Handlebar height, length and setup

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Handlebar height, length and setup
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Posted: Oct 26, 2021 at 20:36 Quote
I’m hoping to gain a little insight to help me with an issue. I have occasional back issues and am hoping that swapping my bars for something with a little more height will help.

I heck a Scott Genius 900 with Syncros Hixon one piece bar/stem. I have it as high as it will go on the steerer tube. I still have hand pressure on long rides, and my back gets sore occasionally.

Has anyone had any issue like this? Did using a higher bar setup help?if so, what changes helped?

Thanks!

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 at 10:59 Quote
You are talking about your back, but where exactly? Myself have issues with my lower back now days and i am working with my saddle rather then my handle bar.

When do you get a sore back? Uphill? Downhill? Flat trails?

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 at 12:20 Quote
Shortening reach (shortest stem, 30mm) and as high rise as I could get (protaper 3 inch riser bar) did wonders for my lower back. The 9 degrees backsweep, 60mm rise spank spoon handlebar was also great. I have settled for a 38mm rise now because I do a lot of trails these days, but will go back to 3 inch protaper if my lower back gives up again and on the off season where I do more road than trail.

Good luck and keep on trying...you will figure what works for you.

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 at 13:09 Quote
The internet is never going to give you as good of an answer as a professional bike fitter; go see one and get things sorted with them! Something to consider is that lb pain is likely to be less influenced by your cockpit setup and more of a factor of fitness or muscle imbalance (especially if it creeps up once you get fatigued). Hand pressure can be as good of an indicator of a bad cockpit as it can be that you're not engaging your core properly and hanging on the wrong muscles.

Speaking from a position of a couple lifetime injuries to the back and legs, conditioning is the way. For me personally nothing has helped keep little pains and discomfort in check like core and leg work.

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 at 17:02 Quote
Thank you for the insight. I do a lot of core work but notice that I do not seem to engage it properly when I file. I have noticed that even when I’m doing an indoor class. I am going to look at both suggestions so far.

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 at 19:19 Quote
You mentioned hand pressure too. Before I go buying different components to experiment with, I’d try rolling the bars first. I have arthritis in my hands. I have noticed that rolling my bars forward helps alleviate some of that hand pressure. Perhaps that may help your back problem too. Worth a try before you go spending money on new bars an stems. Adjusting the pitch if your seat may also make a big difference too. Good luck!

Posted: Oct 29, 2021 at 4:32 Quote
I hint there are two elements to consider, as said above, core and back conditioning makes a huge difference but I suffer with a herniated disc, sciatica and arthritis in my lower back and cockpit set up definitely plays a big role for me too.

My most comfortable bike is the bike with the greatest stack and a relatively short cockpit, I run my bars pretty high and they are rolled well forwards. I have a relatively steep seat tube and the saddle tipped slightly nose down to help keep a straight lower back. I think this is an area where it really pays to play about and see what works for you individually. Just bear in mind that it can take a while for your muscles to adapt to a cockpit Change so if You make a change and it feels more comfortable in the garage but you get back niggles after riding for a while, give it a few rides to see if it improve as your muscle adapt.

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