Flat bars vs. riser bars- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Flat bars vs. riser bars

    Ok MTBR'ers, todays stupid question...Flat bars or riser bars? I ride an Ironhorse Warrior Expert (100mm hardtail), and changed the bars from riser bars (with a 25mm/1" rise) to flat XC style bars (same width), simply because when negotiating short, steep climbs, the front end of the bike felt too high and unweighted. Obviously, you could create the same position as a riser bar by adding spacers under your stem and running a flat bar, but is there some other benefit to riser bars that I'm oblivious to? The benefit of your collective knowledge would be appreciated...

  2. #2
    rbtm member
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    You can also change your stem to modify your position. The bottom line though is to get your hands in the position you want and it doesn't really matter that much how you do it. There are a ton of bars out there that allow you to fiddle with width, sweep and rise so go with whatever works for you.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  3. #3
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Generally speaking, riser bars have greater sweep (most risers are around 8 degrees, most flat bars are around 3-5 degrees) which a lot of riders feel more comfortable. They are often wider as well.

    But of course, there are several flat bars these days that have greater sweep and width these days so I think at this point it is often a "style" thing.

    I actually started using club roost riser bars in 1995 and have used riser bars almost exclusively since because back then flat bars were narrow and had little sweep.

  4. #4
    No good in rock gardens..
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    What others have said - the sweep or bend of the bars back towards the rider is more comfy for some people, and they are generally wider. Most are somewhat heavier too - which may or may not make them stronger.

    Myself I don't like them as they make the front of the bike too high - I'm on the shorter side you see.
    Less isn't MOAR

  5. #5
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    There are no really distinct....

    advantages to risers over flat bars. As mtnbiker72 noted there are wider flat bars out there with more sweep than the old school XC fats. But they are few and far between, not easy to find. So the riser is still a viable option.

    From what I've found there are three types of people that use risers. Those that don't care, the bike came with them and that's what they run. Those that don't have a clue, but think they are cool and that's what they run for style points. And those that use them to achieve a specific goal whether it be hand position, control (you can still get wider risers than you can flat bars, and they do provide more leverage), etc.

    I'm not saying that any of the reasons for using a riser is incorrect. If it makes you happy more power to you. What I am saying is that there are legitimate reasons for using a riser. And that an experienced and serious rider will use what works to accomplish a specific goal or accomodate his/her riding style and needs. Whether it turns out to be a riser or flat bar is imaterial. There is no mystical advantage of one over the other except in terms of application. For the serious rider the old variables apply most strongly, riding style, terrain, the bike, and personal preferece.

    There's no "wrong choice", if your flat bar is working for you then you were right to make the change. Nuff Said!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Risers also give you a cheap and easy way to dial in cockpit length without switching stems. Depending on the rise, you can effectively change your stem length by rolling the bars forward or back.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    .... And those that use them to achieve a specific goal whether it be hand position, control (you can still get wider risers than you can flat bars, and they do provide more leverage), etc.

    Good Dirt
    One point that gets overlooked often is in general, wide bars, short stem, and slack(er) head tube angle go togehter and vice versa. DH'ers tend to prefer this setup while XC racers tend to prefer the narrower bar, longer stem, and steeper head angle.

    As Squash says, it about your preferences. Most of us are some where in between the XC/DH extreme's. Which means it comes down to your riding style and preference.

    Also, much of what's comfortable changes as you ride more. It seems most purely recreational riders ride dead upright - bars high on a short stem. As you get more experienced, a lower more stretched out stance becomes more comfortable. Sounds strange, but the same is true with rec saddles vs. race saddles. Race saddles are more comfy for the avid rider.

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