SS Handlebar Preference- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SS Handlebar Preference

    Looking for something new, there are so many options these days. Riding SS is a bit different from geared mtbs, mostly because of the leverage used for steep climbing. I'm wondering what you guys find comfortable for stem/handlebar combos (stem length/rise, bar rise/sweep, width).

    Been running a 20 mm rise with 6 deg back sweep in 680 width, looking at something a little flatter with more back sweep (9,10 deg) and a bit wider but probably no wider than 720; there's lots of narrow sections here in the northeast! I also like alloy, just because. Leaning towards Ritchey WCS flat +/- 5mm bar right now.

    I hope those of you that experience winter are starting to enjoy the warmth of spring! Still a bit too much snow in the woods for mtb up here yet.

  2. #2
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    IMO, this is like asking what my preference in frame color is. Anyway, I'm using a Thomson carbon flat bar cut down to ~690 with a 90mm -10 Thomson stem. My other bike is using a Specialized flat bar with an 80mm 0 Thomson stem. Before that I used a NEXT carbon riser, but that left me with the front end too high and didn't feel right.

  3. #3
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    I just got a 700mm alloy Specialized flat bar, 9 degree sweep, coupled with the Enduro XL grips (very thick) and seem to like it a lot so far. I have a slammed (haha, it does not really look slammed but saying so makes it sound like Im a badass) 80mm 7 degree stem, and works pretty well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    IMO, this is like asking what my preference in frame color is. Anyway, I'm using a Thomson carbon flat bar cut down to ~690 with a 90mm -10 Thomson stem. My other bike is using a Specialized flat bar with an 80mm 0 Thomson stem. Before that I used a NEXT carbon riser, but that left me with the front end too high and didn't feel right.
    So what is your favorite frame color?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by igno-mtb View Post
    I just got a 700mm alloy Specialized flat bar, 9 degree sweep, coupled with the Enduro XL grips (very thick) and seem to like it a lot so far. I have a slammed (haha, it does not really look slammed but saying so makes it sound like Im a badass) 80mm 7 degree stem, and works pretty well.
    Cool man, that's very close to the setup I am hoping to go to. Mostly curious if you or anybody notice any significant changes going from a less (6deg) sweep to something more, like 9 deg in your case. I just get so nervous about messing around with the cockpit, but I do want something a little lower and wider. You are a badass, by the way.

  6. #6
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    Tried Jones Loop 710's and fell in love with them!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    Tried Jones Loop 710's and fell in love with them!
    Those are pretty wild, I think I'd wanna try a set before buying though.

    MMMMMHHHMMMMMMMMMM

  8. #8
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    Renthal Fatbar, 20mm rise and 750mm wide with 50mm stem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    Renthal Fatbar, 20mm rise and 750mm wide with 50mm stem.
    X2 Same bars! Im using a 60mm stem but could probably easily tolerate a 50.
    Salsa El Mariachi SS
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  10. #10
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    I use the Truvativ Noir Carbon T40 Flat bar--580 mm with Giant ergonomic bar ends. Previously, I used ~700mm bars with only regular grips. I found the wide spacing and orientation of my hands caused tendonitis in my forearms with all the long, standing climbs pulling hard on the bars. The shorter bars with bar ends allow me to space my hands at shoulder width and rotate them 90 degrees compared with holding the grips. This seems to provide enough leverage when climbing and the tendonitis is gone. I am barely 5'8" so I think perhaps narrower bar width is better for smaller people? If I was 6'3" the ~700 mm bars might be just right. From my yoga training, I think hands at shoulder width is some kind of alignment principal, but not sure how broad a principal it is and if it applies to bicycling.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankes3 View Post
    So what is your favorite frame color?
    Ti this week.

  12. #12
    Riding rigid
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    The answer 20/20 bar is my current favorite. Have a Watson ti revelation bar with 32 degree sweep. , but for me the 20 degree feels nice.

  13. #13
    SS Pusher Man
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    Running Answer Pro Taper Carbon DH 780mm 3/4" rise....90 x -6 Straitline stem.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.

    Ebikes are not bicycles

  14. #14
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I'm not going to give a bar opinion, I'm just going to throw this out there regarding your preference for alloy. I dare say, six months ago, I would have echoed this preference partly because I'd never had any extensive experience with carbon bars. But I found a set of bars on sale that happened to be the carbon version of the bars I was using on my SS - and I figured, for $50, if nothing else it's a spare set of bars. Mind you, same width, same rise, same manufacture. After putting the bars on my SS, the ONLY change I care about is that my hands get fatigued much slower. I can ride half again as far before I feel like I need to take my hand off the bars and shake it. And again, I put the same brakes on, in the same location, with the same (ergon) grips - the only thing that changed was the bar. So, I'd say maybe consider a carbon bar if you can find something you think you'd like in carbon that's not hugely expensive.

  15. #15
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    Seems to me you would get your most climbing leverage with flat bars. Me, I don't find flat bars comfortable. 9* sweep with Ergon grips is tolerable I guess. But especially if you're on a rigid, "tolerable" and "comfortable" are worlds apart.

    I love my Jonesy's. Plenty of places to grab hold of when you're out of the saddle, but most of your leverage is pretty far back towards the rear. Ergo's are great once you figure it out. Hard to judge Jones bars without spending some time with them, subtle changes in setup have big effects on handling and ergo's.

    But, ymmv and for what you're seeking, I wonder if Ergon grips might be part of the solution.

  16. #16
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    On a semi-related topic, is carbon that much better over aluminum? I have aluminum bars on my SS right now and wonder if upgrading to carbon will give it a smoother ride and less pounding to my shoulders.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  17. #17
    Riding rigid
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    On a semi-related topic, is carbon that much better over aluminum? I have aluminum bars on my SS right now and wonder if upgrading to carbon will give it a smoother ride and less pounding to my shoulders.
    Depends on the carbon bar as the differing lay ups may make one flexier while another is stiff as hell

  18. #18
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    Thomson Titanium Flat bar 6 deg

  19. #19
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    I've been using a titanium Carver Pry Bar for a year on my rigid. It has a nice give without being floppy. I think it's 730mm, flat bar, and a 9* bend. I love it!

  20. #20
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    I do like the look of those Carver bars, plus being from Maine, I'm always happy to support a local company. Now I'm wondering if 9 or 11 deg sweep would be preferable (just thinking out loud).

    As far as carbon bars are concerned, I'm not so worried about strength, mostly ride quality. If there was a bar I knew I was gonna love and offer a little dampening, I would invest in it. It seems to me that some of the newest carbon bars are stiffer than bones in which case I think a triple butted alloy bar would be more comfortable. COTHARYUS what bar is that you bought?

    What are the biggest benefits or riding bars with 20+ deg sweep? Comfort? Can you bunny hop just as well with those alt-bars?

    Thanks for all the feedback

  21. #21
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    Enve Sweep or Syntace Vector 12 degreee sweep, 5mm rise.

    Niner RDO Flat top is OK as well. But, I really like the 12degree bars.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
    Enve Sweep or Syntace Vector 12 degreee sweep, 5mm rise.

    Niner RDO Flat top is OK as well. But, I really like the 12degree bars.
    Those carbon bars all provide a little dampening?

  23. #23
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    They do, IMO.

    The RDO has the most flex/give. But, I still think the Syntace is more comfy overall because of the bend angle (to my hands at least)

  24. #24
    psycho cyclo addict
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    +1 for carbon bars.

    I like low rise and semi-wide ~700mm, setup forward toward the front wheel for better mash 'n climb leverage. Ran aluminum low/semi-wide bars for a couple of years and switched to carbon... definitely get some dampening out of 'em.

    I tried Mary bars for a month or so. More comfortable hand position I guess. Felt like climbing was more laborious and in general it took more effort to get the front wheel in the air (or bunny hop).
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    +1 for carbon bars.

    I like low rise and semi-wide ~700mm, setup forward toward the front wheel for better mash 'n climb leverage. Ran aluminum low/semi-wide bars for a couple of years and switched to carbon... definitely get some dampening out of 'em.

    I tried Mary bars for a month or so. More comfortable hand position I guess. Felt like climbing was more laborious and in general it took more effort to get the front wheel in the air (or bunny hop).
    Which carbon bars do you like best for a little dampening?

  26. #26
    achiever
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    I'm running a Carver MyTi carbon bar. It's very similar to a Mary bar but wider at 710mm & has zero rise. I find them to be well damped & very comfortable.

  27. #27
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankes3 View Post
    COTHARYUS what bar is that you bought?
    I picked up this in the 690:
    Giant Contact SLR Carbon Riser Handlebar - BlueSkyCycling.com

    Again, that's the carbon version of the stock bar that came on my Anthem, which got moved to my SS when I put a 730mm on my anthem. Since the alloy bar felt really good, I figured it was worth spending $50 for an identical carbon bar. Heck, I'm tempted to buy a couple more as spares.

  28. #28
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    710mm Enve Flat bar. with Ti seatpost and Thompson Stem = all day rides~

  29. #29
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    Wide, wide, wide! Kore Torsion 800mm. Those + Paul 180mm cranks = leverage-o-rama

  30. #30
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    How tall are you and what length stem do you run to need 800mm on the trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    Wide, wide, wide! Kore Torsion 800mm. Those + Paul 180mm cranks = leverage-o-rama
    I'm leaning towards 745-760mm for my next bars.
    Just have fun and ride the bike you've got.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSHardTail View Post
    How tall are you and what length stem do you run to need 800mm on the trails
    I am 6'3" I think I have a 70mm stem. For me the biggest benefit is the wider bars open up my shoulders and chest for breathing while climbing and they give great control with the rigid front end Like them so much I put them on my geared hard tail

  32. #32
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    planning on getting Groovy Cycle Work Love Handles
    Niner Air 9 Carbon SS
    Salsa Mukluk Ti

  33. #33
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    I've been on Niner Flat Top Carbons can't complain.

    SPP
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  34. #34
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    I think this is an excellent question to post. I started out with a flat bar that was not wide and had trouble getting up the hills. Used bar ends but it was not much better. Went to a wide, low rise bar and i am destroying it now.

  35. #35
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    Been using a 710mm wide bar with 12deg sweep angled slightly upwards for quite some time now. This season I replaced the 90mm stem I've been using for the past 4 years with a 70mm. So I'm now running 710mm flat with 70mm stem. Just waiting on my new tires so I can see how much of a difference the stem change has made.

  36. #36
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    I started with Mary bars when they were first released and I really like them. They are mounted to a rigid 26" single speed. I rode with them on all sorts of New England trails for 5 years (kingdom trails, millstone, everything in the upper Connecticut river valley, several Vermont 50s). Unlike some earlier riders, I find them better on climbs than flat bars and lofting the front is what they are especially good at. The one place I needed to get used to the bar was technical, steep, off the back descents. Loose grip on the bars and sometimes I would feel they would get yanked from my hands. That didn't last long though, and I was descending with comfort and confidence. Br hey are very comfy bars and with Oury grips, I absolutely enjoy them.

    A brief hiatus from serious mountain biking because of job/training commitments, and now I am back into it. I picked up a rigid 29er single speed from a friend for a bottle of scotch and I am slowly turning it into mine. The Mary bars will be mounted soon. A ride on the stock oversized risers with little sweep confirmed my like for the Mary bars.

    Cheers
    -the rider formerly known as greenfix.

  37. #37
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    Answer pro taper G2 aluminum Cut to 740 mm and 1/2" rise.

  38. #38
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    I have the Answer bars and like them a lot. Stay away from Thomson Alu bars....unless you like to pay $90 for poor finish durability and "Thomson".

    I am not a Thomson hater...I run their stems and seatposts on all my bikes. But their alum bars are a ripoff, plain and simple.

  39. #39
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    truvative noir t30 flat bar 700mm with either 9 or 11 backsweep (cant remembah). it works perfect

  40. #40
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
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    I'm currently running Easton Carbon, flat with 6 degrees of sweep right around 700. I'm real interested in these, though: Ritchey WCS Carbon Bullmoose Integrated Mountain Bar-Stem

  41. #41
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    Man, I love my Enve SWP bar at 740mm wide. Lots of leverage, light weight and looks good.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I'm currently running Easton Carbon, flat with 6 degrees of sweep right around 700. I'm real interested in these, though: Ritchey WCS Carbon Bullmoose Integrated Mountain Bar-Stem
    Ha, leave it to Tom to travel back to the future! They look cool but at the expense of being able to custom tune your bar tilt, also it seems kind of backwards that the wider widths are only available with longer stems.

  43. #43
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    I just picked up a trek superfly SS. Currently have the stock bars on it which are 690mm width. They felt way too narrow for me (I'm 6'4"). I like the look of the syntace gear, so I've got a set of the carbon vectors 760mm wide, 5mm rise, 7deg sweep will see how they go! Also got a 70mm syntace megaforce stem to replace the stock 90mm.

    Waiting till i get a torque wrench to install them though... they are not cheap bars and I don't want to damage them!

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