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Handlebar Help

803 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Sideknob
I'm considering buying a new handlebar. I would like to get a riser bar to sit me a little more upright. Correct me if I"m wrong but your handlebars shouldn't be a few inches lower then where your seat is right? I'd also like them to be bent more towards my seat. I think this is called sweep? Let me know what words I need to know and any recommendations would be good too. Thanks!
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Depends on your priorities. If you are a non techincal rider who loves fire road climbs, you can run your bars three or four inches lower than your seat. This will compromise your descending ability however, putting too much weight over the front.

If you don't care about climbing, are into drops etc you can run your bars higher than your seat.

A sweet spot appears to have the bars level with or just below the seat - allowing you to climb and descend pretty good.

All this assumes of course that your seat height is set correctly.

As far as bar terminology:

Rise - how high the bar rises over the stem height.

Sweep or bend - how much it bends back towards the rider. The right sweep puts your wrists at a comfortable angle.

Width - self explanatory. The wider the bar, the slower the steering response.
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up sweep = how much the bars bend up from parallel to the ground.

back sweep = how much the bars bend back from completely perpendicular to the stem.

I have Easton Monkey bars (EA 70) and their back and up sweeps are spot on. Plus, they are one of the lightest aluminum risers around. You can pick them up for less than $50 if you look around (I think I got mine for something like $30).

This seat above the bars business is something you really need to consider. If your seat is well below the bars, then it will be difficult to keep the front end down. You won't be putting enough weight on the front end, and your forks will feel different (the sag will be less and they'll feel stiffer). For XC type riding, it is best to have your seat 1-2" above the bars. You can always drop the seat on descents.
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Good info guys! I recently bought a stem with more rise on it because my arms seemed as though they were out too far. So now I feel like I am in a much better position and still think that a little more rise would be nice, and definitely need a little more sweep because my wrists aren't straight when holding my current handlebars. BTW my seat is definitely high enough. I've got it so I'm getting as much power out of my stroke as possible. I noticed that I was having a hard time with the technical downhill stuff because I was too far over the front. Plus I haven't got into the habit of lowering my seat when doing that stuff that don't help. I want to get one of those gravity droppers, but the bank account isn't quite ready for that hit!
Mary Bars!!!!

take a look at some on-one mary bars, lot's of sweep with a bit of rise, the most comfortable bars i've ever tried.
If your bike is set up right, you shouldn't need to drop your seat for descents (assuming you are riding XC or trails). You shold be able to get right back behind the seat if the length and height o your cockpit are right.
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