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  1. #26
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    Wider bars do allow the better leverage, but they also give a lot of issues, at least to me they do.


    We should all know about how a right triangle works. (This also is why a road rider puts their hands close to the stem).
    Your arms are a fixed length, right? If your arms are straight out in front of you, you have a longer "reach" away from your body than if your arms are out at a 45* angle.

    The wider the bars, your effective arms reach becomes shorter. You must compensate with a shorter stem, or lean forward more.
    A road rider, when it comes time for a good climb, you grab the bars right at the stem. This gives you the longest effective reach, which means you can sit more upright on the bike. THAT opens up your breathing. You don't need to open your chest up, you need to free up your diaphragm. Try to breath bent over, now try to breath sitting straight up. Which is better for getting air easier? Sitting more upright.

    Also on the mountain bike, a longer bar, without increasing the backsweep of the bars, and potentially the upsweep, causes your wrists to me more at an angle. The shorter your bars, the more "in line" with your arms your wrists are. I know in my case, I actually can get pain in my wrists with these 720+ bars (which is where a set of bar ends would be great!) If I could find a bar with a proper up or backsweep, I could eliminate the pain. The shorter (680-) bars did not cause this.

  2. #27
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    Riser bars are from when it was cool to say 'braaap' and everyone wanted a tall front end for straight line stability on their relatively short travel 26" bike. I love them; they get my hands up where they need to be, but i'm 6'3. I'd rather have hi-rise riser bars than a stack of stem spacers to smash my dick against.


    Otherwise it doesn't matter; if your hands are in the right place it isn't so important how they got there.
    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post

    Also on the mountain bike, a longer bar, without increasing the backsweep of the bars, and potentially the upsweep, causes your wrists to me more at an angle. The shorter your bars, the more "in line" with your arms your wrists are. I know in my case, I actually can get pain in my wrists with these 720+ bars (which is where a set of bar ends would be great!) If I could find a bar with a proper up or backsweep, I could eliminate the pain. The shorter (680-) bars did not cause this.
    Interesting, <700mm bars always made my pinkies go to sleep, no matter what i did. 710+ and it's just not an issue, although my fave bars both have 9* of sweep.

    I don't really understand the mega wide bar trend though, >750mm and i have trouble moving the front end around fast enough, and making switchbacks. Also tend to clip trees with my shoulders after ducking the bars around.

    Bar ends were 'OK' when we all rode wannabe XC race bikes with short wheelbases that required you to be in a funny position to climb steep. Good riddance, i'm glad i survived those times with my face still all pretty. More modern bikes are easier to just tip your upper body forward a bit and still be comfortable on those climbs.
    .

  3. #28
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    Re: New mountain bikes are set up really strange to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    If I could find a bar with a proper up or backsweep, I could eliminate the pain. The shorter (680-) bars did not cause this.
    I also had to try more than one handle bar to find the right fit and angle for my wrists and shoulders to not hurt a lot after a ride.

    Finally found the fit I love with the Thompson Carbon Flatbar which comes at 730mm and I cut to 710mm due to trees on narrow trails but seems even better fit for my wrists.

    I am using it on a Specialized Camber 120mm FS bike that has a 70 deg. HT angle and 80mm stem on large frame size.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Wider bars do allow the better leverage, but they also give a lot of issues, at least to me they do.


    We should all know about how a right triangle works. (This also is why a road rider puts their hands close to the stem).
    Your arms are a fixed length, right? If your arms are straight out in front of you, you have a longer "reach" away from your body than if your arms are out at a 45* angle.

    The wider the bars, your effective arms reach becomes shorter. You must compensate with a shorter stem, or lean forward more.
    A road rider, when it comes time for a good climb, you grab the bars right at the stem. This gives you the longest effective reach, which means you can sit more upright on the bike. THAT opens up your breathing. You don't need to open your chest up, you need to free up your diaphragm. Try to breath bent over, now try to breath sitting straight up. Which is better for getting air easier? Sitting more upright.

    Also on the mountain bike, a longer bar, without increasing the backsweep of the bars, and potentially the upsweep, causes your wrists to me more at an angle. The shorter your bars, the more "in line" with your arms your wrists are. I know in my case, I actually can get pain in my wrists with these 720+ bars (which is where a set of bar ends would be great!) If I could find a bar with a proper up or backsweep, I could eliminate the pain. The shorter (680-) bars did not cause this.
    This would work great if your lungs only worked in one direction. As a quick experiment, put your arms straight out on either side of you and breathe in as deep as you can. Now put your elbows together straight out in front of you, aka stem grabbing, and try to breathe as deep. Not happening.

    Ideally, the proper stance would be arms wide, elbows out, and your head up looking down the trail. This would free up your lungs not only front to back, but side to side as well. Wider bars/shorter stems do this, while making your bike handle better, which keeps you safer and more stable.
    I don't care what you ride or how you ride just as long as you ride.

  5. #30
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    Re: New mountain bikes are set up really strange to me...

    If you're going to ride a road bike, ride a road bike.

    If you're going to ride a mountain bike, ride a mountain bike.

    Nobody likes a dirt roadie.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    Now put your elbows together straight out in front of you, aka stem grabbing, and try to breathe as deep. Not happening.
    Huh???

    Don't understand. Why are my elbows in with a narrower bar? Why wouldn't they be out and riding normally. Where your hands are placed doesn't effect your arm angle established by your elbows.

    I do agree that there is more leverage.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
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  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post
    Yeah, the poto is not exactly a narrow trail either. It's pretty wide. Nothing like Hickory Glen or Maybury.

    I still see a few bar end guys out, but not many.

    Join us on mmba.org for more relevant info on biking in Michigan.

    You'll find trail location, maps, trail conditions and best gear for the local trails.

    Also in Michigan as you know we don't have much tech and not really any downhill compared to out west. Lots of people still rockin' the old school xc bike setup. Slack bikes here are not the best choice for the mild terrain.
    Have fun.
    Thanks for the info and kind welcome. I'll head over to mmba.org!

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Huh???

    Don't understand. Why are my elbows in with a narrower bar? Why wouldn't they be out and riding normally.
    They are not. When grabbing at the stem, your elbows are still quite wide. If you are compressing your rib cage holding handlebars, you are doing something VERY wrong.

    I'm not sure the post you quoted is quite thinking right.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by iscariot View Post
    If you're going to ride a road bike, ride a road bike.

    If you're going to ride a mountain bike, ride a mountain bike.

    Nobody likes a dirt roadie.

    Brilliant.


    Last edited by DethWshBkr; 1 Week Ago at 11:34 AM.

  10. #35
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    Re: New mountain bikes are set up really strange to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    +2, I've always thought the "wide bars open up your chest for better breathing" was 100% marketing bs. I feel no difference between my 700mm bars on my MTB and my 420mm bars on my roadie as far as breathing is concerned
    That is more about the hand/wrist angle. A narrow straight bar can "close" the chest. Rotate your wrists (more properly, the shoulders) 45-90 while keeping the same grip width (barends or drop bars) and the chest "opens."
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  11. #36
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    It's because mountain biking is trending away from the climb and more towards the descent. People (and mountain bike companies) are trying to turn mountain biking into skiing. By doing so, it will open up the sport to MILLIONS more people and dramatically increase sales. People who couldn't pedal up their driveway without getting winded won't spend $5000 on a mountain bike. But if they can ride a lift or a shuttle and fly down trails without having to pedal up them, they'll buy a bike.

    It's actually a very smart and logical strategy to increase sales.

    Look at the number of downhill focused bikes available today versus a decade ago. Enduro, anyone?
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  12. #37
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    KevinGT - Nice assessments!

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