Riser bars vs spacers

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Riser bars vs spacers
  • jayx2a
    Member

    My Renthals are looking a bit sorry for themselves so as I find them comfortable I’m just going to get some more.

    They are 20mm rise sitting on top of 3x10mm spacers.

    I have seen some 30mm rise ones going for a decent price – if I put one spacer above the stem it will give the same height but does it effect anything else?

    Do higher rise feel any different steering/input/reach wise?

    qwerty
    Member

    Your contact point will remain the same.

    Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber
    arogers
    Member

    Your contact point will remain the same.

    Unless jayx2a has a 90 degree head angle I don’t think this is correct. The change suggested will increase reach slightly. Probably not enough to make much difference but it will change.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Interesting, so 4 spacers can be as much at 16mm of reach. That’s pretty much a frame size! But dropping one spacer above the stem adds around 4mm I guess.

    Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    Yes, but unlike an increase in frame size, you are also moving the bar forward relative to your contact point on the ground which effects handling also.

    “Unless jayx2a has a 90 degree head angle I don’t think this is correct. The change suggested will increase reach slightly.”

    That depends on your bar rotation. It’s normal to have the rise of a riser bar parallel to the steerer tube, in which case it has the same effect as adding spacers.

    If you roll your riser bar forwards of your head angle line then you’re effectively lengthening your stem which will change the steering feel.

    “Interesting, so 4 spacers can be as much at 16mm of reach. That’s pretty much a frame size!“

    The size that a frame feels when standing is the diagonal of reach and stack. Get two bikes with equal reach but different stack and the one with taller stack will feel bigger.

    Raising the bars won’t make the bike feel smaller when standing (ie descending), it’ll usually feel bigger. But it will make the bike feel smaller when sitting because it’ll shorten the distance from shoulders to bars.

    joemmo
    Member

    It’s normal to have the rise of a riser bar parallel to the steerer tube, in which case it has the same effect as adding spacers.

    there’s not really a normal in this case though is there? If you do this that would pretty much remove any upsweep from your bar surely

    Dont think I’ve ever seen a bike setup with the bars riser being on the same plane as the steerer.

    Stevet1
    Member

    Dont think I’ve ever seen a bike setup with the bars riser being on the same plane as the steerer.

    Really? All my bikesare setup like this, at least as the default before I do any tweaking. Throwback to riding BMX I guess as anything else looks weird.

    “Dont think I’ve ever seen a bike setup with the bars riser being on the same plane as the steerer.”

    If that’s the case then all the bikes you see are running excessively short stems and the forward bar roll is being used to compensate.

    Look at the alignment markings on matching stems and bars and you’ll see that I speaketh the truth. Also you’ll see the same if you google and find the Pinkbike etc articles on “cockpit” setup for WC DH and EWS bikes.

    Both my MTBs are set up like this too.

    I was thinking, surely the ‘upsweep’ part of a handlebar is supposed to be vertical? So the ‘backsweep’ parts point upwards towards your grasp not down towards the floor?

    Then I found this picture to prove it…

    From here- LINK

    Premier Icon Bigmantrials
    Subscriber

    Look at the alignment markings on matching stems and bars and you’ll see that I speaketh the truth. Also you’ll see the same if you google and find the Pinkbike etc articles on “cockpit” setup for WC DH and EWS bikes.

    But surely alignment marks on stems and bars are just to give some reference, they won’t ever have any relation to head angle, following your theory, the slacker the head angle the less upsweep you will get. Pretty sure that when a bar manufacturer states rise and upsweep it based on the rise part of the bar being in the vertical plane.

    I expect the reason you see DH and EWS bikes with the bars rolled back is because of the steep terrain and the assiciated body position they are in requiring them to be rolled back.

    Generally I always start with the rise of my bars in the verticle plane, as this will give the geometry the bar manufacturer has designed, then I will rotate if I feel the need, generally I don’t.

    To the OP’s question though, i always went for riser bars over spacers becuase a riser bar will generaly provide slightly better reach due to the stems position on the steerer, and being tall I like reach.

    That picture from SharkAttack basically shows that anything ‘in-plane’ isn’t the correct setup. The centre picture clearly shows the rise being nothing near the steerer angle.

    Even that third picture on the right isn’t anywhere near in plane with the steerer. Anything rolled back to the same plane is gonna have some strange ‘easy rider’ sweep on the bars.

    joemmo
    Member

    aligning the roll relative to the head angle is pretty arbitrary since HA is so variable. Vertical is at least a constant but probably the angle reference that makes most sense is that of the riders shoulder to the bars within a range of their riding position and preference.

    To answer the OP’s OQ – yes it’ll feel a bit different, how much depends on your sensitivity but it will certainly look better 🙂

    My bike has matching stem and bar markings. With the bar set in the zero position, the rise is definitely rotated slightly forward of vertical. If I aligned the riser parallel with the steerer tube then the backsweep would be ridiculous and the upsweep would probably become a downsweep. I would also probably be off the marked scale (which is +/- 40 deg). It definitely wasn’t designed to be run like that! As it is, the zero position looks pretty sensible in terms of upsweep, backsweep and rise. I was actually thinking of rotating it a little further forward as an experiment, as my arms are relatively long and my frame reach is quite conservative.

    I suspect there are simply too many variables involved (bar rise, upsweep, backsweep, bar width, frame reach, stem rise, stem length, head tube angle, stack height) to make any sweeping generalisations.

    On my current bike if I matched the upsweep with the head angle (like I used to on my bmx with a 77 head angle) my grips would be pointing at the ground.

    To answer the OP’s question… High rise bars look much cooler so buy the 40mm Fatbars and slice that steerer tube off!

    endomick
    Member

    Joemmo and breatheasy are spot on, it’s far from normal to have the rise parallel with the steerer/ head angle, I’d go as far as to say it’s the dumbest advice ever, as it turns upsweep into downsweep on slack frames. It’s called rise for a reason, the rise on my nukeproofs is near vertical thus taking full advantage of it. Setting it back to 65° would be absurd. High rise bars set correctly instead of spacers gives more reach, fact, giving the feel of a slightly longer stem. I used to think there’s no right or wrong, its personal preference with bar roll, but clearly there are limits.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    No idea on right or wrong, but have always set the rise of my bars as near vertical as I can eyeball. Just seems logical…

    sailor74
    Member

    i tend to roll my bars slightly forwards as it increases reach and gives a straighter bar sweep which puts your elbows in a better position. its all personal preference. interestingly mx bars are considered neutral when the rise is in line with the forks, again i tend to run mine a touch forwards but that is far from the vertical position on my mtb.

    higher rise with less spacers will give you more reach for the same given bar height. you dont say what bike you have but i would stick my neck out and suggest a touch extra reach probably wont be a bad thing as most bikes could benefit from it. 20mm rise on top of 30mm of spacers sounds a lot to me which suggests you may be compensating for a short reach.

    for what its worth i run the following;
    hardtail 30mm riser 3mm spacer
    trail bike 20mm riser 10mm spacer
    long travel 20mm riser 5mm spacer
    all pretty similar when you factor in headtube lengths

    as a general rule low is fast but you need to be stronger to hold a more aggressive position therefore comfort starts to take a hit.

    Premier Icon stevemorg2
    Subscriber

    Where have you seen a deal on the 30mm Renthals? I could do with a pair myself

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    @stevemorg2: Cheapest I’ve seen is CRC (£55 in black]

    “interestingly mx bars are considered neutral when the rise is in line with the forks”

    Well I shall consider myself one of them! My favourite mountain bike has a motor anyway… 😉

    interestingly mx bars are considered neutral when the rise is in line with the forks

    But modern mtb bars are nothing like the same shape. My grips would be pointing down at the floor if I ran the rise in line with the forks. That applies to all 3 trail bikes we have in our garage (under 5 years old). Bars (recent mtb that is) seem to be designed with the rise close to vertical to get the correct upsweep and backsweep angles. Then it’s a matter of personal preference and bike fit to tune them from there. This idea of aligning the rise with the forks now seems totally irrelevant to me (unless you have mx bars).

    “My grips would be pointing down at the floor if I ran the rise in line with the forks.”

    Except they wouldn’t. I’ll measure mine shortly.

    jayx2a
    Member

    When I was looking to get the right rise on my Renthals I used an angle app on my phone, basically because the renthal grid is designed to work with Renthals stems and is not at the front.

    Has worked well for me!

    mattyfez
    Member

    The reach on my frame is a teeny bit too long, so I bought a slightly shorter stem with similar rise, and used the sweep on the bars to bring the grips slightly forward.

    I suppose that’s the good thing about bars with a bit of rise and sweep, they allow a bit more fine tuning for reach and height by rotating them a bit.

    I think a lot of it is personal preference as to what feels right.

    “Except they wouldn’t. I’ll measure mine shortly.”

    They’re measuring 3 deg rise on my hardtail.

    But they are not MY bars.

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Subscriber

    Great OQ and some interesting answers/thoughts on the matter. Personally, I feel it’s very much a subjective thing, a bit like suspension set up, in that what feels right for the rider is the better approach, so try it and take the additional spacer with you on a ride and swap them about.

    So long as you don’t fall victim to Internet forum or clique fashion opinions about how it looks, you’ll be fine 😉

    “But they are not MY bars.”

    Most bars are about 5 deg rise, 8 deg backsweep. How far do you have to rotate them to give them downsweep? I can’t be bothered doing the maths but it’s obviously more than the 20-30 deg back that head angles are at.

    Most bars are about 5 deg rise, 8 deg backsweep. How far do you have to rotate them to give them downsweep? I can’t be bothered doing the maths but it’s obviously more than the 20-30 deg back that head angles are at.

    But does it not depend how the rise is inclined relative to the backsweep and upsweep? On the 3 modern bars I have on different trail bikes (Specialized Enduro, SC Bronson and Canyon Neuron), all of them are clearly designed to be run with the riser axis approx vertical. The Canyon is even clearly marked zero close to vertical with a matching stem. Obviously how you choose to run them is personal preference, but I don’t think aligning THESE bars with the fork angle has any special relevance. Your bars could be quite different of course. But I’m certainly not the only one on this thread who has observed this.

    endomick
    Member

    To be fair that inline method must be for barely there risers, whereas jayx2a wants to go up from 20mm, so that method doesn’t apply to jayx2a or PROPER risers (yeah I said it) and that method is still the enemy of upsweep.
    jayx2a would definitely benefit from 30mm or anything over 20mm. What’s the worst that could happen.
    Can we at least all agree that up and backsweep is measured when the rise is vertical, or have I just kicked the hornets nest.

    “But does it not depend how the rise is inclined relative to the backsweep and upsweep?”

    Sorry, I meant 5 degree upsweep, 8 degree backsweep. Both my MTBs have the same bars, Renthal FatBar Lites which are 5 deg up, 7 deg back (so slightly less swept than the norm) with a full 40mm of rise.

    “Can we at least all agree that up and backsweep is measured when the rise is vertical, or have I just kicked the hornets nest.”

    I think up and backsweep are relative to the rise direction but I’m not convinced that “neutral” rotation means rise should be vertical in an absolute sense. Personally I’ve found that having the rise vertical (rather than with the head angle) puts the tips of the bars too high causing excessive pressure on the outside of the hands and very uneven grip wear.

    I’d like to see how a pair of Renthal Moto bars is shaped because so much of MTBing has been converging on MX over the past few decades.

    jayx2a
    Member

    My FatBar Lites are 20mm rise sitting on top of 30mm spacers.

    I don’t think going up to 30mm and lowering by a spacer will make a huge difference but it does give me more adjustment if needed as the 20s can’t go any higher!

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Last weekend I fitted and rode a 38mm rise Nukeproof bar.

    Haven’t done any geometry maths, but at first it felt weird (coming from a 25mm rise), but the changes to how the bike handled were surprisingly noticeable and almost all positive.

    Rode it again yesterday and it started to feel normal, but more confident on steep and/or technical bits and it made riding sloppy rutted corners feel a lot more natural.

    Bit of an eye-opener TBH.

    bear-uk
    Member

    As above with the Nukeproof’s and made my bike handle better getting rid of the spacers. Only problem is I went 800 mm wide and I keep hitting things with the bar ends.
    BTW Red grips.

    I’ve got the same issue going on at the moment with, coincidently, an Orange 4. Bought it last week & although it ‘fits’ me I just felt too low at the front when descending (gravel track & not very steep either) It has a 0 degree x 50mm stem & ‘not very high’ bars so I’ve swapped those for my 10 deg 50mm stem & high rise (maybe even slightly higher than Chapa’s ^^) EA70 carbon bars off my old 5. Won’t get to test it till the weekend though. If it’s ok there’ll be an ‘as new’ Thomson stem up for grabs.

    I just don’t get flattish bars & 0 deg rise stems!

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.