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808+909 = Party Good Time
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Have heard it can be good to invert the stem on some 29ers to drop the front end (or lower the bars on other MTBs) and I think it sounds like a good idea. What are the pros and cons?

Any photos? :)
 

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If that's what you need to do in order to get the bar in the right position, I see no cons. Do it.

But first switch to a flat bar if you haven't already -- no sense running an inverted stem with a riser bar.
 

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Jam Econo
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GlowBoy said:
If that's what you need to do in order to get the bar in the right position, I see no cons. Do it
Exactly. Whatever puts the bar in the right position for you. A 29'ers front end is naturally higher than a 26" wheeled bike, so to replicate your position you might need to use a flat bar, a negative rise stem or both. Or not.
 

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If you have a riser bar and you can get it low enough by flipping the stem then there's no need to buy a flat bar.
The advantage of a riser bar is that you can fine tune the reach by rotating the bar forward or backward, something you can't do with a flat bar.
 

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chumbox: Have heard it can be good to invert the stem on some 29ers to drop the front end ...

This is standard procedure for any bike where the front end is too high. I had to do that and remove all spacers on my Superfly (it is a medium and I am 5'6"). I am glad I did not have to use a stem that results in a negative rise.
 

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The idea is to counteract the inches from the higher front end of a 29er by reducing the handlebar height by an assortment of options, including inverting the stem and a flat bar. In theory your handlebars are supposed to be near seat height. For a lot of taller riders it makes no sense to run a flat or inverted bars and 29er provides the opportunity to actually be at the correct height. That said, tall mass is tall mass regardless of the size of the bike. My technique is do what works or feels right...
 

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dieselcruiserhead said:
In theory your handlebars are supposed to be near seat height.
Who's theory is that? :confused:

It depends on riding style and purpose. I was fit profesionally (no computer fit, but based on my physical possibilities) on my 26" mountainbike to be in the most powerful position for XC racing. My bars are at least 10cm below the seat and it does not restrict me on downhills. In fact: I corner a lot better because I am able to get my center of gravity lower.

That said: A "freeride" position would be different. A commuting position would be different. An XC racing position for someone who is less flexible than me would be different.

There is no fit rule for everyone. That counts for 29ers too. Figure out where your bars have to be for you, regardless of wheel size and put whatever components you want between the head tube and the bars to get it there.
 

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dieselcruiserhead said:
The idea is to counteract the inches from the higher front end of a 29er by reducing the handlebar height by an assortment of options, including inverting the stem and a flat bar. In theory your handlebars are supposed to be near seat height. For a lot of taller riders it makes no sense to run a flat or inverted bars and 29er provides the opportunity to actually be at the correct height. That said, tall mass is tall mass regardless of the size of the bike. My technique is do what works or feels right...
Another thing to keep in mind is that many 29er frames come with shorter than normal headtubes, which also helps keep the bar height to a minimum.

I personally think that reducing bar height is more of an issue for those riding smaller sized frames. For the most part, taller riders generally want additional bar height, which is why small headtubes on XL sizes and above really don't make a lot of sense. If my XL frame has a 4" headtube, I have to run a stack of spacers to get the bar even within a few inches of the saddle. But with a 5-6" headtube, I can set the bike up pretty normally.

And of course, your fork AC length is another consideration.

Granted, there will always be the tall guy that wants to run his bars low, but I'd venture a guess that a good number of taller riders have the opposite problem as the OP, judging by the number of spacers and riser bars/stems I see on larger frames.

Obligatory pictures of tall guy bikes:

Sultan with 6" headtube (no spacers, tall fork)


El Padrino with 4" headtube (I had to run a number of spacers to get bar height correct)

 
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