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Roll the bars back till you can't ride?

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Hey guys, so i dropped my suspension off to my local guy where i'm from and we got into talking about riding positions. We got on the topic of bar positions and where it should be, currently i have my bars rolled pretty high/ tall to where i like it. I use a Renthal 999 bend twinwall and really enjoy it. When i said this he told me this was bad practice and that i should bring my bars as far back as i can without making it dangerous/can't ride. He said at first you'll hate it but after awhile it i'll be able to ride better because of it. I asked why and he said that if your bars are to high they pivot your fore arms/hands inward causing worse arm pump and numbing of the fingers. How true is this? I like where my bars are set now but if i have to i'll slowly start bringing them down. 

 

How do you guys run your bars and what do you guys recommend>?   

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I never heard arm pump attributed to handlebar position but I'm sure it could contribute to it. If you really think about this, you probably want to be as close to neutral as possible in your handlebar position.  Too far back is not likely correct and neither is too far forward.  I test by riding and adjusting when I put on new handlebars and find the right position.  I find that the best position for standing is not so good for turning and vice versa.  I put mine as much forward as I can while still being able to corner in tight turns comfortably.  In the end I compromise and my standing position is very good but the bike still turns.  Handle bar bends and heights are where it all starts.  The right bend and height will allow the bars to be mounted close to neutral or in the centered position.

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There is a reason there are so many bar bends and clamp sizes out there. Everyone is sized and angled differently. 

While on a stand sitting on the bike in a riding position I will have my elbows up, centered posture, and legs gripping the bike. When you have created a "box" between your bars, chest, and arms that is a start. You should find a spot that usually just feels right.

When in a standing riding position I think the bars are in a good place when you shift your weight from your feet through your arms, like you are using your arms for suspension. When you do that it should feel like your weight is going in a straight line towards the ground. Not to far forward or back.

At least that is how I do it:excuseme:.

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Just out of curiosity, who is your suspension guy?  (Since I live close to you and might possibly use his services in the future.)

I'm not disagreeing but I don't understand the part about high bars pivoting forearms and hands inward.  Is this inward toward the centreline of the bike?  And is it in the horizontal plane, vertical plane, or something else?  Did he say anything about where your head should be with the correct bars and bar position?

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Sounds like really bad advice.  I don't even like bar mounts in the rearward position.  You need to keep your weight forward and bar positioning is important to help keep you in the right spot.

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I've seen/heard the opposite being said. Apperently you want them as far forward as you can go, until the steering starts becoming unnecessarily difficult.

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47 minutes ago, Goatse said:

I've seen/heard the opposite being said. Apperently you want them as far forward as you can go, until the steering starts becoming unnecessarily difficult.

That's how I set mine pretty much.

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That's how I set mine pretty much.


As do I. I feel it keeps the weight over the front as much as possible.
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I think his suspension guy means rolled forward to far brings the end of the bars up which promotes elbow down and in. I start by lining the handle bars up inline with the forks. Then I get behind the bike and make sure they look level with the world with the bike off the stand so suspension is at static sag. Then I go ride and adjust. But usually end up at the original setting. I have found I really like the Stewart/Villapoto bend in the neutral position I described.

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7 hours ago, Max17 said:

Just out of curiosity, who is your suspension guy?  (Since I live close to you and might possibly use his services in the future.)

I'm not disagreeing but I don't understand the part about high bars pivoting forearms and hands inward.  Is this inward toward the centreline of the bike?  And is it in the horizontal plane, vertical plane, or something else?  Did he say anything about where your head should be with the correct bars and bar position?

MP1 suspension! Mike is a fantastic guy and i get him to revalve all my bikes, He does amazing work and when you go to see him you never leave right away! He always loves teaching people things about his work or general dirt biking. Amazing guy who can get a set of forks to work! Go get some suspension work done from him and tell him i send yea! 

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I run mine slightly rolled back, so the ends are ever so slightly downward sloping. But then I'm a shortass (5'6ish) and find I can get over the top of them better to stay forward. The KTM ('06 250sx) one's are in the forward position, the Husky ('09 450 TXC) are in the rearward, but feel similar to sit/stand on. I also cut them down too.

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Bars should be flat maybe less then flat but never pointed up. Pointed up will affect your ability to lean and corner which translates to lost seconds. Everyone can go the same speed on a straight, slower guys tend to push their bikes harder then faster guys on straights because faster guys tend to carry more momentum into and out of corners. Translation, to be fast, set your bars up for corners and the rest should fall together.

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On 4/23/2018 at 0:57 PM, hondaman331 said:

Bars should be flat maybe less then flat but never pointed up. Pointed up will affect your ability to lean and corner which translates to lost seconds. Everyone can go the same speed on a straight, slower guys tend to push their bikes harder then faster guys on straights because faster guys tend to carry more momentum into and out of corners. Translation, to be fast, set your bars up for corners and the rest should fall together.

This.....it's what I have learned over the years too.  It's all about corners.

Something else to add, guys talk about "comfort" and "feels good" like it's the same thing as "fast".  In general, pick one or the other.  A fast / aggressive riding position is going to be physically demanding and will never feel comfortable sitting in you garage listening to the radio drinking a beer.  In the real world, lower, rearward bias positions seem to be what most experienced riders suggest, particularly in moto.  A 3 hr enduro may be a bit different, but not much.

Granted I don't ride MX anymore, but do race woods and the principles are still the same.  I have experimented with bar height a lot recently.  I'm 6-4 and have run everything from CR Hi's to RM Low (the lowest I could find), with and without risers, various states of rotations and various positions on the triple clamps, forward, rear, neutral, etc.

The best position I've found is.....neutral for everything.  Low bars rolled back were the fastest, but are incredibly demanding over the course of a ride.  High bars feel great cruising down flat gravel road while standing pretending your Stephane Peterhansel but suck when trying to turn.  Stock bars, in stock position, maybe rolled back slightly seem to be the best compromise overall. 

But of course injuries and physical limitations need to be taken into consideration....adjust accordingly.

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I've always had mine rolled back about 10-15mm from centered on the triple mount, I typically set my bike up to be most comfortable while seated, and then adjust in my standing position if I need to as terrain and aggression dictates a more aggressive attack position.  Just about all the fast guys I know and ride with have their bars slightly rolled back or centered. I know it's a common suggestion to move bar clamps forward on the triple if you desire better front end grip; in theory it should move your body forward and put more weight on the front end, giving you more traction and better front end feel. But I have always thought that was a bad fix for poor bike geometry or setup; I've tried just about every bar position available on every bikes I've ever owned, and in all type of terrain and different aggression levels; I always go back to my standard slightly rolled back position.  In the end it might be mostly preference, and if you are fast you with bars rolled back, you'll be fast with them rolled forward, it might just lead to more arm and body fatigue in one position or the other.

My suggestion is to try a bunch of different positions, and see how you like it. but don't stop at the bars, play with sag, and fork height in the triple, tire pressure, etc

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Hey guys, so i dropped my suspension off to my local guy where i'm from and we got into talking about riding positions. We got on the topic of bar positions and where it should be, currently i have my bars rolled pretty high/ tall to where i like it. I use a Renthal 999 bend twinwall and really enjoy it. When i said this he told me this was bad practice and that i should bring my bars as far back as i can without making it dangerous/can't ride. He said at first you'll hate it but after awhile it i'll be able to ride better because of it. I asked why and he said that if your bars are to high they pivot your fore arms/hands inward causing worse arm pump and numbing of the fingers. How true is this? I like where my bars are set now but if i have to i'll slowly start bringing them down. 
 
How do you guys run your bars and what do you guys recommend>?   


My personal experience is that the forward roll does exactly as he said. I love the feel of a super open setup and ran it on both my bikes but like he said, you can adjust to the more neutral position after minimal time.

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My personal experience is that the forward roll does exactly as he said. I love the feel of a super open setup and ran it on both my bikes but like he said, you can adjust to the more neutral position after minimal time.
Hmmm, my bars are pretty far forward on my big bike, maybe I'll go roll em back to stockish

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Funny that this came up.  I just rode two bikes back to back.  First one, no arm pump.  Jumped on the second one and immediately could feel the strain.  Thought it was odd, because the second bike is the one I've been riding for years.  Started comparing the bikes and sure enough, my old bike had the bars rolled further forward.  I'd done that because I'm 6'4" with a 34" inseam.  In other words, all torso and arms and I mistaken;y was trying to get just a bit more elevation from the tall bars.  Big difference and I was surprised at how much easier it was to ride after rolling the bars back to neutral.

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That ride engineering article helped me a lot, I used to run my bars way forward but suffered because of it. Even Cody webb who has a huge reach runs them in the rear position...

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