What size bar and stem are you running on your 26er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What size bar and stem are you running on your 26er?

    I'm strongly considering making a change on my 575 - my stem seems way too long and descents on anything moderately steep are pretty squirrelly.

    If you've moved on from the long stem/short bar, please post what you run now and how it has improved (or not) your ride.
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  2. #2
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    I'm running the stem that came on my Hardrock FS back in '94. I don't have too much info on it, the Spesh catalogue only says "10 degree tig welded". I could add "way too long" to that. There arent a whole lot of quality quill stems at the bike shops, so I might have to go wiht a quill to threadless adapter to open up my choices.
    I swithched to wider, upswept bars a long time ago. It helped raise my hands, got some weight off my palms. Here are a couple of recent pics. I need to loose the bar ends!
    What size bar and stem are you running on your 26er?-img_20190618_122104199_hdr.jpg
    What size bar and stem are you running on your 26er?-img_20190912_123055913.jpg
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  3. #3
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    99 GT zaskar , 60mm stem and 760mm wide bars. Much better than the stock 110mm stem and 660mm bars.

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    Just wanted to say "great question"! I'm trying to figure out what stem and bar to put on a 96 Trek 7000 zx. I think the original stem must be something like 120mm; thinking about a blocklike 40-50 and a nice swept riserbar.
    Last edited by MondoMan; 09-30-2019 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. #5
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    I've done a lot of searching to find a ratio/formula to figure out the relationship between widening bars and shortening the stem to keep the same weighting on the front tire, because climbing is important!

    One poster said you can lose 10mm in stem length for every 20mm gain in bar width. That seems right in line with what worked for Mr.Socko per his above stem/bar change.

    Based on the "push-up position" method to find optimal bar width, I'd be moving from my current 620mm bar to 740mm, which would allow a stem drop from 120mm to 60mm.

    Another poster stated the easiest way to figure out proper stem length is to hop on your bike and get in your normal riding position. Ideally, the handlebars should be directly in line with the axle of the front tire. If the stem is too long, the axle will be behind the bar, vice versa if the stem is too short.

    Does this sound right?
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  6. #6
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    My GT Zaskar re-issue has a 135mm Zero degree stem and 660 riser bar, (I know zero + riser...) felt perfect at the time. Feels a bit weird now after riding other stuff, but I get used to it pretty quick again. Not sure if I would want to go shorter.
    My GT Xizang has a 120mm stem, 720 bars cut to 660 with bar ends, feels very stretched out when I get on, but feels great once the climbing begins, not the best in the tech DH, but overall feels good, but I could go shorter, maybe 110mm, maaaybe 100.
    My Yeti ARC, had a 135mm/5...something on it, never felt great, switched to 120mm stem felt better. Currently has an 100mm stem and 720 bar and feels pretty good.
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  7. #7
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    Just play with it to see what you think. I'll bet you'll find 60 or 50 to feel best. Don't over think the climbing impact too much. You'll learn to compensate and climb just as well. I tried 780, then 750, and decided 740 bars worked best for me. Start wider than 740 and move your grips in to see what you think. Practice bunny hopping and lifting the front tire up onto stuff. When your bars are too wide for your shoulder width you'll really feel it when it comes to that stuff. Excessively wide bars for your shoulder width can feel really good when leaning the bike and going straight at high speeds, but you'll give up lifting power if you go too wide.

  8. #8
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    50 - 80 with a ~720mm bar depending on the bike, but generally in this range. I would never go back to the narrow stretched out stuff we used to use.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamthief View Post
    I'm strongly considering making a change on my 575 - my stem seems way too long and descents on anything moderately steep are pretty squirrelly.

    If you've moved on from the long stem/short bar, please post what you run now and how it has improved (or not) your ride.
    I have a '08 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ on which I replaced the stem and bar with a flat (0 degree) 45mm stem, and a wider 750mm bar. However, I had also replaced the fork, going from 110mm to 140mm, so the drop in stem rise works nicely. While I wouldn't say it's anything like my daily 27.5 trail bike, it actually handles pretty good. Big improvement in climbing. Feels more stable going down steep stuff, although it's still an old geo XC bike, sooo... it is what it is. Much more control on rough stuff with the wider bar. As far as comfort goes, the combo of increasing fork travel (which also effectively slackened the seat tube), and lowering the stem, actually worked out well.
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  10. #10
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    What size bar and stem are you running on your 26er?

    I also have a 575 currently running Spank Spoon 785mm handlebar with a 40mm rise and a 9 degree sweep along with a Spank Spoon 2 40mm length stem with zero degree rise. It puts me in a more upright relaxed position. Biggest thing I notice is handling is more predictable also when going down hills at fast speed bike feels a lot more stable when cornering.






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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran76 View Post
    I also have a 575 currently running Spank Spoon 785mm handlebar with a 40mm rise and a 9 degree sweep along with a Spank Spoon 2 40mm length stem with zero degree rise. It puts me in a more upright relaxed position. Biggest thing I notice is handling is more predictable also when going down hills at fast speed bike feels a lot more stable when cornering.






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    Sweet bike! How did the bar/stem swap affect climbing? Are you running 130 or 140 fork? Is that a dropper post?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamthief View Post
    Sweet bike! How did the bar/stem swap affect climbing? Are you running 130 or 140 fork? Is that a dropper post?
    I am running a 140mm fork. The dropper post that I am running is a 27.2 KS ETen R. As far as climbing the stem and bar swap seemed to improve climbing since it put me more at the center of the bike when I am sitting.


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  13. #13
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    540-560 bars and 130-140mm stem depending on frame.
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  14. #14
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    I've reduced the length of the stem on my Joker to a 70mm one, and I've also decreased the bar width, from800, to 760, to 700, with a 3" rise. I want a more upright riding position but I also like the quicker handling with the shorter stem.

    I've put that bike through a lot of incarnations, and this one is definitely the best.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    520-540 bars and 130-140mm stem depending on frame.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    You're the last one...
    I'm using the following set up on my Yeti 575: 550mm EA70 bar, bar ends, 100mm stem and twist shifters... I hear that's unrideable apparently, but I love it. My Motolite same thing except 90mm stem.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emax View Post
    I'm using the following set up on my Yeti 575: 550mm EA70 bar, bar ends, 100mm stem and twist shifters... I hear that's unrideable apparently, but I love it. My Motolite same thing except 90mm stem.
    That's all that really matter, isn't it? I wish my current setup was working for me!
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  18. #18
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    I started off riding 560mm bars with bar ends and a 135mm stem in 1997.

    Every couple years I went wider and shorter, and by somewhere around 2011 I was running 750mm bar with 40-60mm stems depending on the frame. Iím now on a 775mm bar with a 60mm stem on a med 2012 5-spot. Previously I had a large 5-spot with a 750mm bar and 40mm stem.

    As far as optimum bar width, there are really no workable rules of thumb. A ton of factors play in, and riding style and simple preference make the biggest difference.

    For a given frame, the idea of shortening the stem 10mm for every 20mm of added bar width sounds like a good place to start, but there are no solid rules, you just have to get some cheap stems and experiment.

    I am 5í10Ē (if it actually matters much) and 720mm now feel a bit narrow for me. The Wednesday I bought last year came with a 700mm bar and it seemed way small. It is hard to believe I once though 685 was wide.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emax View Post
    I'm using the following set up on my Yeti 575: 550mm EA70 bar, bar ends, 100mm stem and twist shifters... I hear that's unrideable apparently, but I love it. My Motolite same thing except 90mm stem.
    Not too big on the bar/stem combo, but IMO, SRAM ESP grip shifters from the late 90s to around 2000 (the ones without gear indicators) are just about the best shifters ever made. I ran the 9 speed ones up until last year when I went to 11 speed.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Not too big on the bar/stem combo, but IMO, SRAM ESP grip shifters from the late 90s to around 2000 (the ones without gear indicators) are just about the best shifters ever made. I ran the 9 speed ones up until last year when I went to 11 speed.
    I think those were the old Sachs shifters - no? I think gripshift always had the gears indicated (initially just painted ont he housing then they put them i a little window. Anyway, my SRAM 9.0 SL shifters are in continuous use since 2001 - never needed a rebuild or any servicing, the grips on them are still ok. I was considering going to 3x11, but thought that the parts selection would be low given the very short lifespan of that standard vs. 9speed.

    I could never get used to wide handlebars even when the riser bar craze first hit - tried it and felt like I was holding on to a yardstick... the longest stem I ever used was 120mm, but reduced it to 100mm in 2006 - kept the narrow bars though and all is well since then.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emax View Post
    I think those were the old Sachs shifters - no? I think gripshift always had the gears indicated (initially just painted ont he housing then they put them i a little window.

    .
    I am referring the the SRAM ones where it was just painted on the housing and grip (rather than having the little window). Honestly canít figure out why they did not just stick with the former. 100% of the functionality with zero parts involved (unless you count paint).

    To my knowledge, these were lighter than any gripshift they have made since, and they functioned perfectly. The only issue I had was the grips would wear out, and they did not make replacements for very long. Iíd end up buying NOS shifters (cheap) just to get the grips.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamthief View Post
    I've done a lot of searching to find a ratio/formula to figure out the relationship between widening bars and shortening the stem to keep the same weighting on the front tire, because climbing is important!

    One poster said you can lose 10mm in stem length for every 20mm gain in bar width. That seems right in line with what worked for Mr.Socko per his above stem/bar change.

    Based on the "push-up position" method to find optimal bar width, I'd be moving from my current 620mm bar to 740mm, which would allow a stem drop from 120mm to 60mm.

    Another poster stated the easiest way to figure out proper stem length is to hop on your bike and get in your normal riding position. Ideally, the handlebars should be directly in line with the axle of the front tire. If the stem is too long, the axle will be behind the bar, vice versa if the stem is too short.

    Does this sound right?
    There's going to be only two major area to have determine what size handlebar and length stem is going to feel 'best'. First is a handlebar width which you can still steer with input from your wrist, not 'death grip' where you draw upon whatever 'ape index' you think is being found... so - something to allow straight-arm lock at the elbows and then an ability to have simply a pull at wrist-only be able to change direction of the front wheel.

    A Stem length -- also something which allows free motion above the hips for steering with body input and also push-pull leverage on ends of bars, but also - most critical - is having some type of forward angle at the hips of the upper body. No arched back, and, no sitting up straight on the saddle. A natural, locked lower back canted toward the front of the bike, avoiding impacts transferring upward into low vertebrae.

    Road Bikes adopt a 'certified slammed' position as a goal, so I've heard.
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  23. #23
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    40mm stem X 780mm lo rise bar with one 5mm spacer under the stem.
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  24. #24
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    I ended up with a 60mm X4 stem and 740 Yeti carbon bars. I tried a 50mm stem, but it felt a little too short.

    Changing it up transformed my ride! I haven't ridden in close to a month, but I cleaned climbs today that I used to have to stop and rest. My front wheel no longer wanders on climbs. On downs, the stability is amazing - I found myself pedaling on a few to go faster.

    Oh yeah, Ergon GE1 factory grips rock. This is the best $150 I've spent in a long time!
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  25. #25
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    I went from stock stem and 680- 700ish mm easton carbon monkey bars to a 70mm stem and 720mm Answer bars

  26. #26
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    I have a 2005 575 which is now my wife's stationary exercise bike, but when I was riding it, I had the shock "Pushed", put a Revelation 120-150 fork, 70mm stem and 710mm bars on it. The improvement in performance was pretty remarkable, especially on Moab trips.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I have a 2005 575 which is now my wife's stationary exercise bike, but when I was riding it, I had the shock "Pushed", put a Revelation 120-150 fork, 70mm stem and 710mm bars on it. The improvement in performance was pretty remarkable, especially on Moab trips.
    What effect did Pushing the shock have? I find when my sag is set properly, I seem to bottom out more frequently than if I set it to my body weight per the Fox manual.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamthief View Post
    What effect did Pushing the shock have? I find when my sag is set properly, I seem to bottom out more frequently than if I set it to my body weight per the Fox manual.
    About what you would expect from a really nice shock service. No big differences in progressivity. You'd probably get more with a new DPS and using tokens to get what you want. I'm about 155 lbs and set about 25% sag, as far as I can recall and never bottomed out before or after sending the shock away.

  30. #30
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    I've progressively went shorter stem and wider bars over the years.

    110mm/710mm
    85mm/750mm
    55mm/750mm
    45mm/760mm

    Anything beyond 760 starts to feel a bit too wide & wheelbarrow-esque, diminishing returns for my 5'10" body.

    But on my vintage bike that's pavement & gravel I'm still rocking something like a 120/650, the only ti stem & riser I could find that were officially considered old school.
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  31. #31
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    40mm stem, 740mm bar. Older Ahrens Slalom frame running a 120mm RockShox Reba fork. Thing handles amazing for only running 2.1" tires.
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  32. #32
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    i use 90 long stem and 560 wide bar. And on the other bike 80 long with 560 bar as this mtb is longer in the top tube

  33. #33
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    I'm running the factory 110mm stem and 620mm bar. I was considering going short/wide however.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I've progressively went shorter stem and wider bars over the years.

    110mm/710mm
    85mm/750mm
    55mm/750mm
    45mm/760mm

    Anything beyond 760 starts to feel a bit too wide & wheelbarrow-esque, diminishing returns for my 5'10" body.

    But on my vintage bike that's pavement & gravel I'm still rocking something like a 120/650, the only ti stem & riser I could find that were officially considered old school.
    What was the major factor driving you to go shorter/wider over the years?

  35. #35
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    IMO, you can only go so short with stem length on older geo bikes. Both ETT and reach have gotten at least 1 inch longer on ďmodernĒ frames (2014+). I would compare the geometry of your old bike with a comparable size modern bike and use that as a starting point to get a mental picture of where super short (40mm?) stems are appropriate.

    I think something around 60mm would be as short as Iíd want on a bike with very short reach numbers.

  36. #36
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    I've gone from a 620 bar with a 110 stem to a 710 bar with a 60 stem. Similar rise and sweep from one to the other.

    Position is a touch less stretched out, about the same amount of upright. The wider bars certainly make things feel more stable. It is an improvement I didn't know I needed until I made the change.
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  37. #37
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    new to the forum and have been searching other threads to some success but am hoping to get a straight answer rather than inferring. i'd like to replace my stock M2 stumpjumper stem (1996 model year i believe) but keep the original handlebars. can someone please confirm it's 25.4 (as opposed to 31.8) for the stem clamp diameter? thanks in advance for any help!
    Last edited by afv; 03-09-2020 at 12:37 PM. Reason: added thank you

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by afv View Post
    new to the forum and have been searching other threads to some success but am hoping to get a straight answer rather than inferring. i'd like to replace my stock M2 stumpjumper stem (1996 model year i believe) but keep the original handlebars. can someone please confirm it's 25.4 (as opposed to 31.8) for the stem clamp diameter? thanks in advance for any help!
    If it's stock they should be 25.4. I don't think the first 31's with the exception of some DH stuff maybe came out until 98 - 2000ish, but they weren't common on xc bikes until 2005 or so. I can't imagine a stock 96 stumpy having 31 bars on it.

    However, you may consider getting a 31.8 stem and use a 25.4 shim in case you ever want to upgrade the bars in the future. Shouldn't cost more than a few dollars more and way easier to find these days.
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  39. #39
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    thanks so much! the 31.8 w/ a shim is an idea i had never thought of. much appreciated!

  40. #40
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    My normal casual lazy ride has.
    630mm wide 20mm rise, aluminium Bars.
    100mm long 30mm rise, steel Stem.

    Once I get my other bike up and running it will be wider with a shorter stem.
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