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  1. #1
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    Alt Bars and Technical riding?

    So I know this is overdone, but I have looked at bars, like the Salsa or the Surly that have an assload of sweep. I ride a 29 ss, and I would like something more comfortable but I don't want to lose too much twitchiness. I love riding techy, do-over, type trails and I suspect that bars with +10 degrees of sweep would feel monstertruckish. When I see trials riders, they ride with the straightest bars ever. Am I totally off base here? Somebody throw me a bone. School me on alt-bars in tech.

  2. #2
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    It's a matter of experience and personal taste, I'd say. If you look at the moves Jeff Jones pulls off with his 45 degree sweep bars, I don't think one can say 'alt' bars are worse for technical riding. Personally, I love the H-bars for technical descending: they inspire lots of confidence and help in keeping your balance. For trials moves, though, (and for technical climbing)I feel a very wide, straight(ish) bar seems to work best. It gives you more room to manoeuvre your body around the bike, because your hands can rotate around the bars, so you can really get 'in front of' the bike.
    One small problem I have with big sweep bars is that in tight turns (especially when standing up), your inner hand comes very close to your body (thigh or knee). I fond this annoying sometimes. Straighter bars do not have this issue.

    I hope this clarifies things somewhat.

  3. #3
    blame me for missed rides
    Reputation: weather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonzinmj
    So I know this is overdone, but I have looked at bars, like the Salsa or the Surly that have an assload of sweep. I ride a 29 ss, and I would like something more comfortable but I don't want to lose too much twitchiness. I love riding techy, do-over, type trails and I suspect that bars with +10 degrees of sweep would feel monstertruckish. When I see trials riders, they ride with the straightest bars ever. Am I totally off base here? Somebody throw me a bone. School me on alt-bars in tech.
    just adjust the stem length/rise to keep your hands where they were.

  4. #4
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    Funny, my experience (using a Mary bar) was pretty much the total opposite of Orkje.

    I loved the big sweep for climbing, but hated it for the tech downhills where I wanted to be able to get my elbows out further.

  5. #5
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    Yep, I read quite a few statements to that effect, Fullrange Drew. For some reason, many people have trouble with their hands sliding forward on downhills when using big sweep bars.
    I never experienced that problem, although the fact that I use Oury grips might be a factor, too.
    Anyway, it only shows that it boils down to personal preference.

  6. #6
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    I'm running the Salsa pro-moto bars with 11deg sweep http://salsacycles.com/components/pro_moto_flat/

    I Love them. One of the best upgrades I've made to my bike. I told myself I'd cut them down a little as soon as they got in my way, but that hasn't happened yet and I ride plenty of tight twisty stuff here in the mid-atlantic region.

  7. #7
    WNC Native
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orkje
    Yep, I read quite a few statements to that effect, Fullrange Drew. For some reason, many people have trouble with their hands sliding forward on downhills when using big sweep bars..
    I experienced that exact problem with my H-bars on my rigid bike. I loved them on climbs, but in faster, bumpy downhills my hands would slide forward. I had ESI chunky grips FWIW.

    I have moved back to a 15 degree Surly Torsion bar again. I may later try either a set of Luvs or the Flat Carnegie bar. I have a feeling that the sweet spot for me is around 21-25 degrees.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  8. #8
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orkje
    It's a matter of experience and personal taste, I'd say. If you look at the moves Jeff Jones pulls off with his 45 degree sweep bars, I don't think one can say 'alt' bars are worse for technical riding.......

    Other than the trials demo he did in the Philippines(I think), the only photos I've seen of him have been more 'huck' than 'tech'...

  9. #9
    Out spokin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    I experienced that exact problem with my H-bars on my rigid bike. I loved them on climbs, but in faster, bumpy downhills my hands would slide forward.
    ...
    Likewise. I couldn't get past the feeling that my hands could / would slide forward on a Jones H-bar.

    I ride flat bars with bar ends. It seems ironic to me that bar ends have become passe but "alt bars" are hip, inasmuch as one of the main differences between my favored setup and the H-bar I tried was the position of the crossbar (main "handlebar" portion that is clamped by the stem.) Yes, I changed stem length to compensate for hand position.

    On my flat bar / bar end setup, the "H" extensions are in front of the crossbar. With the Jones H-bar, the angled grip area is largely behind the crossbar (with closer-together extensions forward of it). I'm 6'3"; at my height when I stand to climb I absolutely want my hands in front of the crossbar but I don't want my hands as close together as the H-bar forced them to be. I also don't want my brake levers angled.

    It's all personal preference. My point is mainly that it seems somewhat hyprocritic, generally speaking, for the mountain biking community to dis bar ends as passe while embracing "alt bars" as hip. Seems to me this is favoring fashion over function, not that alt bars lack function. Both meet needs in a similar way, but what works best for one rider may not work as well as something else for another.

    In the end, to each his own. Thank God we have so many options, we live in a free country, and we have enough money to purchase whatever we choose.

    Perhaps I'm just tired of people snickering at my bar ends. Whatever. I'm not giving them up anytime soon.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  10. #10
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    Perhaps I'm just tired of people snickering at my bar ends. Whatever. I'm not giving them up anytime soon.
    The bar end issue has been discussed to death, but I, for one, am 100% convinced that no other setup offers more climbing power when standing up than straight bars (whatever their width) + bar ends.

    I also understand, though, why people who sit down all the time because they use granny gears leave the bar ends out.

  11. #11
    conjoinicorned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    It's all personal preference. My point is mainly that it seems somewhat hyprocritic, generally speaking, for the mountain biking community to dis bar ends as passe while embracing "alt bars" as hip. Seems to me this is favoring fashion over function, not that alt bars lack function. Both meet needs in a similar way, but what works best for one rider may not work as well as something else for another.

    In the end, to each his own. Thank God we have so many options, we live in a free country, and we have enough money to purchase whatever we choose.

    Perhaps I'm just tired of people snickering at my bar ends. Whatever. I'm not giving them up anytime soon.

    --Sparty


    at this point in MTB culture i don't know if something is ironic, or naive, or just plain retro grouch, or cutting edge or what. we're gettin old my friend...but hey if any of us live long enough, we'll be 'hip' again anyways!


    on topic, i find my hands slide down my mary bars on fast rough DH...so i use luv handles on the trail bike which do not suffer this. too bad, cause marys are my favorite feeling bar. also been experimenting with drop bars, which come with their own list of +/-

    and yes i have a bike with flat bars and bar ends, although these days i don't much like flat bars...or any bar under 17* sweep. as you say, personal preference and all that.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  12. #12
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonzinmj
    So I know this is overdone, but I have looked at bars, like the Salsa or the Surly that have an assload of sweep. I ride a 29 ss, and I would like something more comfortable but I don't want to lose too much twitchiness. I love riding techy, do-over, type trails and I suspect that bars with +10 degrees of sweep would feel monstertruckish. When I see trials riders, they ride with the straightest bars ever. Am I totally off base here? Somebody throw me a bone. School me on alt-bars in tech.
    I think it is funny to think that handlebars will be the thing that makes a 29er feel more monstertruckish.

    I didn't like Mary bars because my hands slipped on downhills, even with ouries. I still have an alt bar though, and I think it is great for tech because it is less jarring than a flat bar because it is easier to relax the muscles for reaction and shock absorption.

  13. #13
    Is that Bill rated?
    Reputation: Lord Humongous's Avatar
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    I ride several different bars and they all have their reasons. I like the ease of manipulating my bike fore/aft with the alt bars. I find logs, log piles, rock ledges, etc, are easier to navigate with the extra sweep. On the other hand, I prefer straighter, wider bars for situations where balance and feedback are more important. I find skinnies and gravity riding better on the more conventional risers.
    I have a Salsa 17 degree that gives me some aspects of both; I find it very comfortable for most of my riding. I don't quite get the flick of my alt bars and it's not quite as wide as my DH riser, but it is far better than a narrow 3-7 degree bar any day of my week.
    Just a note: I don't experience any trouble with my hands moving forwards on alt bars (I have used Fubars, Marys and Carnegies) on descents and I ride some pretty steep terrain with extended runs. Maybe it's just me, but it seems if your hands are sliding the bars aren't set up correctly.
    Well, it was a good try.

  14. #14
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Humongous
    Just a note: I don't experience any trouble with my hands moving forwards on alt bars (I have used Fubars, Marys and Carnegies) on descents and I ride some pretty steep terrain with extended runs. Maybe it's just me, but it seems if your hands are sliding the bars aren't set up correctly.
    Probably just you. My FUbars work fine.

  15. #15
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    Perhaps I'm just tired of people snickering at my bar ends. Whatever. I'm not giving them up anytime soon.

    --Sparty[/QUOTE]


    I will never understand why more people don't ride bar ends??? Should fashion before funtion really exist in the singlespeed community??? Then again, there are so many crazy bling bikes on here that never see dirt!!! I built my bike to ride not for photo shoots!!

  16. #16
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    but it seems if your hands are sliding the bars aren't set up correctly
    i.e. angled down slightly

  17. #17
    aka "SirLurkAlot"
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    I have ridden Mary, titec h-bar and salsa 17* bars.

    I prefer the Mary's and use them on both of my bikes. I've found that they are very sensitive to setup. Or, maybe I'm just very sensitive. I have thought of posting the measurements that I use to help others get close to right setup.

    Anyway, I have never had my hands slip. I was able to get the h-bars dialed using my measurements but I don't like them and recently sold them. While I have run them in a 1x9 setup, it's less than ideal. Even with my singlespeeds it's problematic as I couldn't place the right (front for me) lever close enough as it had to be ahead of the bar junction. The sweep angle was also not ideal for ME.

    The salsa's work well for me but I like the Mary more.

    All that means is that YMMV.

  18. #18
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    I love my Ragley Carnegie,
    I just ride it everywhere (on my SuperFly).
    I am waiting for the carbon model.
    ,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alt Bars and Technical riding?-10042010043-large-.jpg  

    Alt Bars and Technical riding?-10042010045-large-.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Humongous
    Maybe it's just me, but it seems if your hands are sliding the bars aren't set up correctly.
    Nope that wasn't it. I had mine pointed slightly down toward the rear axle.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  20. #20
    Waiting for Godot
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    i have settled on the fleegle bar for now. the h-bar had too much sweep for a SS and straight bars well....to straight. they are wide too, which is good for me.
    Out riding, leave a message

  21. #21
    bicycle dreamer
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    Quote Originally Posted by esku
    I love my Ragley Carnegie,
    I just ride it everywhere (on my SuperFly).
    I am waiting for the carbon model.
    ,
    I'm digging mine as well. Haven't played too much with the tilt on them yet, going to try experimenting soon.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/paranoidbadger/4517148650/" title="Happiness. by G e o cycle, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2692/4517148650_c19d0ea390.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Happiness." /></a>
    Moving the soul with two wheels.
    I have a slight cycling addiction.

    Now living in Nagoya City, Japan!

  22. #22
    Did I catch a niner+?
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    I want to get a Ragely but just no where to found in the States, also looking at a Soma Odin (all to replace my Mary bars).
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  23. #23
    Expert Crasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    I want to get a Ragely but just no where to found in the States, also looking at a Soma Odin (all to replace my Mary bars).
    Order from Chain Reaction in the UK - just plan on 2 weeks or so shipping if you use the standard Royal Mail. No problem doing that - they're secure, well known, and the site is set up for US customers. It's like ordering from Pricepoint or Jenson, except they spell tire with a 'y'.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  24. #24
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    Origin Space OR2 bar on my SE Stout 29er. Very comfortable ride and I'm looking forward to giving them full technical XC soon as I am cleared to ride Singletrack again.

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