MTB Bars

Which is best, why are all the bikes now sold with the rise bars and not flat with bar ends?

Surely flat bars are stronger and lighter?



  • Probably fashion ?

    Or what stems are they putting on - they used to be angled up so you didn't need the riser bars.
  • Cougs, probably get panned for this but I used to like my bar ends (ahem) getting hold of them and powering, ok wheezing my way up hills but have never seen a riser bar with a bar end?

  • I loved my X lite bar ends - I used to ride on them all the time. Like a very wide pair of Tribars. And you could get quite low on them too.

    Very functional for climbing too.

    Where is MMmmm or Gary T and WW - they are MTBers I think ?
  • I prefer the riser bars as they are slightly angled towards me and therefore at right-angles to my outstretched arms; whereas a wide set of flat bars would force my wrists to rotate outwards if you see what I mean. However if you are into narrower bars then flats can be fine with a set of bar-ends.

    There is also slightly more adjustability with risers since you can rotate them toward or away from you.

    Errr... and they look nicer :-)
  • Told ya ! Fashion !

    Bet the flat bars will be back next year.

    Do peeps not use bar ends anymore ?
  • when they first started being used it was a radical rebellious move...
    ...putting emphasis on comfort rather than style.

    slowly but surely _everyone_ adopted them cos it was the style! (and possibly cos they're more comfortable)

    you can still get straight bars & bar ends, bad idea on risers though due to the swept back angle.
  • Ah ha, Cougie your right!

    I just remember seeing them on the gnarly (is that actually a word) down hill bikes when they came out, but suddenly they seem to be on the XC bikes as well.

    So it'll be a trip to get some boring flat bars and bar ends at the weekend!

    Cheers guys
  • Aaaaaah Gnarly.

    That takes me back.

    We must reintroduce it !
  • What about


    Now there's a word you probably haven't heard in a while!

  • Risers every time, although depends what you want them for.

    Flat bars force you into more of a racing position and dont give you the same control on rougher terrain as a decent riser. Flats tend to be a bit narrower as well which also give you less control.

    There are still a lot of XC mtb's that sell with flats as standard (I think the Spesh Stumpjumper hardtail is one example).
  • It depends on what yer using yer bike for...

    Risers give more control, and manouverability on gnarly singletracky stuff (thus DH bars first)... but flats put you more in a 'roadie' position.. good for lond all day flatish trails...

    Oh and risers are generally wider than flats too so can have greater steering input and feedback with them...

    I like the comfort and feel of risers... alter yer seat position when you change from falts to risers and you get used to it and don't miss yer barends too much on the hills either...

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    I've got flats but have been thinking of changing over to risers as the riding position with the flats does give me a bit of back ache so riding higher should cure that........but will I miss my bar-ends which I do like....decisions, decisions...
  • higher and further back too....

    and ya' get used to no barends.. due to the curve of the bar ya' get more leaverage anyhow for out of seat 'hoiking' up hills where barends were useful for on flatties...

    Give it a try, see how it goes... Anyhow there's someone here at wuk who has real wide cowhorn risers AND barends...

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    haha - I know - take a pair of drop handlebars and turn then upside down......real cowhorn bars then......will ride with back vertical...

  • I put a pair of 26" risers on my mtb and it was the best and cheapest upgrade I had. The bike came with 24" flats so the control was sh!te.

    I never really liked bar ends, although can see they help on longer rides. Risers are much better going up hills than with bar ends. As for going downhill, there is no comparison.

    Discussing this makes me realise my bike is in severe need of being replaced,
  • I understand about 1 word in every 4 on this thread.
  • if you want higher & further back... change the stem!

    the leverage due to curve argument doesnt wash.
  • Ed_m

    Thats cleared it up then!
  • ed,

    risers defo give you more control for the rough stuff, thats why all the downhill bikes have a higher rise. You dont need them further back either, mine are slightly fwd but the rise puts your contact points (your hands) slightly higher than the stem giving a lot more control. Note the rise on BMX and trial bike set ups.

    If you want speed and light, go for narrow flats - wouldn't disagree with you there. If you prefer a bit more control, go for wider risers (the sweep/rise/width depends on wheher you want to go for X-C, general trail, freeride, or dhill).

  • Try riding a freeride course with flats, that would be a laugh.

  • Ed,
    S'upto thee.... lots of XC racers keep flats... but lots of XT racers are fit as feck and roadie train...

    'they' ain't the best when it comes to technical.. if they were they'd be in DH where the money is! and stem rise and stem length come into it sure...
    but risers allow more upright, without altering stem length so not making it more twitchy.. or too twitchy...

    but you and I ahve had 'disagreements' in the past on mtb'ing... sorry... but I don't think the rarified field of elite xc racing is 'typical' mtb'ing....
  • So is this why I was pants at descents ?

    I remember racing the Nationals in Shrewsbury and kicking this guys ass on his expensive tricked out beast on a climb, only for him to come blasting past me on the downhill.

    Unfortunately he clipped a tree stump and spun off down the hill, never to be seen again. (tee hee)

  • Agree with that,

    and I dont see Steve Peat using flats ever, nuff said surely.

    If you like it twitchy stick with the flats - they're brill if you're a cycle courier with 12" bars and slim jim tyres.
  • Cougie..
    DH.. fastest = keep telling yerself that you have no brakes....

    wuks everytime!
  • coughie, what did you race, XC?

    I want to take up an alternative sport but am thinking of either triathlon, adventure racing, or XC mtb.



  • Triathlon!
  • Gary - yeah XC. Liked that a lot.

    Packed it in when I realised it took me longer to clean the bike than the race lasted.
  • i still don't get it....

    you can still get the contact points (i.e. where you're hands go) in exactly the same place as risers by stem choice on straight bars (not flatties eh? they're clearly pedals!)

    if the position is the same, the forces & reactions will be the same.. so whats the difference? just the angle of the bar as far as i can see, which is more to do with comfort than handling/climbing.

    i dont disagree that these are the various experiences you've all had with risers vs. straight bars but the justification doesn't fit.
    if the contact points are the same position, the stem & bar shape is irrelevant.. that's just physics.
  • Is it in any related to the position of your body or more the fact you get more leverage out of your arms from an upright position than one over at an angle?

    Or am I talking out of my arse again?
  • Best get one of those Specialized split saddles if you're gonna do that Calf. ;-)
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