling the benifits of 29ers, even more so at your height. I don’t sell inbreds but would recommend that if you are set on one, go for the 29er version. (Not the out-moded/outdated tiny 26″ wheels!) 🙂
Matthew.Posted 9 years agoclubberMember
It will depend a lot on the bike – top tube length (the more forward you are, the more you’ll feel like you’ll be pitched over the bars), seat tube angle, etc.
Also, it will depend a lot on the length your legs – I’m 6’5″ with 35″ inside leg but other mates who are the same height have 37″ inside leg meaning that they’re sat about 2″ higher from the ground than me, with a corresponding need to raise the bars to get a similar position to me.
One thing that I’ve found really good is long (5″ forks) which raise the front end up so that you’re starting from a higher point before adding any headset spacers.
Also, bars can have up to 2″ rise so if you’re using fairly flat risers (or flats!) then you can easily raise them this way.
Some pics of my bikes to give you some idea of my setup.
853 SS inbred (20″)
19″ Rocky Mountain Element (actually a bit short for me – it was a bargain – so it has more layback and a longer stem than I might otherwise use)
A 20″ slidy dropout inbred with 5″ Fox fork
Large (19″) Pace RC303 (which has the same length top tube as I’d normally go for)
I also had a 20″ On-one 456 which was set up much the same as the other On-ones abovePosted 9 years agoSTATOMember
looking at the difference between your kona and the on-one slot-bred (cant find the merlin chart but you dont like that anyway) there are a few differences….
1. Head angle on the bred is a little steeperPosted 9 years ago
2. Headtube is a little shorter, can be fixed with a 20mm spacer or a slightly higher rise stem.
3. Seat angle is steeper on the bred, this will push you further forward compared to the kona, if you dont like this sliding your saddle back or getting a layback post will make it more like the kona. However see 4.
4. Effective top-tube length is the same on both, but due to the steeper seat angle on the bred it might feel like your going over the bars when sat down (more weight forward on the bike but not cramped like a short t-t) but getting off the saddle when descending will help (this is how its designed).gamoSubscriber
I run a 15deg thomson stem and high rise bars on both my bikes, only need a 10mm spacer on them.(6’3″)Posted 9 years ago
high enough?!?Posted 9 years ago
I struggle to get my bars low enough to not feel I’m riding some kind of clown bike. There’s hardly any difference between saddle height and bar height on some of those pics. Very odd.
Upside-down stem, risers upside down, still feels way too high. Maybe need to run a smaller front wheel.MrTallMember
6’7″ here with a 38″/39″ inside leg so there aren’t many with a higher saddle than mine. I have a 21.5″ Trek, 22″ Kona, 22″ Giant all with 400mm seat posts at about the max limit. The longer frames seem better but i still feel perched on top of the bikes and have found myself going over the bars a few times (mostly on the full suss Giant).
I recently dipped my toe into the 29er market at Xmas with a 23″ Rockhopper and it feels so much better despite being the cheapest of all my bikes. I don’t feel like i’d go over the bars and the whole bike just fits me so much better. It’s very rare now that i ride my other bikes, almost feel i should sell them but then it’s not easy to sell really big bikes and i’m a bit of a hoarder anyway (current count is 9!).
On the 26″ bikes i always use uncut steerers and space them up as much as i can. Doesn’t look wonderful but it’s function over form i’m afraid. I also always use Easton Riser bars as i like the width and rise. Anything under 685mm feels narrow to me.
Test ride a 29er if you can but i know from experience that getting a tester in an XL is very hard. If you are anywhere near Brum i’d happily let you have a test on mine. Might be a bit big for a short bloke like you though. 😉Posted 9 years agomolgripsSubscriber
Chevin – that does indeed look like a normal sized bike with a normal sized person 🙂
Btw I’ve had the over-the-bars feeling (and actual doing) on some bikes despite only being 5’11 – it’s all down to geometry.
Is it true btw that big people find it hard to go fast on twisty singletrack due to their high centre of gravity?Posted 9 years agoclubberMember
AndyP – spent too long on the road? 😉
FWIW, I have the front end on my road bike fairly low but on an mtb, it’s a totally different set of requirements, hence why the bars are only a bit below the bars. Low bars on an mtb is fine for XC racing but for what most people do, not ideal (IMO and based on ‘average’ – some people will always want/prefer different setups)Posted 9 years agotinsyMember
I am a long way from tall, but I absolutely hate my bars lower than my seat these days, wasnt so bad when I was dabbling with a bit of racing but for fun riding I like them a similar height.. I get that easy on my full suss bike, but running rigid forks on my hartail I find the front a bit low and I had cut the steerer during the racing stage, so I had to go for DMR Wingbars to get the right height for me..
Am just putting sus forks on it now, so will put lower bars back on, so have the wingbars spare if you fancy giving them a go…Posted 9 years ago
Chevin – without being told I wouldn’t have guessed that was a 29er (wheels don’t look the wrong scale and frame doesn’t look like a farm gate). What size frame is it?
I have thought about 29ers a few times but bits being harder to get hold of, more expensive and less choice along with not being able to share spares with riding buddies when out has always put me off – OK biggest reason being cost. So if a 26″ inch wheeled 20″ Kona is an idea fit for me, what would be a cheap way to get a 29er?
MrTall – thanks for the offer but I’m up near Blackpool, oh and being called a short bloke? I don’t get that very often 🙂
Tinsy – Thanks for the offer but I’m more than happy with my Eastons
STATO – Thanks again for the very informative replies. I believe the Merlin has a 23″ TT (might be effective TT), 71 deg HA & 73 deg SA against the Kona’s 24.2″ ETT, 69 deg HA & 71 deg SA . In which case it’s the inch and a bit that might be causing my problem then?
Thanks EveryonePosted 9 years ago
I reckon it’s more likely top-tube length & wheelbase that makes you lanky buggers feel unstable
As far as bars go – surely if you’ve longer than normal arms, you need lower bars relative to your saddle just to replicate the same body angles etc ?
(though I R only 6ft 1 so what do I know ?)Posted 9 years agocoffeekingMember
6’1 and dont have a problem, my arms match my body so I never found I needed stacks of spacers. I find my nose-dive problem comes from top-tube or stem length – too long and I feel like I’m over the front all the time, even if im not stretched – totally screws up my handling. But when going downhill I always drop my saddle anyway, or it will feel like you’re being nudged over the threshold.Posted 9 years ago
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