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Why doesn't reach take into account the handlebars?(4 posts)

Why doesn't reach take into account the handlebars?Gerbila
Sep 21, 2003 9:59 AM
I'm wondering why so much emphasis is put on top tube length and stem length in figuring out the overall reach, but I've never seen any mention of the dimensions of the handlebars, or even placement of the brake hoods in determining reach. It seems to me that reach measured from the front of the stem to the seat tube would be a good measure for a flatbars bike, but not a roadbike, where most of the time your hands are on the hoods or in the drops. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't spend much time with my hands on the top horizontal part of the bars. Am I missing something here?
and bars come in different reachishmael
Sep 21, 2003 2:27 PM
cinelli often being shorter. Most bars do tell the reach distance though.
not much variation...C-40
Sep 22, 2003 5:25 AM
I doubt that you will find more than 1cm difference in the reach of most popular bars. There are a few models made with the intent of reducing reach, that can be helpful for some. The reach dimension given for road bars really doesn't tell the whole story, since the comfortable position of the brake levers on different brands can vary quite a bit.

It is a good idea to measure from the tip of the saddle to some easily identified point on the brake hoods to insure that new bars have the same reach as previous bars. If you change saddles though, the measurement may be meaningless, since saddles also vary greatly in length and width (which affects where you sit on the saddle).

The important thing with road bike levers is to position the brake hoods so there is a smooth transition to the top of the bars and the area where the palm rests is angled slightly upward. Folks with small hands also have to pay attention to the reach from the drops to the brake levers. If the brake hoods are positioned too high up on the bar, the brake levers swing away from the drops, making them impossible to reach. I would never alter the location of the levers strictly for the purpose of changing reach. Getting the correct brake hood angle is much more important.
there're few exceptions..cyclopathic
Sep 22, 2003 7:35 AM
3TTT in Merckx/TdF have shallow drop and exceptionally long reach, about 3/4-1" more then avg. There's not much diff in upper body position btw riding hoods and drops.