1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Arms nearly straight while riding - are my handlebars too low?

    I've been thinking I need to tweak the height of my handlebars a bit, but according to the information I've found online they should be fine...but it doesn't feel fine.

    I've noticed that when riding (while sitting) my arms are nearly completely straight. There's a very very tiny bend, but not what I think is enough. I noticed it interferes a bit sometimes where I go to bunny-hop or pull the front up and can't because my arms lock straight. According to places I found online though, your handlebars should be around about inline with your seat, and I think mine is either inline or a fraction above the seat already (my bike).

    My question is, is it normal to raise handlebars much higher than the seat to allow a more bend to your arms? Is there perhaps something else I should be looking at to reduce arm-reach? How high is too high?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There's no one answer. Do you have a LBS you can take yourself and your bike to and get sized up? They will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is, if there indeed is a problem. I know at my LBS they will size you and adjust you on your bike even if you didn't buy it from them...for a small fee but well worth it, imo.
    NTFTC

  3. #3
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    Your arms should be bent at the elbows.
    Are you saying bar length to shoulder width has your arms straight/parallel? How long r bars?
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  4. #4
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    You could try a bar with more sweep or a shorter stem. You could have your seat too far back on the rails .Like thegweed said no one right answer.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegweed View Post
    There's no one answer. Do you have a LBS you can take yourself and your bike to and get sized up? They will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is, if there indeed is a problem. I know at my LBS they will size you and adjust you on your bike even if you didn't buy it from them...for a small fee but well worth it, imo.
    Interesting, I'll give it a shot. There's one kinda close by so I'll pop in and see what they say (I was thinking of grabbing some spacers while I was there just in case).

    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Your arms should be bent at the elbows.
    Are you saying bar length to shoulder width has your arms straight/parallel? How long r bars?
    The width feels ok, but it seems like I'm too far back on the bike. My handlebars come out at a bit of an angle so I'm thinking that raising them a bit might allow a bit more bend in my arms at the elbow.

    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    You could try a bar with more sweep or a shorter stem. You could have your seat too far back on the rails .Like thegweed said no one right answer.
    So I just went and moved my seat forward as far as it can safely go and it helped a bit - I have a little bit more bend in my arms. Maybe I have short arms =/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboCrash View Post
    So I just went and moved my seat forward as far as it can safely go and it helped a bit - I have a little bit more bend in my arms. Maybe I have short arms =/
    Saddle position in relation to pedals should be adjusted first, everything else is built around that. Maybe check out an online bike fit calculator.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Saddle position in relation to pedals should be adjusted first, everything else is built around that. Maybe check out an online bike fit calculator.
    So I just finished running through an online calculator. It seems, if my measurements are correct, that my bike frame might be an inch or two too large. If I measure the Saddle-to-Handlebar length, it's about an inch too long, which is about the exact length I need to make my arms comfortable.

    I'm going to stop by a shop tomorrow, but is this something that can be fixed by just adding spacers? I'm wondering if it's worth getting a whole different handlebar =/

  8. #8
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    a shorter stem could help as well as bars.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    a shorter stem could help as well as bars.
    Oh, that's a really good idea. Is it bad I just assumed they were all a standard length? =P

    I think a shorter stem might just fix it. Cheers mate!

  10. #10
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    Strange that Norco won't publish the geometry specs for that bike. They just refer you to an online bike fit calculator :~/

    How tall are you and what size bike are you on?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboCrash View Post
    Oh, that's a really good idea. Is it bad I just assumed they were all a standard length? =P

    I think a shorter stem might just fix it. Cheers mate!
    I am 5'10" ish, which is in between sizes for most major brands. I am currently on a size L TB LTc. Medium felt crowded. Size L with a 65mm vs. stock 100 stem is perfect. Give it a try.


    Also, moving the saddle forward to accommodate the bars is a bad idea.

  12. #12
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    I've been messing with a bike that is just like your's ... I.E. a bit to big (long TT) for me.
    Changing stem/bars is about your only cheap solution.

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