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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just curious- when it comes to riser bars vs. straight/flat bars, is it all about the height of the bars or are there any other differences? for example, does one better suit getting over obstacles? are they suited to the same type of riding? it just seems that i rarely see flat bars on peoples rides. thanks!
 

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Well part of it is the greater height...

cmatcan said:
just curious- when it comes to riser bars vs. straight/flat bars, is it all about the height of the bars or are there any other differences? for example, does one better suit getting over obstacles? are they suited to the same type of riding? it just seems that i rarely see flat bars on peoples rides. thanks!
as that makes it a bit easier to get back off the saddle during steepish decents. Then they are wider which makes the handling a bit less twitchy on the downhills, but you need to put more weight forward on the uphills because your center of gravity is more upright and further back. I find the risers more comfortable on longer rides because my back gets less stress because I'm more upright and with my back that's good. I feel the flats might have an edge going over things because of better leverage, but that just might be lousy technique on my part.
 

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Risers Vs flat

1. Fashion. All the downhillers started using riser bars years ago so it filtered down to most other bikes. And it was a way for makers to make their bikes look different. (Until they all did it) Some people might find they look better.

2. Width and sweep. Risers are wider and it's claimed they add more control in the rough stuff. They also sweep back towards your body a little more and the angle of sweep is said to be more comfortable for your wrist.

3. Bike fit. Really tall people can either run a high rise stem, lots of spacers or a riser bar to get the bar at a comfortable height. The riser bar option probably looks better.

4. Strength. Risers are all heavier than the equivalent flat bar which may make them stronger for those that need it.

I myself dislike the look of risers on an XC bike, and being shorter I don't need the height they offer, don't like the weight and hate the width. In the end it comes down to personal preference. The stupidest looking thing is when you see a negative rise stem with a riser bar in it. Weird!
 

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risers generally give you a more upright riding position which takes some of the weight off of your arms and fork , both a plus. Being upright also makes it easier to lift the front over obsticles. the only slight negative I can see is going uphill
these observations are from my personel experience, after tryimg my friends new bike (with a more upright position) I changed my sugar to a riser AND a steeper rise , shorter stem. Now I have a much more comfortable ride
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks fo the replies guys. dan, that comment about riser bars taking more weight off the fork made me think. i have a rigid bike, so risers might make things more comfortable. plus, i have pretty big hands so the extra width makes sense. i am a roadie turning more attention to the dark side-i know that on the road carbon=comfort, would i notice the comfort of carbon bars/seatpost on a mountain bike (rigid s/s)?? any recommendations of models??
 

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cmatcan said:
thanks fo the replies guys. dan, that comment about riser bars taking more weight off the fork made me think. i have a rigid bike, so risers might make things more comfortable. plus, i have pretty big hands so the extra width makes sense. i am a roadie turning more attention to the dark side-i know that on the road carbon=comfort, would i notice the comfort of carbon bars/seatpost on a mountain bike (rigid s/s)?? any recommendations of models??
be carefull about carbon bars and seatposts if you are a heavy rider(200+lbs) mtn biking is alot more stressfull on componets and you don't want your bars breaking while bombing down a baby head covered hill. Also carbon has to be carefully torqued if you over tighten it it cracks. pluses... its lighter, it flexes, it looks cool
 

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Given the same stem and spacer combo, a riser bar will put your hands in a higher position than a straight bar, but you can achieve that same position with a different stem or spacer combo, too. It's easier to get a wider bar with a riser, but not impossible to get a wide flat bar. An aluminum riser bar is inherently weaker as the tube has been bent, but generally they use a greater thickness (thus heavier bar generally) to compensate. Flat and riser bars are available in a wide variety of sweep angles, both upward and backward, you have to find one that works for your hands for the most part. I crashed today where a carbon bar would have been toast, I'll stick with aluminum or ti.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmmm yeah some more really good points, thanks guys. maybe i'd be better off investing in some thicker grips/gloves for the extra comfort, rather than carbon. i had looked this up: http://store.airbomb.com/ItemDesc.asp?IC=HB4711 looks like a rad set, but now that you mention it, the idea of carbon flexing seems a little sketchy to me, especially on a fully rigid steel s/s. any other ways to up the comfort just a bit? (still wanna stay true to the rigid design, just don't wanna feel like i got rocks thrown at my elbows and kidneys). i'm thinkin lock-on grips, maybe oury, and some thicker all-mountain gloves. carbon seat-post for sure.
 

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i found having a flatbar made riding up hill easier, but going down hill scarier.

Risers made me feel a hell of a lot more comfortable going down hill.

I think it all depends on your bike geometry etc.

steve
 

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cmatcan said:
i had looked this up: http://store.airbomb.com/ItemDesc.asp?IC=HB4711 looks like a rad set, but now that you mention it, the idea of carbon flexing seems a little sketchy to me, especially on a fully rigid steel s/s. any other ways to up the comfort just a bit?
The thing about carbon is that it doesn't flex,it just snaps.No warning, just *snap*,then ya pray that ya aren't using your stem as a pacifier the next moment.Don't get me wrong,I'm still considering putting an LP Composites XC bar on my full-susser,and they would eat up some shock on a rigid,but they're also made super-thick,hence,they don't give you much (if any) weight savings over steel or aluminum bars.
I just put a Ritchey aluminum xc bar on my full-rigid Rockhopper,and so far,so good.MUCH more comfy on the wrists (thanks mostly IMO to the increased backsweep,which is very important for comfort,especially if the "outsides" of your wrists get sore like mine did) than the stock straight bar,the height increase takes the weight off of my arms and reduces neck pain from "looking up",and I'm finding it much easier to pop the nose up for climbing ledges and stairs.If you REALLY want to add some comfort but keep the rigid fork,don't forget to look into some beefier tires.I personally put the fattest tire I had clearance for (2.4") and it made a world of difference with much less added weight than a suspension fork and more affordability than a carbon bar.
Comparison (on Rockhopper full-rigid):
Before:1.5" slicks rated for 110psi(run at 60-80psi)=ouch on a 1 foot drop
Now:2.4" semi-slicks run at 50psi=3-4 foot drops to flat feel smoooooth
...and my "fun rides" have gone from 1-2 hours to practically indefinite (usually 4-6 hours at least)due to lack of wrist fatigue.
 

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One example...

.... Salsa Pro Moto, 660mm wide and 11 degree bend. I've been riding with one of these on a bike with an uncut fork and a few spacers (easier to sell the fork used later on if it is uncut), and have the same high hand position as I've had with risers. Works fine. Sure doesn't look as cool or "moto" though!

I think Titec has a wide, long sweep flat bar (Flat Tracker?) as well.
 

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What you really want is a Brahma Bar

sparrow said:
.... Salsa Pro Moto, 660mm wide and 11 degree bend. I've been riding with one of these on a bike with an uncut fork and a few spacers (easier to sell the fork used later on if it is uncut), and have the same high hand position as I've had with risers. Works fine. Sure doesn't look as cool or "moto" though!

I think Titec has a wide, long sweep flat bar (Flat Tracker?) as well.
If you get a Brahma Bar you don't need to worry about finding Answer Hyperlite Bar Ends.
 

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Well it was rather obvious from your first two points you didn't like them, but you forget that the riser style has been around for a long, long time and were on the first mtn. bikes used in California. I prefer mine for none of your shallow reasons and don't care for the flat ones for the discomfort they cause me(although my wife likes hers). Seems to me you're way to fashion conscious.
 

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ArroyoBomber said:
The thing about carbon is that it doesn't flex,it just snaps.No warning, just *snap*,then ya pray that ya aren't using your stem as a pacifier the next moment.Don't get me wrong,I'm still considering putting an LP Composites XC bar on my full-susser,and they would eat up some shock on a rigid,but they're also made super-thick,hence,they don't give you much (if any) weight savings over steel or aluminum bars.
I just put a Ritchey aluminum xc bar on my full-rigid Rockhopper,and so far,so good.MUCH more comfy on the wrists (thanks mostly IMO to the increased backsweep,which is very important for comfort,especially if the "outsides" of your wrists get sore like mine did) than the stock straight bar,the height increase takes the weight off of my arms and reduces neck pain from "looking up",and I'm finding it much easier to pop the nose up for climbing ledges and stairs.If you REALLY want to add some comfort but keep the rigid fork,don't forget to look into some beefier tires.I personally put the fattest tire I had clearance for (2.4") and it made a world of difference with much less added weight than a suspension fork and more affordability than a carbon bar.
Comparison (on Rockhopper full-rigid):
Before:1.5" slicks rated for 110psi(run at 60-80psi)=ouch on a 1 foot drop
Now:2.4" semi-slicks run at 50psi=3-4 foot drops to flat feel smoooooth
...and my "fun rides" have gone from 1-2 hours to practically indefinite (usually 4-6 hours at least)due to lack of wrist fatigue.
I was just wondering, how do you know that carbon bars just "snap"?
 

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who are you responding to?

fred3 said:
Well it was rather obvious from your first two points you didn't like them, but you forget that the riser style has been around for a long, long time and were on the first mtn. bikes used in California. I prefer mine for none of your shallow reasons and don't care for the flat ones for the discomfort they cause me(although my wife likes hers). Seems to me you're way to fashion conscious.
Who are you responding to?
 

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I've got an AT2 LF that started life on a tandem. Then went to my main mtb and is now sitting in the parts bin. I may ressurect it for my new SS. Grips are a btich to put on. They are a little noodly. That's why they're in the bin I guess.
 

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lovemonkey said:
Do any of you guys know if someone makes a flat bar with riser bar width/sweep?
Titec Hellbent fits the bill, but I believe they're out of production. You can maybe still find them, and I think they sold off their inventory for cheap, my LBS had them for $20 a couple months ago. I have one, and I love it. Light, strong, and comfortable.

I think Moots makes a similar bar in titanium....goes for a bit more than $20!
 
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