My 10 year old montain mountain bike has quite an upright seating position and front tyre, which is what I think makes it very comfortable to ride for long periods of times.

Having recently bought a new mountain bike, with modern geometry and ridden several of my friends new mountain bikes with modern geometry as well, I noticed they all feel the same. Wide handle bars, where you lean more forward when riding and it feels like there is slightly too much weight on your arms, which over time makes it them much more uncomfortable to ride than my old mountain bike.

I'm not sure what it is about these new MTB's but I am trying to figure out what I need to adjust to make my new MTB more comfortable.

How do I reduce the effect of too much weight on my arms? Seat up / down? Back / forward? etc.

EDIT: My new bike is size Medium and this is the geomtry table: enter image description here

I normally try to keep the saddle as high as possible and I'm 5ft 10 tall. My old bike has 26 inch tyres and this new one has 29's.

  • Having recently bought a new mountain bike First, you might just need some time to adjust to the new position. How did your bottom feel when you first started riding "long periods of time"? Commented May 22, 2021 at 16:48
  • Well I actually got this "new" bike in December, so it's been about 5 months now. Although I haven't ridden it that much due to bad weather and riding the old one more. The saddle in the new bike is definitely a lot thinner and more uncomfortable. I've done 30 mile round trips in the new one and that's when the extra weight in the hand starts becoming quite noticeble. One thing I noticed with this new bike is I have to lean a lot more forward too, but I guess that's just it's geometry.
    – KillerKode
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 17:35
  • What was wrong with the old bike? Do you still have it? If so, try a short ride.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 22:01
  • Do you have the brand, model, and year of the old bike?
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 22:49
  • Can’t you measure the relevant dimensions on the old bike and compare them to the new one? Taking a photo of each bike from exactly the same angle and distance and comparing (overlaying) them can work as well.
    – Michael
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 7:07

2 Answers 2


One thing that can cause too much weight on the hands is having poor core strength. The end result of this is usually a rounded back and slumping forward placing extra weight on the arms to support what your core is unable to.

You might like to do some core exercises or perhaps some yoga to try and maintain a better posture on the bike.


What I can tell you is limited without knowing further details like the model of both the new and old bike. But, looking at the geometry chart, seems like the new bike is most likely an XC/backcountry bike. The geometry on XC bikes is optimized for going fast on flat and uphill, so the stems are longer. However this bike seems to be halfway between a trail bike and an XC bike, as it has 120mm of travel and has a slacker headtube angle than most XC bikes.

So, without being able to look at your old bike to figure out what it was that made you more comfortable, my best guess is that you are used to a shorter stem. Try switching to a smaller stem, but make sure you also get wider bars or the steering will become very awkward. The longer the stem, the skinnier the bars should be and vice versa. Also, as stated in the comments, the bike may just take some getting used to. When I made the switch from XC geometry bikes to trail bikes, for a few weeks it felt like everything was off. But now I'm used to it.

I hope this helps. It's the best I can do without seeing both bikes.

  • To me the models are irrelevant as you won't find any information on the old bike on the internet, in addition I mentioned it's a MTB - isn't XC a type of road bike? I don't think knowing the exact specs of my bikes is going to help, I am literally just asking for general pointers on how to reduce the feeling of too much weight on my arms.
    – KillerKode
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 13:34
  • @KillerKode knowing the EXACT specs won't help, no, but knowing the correct geometry, measurements of the frame etc certainly will, as it will tell me what riding position you were in that you thought to be comfortable. And no, XC is a type of mountain bike. There are many types of mountain bikes: XC, trail, enduro, downhill etc. Most mountain bikes made before the 2000s are going to fall into that XC category.
    – LemmyX
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 14:18

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