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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently purchased a Tallboy to be my race bike and am wondering what peoples opinion is off Flat bars vs Low Riser? I have never used Flat bars before so know little about them or what they accomplish. Currently bike has low riser carbon bars.

Bike is set up full XTR with a 100mm fork. My weakness is my climbing and strength descending.

Thanks for opinions.
 

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I recently went from a Racer X with a 620mm riser to a Flash 29 w a 700mm 11 deg sweep flat bar. I put about 100miles on the bike with the flat bar, then put the 620mm riser on a for another 100miles.

With the riser I felt much faster descending, but overall the front end is a few inches higher than the Racer X and put me into a really upright position. I ended up trading for an 9 degree ENVE sweep cut down to 680 and it fells great.

Maybe measure the triangle between your contact points and try to recreate that on the Tallboy?
 

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All other things being equal, the flat bar should give a bit more feel / control through the turns, and help you to keep a little more weight over the front of the bike on steep climbs.

The riser bars make bunny hops, steep ledges, and jumps a little easier ("strength descending"). Also makes standing and mashing a little easier for me since I can crank down on the bars w/ upper body (SS especially).

If you are using this bike to race XC, you'll find you can make up more time cornering and climbing compared to downhill sections.

For my XC race bike, I'll always run flat bars. My trail bike and SS bikes have risers.
 

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Since you are speccing a new bike, you should pick which ever bars you find most comfortable and just buy a stem to get them in the right place. Flat/riser makes no difference.
 

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I always found bar styles to be a matter of opinion and comfort. I grew up riding flat bars and am just more comfortable riding on them.
 

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Riser bars, riser stems, and headset spacers all do the same thing; move the controls higher. My Blur has low-rise bars and a flat stem, and the bars are almost 3" below the seat. On a Tallboy with similar bars, the bar was level with the seat (although it had a bit more spacers). Consequently, I'm ordering my Tallboy with a flat stem and the Niner carbon bar, which can be set up for +/- 5mm of rise. I originally specced the Enve riser bar, but what's the point? It's easier to swap stems & spacers than bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for help guys..the thing is that I already have the bike...have had for couple weeks now. And it is amazing.

It is just hard to start spending money on things that I "might" use or not. Especially after dropping the change to get a full XTR kit bike. Maybe I can rustle up a flat bar to check it out..will have to see.
 

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I switched from a 3/4" low rise 660mm wide RF Next bar to a wide carbon flat bar (Easton 685mm) and found that it helped with climbing more than expected, but also help keep some weight on the front wheel for cornering. It's worth the experiment. Easton has a wide alloy bar EA70W that is fairly cheap and the carbon flat bar at about $100.
 

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Okie Dokie said:
I just recently purchased a Tallboy to be my race bike and am wondering what peoples opinion is off Flat bars vs Low Riser? I have never used Flat bars before so know little about them or what they accomplish. Currently bike has low riser carbon bars.

Bike is set up full XTR with a 100mm fork. My weakness is my climbing and strength descending.

Thanks for opinions.
You can usually get the same exact bar height with risers or a flat bar depending on stem rise +/-, spacers and steerer tube cut. The bar itself (in terms of being a flat bar or a riser bar) doesn't matter. How you dial in the height/bar position with the plumbing is what matters. You'll probably see more riser bars on the size L and XL 29"ers compared to size S and M. Due to the higher head tubes on 29"ers and most racer's preference for having the bars below the saddle in terms of height, flat bars tend to be pretty common.

Sweep on the bar, rise on the bar, stem length and angle, width of the bar leave a lot of room for dialing in what you prefer and like. You can certainly experiment with your set up by picking up some cheap flat bars (something like a Salsa Moto Ace flat bar in 11 degree sweep) and mess around a bit.

BB
 

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I just recently switched from Easton lo riser monkey-lites to the new Ritchey WCS Carbon Flat 10D. They have the riser back-sweep feel with no rise. I think it helps me climb better and out of the saddle acceleration seems to be better, cornering is seems better since a little more weight is on front wheels, less wash out-ish feeling. Also the angles on the mid bar is really comfortable on long straights/road sections. Not to mention the bars look kinda stealthy. It all comes down to personal preference i think. 6 of one - half dozen of the other.
 

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I have a Salsa 11 deg flat bar on one bike and a Syntace Vector carbon (oversized) on another.

The Vector has a minimal rise, 10mm total, yet has a 12* backsweep and is trimmed to 670mm. I LOVE that bar... but they are hard to find (ATM) in the USA and are expensive. The Salsa is a good alternative to get enough sweep.

I used to run the Syntace 9* flat bars for years before moving to more sweep. Then, this spring, I got a Niner 9* carbon bar for my new build and simply hated it... not enough sweep for my wrists to be happy.
 

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Can someone clarify something for me.

Given that the sweep is the same and the same stem is being used, a flat bar with a 2cm spacer under the stem will give the same position and handling as a 2cm riser bar with no spacer under the stem?

So if I am looking to keep a frame and fork for many years it may be best to set it up with a flat bar now and possibly change to a riser bar if I become less flexible with age?

Currently trying to decide on how far down to cut a steerer tube. Is 2 cm of spacer above and below the stem too much?
 

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This is really just a bike fit issue. There isn't really a right answer to this question since everyone fits their bikes differently.

Personally, I have a 2011 Specialized Epic 29er. It has a 100mm fork and a relatively long head-tube so it places the handlebar fairly high. I am running my stem upside down (- 8 degrees) with a 680 mm flat bar with 8 degrees of sweep. This gives me a fairly neutral position that is comfortable climbing, descending, and for long rides.

You probably don't need a riser bar on a 29er since the front wheel gives plenty of rise already. If you are used to a riser bar feel, there are plenty of very wide flat bars with generous sweep that should give you a similar feel.

Edit: I didn't realize this was such an old thread!
 
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