1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    High rise bars or longer steerer tube???

    My bars are a bit low for my liking (hands are going numb) but I can't get them up more without replacing the tube and probably adding a stack of spacers, replacing the bars or using a goofy riser adaptor

    What's my best option? I'm leaning towards the high rise bars as it would be the least work without being a hack job (riser adapter)

    I'm looking to get 2-3" my current bars are about 30mm rise

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If it's a mountain bike you're taking on off-road trails, I would not use any type of riser adapter. Those adjustable stems and adapters are OK for paved trail use. But, I don't think they're safe (sturdy) enough to withstand off-road punishment.

    Typically, you can't replace the steerer on a fork easily. That leaves a higher-rise stem and/or higher rise handlebars as your choices.

    I recently started using a 2.5" rise handlebar from PricePoint (Sette OS) and it cost less than $20. Inexpensive solution to my problem (related to a short steerer tube). Even higher rises are available via google search.

    If you purchase a new stem and/or handlebar, keep in mind the clamp diameter (where the stem clamps the bar). There are at least three different sizes and they need to match in order to hold securely.

    You mentioned your hands are going numb. Have you considered ergonomic grips or grips with more cushioning? I even use gel padded gloves and really like them. Eliminates vibration and keeps fatigue at bay...
    Contact information: http://about.me/marpilli

  3. #3
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    I think most of the numbness in my hands is due to my bars currently being about 2" lower than my seat, not that my stock grips don't suck as well but I think the height issue is the majority of it

    Stock bar rise is 31.8mm

  4. #4
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    Carpal tunnel 'survivor' here. Higher handlebar height make make more problems than it fixes for you. Bike fit is a complex series of related adjustments that tries to make an acceptable compromise for a variety of concerns.

    How much higher than your bars, is your saddle as currently adjusted?

    Do you have a sideways pic of the bike?

    What size frame?

    How tall are you?

    What type of terrain do you ride? How aggressively?

    How old are you?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Carpal tunnel 'survivor' here. Higher handlebar height make make more problems than it fixes for you. Bike fit is a complex series of related adjustments that tries to make an acceptable compromise for a variety of concerns.

    How much higher than your bars, is your saddle as currently adjusted?

    Do you have a sideways pic of the bike?

    What size frame?

    How tall are you?

    What type of terrain do you ride? How aggressively?

    How old are you?
    Yeah what jeff said.. hit us with some pics and answer these questions. We can go from there. Bike fitting is a complicated thing that is completely subjective to personal preference and terrain. Also no you cannot just swap out your steerer tube.
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  6. #6
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    How much higher than your bars, is your saddle as currently adjusted? Roughly 2"

    Do you have a sideways pic of the bike? I can get one after work

    What size frame? 19"

    How tall are you? 6' 1"

    What type of terrain do you ride? How aggressively? Currently paved/gravel, getting back into shape for the trails

    How old are you? 29

  7. #7
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    jeffj is right. Lots to consider...

    I'd have to measure it, but I'd bet my grips are about 2" lower than my seat. I think that's a fairly normal stance for a mountain bike. I'm 6'1" also.

    One thing that helped me when I first started mountain biking was to adjust the angle of the brake and shifter levers. Mine were too 'horizontal' and didn't match the line made by my arm down to the handlebar. This caused my hands to be at a different angle and my wrists to be bent. By tilting the levers downward the angle matched better and I was able to keep my wrist in a straight position. Don't know if this is normal.
    Contact information: http://about.me/marpilli

  8. #8
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    Ok, that doesn't sound like your really off that much at all. A few things you could change to help your hand fatigue:

    -better gloves (I notice a huge difference in hand fatigue if I am wearing my fox gloves or my road bike gloves that have a lot more padding.. this would be a huge change and not expensive to try)
    -ergonomic grips (this would offer more padding and hit your hand muscles in the right spot to reduce hand fatigue and not expensive)
    -high riser bars (if your coming from a bar that has a low/flat rise)
    -carbon bars (this takes away considerable chatter vs AL, however it is expensive to swap out)

    I would try the gloves first because I kind of like having my handlebars low.. its great for if your not riding too gnar gnar stuff because it makes the climbing good and gives you a good arch more like a road bike would. When I am riding gnar stuff and hit drops/jumps a higher bar would help for the over the bars feeling.. etc. It really depends on your ride style.
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  9. #9
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    One thing that helped me when I first started mountain biking was to adjust the angle of the brake and shifter levers. Mine were too 'horizontal' and didn't match the line made by my arm down to the handlebar. This caused my hands to be at a different angle and my wrists to be bent. By tilting the levers downward the angle matched better and I was able to keep my wrist in a straight position. Don't know if this is normal.
    Already done

    I should add that this "problem" arose when adjusting my seat up more recently

    I never did as much road riding as I am currently so I always had the seat a bit lower for clearance, it was more a resting point than a constant perch

    If I lower the seat by a few inches my hands don't go numb as fast but my knees get tired a bit faster

    Also if I use my bar ends a bit more that relieves some of the tension, I certainly feel more confortable with my hands up there

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    Also if I use my bar ends a bit more that relieves some of the tension, I certainly feel more confortable with my hands up there
    Well, if $20 is within your testing budget, check the clamp diameter of your stem and order up one of those Sette OS riser bars. I like mine.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    jeffj is right. Lots to consider...

    One thing that helped me when I first started mountain biking was to adjust the angle of the brake and shifter levers. Mine were too 'horizontal' and didn't match the line made by my arm down to the handlebar. This caused my hands to be at a different angle and my wrists to be bent. By tilting the levers downward the angle matched better and I was able to keep my wrist in a straight position.
    I ran into this as well. Straightening out my hands helped a great deal. Also, getting some of the weight off of your hands helps a lot as well. I checked my leg alignment with a line bob and had to move my seat back as well. This shifted my weight back a bit off of my hands.

  12. #12
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    Still want to see the pic of the bike. I'll be back later tonight to check

  13. #13
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    I'm pretty new to the mtb world but i have hussefelt dh riserbars on my bigfoot and my friend has a kamandu which is pratically the same geometry and frame but has different parts and my bar is much wider and higher than his and feels alot more comfortable for 35bucks and looks pretty good too.

  14. #14
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    here's the pic



    and here's the frame specs if you're interested

    http://archive.giant-bicycles.com/us...&modelid=11038
    Last edited by TitanofChaos; 06-15-2011 at 05:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    First of all change your seat angle it looks like it'll smash into your sack.
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  16. #16
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfox90 View Post
    First of all change your seat angle it looks like it'll smash into your sack.
    agreed, it was okay in that position before I raised it, I've got a new seat with a more dropped nose on the way anyways

    UGH I gotta rip those reflectors off yet too, so ugly
    Last edited by TitanofChaos; 06-15-2011 at 08:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    I see you got straps on the pedals. I used to use straps but went clip ins. Clips are so much better IMHO. I would say you could try a 40 mm rise and more back seep on the bars. You could also try and move your bull horns a tad back. I have bull horns on my commuter bike and I almost have them vertical (not that you need to have them back that far). I use the bull horns to change my hand position and puts my body really up right when I need a rest. Nice looking bike.
    When the **** did we get ice cream?

  18. #18
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by crclawn View Post
    I see you got straps on the pedals....
    Actually I also have a set of mallets on the way, I didn't want to go clipless because of the stop and go city riding now, and the toe straps are actually a bit too short, I can't get my size 13 foot far enough ahead, I'm pushing a bit too much on the front of my foot

    Quote Originally Posted by crclawn View Post
    Nice looking bike.
    Thanks

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