I've been commuting on a flat bar road bike for a couple of years now. The ride feels comfortable but whenever I see myself riding I always think my posture is wonky.

Is there a guide somewhere or picture that shows proper riding posture on a flat bar road bike? I've seen many of racers but none of flat bar/hybrids.

I've attached the image of my bicycle, will try to get a picture of my posture on it soon. my machine

  • 2
    I would guess that if you're comfortable and not suffering from repetitive strain, sore neck/shoulder/back then you're probably ok. Comfort = more fun = more riding! Most folks riding flat bars with fairly upright setups (ie. handlebar equal or higher than seat) look a bit odd (to me), but it doesn't mean it's not "correct"!
    – darkcanuck
    Jan 14, 2011 at 18:14
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    You're right, most bike fit guides seem to concentrate on bikes with drop bars. If you can tell us more about your bike, it would be helpful. Also, I'm thinking this could be an issue with the bike not fitting you. Do you have a picture of you riding your bike? Jan 14, 2011 at 21:42
  • I'll try to get a picture but as for the bicycle it self, I've added the pic of my bicycle
    – hhafez
    Jan 15, 2011 at 1:16

2 Answers 2


If it's not broken, don't fix it. The act of folding ourselves onto a bicycle, (especially one with any kind of aerodynamic advantage over a mountain bike) is not a natural-looking position for a human body. We're built to be more or less upright, which is not an aerodynamic position on the bike.

So, if you're comfortable on your bike and feel like you're ok with the amount of wind-resistance you create for yourself, and your bike is properly sized for you, there's not much you'd really want to change.

A couple of general bike position loose guidelines (yes, general and loose are a bit redundant here, but these are not hard fast rules):

  1. If you look down at your front hub while riding, you want it to be somewhere in the vicinity of being hidden by your handlebar.

  2. For a commuter bike, you want to be able to look forward (with your head more or less erect) without feeling like you're craning your neck.

  3. In said upright-head position, you shouldn't have to stretch for your handlebar.

  4. Your seat should be at a height such that your leg is mostly extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but you should not have to rock your hips at all during the bottom of the pedal stroke.

  5. Your seat should be situated fore/aft such that you can do the following: a. Tie a weight on the end of a string. b. Hold the non-weighted end of the string in the slight hollow on the outside front of your knee. c. The string should fall close to the spindle of your pedal when that pedal is at the front of the stroke (3 or 9 o'clock, depending on how you look at it)

If all these things hold more or less true, and you're comfortable when you ride, don't stress what you look like.


Flat bars have never been comfortable for me for long rides. Check out this link, Sheldon Brown talks a lot about posture to eliminate pain here: http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html

  • I've read it that page many times, however since I don't have pain (as indicated in the question) I didn't know what applied to me and what didn't
    – hhafez
    Jan 15, 2011 at 1:21

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