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Seat vs Handlebar: Which Should Be Higher?

September 14th, 2010 [print] Go to comments

If you take a look at either of my bikes, you’ll see my handlebars are much lower than my saddles, by as much as 3-4" on my road bike.  To me, this is absolutely the most comfortable position to ride in.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Tell a non-biker how high you like your saddle, and you’re likely to hear them scoff about how your butt is too high in the air, and how it must be uncomfortable to be leaning that far forward.  Most people haven’t ridden a bike since they were a kid, a point in time when it’s best to have your seat so low that you can put your feet on the ground when you stop.  These people, of course, have no idea what they’re talking about.

However, there are plenty of more casual riders, such as recreational types and commuters, who do know what they’re talking about, and they still prefer their handlebars as high as their saddles, if not higher.  I think both methods have their benefits, and each rider needs to determine what works best for their own body and riding style, as opposed to trying to look like Lance, when you ain’t Lance (or even close–yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. Elderly Guy whose belly is about to burst out of that too-small, highly decorated cycling jersey), or sitting bolt upright simply because you think it looks more comfortable.

With that in mind, there’s a great discussion going on over at EcoVelo, with plenty of valid points being made in the comments section.  If you’re happy with your current seating position, by all means, leave it alone.  However, if you think there’s room for improvement–either racier or more relaxed–then maybe you’ll get some ideas based on others’ input.

Link:  What’s Your Position on Position

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  1. October 5th, 2010 at 09:07 | #1

    I like your site. As for handlebar height, it is a personal choice and for performance the best position is one that allows a rider to produce a flat back for aerodynamics http://myworldfromabicycle.blogspot.com/2010/09/aerodynamics-in-cycling-and-how-to-be.html. Saddle height is generally not so subjective and a fit chart can be found here: http://myworldfromabicycle.blogspot.com/2010/05/lemonds-sizing-chart.html

  2. ryan
    May 8th, 2012 at 21:13 | #2

    i saw this because i was looking at my bike and wondering if anyone or everyone has their seat so high. It makes my back hurt but otherwise my legs hurt, so i will ride with my seat high/

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