Bike Fitting – Handlebar Drop

This topic was started due to a question I received on where your handlebars should be relative to your seat.

To determine the correct handlebar position we must look at a number of factors related to the final position. This is the essence of a proper bike fit and takes usually 1-2 hours to determine. The handlebar position relative to the seat is one of the last in a series of adjustments that are made. To set the correct position a riders handlebars should be in relationship to their saddle is determined by the riders correct seat position, the type of bicycle they are riding, the flexibility of the rider, the relative body part dimensions of the rider (femur, torso, arms, etc…), the experience of the rider, the end goal of the rider (what are you setting the bike up for), and many other factors.

Newer riders often assume that because they must “reach out” to the handlebars that the cause of neck, arm and back fatigue is due in part to the “leaning forward”. Generally the true culprit is the rider themselves not bending from the correct place and being set in an incorrect position for the bike. 9.5 times out ten when I am performing a fitting the rider is bending in such a way as too articulate the torso (bending from the waist or gut) and leading the “lean or reach forward” with their head. This is not the correct way to “place” your hands on the bars. You must bend at the hips and rotate the pelvis to position the body correctly.

To give you some numbers; road bars fall in the range of 3cm – 13cm of “drop” on average and tri bikes 2cm – 10cm “drop” on average.

Solution: To address this issue you need to have a comprehensive professional bike fit to assess your current position and make the necessary changes to set you up correctly, I do provide this service and you can schedule a fitting at

Coach Phil Casanta,
Bike Fit Specialist, Hypercat, Inc.


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