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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have had a dedicated commute/tourer set up and riding for the last 3 weeks. Subscribed to the Rivendell "handlebar height and saddle height should be equal" mantra. I am not buying into the theory, it feels awkward and unbalanced, like too much weight rearward. I am trying a compromise between what I normally ride and the Riv style by lowering bar height until I get what i like. Perhaps it is frame geometry or something else but just does not feel efficient while riding.
 

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Lone Gunman said:
Have had a dedicated commute/tourer set up and riding for the last 3 weeks. Subscribed to the Rivendell "handlebar height and saddle height should be equal" mantra. I am not buying into the theory, it feels awkward and unbalanced, like too much weight rearward. I am trying a compromise between what I normally ride and the Riv style by lowering bar height until I get what i like. Perhaps it is frame geometry or something else but just does not feel efficient while riding.
My commuter is close to my race bike in setup. There is less drop from saddle to bars, but there is still a decent amount of drop. I don't know what your commute is like, but there are sections of mine that I need to use alot of bike handling skills and I feel balanced on my commuter. I could see how raising my bars could upset that balance. IMHO, you shouldn't have to adjust to your commuter, it should feel right almost immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with that

Especially when I just spent $20 on a stem to stretch me out a bit more, $20 on a old Pletcher alu rack in great shape, $16 on a trunk bag, and a set of Honjo fenders on the way. Decided after looking at a set of plastic fenders that painting a set to match was more trouble than it was worth so I went with hammertone Honjo's. I'll keep fiddling with fit until i get what I like.
 

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bullhorns?

Lone Gunman said:
Have had a dedicated commute/tourer set up and riding for the last 3 weeks. Subscribed to the Rivendell "handlebar height and saddle height should be equal" mantra. I am not buying into the theory, it feels awkward and unbalanced, like too much weight rearward. I am trying a compromise between what I normally ride and the Riv style by lowering bar height until I get what i like. Perhaps it is frame geometry or something else but just does not feel efficient while riding.
Ever try bullhorns? You can use the tops and feel unstretched, but move out to the ends for plenty of extension. I think they are a hundred times more comfy than drop bars; on a fixed gear, particularly, where aerodynamics is not nearly as important (can't fly down hills anyway), I think they are perfect. Have them on two fixies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bullhorns have their place

but not on a 1978 commuter/tour bike with barend shifters, NOS Shimano 600 drilled levers, all the white cable housing with rack and fenders, Brooks pro saddle. I found a great NOS 3TTT 13 stem at the LBS, titanium colored, $20.I am as stretched out as needed now. And white vinyl bar tape $4. I was livin' large and swingin' easy. I was about to fork over $50+ or so for the nitto stem, I was glad I asked.
 

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I'm with you.

Lone Gunman said:
Subscribed to the Rivendell "handlebar height and saddle height should be equal" mantra. I am not buying into the theory, it feels awkward and unbalanced, like too much weight rearward. I am trying a compromise between what I normally ride and the Riv style by lowering bar height until I get what i like.
Sitting up like that makes me feel like the front wheel is losing contact and every bump kicks my ass. I see Rivendell riders at brevets; drafting one is almost like having a fairing.

There is no single position that works for everybody. Be grateful you have a quill stem, they make finding your spot a lot simpler.
 

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Did you buy into the whole philosophy or just part of it? It won't work if you don't give it 100%. You need the wool sleevless underlayer with the longsleeve seersucker shirt blowing in the wind, baggie pants, regular shoes with toe clips, and no helmet. Only then will you truly be Rivendellized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why didn't someone tell me that

bigrider said:
Did you buy into the whole philosophy or just part of it? It won't work if you don't give it 100%. You need the wool sleevless underlayer with the longsleeve seersucker shirt blowing in the wind, baggie pants, regular shoes with toe clips, and no helmet. Only then will you truly be Rivendellized.
Here I thought it was my problem, I just did not do the full tilt Rivnut thing.
 

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I've got one of their bikes (a romulus) and I love it- it rides great, and once you get used to the whole handlebars and seat roughly level thing, it feels pretty good- you can look around and see the world a little easier.

BUT...

Some of Rivendell's theories/pronouncements on cycling are just plain stupid. Wool plaid bags for @#$%'s sake. Seersucker shirts. All manner of poorly shaped handlebars (I've got a set of mustache bars- they look cool, but they are the most uncomfortable pieces of @#$% I've ever ridden) 650b wheels- I mean, they were never popular in their heyday, and they want me to buy a whole bike designed around them.

I really think that if rivendell spent a little less time trying to be iconoclasts and just got back to their original mission of making cycling better for non-racers, we'd all be a lot happier.
 

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for what it's worth...

my Pista has <b>more</b> drop on it than either of my 2 road bikes. yes the setup is nominally the same otherwise but when push comes to shove, and I have to brake hard, I need the extra leverage. especially since that's a big manly gear and I'm a small wimpy woman.

I haven't put bullhorns on. I agree they probably make more sense on an urban fixte but I haven't been able to go there for some admittedly pretty lame reasons. at first it was just laziness, now I'm simply being an ass about not wanting to look like every other art-school hipster wannabe out there. there are like 3 or 4 chrome Pistas I see everyday around campus... add to that the scads and scads of other fixed... err, singlespeed bikes I see running bulls and I just feel kinda bloodyminded about it. mine is the only fixte I know of on campus that runs drop bars, and one of only two or three that I've seen run on the fixed side.

it seems a little... I dunno... lazy? to buy a track bike / fixte then ride it around in flip-flops on the coaster side all day.

or maybe I'm just being cranky. who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have settled in........

I did a bar to saddle drop measurement on my 3 main rides and decided to get a setup that is in the ball park with the rest. Fairly comfortable with what I have. But then I started looking through my parts bin and and my SS frame that has not been ridden since May and thought, "gee, for about $100 or so i could set this up as a full tilt tourer also and the frame is better than the other commute/tour frame and I could swap a few parts here and there and end up with a compact double and a compact triple tour/commute bikes, both with rack and fenders" so that is my next plan.
 

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lonefrontranger said:
for what it's worth...

my Pista has <b>more</b> drop on it than either of my 2 road bikes. yes the setup is nominally the same otherwise but when push comes to shove, and I have to brake hard, I need the extra leverage. especially since that's a big manly gear and I'm a small wimpy woman.

I haven't put bullhorns on. I agree they probably make more sense on an urban fixte but I haven't been able to go there for some admittedly pretty lame reasons. at first it was just laziness, now I'm simply being an ass about not wanting to look like every other art-school hipster wannabe out there. there are like 3 or 4 chrome Pistas I see everyday around campus... add to that the scads and scads of other fixed... err, singlespeed bikes I see running bulls and I just feel kinda bloodyminded about it. mine is the only fixte I know of on campus that runs drop bars, and one of only two or three that I've seen run on the fixed side.

it seems a little... I dunno... lazy? to buy a track bike / fixte then ride it around in flip-flops on the coaster side all day.

or maybe I'm just being cranky. who knows.
Very funny post, sounds just like my neighborhood in Denver. Do they wear the old style gomer pyle hats too?
 

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chica cyclista
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absolutely

krustybike said:
Do they wear the old style gomer pyle hats too?
flip-flops, gomer pyle hat, homemade 'cutoff' knickers or girls jeans rolled up and whatever mud-brown coloured tshirt-with-clever-saying-or-anime-kittens is hot on CafePress this week.

yep you got it. I bet you do the Denver Cruise, doncha?
 

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several reasons

KenB said:
My apologies in advance but why would you setup the commuter differently from what you're comfortable with?
(and there are no stupid questions, but my goodness the world is full of inquisitive idiots... ;) )

the reason is clearly stated in the post. in order to brake an 88-inch gear, at 5'4" and 128 pounds, I need the extra leverage. that added drop provides it.

plus I'm super flexible and can handle it. the Pista is the second most comfortable bike I own, being trumped only by my 'nag roadie which is kind of like trying to compare a Cadillac STS sedan to a Porsche boxter.

in all other dimensions (length, setback, seat height, etc) all five of my bikes are identical, even the hardtail.
 

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lonefrontranger said:
flip-flops, gomer pyle hat, homemade 'cutoff' knickers or girls jeans rolled up and whatever mud-brown coloured tshirt-with-clever-saying-or-anime-kittens is hot on CafePress this week.

yep you got it. I bet you do the Denver Cruise, doncha?
Pretty much the same here in philly but maybe a slightly tougher image. Add some cheesy tattoos and your in biz.

The bullhorn bar thing seems to have passed. Most of the kids here are running deep track drops. The key is to run bar tape where it doesn't make any sense....

I guess my commuter is backwards. I have traditional road drop bars and a bunch of saddle to bar drop. Riding the hoods on it is about where I have my bullhorns setup on my run ride fixed gear. The bullhorns rock for going fast and climbing out of the saddle.
 

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Denver cruise, to a bar?

lonefrontranger said:
flip-flops, gomer pyle hat, homemade 'cutoff' knickers or girls jeans rolled up and whatever mud-brown coloured tshirt-with-clever-saying-or-anime-kittens is hot on CafePress this week.

yep you got it. I bet you do the Denver Cruise, doncha?
no they just congregate in front of the bars in my neighborhood. Is the cruise a bar crawl? cause if so I might wanna, I'll get some mud brown knickers if there's a drink special.
 

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You can't just raise the bars. If you envision your position as defined by three contact points (bar, saddle, and pedals), you'll see what I mean. Just raising the bar pushes your weight rearward and greatly reduces the distance to the bars. I would suggest a reach (top tube plus stem length) that is 1 cm longer than what you normally ride. You will probably need to adjust your saddle angle. A seatpost with a little more setback and/or sliding the saddle back on its rails a little can also help.
 
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