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About 1-1.5" difference for me, anything closer and I have way to much trouble keeping the front end down on the steep climbs.

Have you considered or tried using a longer stem maybe and see if that helps? I ask because my bike came w/ a 120mm/6 degree stem and riser (25.4mm) and I pretty much switched it out after a month or so to a 110mm/6 degree (31.8) stem and HB which actually brought the bars back more like 15-20mm - I suuffered from back cramps if you will when I did longer 2+ hour rides. In Dec I decided to throw back on the original HB & Stem to see what it was like - well on Fri I switched back to the 110 OS stem and bar and immediately felt the back pain come back that I had always experienced on longer rides.
Ross W. said:
Yeah, on my old bike with a flat bar I had about the same drop as a road bike.

That was not comfortable on my back and is why I have a new bike.

Even with the saddle and bar about even I still get back pain occasionally.
 

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About 3" on my HT, and 3.5" on my FS , but I'm sure sag about evens it out. That said, I've never ridden either bike more than 16 1/2 hours. Only machine that's been used for a full 24 is my road bike, and there the drop is about 4" to the grip of the hoods. Any less and my back screams bloody murder.
 

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My handlebars and seat are dead even. Never bothered me until I switched from an 80mm fork to a 100mm and now every now and then my back hurts. Sometimes it will be fine on a 6 hour ride, othertimes it hurst after 30 minutes. Go figure.
 
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