30mm riser bar or 30mm of spacers?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    30mm riser bar or 30mm of spacers?

    The frame I'm building up (2014 Trek Remedy 29) has a low stack height in relation to it's relatively tall bottom bracket. So in order to get the bar up to where I need it, just above level with the saddle, I need to run about 40-50mm of spacers with the low rise (5mm) bar I have. It looks terrible to say the least. I'd much rather use 20mm of spacers with a 30mm bar, which won't look fantastic either, but it's a no win. I'm really just wondering which option will be less flexy, being that I'm a pretty hefty guy (5'11" 310). The fork (Pike) is uncut for now, so I can go either way. Of all the bikes I've had, I've never run into this. But then, I run my bars higher than I used to, thanks to the bad disc in my neck.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  2. #2
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    Every spacer you have under the stem creates instability. The higher you stack them the the more unstable. You are much better off minimizing spacers and going with the riser bar.

  3. #3
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    30mm riser bar or 30mm of spacers?

    Why not put a stem with a positive rise? Back surgery makes me ride with bars above the saddle and this works for me.


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  4. #4
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    Some fork manufacturers state that running more than 30mm of spacers voids the warranty. Chalk up a vote for riser bars.
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    Founder at North Atlantic Dirt, riding & writing about trails in the northeast.

  5. #5
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    Really? Even forks with carbon steerers usually allow 45mm in spacers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcappy View Post
    Every spacer you have under the stem creates instability. The higher you stack them the the more unstable. You are much better off minimizing spacers and going with the riser bar.
    I have never heard this before. How does this work?
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  7. #7
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    There's no "stability" issues either way. Not sure where that comes from.

    30mm of spacers will position the bars rearward about 10mm since the spacers will be at the same angle as the head tube.

    30mm rise bars can rise vertically, or a bit rearward, depending on how they are rotated in the stem.
    '01 Schwinn HG Comp - '12 Giant Defy 1 - '14 Kona JtS - '18 Rocky Mtn Altitude A30 - '19 Scott Spark RC Team

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I have never heard this before. How does this work?
    Think of it like this. If you have one plate on the counter it is very stable when you put some pressure on it. If you stack thre or four plates on the counter and apply pressure there will be some movement.
    Although stem spacers are usually machined they're remains discrepancies however minimal. When you stack them up even with down pressure from the stem nut there is instability due to the discrepencies and the gaps between spacers weather noticeable or not. A solid riser bar will be more rigid due to its solid design. You may have some amount of flex in the bar but it will be more stable over all.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I have never heard this before. How does this work?
    read the explanation below. It comes from someone not knowing what the word stability means and having no idea how the headset/stem/steerer tube interface works.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcappy View Post
    Think of it like this. If you have one plate on the counter it is very stable when you put some pressure on it. If you stack thre or four plates on the counter and apply pressure there will be some movement.
    Although stem spacers are usually machined they're remains discrepancies however minimal. When you stack them up even with down pressure from the stem nut there is instability due to the discrepencies and the gaps between spacers weather noticeable or not. A solid riser bar will be more rigid due to its solid design. You may have some amount of flex in the bar but it will be more stable over all.
    Oh my......
    '01 Schwinn HG Comp - '12 Giant Defy 1 - '14 Kona JtS - '18 Rocky Mtn Altitude A30 - '19 Scott Spark RC Team

  11. #11
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    Go with a riser, they usually have a few degrees of upsweep, which puts one's wrists in a better position, imo.

    Ignore the guy with his "stability" comments. Jeebus, it's like they'll let just anyone post on the internet these days....
    Scarlett Johansson loves my hummus.

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