Bar and Stem Length- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bar and Stem Length

    Just purchased my first modern geo bike. 2018 Orbea Ocaam Tr10.
    The bars/stem is 760/60. Bars have me to far forward, bike feels front heavy and my shoulders hurt. I am going to move the grips in 25mm total and ride. If I prefer this 735 length, should I experiment with a 760/50 combo before cutting bars?

  2. #2
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    Yes, experiment and see how it feels when you change stems. Also experiment with saddle position and the tilt. A saddle pointed slightly down will roll you forward placing more weight on your hands.

  3. #3
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    Try some different stems. 60mm is a bit long these days for a bike like that. Most bikes are coming stock with 800mm bars and 40-50mm stems. You can't add width after you cut.
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  4. #4
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    You can get bars with more rise(looks like 10mm standard) and a stem that angles up as well as being shorter. You can swap spacers under your stem to raise the bars a bit. Riser bars also have rearward sweep of 9* or so to bring your hands back. Looks like the oem bars have less sweep.

  5. #5
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    Definitely try different length stems before you go shorter on the bars. Main reason is that stems can be returned or sold easily, while bars that are "XC" short are hard to sell. Most will say that with normal, modern day trail bikes you should be running bars that put your hands at shoulder width or slightly wider. But that is a personal preference more than anything.

    I agree with everyone that a 60mm stem seem stupid long for today's bikes but since the OCCAM is more of an XC racer type bike, it could be a bit more standard. I am assuming that you have your saddle in the proper location for you? What size stem are you running on your current/old bike?

  6. #6
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    Put on some grips with open ends and move the controls and grips to where you like them before cutting.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Definitely try different length stems before you go shorter on the bars. Main reason is that stems can be returned or sold easily, while bars that are "XC" short are hard to sell. Most will say that with normal, modern day trail bikes you should be running bars that put your hands at shoulder width or slightly wider. But that is a personal preference more than anything.

    I agree with everyone that a 60mm stem seem stupid long for today's bikes but since the OCCAM is more of an XC racer type bike, it could be a bit more standard. I am assuming that you have your saddle in the proper location for you? What size stem are you running on your current/old bike?
    The Ocaam is their trail bike. The Oiz is their race bike. My past bikes were 635/90 older geo bikes.

  8. #8
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    Don't cut your bars. Get a shorter stem. If you can swap another spacer to below your stem, then try that first. A lot of bike shops will have various stems laying around that you can try out to get the right fit.

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    I used to ride a L bike with 60mm stem, and that felt alright. Switched to a XL bike with 40mm stem, feels too long. Of course I'll get used to this, as I was sitting too upright before. DOn't know if that's your case. I just got used to the new geo.

    Anyway, you were given good suggestions: use open-end grips closer together, try another stem, play with the position of the saddle. If none of that works, get a smaller bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenut316 View Post
    The Ocaam is their trail bike. The Oiz is their race bike. My past bikes were 635/90 older geo bikes.
    Ah ok... always get it mixed up.. Rallon is more my speed so have only really focused on that but do remember looking through the line when my brother was in the market for a new bike.

    As said above, the main benefit of the wider bars is the additional leverage ratio that is added to help with turning/leaning the bike when riding. Bad thing is, if you have tight trails with obstacles (trees) on either side you MAY clip things with the bars. This is something you get used to though and will eventually learn to maneuver around.

    When you say your "shoulder hurt" what exactly are you meaning? Do your delts/traps hurt or are you hurting/sore lower down in your back? Definitely sounds like you are stretched out too much if that is the case but that can definitely be remedied easily with a new, shorter stem.

    Also, always a good idea to have a set of open ended grips on hand, and really you can get cheapish ones for $20, so that you can adjust such grip stance when you get new bars. I say take the bike to the shop you purchased it from, if you purchased from a shop, and have them go through a quick cockpit setup with you.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Ah ok... always get it mixed up.. Rallon is more my speed so have only really focused on that but do remember looking through the line when my brother was in the market for a new bike.

    As said above, the main benefit of the wider bars is the additional leverage ratio that is added to help with turning/leaning the bike when riding. Bad thing is, if you have tight trails with obstacles (trees) on either side you MAY clip things with the bars. This is something you get used to though and will eventually learn to maneuver around.

    When you say your "shoulder hurt" what exactly are you meaning? Do your delts/traps hurt or are you hurting/sore lower down in your back? Definitely sounds like you are stretched out too much if that is the case but that can definitely be remedied easily with a new, shorter stem.

    Also, always a good idea to have a set of open ended grips on hand, and really you can get cheapish ones for $20, so that you can adjust such grip stance when you get new bars. I say take the bike to the shop you purchased it from, if you purchased from a shop, and have them go through a quick cockpit setup with you.
    Interesting comments. I used to get very sore when riding until I figured out (after several physical therapy sessions) that I was putting my weight on my shoulders instead of back. The muscles of the shoulders are much smaller and not intended for that much force. I learned to relax the shoulders, and became a much better rider.

    About the grips, Origin8 for $10 at Amazon. Cannot go wrong.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    One of the biggest problems with buying a complete bike is the steerer tubes are often cut flush with the stem and insufficient length remains to adjust stem height.

    Fight back! If you are buying a complete bike, insist on a long steerer, an inch above and an inch below the stem. Yes, this seems excessive, but some folks need a higher stem than others and it's certainly cheaper than buying a second set of bars (riser). You can always cut the steerer later.

    Bar width at some point in a biker's "career" is going to become standardized, so for example I have come to prefer a 750mm bar width. The bar width and bar height I prefer are based on riding with a preferred ETT, in a sense these measurements are my comfort zone. All my bikes have the same ETT within 5mm, this is not a coincidence.

    The one thing that varies across my bikes is reach, but reach really only matters when you are out of the saddle. Longer reach for downhill oriented bikes. Shorter reach for XC oriented bikes.

    Things to consider:
    Bar position: high, low, far, close, and sweep angle/rotation.

    Seat position: high, low, far, close, and angle. Don't set your seat too high, the "roadie mentality" need not apply to mountain biking. Keep it comfortable.

    Controls position: Roll those controls back so they rest comfortablely in your hands without having to move your hands. Too many people run their brakes angled to far down, so in the seat riding requires too much finger reach to operate the brakes.

    Age: Yes, as we get older we can get uncomfortable being in an overly low or overly stretched out position. I found that raising my bars made a big difference. I also really appreciate a steep STA on my bikes with a longer reach.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    One of the biggest problems with buying a complete bike is the steerer tubes are often cut flush with the stem and insufficient length remains to adjust stem height.

    Fight back! If you are buying a complete bike, insist on a long steerer, an inch above and an inch below the stem. Yes, this seems excessive, but some folks need a higher stem than others and it's certainly cheaper than buying a second set of bars (riser). You can always cut the steerer later.

    Bar width at some point in a biker's "career" is going to become standardized, so for example I have come to prefer a 750mm bar width. The bar width and bar height I prefer are based on riding with a preferred ETT, in a sense these measurements are my comfort zone. All my bikes have the same ETT within 5mm, this is not a coincidence.

    The one thing that varies across my bikes is reach, but reach really only matters when you are out of the saddle. Longer reach for downhill oriented bikes. Shorter reach for XC oriented bikes.

    Things to consider:
    Bar position: high, low, far, close, and sweep angle/rotation.

    Seat position: high, low, far, close, and angle. Don't set your seat too high, the "roadie mentality" need not apply to mountain biking. Keep it comfortable.

    Controls position: Roll those controls back so they rest comfortably in your hands without having to move your hands. Too many people run their brakes angled to far down, so in the seat riding requires too much finger reach to operate the brakes.

    Age: Yes, as we get older we can get uncomfortable being in an overly low or overly stretched out position. I found that raising my bars made a big difference. I also really appreciate a steep STA on my bikes with a longer reach.
    All of this!!!

    Here is a good article on bar rise and the effects of moving the stem up/down on the steerer. https://enduro-mtb.com/en/the-right-mtb-handlebar-rise/

    Other thing to pay attention too is the grip size. I have average to large hands (normally wear a large glove) and have found that the "meaty" sized grips have helped a lot with hand fatigue for me. The Ergon GA2 Fat Paws and the Sensus Meaty Paws have been some of the best grips that I have found. The Ergons are a bit denser material but still give in all the right areas, the Meaty Paws are most consistently "squishy" throughout the entire grip. It may be worthwhile to try out some different grips.

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