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  1. #1
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    Ways to make bike feel a little bit larger?

    Iím just a bit over 6í, and always had Large frames. My current bike is a Hightower and it feels just a little tight.

    I already have bars w/ a 35mm rise, and all the head-set spacers my steer-tube will allow.

    Iíve been having some lower-back pain on long rides, and always feel like Iím in too much hip-flexion, like I canít sit up straight enough. Aside from the back pain, i love the way the bike handles and feels.

    What to do? When I slide my saddle back on the rails it seems to worsen the hip angle, and Iím guessing Iíd feel the same with a longer stem. So maybe a stem with a bunch of rise?

    I should add: I donít know shit about this topic.

    Anyone have any ideas?




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  2. #2
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    Some of the hip discomfort could be a result of having your seat too low, or needing a little bit longer crank. If I am not able to extend my legs far enough while pedaling, I get a stiff lower back.

    Narrower bars will also "stand you up" a little bit.

  3. #3
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    Wider bar can really open up a cockpit. For realz.
    And a longer travel fork would help.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  4. #4
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    Most stems that are short donít have any rise. Is there a stem thatís short, but also with decent rise?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    Most stems that are short donít have any rise. Is there a stem thatís short, but also with decent rise?
    There are adjustable stems you could test out. They're kind of flexy and better IMHO just for setting up position, not for permanent use.

    https://www.ebay.com/i/254211755155?...xoCr1oQAvD_BwE
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  6. #6
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    Just to think through this in my head-, is your issue that you are too angulated at your back/hips? Wouldn’t lengthening the bike worsen this effect, you’ll have to bend more in having to reach further? I don’t know the answer just going off my often misguided intuition. Do you actually just want the bars higher so you are more upright? Wouldn’t shortening things help?
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  7. #7
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    How's your flexibility? Do you stretch at all? Pain in one area is almost always caused by muscle tightness above or below the area that hurts. So lower back is often gluts and hamstrings.

  8. #8
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    You might want to try/experiment with a bike with more reach. Sliding the seat far forward is less strain on the back. That will flatten the back, less bend at the hips. Also puts you more infront of the pedals/bb so you can stiffen/stabilize the back while flat and power the legs like a triatholon bike. Of course that will make the cockpit more cramped. Over 6' you shout be ok with a 55mm or 60mm stem. I wouldnt go longer with modern geo. Maybe thats longer? Wider bars give you more reach but too wide is too wide. I base my handlebar width on my shoulder width. Higher rise bar or stem shortens the reach albeit just slightly

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW_SKIER View Post
    Narrower bars will also "stand you up" a little bit.
    I'd try this because it doesn't cost anything. Just slide everything inward and go for a ride.

    As for saddle fore/aft, that should be set based on your knee vs spindle (edit: and what grinch said - you generally want it forward but don't go so far that your knee is ahead of the ball of your foot)

    Curious what length stem and cranks you have now?

    second edit: have you tried rotating the bars?

  10. #10
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    This isnít an easy answer. The honest answer is go into a good shop and get evaluated. People do all kinds of weird motions on the bike without realizing it...

    A few general points:
    *Bike fit isnít always the issue, you can also fit your body to the bike. That being said, some people have physical limitations. There is also preference involved. Iíve been running zero spacers, 10mm rise bars and a mildly negative stem for years on all mountain bikes. Iím 6í3Ē and it helps me keep weight on the front wheel for cornering. I have buddies that got the opposite way.
    * saddle fore and aft isnít for adjusting bike length, itís for adjusting your pedaling mechanics.
    * something as small as your seat choice can cause or alleviate lower back pain.
    * my honest read is that youíre overly concerned with bar height... and there are likely other factors at play. With the bar height your already at, going higher often causss new issues.
    * for years I needed someone else to look at me on a bike to tell what was wrong with my fit, itís something thatís hard to feel out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by volklpowdermaniac View Post
    Just to think through this in my head-, is your issue that you are too angulated at your back/hips? Wouldnít lengthening the bike worsen this effect, youíll have to bend more in having to reach further? I donít know the answer just going off my often misguided intuition. Do you actually just want the bars higher so you are more upright? Wouldnít shortening things help?
    This is my take as well. Everything you've done is making the bike smaller. And the quick and easy things to do to make the bike feel bigger sound like they're uncomfortable for you.

  12. #12
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    I'd bet on tight hamstrings and/or weak core. That is always my personal fix and we cyclists avoid core work as it doesn't make sense until it is too late

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  13. #13
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    Tight core = light hands.

  14. #14
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    https://www.amazon.com/TRIWONDER-Bic...NrPXRydWU&th=1

    For $15 it's worth a try. Not sure if it makes a bike "feel" larger, but you don't have to bend over as much to grab the handlebars so you can ride more upright. I use this one to help my herniated discs (lowest one - L5 and L5-S1) and it's surprising how much it helped alleviate pressure and reduce pain. Note, depending on how long your brake and other lines are, you may or may not be able to use the full extension length, so I'd potentially test and see how much room you have to move the bars up before buying. For me, 3" was a good increase.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggydude View Post
    https://www.amazon.com/TRIWONDER-Bic...NrPXRydWU&th=1

    For $15 it's worth a try. Not sure if it makes a bike "feel" larger, but you don't have to bend over as much to grab the handlebars so you can ride more upright. I use this one to help my herniated discs (lowest one - L5 and L5-S1) and it's surprising how much it helped alleviate pressure and reduce pain. Note, depending on how long your brake and other lines are, you may or may not be able to use the full extension length, so I'd potentially test and see how much room you have to move the bars up before buying. For me, 3" was a good increase.
    I'm not one to rant about "cheap Chinese shit" but considered what type of crash you are going to have if your 15 dollar stem extender fails while slamming down some fast and rocky descent.

  16. #16
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    Actually not a terrible point. Only been using that one on my old bike on more XC type trails. Should probably look at some higher quality ones for the new bike . That being said, it appears to be well manufactured. Made in China doesnít necessarily mean anything, Good and bad stuff comes out of there all the time for cheap prices


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  17. #17
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    Try shaving, it makes it look bigger, might make it feel bigger too?
    Wait, you asked about bikes. I dunno, seat further back and slightly longer stem or wider bars?

  18. #18
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    How wide are your bars currently?
    I like the stretching idea. I feel so much better during a ride with maybe a minute of stretching. Maybe less. It really doesn't take much. And I have back/everything problems and my bike is 2013 so I definitely don't have as much frame reach as you, although I am running a 65mm stem and 765 bars (cut from 785). I actually have my seat slammed forward and my low rise bars slammed down with a low stack height stem so I can get my back and chest nice and stretched out. Doesn't bother my back at all. Make sure your seat is high enough too. Stretch those IT bands.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  19. #19
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    Yes stretching is a given with lowerback and cycling. Twice a day for me for 20 some years now. Hams,quads,glutes, cats and dogs for stomach and lower back and an ez hip flexior stretch. Best not to try and overdue it. Light stretch until its an establoshed routine. It was 2 sets pre ride and 2 sets after(occasionally 3 and 3) but now with the eeb its one pre ride. Recovery stretch does a lot for the muscles but the pre stretch is great for injury prevention, avoid back spasms.
    For fit maybe a cheap trial would be to go a bit wider on your bar and if its wider than you think fits just get a bar with a touch more sweep and then slide your seat forward. That should give stability to the back, the same reach by spreading the arms, and a touch more tourque with the wider bar. Singlespeeder tech

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