Flat bar vs riser bar?

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Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Jean » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:24 pm

Hi,

My MTB (my first) came with a flat bar with the usual touch of sweep back. It's a fine no name Taiwanese aluminium thing, but I have noticed that flat bars are not very common compared to riser bars. I don't feel that my MTB fit is perfect yet and thinking over the options I'm wondering what difference a riser (or 'semi-riser') bar might make.

I suppose I'd be more 'upright' for my given stem length, which might help given I'm on a hardtail and after a while my lower back begins to feel it.

Cheers
Jean

PS. my riding is strictly XC style.
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by BNA » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 pm

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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Nobody » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 pm

Jean wrote:My MTB (my first) came with a flat bar with the usual touch of sweep back. It's a fine no name Taiwanese aluminium thing, but I have noticed that flat bars are not very common compared to riser bars. I don't feel that my MTB fit is perfect yet and thinking over the options I'm wondering what difference a riser (or 'semi-riser') bar might make.
About 3cm rise.

Jean wrote:I suppose I'd be more 'upright' for my given stem length, which might help given I'm on a hardtail and after a while my lower back begins to feel it.
Likely worth a try then. You can also get adjustable angle stems if you've run out of steerer length. I've found the Ritchey ones quite solid (no movement when set) and allows you to at least try different heights.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:00 pm

Not a fan of flat bars myself. I like a bit of upsweep and rear sweep. The flat bar on the folding bike I reviewed forBNA over the last few weeks was OK in smallish doses, but using it for hours at a time on say a 50km enduro would be too hard on my wrists and elbows.

Stick your hands out on front of you now, at bar width apart with your fists clenched and wrists in a straight and neutral position, and see what the line though your grip looks like. This will give you a (very) rough idea of what amount of sweep would be a natural fit for you in a bar.

Riser bars do make you sit a bit more upright - as a newcomer to mtb this will make the bike more forgiving on descents, which is a good thing since this is where the consequences of an OTB can be worse. Once you've developed some bike skills, and inadvertently dropping the front of the bike into a hole is less probable, a lower bar will give you better steering response due to lower CG and more weight on the front tyre. It will also help significantly with climbing.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:02 am

Riser bars will give you a bit more control on the techie stuff...they are a bit wider usually and higher...and don't USUALLY :shock: have bar ends.
Riser bars and barends....oh the shame :lol: .
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:31 pm

^
Image
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:47 pm

Maybe...but oh so true :P ...if your a "real" mtb'er :lol: .
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:55 pm

Define "real"... :wink:

I've underworked the roadie and the commuter for a couple weeks now, taking the MTB out most times. Yarra trails is nice. Wombat Forest soon, prolly Monday. Lysterfield later the week if the hammy don't go again.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Nobody » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:28 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Define "real"... :wink:

I've underworked the roadie and the commuter for a couple weeks now, taking the MTB out most times. Yarra trails is nice. Wombat Forest soon, prolly Monday. Lysterfield later the week if the hammy don't go again.
I only ride the MTB during winter generally. The colder wind moves slower past you so negates the need to "rug up".

I thought a real MTBer is someone who rides a rigid. :D :wink:
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:47 pm

Wombat forest aint looking good :(

Damn these people who don't understand that when the car in front of you stops, you should too. :roll:
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby .isaac. » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:15 pm

I use bar ends on my semi risers (I think) and they work just fine for XC. I think that flats look really nice but don't provide the stability and control you get with your typical risers. They also put you in a more up right position (just a little) and are good for road use.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby reindeer » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:19 pm

toolonglegs wrote:..and don't USUALLY :shock: have bar ends.
Riser bars and barends....oh the sham


So are there problems with bar ends on riser bars? Or is it just a pesonal dislike?
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Uncle Grumpy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Risers usually have a lot more sweep than flat bars, meaning they point back a bit more than flat bars. Generally.

You can get flat bars with a lot of sweep, Ritchey, Salsa, Syntace, to name a couple, but I digress.

When you put bar ends on risers, they stick out at a (slight) angle rather than pointing forward. If it works for you, fine. But it's a personal taste thing.

Me, I see risers with bar ends and I feel like I should be diving off my (tastefully set up) bike, crash tackling the other bike, roping it's wheels and branding that longhorn cattle sucker before letting it return to the herd.

Bar ends. Pffft. 1998 rang, it wants it's stuff back.

I like watching dudes with bar ends get hooked up on branches.

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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:08 pm

Uncle Grumpy wrote:I like watching dudes with bar ends get hooked up on branches.

Erm, I don't need bar ends to do that. :oops:

I've changed my view on flatbars somewhat, since discovering that the Easton EA70 unit has the kind of width (685mm) and sweepback that I like.

Once I get the fork on my hardtail serviced and get all the travel back, I'll probably get one.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby ausdb » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:06 pm

Uncle Grumpy wrote:Bar ends. Pffft. 1998 rang, it wants it's stuff back.

Each to his own but when you are doing 6 plus hours in the saddle on an off road tour it is nice to be able to move your hands around a bit.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby idw » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:28 am

ausdb wrote:
Uncle Grumpy wrote:Bar ends. Pffft. 1998 rang, it wants it's stuff back.

Each to his own but when you are doing 6 plus hours in the saddle on an off road tour it is nice to be able to move your hands around a bit.



agreed when your out off road touring for weeks at a time bar ends make all the difference. for rides tho 20km or less i dont really see much point just something to get caught on a branch when on single track.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:04 pm

Op says his riding is strictly XC...I am on risers full time these days....and my saddle is slammed all the way down half the time,seem to be spending too much at the skate park with the kids :lol: ...that and I don't really have to pedal :oops: .
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby trailgumby » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:46 pm

Confession time: I used to have bar ends on my low-rise XC bars and thought they were great, but took them off following an incident and now don't miss 'em.

When I was hit by that car back in December, the impact with the pavement and consequent impact between the side of my hand and the bar end broke my metacarpal into little fragments. Seven pins and a plate later (and now due for a second op to have them out) I've decided I don't need 'em. Didn't realise what caused the damage until I went to get back on the bike and had an "Aha!" moment tying to find a comfortable hand position.

I don't get hung up on trailside undergrowth as much as when I had them on. :D For alternate hand positions I just cup my hand over the end of the bar.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby .isaac. » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:18 am

It feels a bit awkward though if you cup your hands over the ends. I have seen these Mini Bar End things and they might suit your needs.
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Gabe » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:13 pm

I have bar ends on my old XC, but I only use them occasionally. They've possibly helped to protect my hands from minor impact a couple of times and I've never felt the need to remove them, but by the same token I wouldn't put any on my new bike, which is what I use for the rough stuff. Partly because I don't think it would look that good, but also because on narrow trails and at speed you won't hang onto them anyway.

I do agree that on long easy trails it's nice to be able to change grip, when I did urban back-road riding I did use them quite regularly. And I was probably only doing 15-18km distances, albeit up-and-down a lot.

Flat bars seem to be good for casual road cycling because they make you lean slightly further than risers but aren't as extreme as drop bars. I've seen lots of road bikes with them, but I don't think I've seen them on too many 'proper' MTBs. I'm definitely no expert though...
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Re: Flat bar vs riser bar?

Postby Bentnose » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:08 pm

I find climbing with a riser bar more awkward than with flat bars, you may have more control descending with risers but I'd rather have increased climbing ability, my bars aren't holding me back on the descents. I had bar ends for years from when MTB race courses used to consist of a less tight and twisty terrain. I made a comeback to racing after a number of years off and found the modern courses no longer suited bar ends after I hooked a tree causing me to swing round and fly of the bike backwards into the ground. My Camelback saved my spine but I tore a big hole in my left elbow, race over, trip to hospital, weeks off bike, no more bar ends and I don't miss them , you just get used to it.
Last time I checked, 2014 Distance: 4800km Time: 205hr Rides: 186
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