Riser bar height – current thinking?

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  • Riser bar height – current thinking?
  • wrecker
    Member

    We have had the geometry revolution, and it’s (I think) responsible for the broad acceptance that we want to ride the front of our bikes rather than the back. With this in mind, is the old philosophy that high rise bars are better for gravity type riding now defunct? Will we see flat bars ridden a bit more for enduro and DH? Or does it still hold true that a high rise bar is better for all but XC?
    What rise bars are you riding on your 150/160mm bikes?

    uselesshippy
    Member

    Flat, or low rise bars have been around for ages in dh. Riders seem to be moving back towards slightly higher bars, but it varies on courses I believe.
    Anyway, I’ve got full height, 38mm, renthals on my geometron.

    There’s only 40mm difference in height between a high DH risers and a flat bar but tyre diameters, head tube lengths and fork lengths vary more than that. And all three added together make way more difference than the bar rise.

    And then there’s rider height – I’m guessing what really matters is hip height in the attack position vs bar height.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    What hippy said.

    But expect lower rise bars to sell better as more people move to longer travel 29ers.

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex
    Subscriber

    My 17 Trek fuel has a pretty low stack height and I’m a lanky **** so I have 20mm spacers under the stem and have just changed 40mm Renthals for 45mm SQlabs, feels bang on for me but people are different, amazingly

    The 2013 Stumpy I had before had a massive amount of stack and I had to put 20mm bars with no spacers on to compensate, still felt like a gate. Bikes are different too!

    I had low rise (10mm) on my older TR Covert (160mm forks) and now use 30mm rise on my TR Scout (140mm fork).
    I tried various options on both bikes and that is what I settled on.
    I found that my choices put my hands in the most comfortable position for all round riding.

    I love to experiment to get the fit just so and will borrow bars to see what feels right. It does mean I have a huge number of handlebars in the shed. Mrs Wachowchow want to make a mobile / windchime out of them.

    wrecker
    Member

    There’s only 40mm difference in height between a high DH risers and a flat bar but tyre diameters, head tube lengths and fork lengths vary more than that. And all three added together make way more difference than the bar rise.

    Whats being got at here? Rise clearly makes a difference, or they wouldn’t make (or sell) different rise bars and bar changing your fork from 160 to 120 or vice versa, I can’t see how else you could change your hand position by 40mm.

    What hippy said.

    That low rise bars have been in DH for ages? Of course they have, but my question was more related to the new(er) geometry school of thought which includes short stems and wide bars are good. I wondered if there was a similar thought around rise as it has a pretty major effect on your riding position.

    Van Halen
    Member

    higher renthals on the big bike – i dunno i just like it.

    thepodge
    Member

    If you believe Chris Porter (and I remember right from his talk), shorter bikes should have higher bars and longer bikes should have lower bikes HOWEVER… for both, the bb to centre of the bars should be the same for the same person.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Subscriber

    the bb to centre of the bars should be the same

    Interesting idea. My longer FS bike has 40mm rise and shorter hardtail has 20mm rise but I can’t remember what arrangement of spacers etc I have. I’m kind of interested to check the bb to bar centre on each when I get home.

    Whats being got at here? Rise clearly makes a difference, or they wouldn’t make (or sell) different rise bars and bar changing your fork from 160 to 120 or vice versa, I can’t see how else you could change your hand position by 40mm.

    That it’s about fit. You just use whatever bar rise and spacers to put the grips where you want them. If your bike is a 140mm 27.5 you’ll need much higher rise bars than on a 160mm 29er unless the former bike has very long head tube.

    philjunior
    Member

    chiefgrooveguru – Member
    There’s only 40mm difference in height between a high DH risers and a flat bar but tyre diameters, head tube lengths and fork lengths vary more than that. And all three added together make way more difference than the bar rise.

    And then there’s rider height – I’m guessing what really matters is hip height in the attack position vs bar height.

    This. Trail bike wise, 100mm travel 26ers were once the way, when riser bars had a big rise. I ran 130mm forks on a fs trail bike in the early noughties, which was considered quite a lot of travel back then. I’m now running 140mm on the front of my HT and my FS bike, both are 29ers, and both running no spacers under the stem with low (15mm or so I think) risers. Could easily run a couple of spacers and flat bars instead.

    For the same position on a 160mm bike with the same head angle I’d be running a flat bar (assuming 5mm more sag). So we’re running different bars to give the same position on different bikes, now we’ve decided that bars 6″ below the saddle is non-ideal for general riding.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    That low rise bars have been in DH for ages? Of course they have, but my question was more related to the new(er) geometry school of thought which includes short stems and wide bars are good. I wondered if there was a similar thought around rise as it has a pretty major effect on your riding position.

    Just anecdotally, I think more people might be experimenting with higher bars as it’s become more fashionable to ride steep trails.

    I would have said the opposite to CP though, IME you can get away with higher bars on a longer bike as you don’t feel so cramped when climbing.

    Lawmanmx
    Member

    Bars same height as the seat at least, the slammed bars n stem idea never really made sense to me Unless you were 5’2 or shorter 😆

    wrecker
    Member

    Just anecdotally, I think more people might be experimenting with higher bars as it’s become more fashionable to ride steep trails.

    This is what originally got me thinking having read a bit of published stuff on bar rise. I was under the impression that we don’t want to be off the back of the bike. I know I certainly don’t so should i be looking at lower rise bars?

    philjunior
    Member

    Lawmanmx – Member
    Bars same height as the seat at least, the slammed bars n stem idea never really made sense to me Unless you were 5’2 or shorter

    I’m 6′, and my bars are at least the height of the seat, and my stem is slammed – quite a long head tube though.

    Lawmanmx
    Member

    all good then 😉

    gwurk
    Member

    If you believe Chris Porter…

    Low headtubes, low bars, low bottom brackets; only really works if you’re a very fast rider. For everyone else, something a bit taller would be more fun to ride, and they’d have more chance of being able to manual or clear the jumps at the trail centre etc.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I think height has something to do with width too. If you move your hands further apart then your torso goes down, so the bar needs to come up to counteract that.

    To me headtube size isn’t proportional to rider height – a 30mm increase in headtube doesn’t equate a rider difference of between someone at 5foot odd and another rider at 6foot odd. I’m going to be more ‘over the front’ at 6’5” with a 130mm headtube than someone at 5’0” with a 100mm headtubed identical bike.
    I run 75mm rise Spank bars with 20mm (iirc) spacers. Feels better than the 38mm Renthals which in turn felt better than the stock 10mm’s. Bike is a 160mm travel XL sized enduro

    I think height has something to do with width too. If you move your hands further apart then your torso goes down, so the bar needs to come up to counteract that.

    That occurred to me the other day. The early move to wider bars came in conjunction with shorter stems so that the overall position was about the same. People are now widening bars further with the same length stem so a small height increase needed to keep same position.

    To me headtube size isn’t proportional to rider height – a 30mm increase in headtube doesn’t equate a rider difference of between someone at 5foot odd and another rider at 6foot odd. I’m going to be more ‘over the front’ at 6’5” with a 130mm headtube than someone at 5’0” with a 100mm headtubed identical bike

    But that’s not the only geometry change. Your arms and torso are longer, the top tube is longer. I think short riders have more issues than tall riders – you can always make the front higher but they have real trouble getting the front low enough, especially on longer travel bikes. With short stems cant use negative rise

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Rise is just one component of getting a comfy, rideable body position and to my thinking is a component of cockpit size as a whole.

    Edited. Loads of waffle and others have explained it better!

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Bars same height as the seat at least, the slammed bars n stem idea never really made sense to me Unless you were 5’2 or shorter

    Really? I’m 6’4″ and if my bars were the same height or higher than my saddle I’d need stupidly high stem and a silly high riser bar. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a bike that had it’s saddle lower or level than it’s bars and that’s road and MTB.

    wrecker
    Member

    If this new geometry stuff is good, why would you want to counteract it? Just get an old geo bike, long stem and narrow bars.
    I suppose my point is that the new stuff is designed to get more of your weight over the front of the bike where it should be.

    Rise is just one component of getting a comfy, rideable body position and to my thinking is a component of cockpit size as a whole.

    Quite but so is every other cockpit component but I bet the vast majority of us have short stems and wide bars.

    high bars give the option of bending my arms when cornering and crouching into the bike, it also lets me ride the rear more for manualing through doubles/chunder etc.

    The low rise couple of years didn’t really suit my riding style-much happier now decent wide & high bars are available.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    If you believe Chris Porter (and I remember right from his talk), shorter bikes should have higher bars and longer bikes should have lower bikes HOWEVER… for both, the bb to centre of the bars should be the same for the same person.

    Porter is wrong, that is going to flatten your back more and cause you to stoop over the bike more to bend your arms. I have to go taller the longer my bike gets.

    Ill say it again, flat bars are a crutch in terms of weighting the front. Your head has enough mass to do that and veer a motorbike off course.

    wrecker
    Member

    Ill say it again, flat bars are a crutch in terms of weighting the front.

    I disagree. I’m not saying that flatter bars are better but they will help weight the front. Pretty much every bit of published guidance says that the higher the rise, the easier it is to get off the back of the bike.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    That’s not because they put you further over the back of the bike all the time, but because they allow your arms a bigger movement range and because you’re leveraging the bike around the rear axle from a higher point.

    You can stay in exactly the same forward attack position on a bike with higher bars, only your elbows are going to be a bit more bent – however – the vast majority of your body mass is still going to be in exactly the same place and it is still going to be weighting the bike up – for all intents on purposes in exactly the same way.

    You just have to consciously weight the front more, which with practice – becomes second nature – at the same time higher bars can give you more movement range in your upper body.

    If flat bars were teh awesomez for gravity riding, mxers would be doing it considering the amount of time they spend in flat corners.

    wrecker
    Member

    That’s not because they put you further over the back of the bike all the time

    But they do hey? The bike is leveraged around both axles is it not? Higher bars will also give less movement, as there is less space to move.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    If you mean taller bars allow you to be thrown over the front more easily, not really – as you should be carrying most of your weight through your legs and resisting impacts by dropping your heels.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Higher bars will also give less movement, as there is less space to move.

    When have you ever, seriously, run out of space by hitting your chest on the bars – except in a crash? Again, if flat bars and low stack was so great for off road riding – mxers would be doing it.

    wrecker
    Member

    If you mean taller bars allow you to be thrown over the front more easily, not really – as you should be carrying most of your weight through your legs and resisting impacts by dropping your heels.

    No I didn’t mean that. I mean that having hands higher exerts less pressure downwards through the front wheel meaning that more of your weight is rearwards. You will always be carrying most of your weight through your legs as you’re standing on them.
    Again – I am not saying that flat bars are better, I am saying that they will put your weight further forward which is a lot of the rationale for the nu skool geometry.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    I dont believe for a second that you cant extert as much downward pressure on bars that are inches apart in height. You can get over the top of them and drive down into the wheels no matter what height they are set at.

    wrecker
    Member

    It’s not that you can’t, it’s that it’s more effort.
    Likewise, having a longer top tube or shorter stem doesn’t enable you to exert more pressure onto the front wheel. It makes it easier to do so though. Sames.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    That’s not entirely true either, why else would a lot of the downhillers be running shorter top tubes and 60mm stems? They’re doing it to weight the front wheel. For me, shorter stems were a way to counter wider bars and longer wheelbases whilst keeping your body in roughly the same position.

    I don’t think it takes more effort to exert pressure on the front wheel with taller bars. I reckon, if you put two scales on either wheel and measured weight distribution – you’d see very little difference between two bar heights three inches apart.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I always run about 25mm of spacers on my bikes. Means I can change forks to a different bike with little risk – but more importantly vary bar height to optimise it for me.

    Most of the time I end up running a lower rise bar – say 10/15mm with 15mm of spacers below and 10mm above. I don’t generally want more than 25mm rise…

    wrecker
    Member

    That’s not entirely true either, why else would a lot of the downhillers be running shorter top tubes and 60mm stems?

    I think you’ll find that their TT’s are longer now than they have even been. Shorter stems and longer bars are for leverage and stronger riding position AFAIAC. Like a wide grip press up.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Again, if flat bars and low stack was so great for off road riding – mxers would be doing it.

    Not really joining the debate – but is the the COG on a motorbike not vastly different…? Also a person on an motobike makes up a smaller proportion of the total weight of vehicle and rider…?

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    I think you’ll find that their TT’s are longer now than they have even been.

    Still way off geometrons and you still don’t see that many 35mm stems floating around.

    but is the the COG on a motorbike not vastly different.

    I don’t think it’s vastly different, last time I checked I saw 45/55 numbers being thrown around – not too different to what I’ve seen for mtb.

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