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  1. #1
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    Flat bar or riser?

    I notice a growing trend of flat bars coming stock on bikes. I typically choose a low riser bar. Is there an advantage to going flat that I'm not aware of?
    Weigh in please, flat vs riser.

  2. #2
    Ridin' Furry
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    I use a wide flat bar, i like the feel a lot more then the last riser bar i had. I like the more aggressive riding position it puts me in for xc.

  3. #3
    Formerly of Kent
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    You should choose your bar based on what you need in order to get a proper fit, not riser vs. flat.

    Why would you automatically assume one vs. the other?

  4. #4
    Ride On
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    ^+1

    Indeed. You may be seeing more flat bars because of the trend of taller front ends (more travel slacker geo etc...) especially on 29ers. In order to get the fit right they have to lower the grips with a flatter bar. For my short self (a hair under 5'8" on an N9 with 120m fork) I needed a flat bar to arrive at a somewhat neutral grip position relative to my seat height. Generally speaking the more DH oriented your riding the higher your grip height can be... Though it will still come down to personal preference.
    Michael

    Ride on!

  5. #5
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    The front end of my Carve is pretty tall. I'm running a 70mm stem with no spacers and flat bars just to get the bars barely lower than my saddle.

    If I ran risers...I'd be rolling chopper style...

  6. #6
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    Flat bars look cool.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  7. #7
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    Make sure it is a 29er specific flat or riser bar. Don't make the mistake of ordering one for the wrong kind of bike.
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  8. #8
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    It's all about the fit. My last bike came with a riser, I swapped to flat and hated it- it was too low and I started to get neck cramps on long rides from craning my neck to look down the road. Swapped back to a riser and it's much better. When I built my current bike I used a slightly wider riser and am happy with the fit.

    YMMV.
    2013 El Mariachi Ti and a motor that needs an overhaul.

  9. #9
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    I've always been a riser bar user. I understood they help with leverage for pulling your front end up on the trails. They also seemed to offer a better back sweep then what flat bars once did. I see that isn't the case now, as I spy flat bars with some incredible back sweep.

    I like the upright position risers give me, even on my 29er. I'm not a racer and likely never will so more aggressive positions I don't feel are something I need to worry about.

    Mostly I'm just curious about the flat bars since they are coming back in popularity so it would seem. Will I adopt the flat bar on my bikes, likely not. I do admit I like the low stealthy look of flat bars though.

    Thanks for your input!

  10. #10
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    I've swapped back and forth on my current bike a few times and for me it's not just about the position of the bar (I can put either bar at the same height by swapping headset spacers) but more the shape of the bar / angle of the bends. A flat bar bends in one direction, back towards you. You can rotate the bar up or down a bit to change this but I found the combination of angles on a riser bar more comfortable for my hands so I'm now using a 18mm riser.

  11. #11
    Big Boy
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    flat bars look cooler. and they are flat.
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  12. #12
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    Is this like having a metric monkey wrench?

    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Make sure it is a 29er specific flat or riser bar. Don't make the mistake of ordering one for the wrong kind of bike.

  13. #13
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    The title of this thread shouldn't be flat or riser, it should be where do you like your bars in relation to your saddle. You can get shallow or huge sweeps on both flats or risers so its all about positioning. You see more flats on 29ers because they tend to position you a bit higher in the front all else being equal.

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    You see more flats on 29ers because they tend to position you a bit higher in the front all else being equal.
    2 inches higher than on a 26" wheeled bike shouldn't be far off. Enough to make some people choose an inverted riser bar (or a really sharply downwards angled stem)

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    I have considered switching to a flat bar as my 15mm riser bar puts me in a comfortable but upright position and I wonder about being lower. I have already removed one spacer and flipped the 8 degree stem. Just curious if I will like a lower position. However the one drawback of going lower is if you washout your front wheel and flip your handlebars the brake gear will hit the top tube which I imagine will cause damage to the brake, the top tube or both depending how violent the impact is. I went OTB a few months ago and completely flipped the handlebars. The front wheel finished up flipped 180 degrees. That was before I lowered them and there was heaps of clearance. Now there is still about 10mm clearance but if I switched to a flat bar there would be no clearance. Is this a problem for those with flat bars in low aggressive positions?

  16. #16
    Formerly of Kent
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    A couple of pieces of clear helicopter tape on the "impact" zone on the top tube makes that a non-issue for me, personally.

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