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  1. #1
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    New question here. Handlebar Height?

    Hi All,

    New to the forum, and new to mountain biking. I bought a 2014 Hardrock 26 disc a couple of weeks ago, and already put about 30 miles of trails on it.

    I love everything about the bike, but I'm hoping someone might point me in the right direction. I'd like the handlebars to be a littler higher. When going down steep terrain it feels like I'm sitting too high in the back and it feels awkward. If the handlebars were 1-3" higher it would feel more natural to me.

    Is there an aftermarket part that I can install to accomplish this without sacrificing the integrity of the bike (I'm a heavier guy, and need something that is solid). I'm going to take the bike into the bike shop for a tune-up in the next couple of weeks and I'd like to have an idea of what my options are before heading in.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You could get a stem with a higher angle, or a set of riser handlebars with a bit more rise, or some combination of both. It seems like most shops would be willing to swap out the stem on a new bike, but a new set of bars might cost a little.

    If you feel like you're sitting too high on descents, you could lower your saddle height before you start down, and you should also shift your weight back over the rear wheel. If it's really steep, you can slide your butt off the back of the saddle.

    It might be more of an adjustment to your riding style than an equipment issue. But see what the shop can do for you.

  3. #3
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by authalic View Post
    You could get a stem with a higher angle, or a set of riser handlebars with a bit more rise, or some combination of both. It seems like most shops would be willing to swap out the stem on a new bike, but a new set of bars might cost a little.

    If you feel like you're sitting too high on descents, you could lower your saddle height before you start down, and you should also shift your weight back over the rear wheel. If it's really steep, you can slide your butt off the back of the saddle.

    It might be more of an adjustment to your riding style than an equipment issue. But see what the shop can do for you.

    Thanks for the info. I'll see what they recommend at the shop.

    I agree, my riding style is probably part of the problem. I'm going to take the bike back out in a few days and will try lowering the seat, that makes a lot of sense since I don't really use the seat 'off road' anyhow.

  4. #4
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    On a mtb, you move around a lot more on the bike than you do on a road bike, Dropper posts are very popular now to allow a variety of positions for riding, high seat for climbing, and a couple of lower positions for descending. In the absence of a dropper post for steep descents you put your arse behind the seat, and have the seat hitting your stomach.

    To your original questions, low handlebars are generally a good thing for getting your weight forward and low to keep weight over the front wheel which is necessary for climbing. With your weight too upright and rearward, you will fond that your front wheel won't track on ascents and you go nowhere...

  5. #5
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    Thank you, skiwi, that makes sense. I had never heard of dropper posts, those things are pretty slick. For the type of riding I do that would be overkill (mostly light terrain, with occasional steep slopes). I'll try riding behind the seat when necessary as well.

  6. #6
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    There are also usually spacers above and/or below the stem. But you already said that you're going to ask the shop, which is the best thing to do. That's also a good time to ask any questions that you've come up with since buying it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSteve in CO View Post
    There are also usually spacers above and/or below the stem. But you already said that you're going to ask the shop, which is the best thing to do. That's also a good time to ask any questions that you've come up with since buying it.
    Yep, I planned on talking with the shop about this (and a few other things with the bike), but just wanted to get an idea of options here first. You guys all gave me what I was looking for. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewy81 View Post
    Is there an aftermarket part that I can install to accomplish this without sacrificing the integrity of the bike (I'm a heavier guy, and need something that is solid).
    Forgot to mention that just about any bar will hold up, if you end up replacing yours. More money generally equates to less weight, not stronger. You can get decent riser bars for under $50.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    How tall are you and what size is the bike?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
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    Honestly I'd just give it more time. Being new to the sport get some more miles in and get a feel for the bike a bit more before changing out too much. Soon as your skill develops a bit more it will feel more natural to you.
    Livin' the dream.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. I didn't think about a riser bar, that may be what I'm looking for. I was thinking about a taller 'stem' and utilizing the same handlebar. But a riser bar seems like a much better (only?) option.

    Jayem -- I'm 5' 10" and it's a 19" frame. The shop recommended this size frame, and from what I read it seems like the right fit. I tried a 17" frame too but it felt too small to me.

    oldskoolm4 -- I bet you are right too. I'll discuss all of this with the shop, and I may just wait it out a few more months.

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