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  1. #1
    Dagenham Dave
    Reputation: Dave V.'s Avatar
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    XC flat or riser bars???

    Hi all

    I ride and race XC with conventional flat XC bars and no longer use bar-ends. What advantages do I get from shifting to XC riser bars, as seems to be the trend these days?

    (BTW - I am 6'4"...)

    Cheers,
    Dave

  2. #2
    I meant to do that
    Reputation: sethm's Avatar
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    Comfort, as you're riding more upright (unless you use a different stem angle to correct). Better angle on the downhills. Worse angle on the uphills, as your center of gravity is pushed aft. You have to lean more forward to keep your front tire down.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    You don't really gain anything. It's all about where your hands end up. You could achieve the same thing with a riser stem.

    Does your body feel good in the position you are in? If so, I'd say leave it alone. If not, you may try it to correct a seating position problem. I for example had back pains with the riser bar because it made my pedaling strokes more strenous on my back. I couldn't believe that when I went back to the flat bar and short stem, my back problems stopped. It seemed counter intuitive.

    Besides body position, the bars will give you a different control feeling since they will likely have more sweep than your flat bars and they may be wider.

    I guess you could try them out and see if you like it. I did at first since they made the bike feel more agressive but the back pain was definately not worth it. Now I'm enjoying being back down low and sleek again.

  4. #4
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
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    I think the key word is "trend", here.

    Risers have a couple of characteristics that might be advantageous:
    1. They're wider than most flat bars (which are generally max. 23" wide)
    2. They've usually got more sweep that flat bars
    3. They position your hands 0.75-1.5" higher (which can also be accomplished with a slightly longer and larger angle stem).

    Regarding the above: wider bars offer more control downhill, but seem to make steering a bit twitchy going up steep ascents. Wider bars are helpful when mashing while standing, but the tradeoff there is they stick out (into trees) more, too. They can alleviate back problems, but also create them (I suffer quite a bit if I sit too upright!).

    In the end it's all a question of what works for you. I prefer risers, but since I killed a bone in my hand I can't hold a single hand position for too long, so I'm back on flats and barends for a while. I may just like it, too. So I say get a cheap riser, or borrow one, and experiment. If you feel more comfortable or more agile with a riser, that's probably the way to go for you.

  5. #5
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    I used to use flat bars and swear by them. Then I moved to risers with a low rise (.75" to 1" max) and liked the feel. I now use the Easton EC70 carbons and I love the sweep and the rise. They feel more comfortable for my arms/shoulders and I prefer a more upright ridng position anyway so they help but with these bars, my hand fatigue factor is much less, probably due to the position and the carbon.

  6. #6
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
    Reputation: used2Bhard's Avatar
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    Flat Bar

    On a riser, the sweep makes my hands cramp up on downhills. I tried for a few months to get used to a riser, but I coudn't. Instead I just got a taller stem/stack. I've got a FSA bar that is a cm wider than most flat bars. Works for me....

  7. #7
    Dagenham Dave
    Reputation: Dave V.'s Avatar
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    ... and if we just ... Thank You All!

    Thanks all for your responses.

    I think I'll stick with my carbon flat bars then and stem with 6 degrees rise.

    Dave

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