Bar Height

Shredden

Knows his goats
Hey guys,

I'm curious to hear what sort of bar height you guys are running. I think the drop from saddle to handlebar is also relevant here?

For context, I am 6'3 and riding an XL Banshee Rune V3. On both this bike and my last (which was a Kona Process 153) I have felt two things while riding:
  • Difficult to manual (as in hard to pull up the front wheel) compared to other bikes I've owned in the past.
  • I get sore palms/hands when doing longer climbs (I climbed mystic a few times earlier in the year and it was pretty painful toward the end).
Initially I put these two issues down to longer reach on these bikes compared to my previous bikes (which were all usually older 26" DH bikes) with reach ~400mm compared to ~500mm on the new bikes.

However, I'm thinking I should give more thought to bar height. I've ordered a pair of bars with a 40mm rise (vs. 20mm on my current bars) and with my current setup I can put another 5mm spacer under the stem (or lower the stem by about 15mm if I don't like the high rise bars).

What I am trying to do is get a feel for what's "normal", especially for the taller guys out there. I have seen some of the taller pros (Jack Moir and Greg Minaar) both run very high front ends, but it's hard to get firm numbers.

Mine are:
  • 105cm from end of bar to ground.
  • 113cm from top of saddle to ground.
  • 8cm drop from top of saddle to handlebar.
Keen to hear yours, and any feedback you have on these numbers.

Cheers.
 

frenchman

Eats cheese. Sells crack.
There’s no normal waterboy.

If you ride steep shit then get higher cockpit so you don’t feel like you’re squiding on the front wheel cos ur fork has fuck all mid stroke.
otherwise slam that cockpit and “schralp” ur way down the grade 3 flow.
 

Wake Jake

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I'm the same height as you run 40mm rise bars with 35mm of spacers. Gives me a 113cm bar. Anything under 112cm just pitches my weight too far forward. I find the mildly sore palms for me are 78-79° STA but that's as to be expected given the weight bias.
 

Shredden

Knows his goats
If you ride steep shit then get higher cockpit so you don’t feel like you’re squiding on the front wheel cos ur fork has fuck all mid stroke. otherwise slam that cockpit and “schralp” ur way down the grade 3 flow.
That's a good point, my riding is about 50/50 between flat flow stuff (like Harcourt) and very steep loamy pine trails. So I guess I've gotta find a balance...

I'm the same height as you run 40mm rise bars with 35mm of spacers. Gives me a 113cm bar. Anything under 112cm just pitches my weight too far forward. I find the mildly sore palms for me are 78-79° STA but that's as to be expected given the weight bias.
Thanks for that, about 5cm higher than I am running sounds like it might be more comfortable. Do you have trouble weighting the front wheel in corners? I feel like cornering ability was that people would bring up when I was racing DH and flat bars with flat crowns were on trend.

What size stem? A 30-35mm one would suit your size on that bike.
It's a 40mm stem at the moment with 0 degree rise. Going to 35mm did cross my mind. Theres some areas of my life I'd pay $100 for a 5mm difference in length but I'm not sure the stem is one of them... Might have to find a cheapie to try first before getting a fancy CNCed one.
 

The Reverend

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I'm 193cms tall.

I'd expect most of my measurements to be about the same. These are FS 29" bikes.

Bike #1
Handlebar to ground 111cms
Saddle to ground 116cms
780mm bars with 27.5mm rise and 15mm spacers.

Bike #2
Handlebar to ground 112cms
Saddle to ground 117cms
800mm bars with 35mm rise and 20mm spacers.

bb to saddle height is 84cms on both bikes.

Bike 1 feels the most comfortable and there's no hand pain whatsoever.
 

RealizE

Likes Bikes
Your sore hands could be sweep related. I have always suffered with sore hands riding to the trails along the cycle ways, but once on the dirt it went away, presumably because I am standing more or moving around. Regardless, I switched from regular 50mm risers (Spank spike) to a bar with almost no rise, but more sweep and that pain all but went away.

It could be a total placebo like most of my "upgrades" so YMMV.

See:
 

DMan

shawly the least hangeriest guy on rotorburn
There’s no normal waterboy.

If you ride steep shit then get higher cockpit so you don’t feel like you’re squiding on the front wheel cos ur fork has fuck all mid stroke.
otherwise slam that cockpit and “schralp” ur way down the grade 3 flow.
I'm confused. I thought the idea was to have a lower bar height for climbing for a lower centre of gravity and more traction? Higher bars for smashing down? I only ask as I'm trying to find the "magical" balancing point between stem length and bar height too at the moment for comfort and "performance" and maybe I'm looking at it wrong?
 

Tubbsy

Steals ice cream.
Staff member
192cm tall.

Paradox (130mm fork)
Top of grips to ground: 108cm
Top of saddle to ground: 113cm

Highlander (160mm fork)
Top of grips to ground: 112cm
Top of saddle to ground: 117cm

Both running 780mm SQlab 45 risers with 12deg backsweep.
BB to saddle in the range of 800-830 for both, but I don't spend much of the ride at 'full roadie extension'


Interesting thread, not sure if a hardtail to dually comparison is completely relevant for hand pain with all other variables to consider, but I might start investigating getting them as close as possible out of curiosity.
 

Mattyp

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Its the relationship between BB and bars that is probably most important. (You're not on your seat when your Shredden down a loamy pine trail) I setup all my bikes as similar as possible, so no matter what I'm riding it all feels the same..HT has bars slightly higher due to no sag In the rear.
 

DuncanJenkins

Likes Bikes
I reckon my sweep isn't far back enough, I get sore on the outside of my palms after a long seated ride. I'll roll my bars back and see how I go.

The biggest reason for not doing so up to now has been because I'm lazy and I don't want to adjust my levers and shifter!
 

frenchman

Eats cheese. Sells crack.
I'm confused. I thought the idea was to have a lower bar height for climbing for a lower centre of gravity and more traction? Higher bars for smashing down? I only ask as I'm trying to find the "magical" balancing point between stem length and bar height too at the moment for comfort and "performance" and maybe I'm looking at it wrong?
I’m not qualified to make a comment about bar height and climbing, but for the steeps having a higher bar allows you to get further back when ur digging heals in for a bit of extra braking traction.
comfort is always second for me, if I need to ride for 8 hours to enjoy myself I’d just switch to taking tabs of acid.
 
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