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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:22 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:25 am
Posts: 60
Location: Kansas
You are not alone at all. I too come from a time when the first thing we did was pull the factory stem and riser bars and install some insanely long, flat stem and a flat bar. Usually very narrow. My first real mountain bike was a Klein Pinnacle and it had a nice short, upward rise ally stem and riser bars. Very comfortable and of course I took them right off! But if you look back at a lot of the early mtbs many of them had a similar set up and probably rode great. Anyway just in the last couple of years have I come to realize that I now need that sort of a set up as I near 60 years old. I can ride longer and harder with much less pain in my back and neck with high stem, riser bar. And oddly enough my 2013 Trek Super Fly Al has a high front end that feels very similar to my old Merlin with a short, high stem and 1" riser bars. Go figure.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:27 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 159
Location: Salt Lake City Utah USA
They may not be Period...
Image

But they are so much more comfortable..
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:13 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8202
Location: New Forest, UK
I find it's the backsweep that makes most difference for wrist pain. If my wrists hurt I then use my back more and get pain.

Ritchey (can't remember which) and Titec (Flat Tracker) make flat bars with a decent amount of sweep without going the whole hog of an On-One Mary (which is on the tandem). Extra sweep transformed comfort for me on my 1994 Lava Dome.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:41 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Posts: 4756
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
I was okay until I put a bouncy fork on my '97 Explosif...

...until then I had been a sworn lifelong member of the long stem/flat bar club; strangely, as mentioned in the OP, different bikes with a similar setup have a very different 'feel?'

My rigid cro-mega has a 160mm/0 degree stem with a Brahma Bar; my rigid blue 'Wot' has a 120mm/10 degree Ritchey stem with a flat Ritchey bar (and now blue ano. Xlite bar ends) whilst the red 'Wot' has a 120mm/10 degree Bontrager stem with a Mary Bar; the hardtail Explosif has an adjustable 120mm stem (set to 0 degrees) with a Brahma Bar.

What has really surprised me is the fact that the rigid blue 'Wot' is the most comfortable of the lot, whilst the Explosif causes pins and needles in my hands and fingers; go figure?? :|

As for risers being PC (Period Correct in this case :lol: ) I think 'risers' have been around for a lot longer that flats...

...if the stem/bar/fork combo' is okay then even the aesthetics are perfectly acceptable 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:55 pm 
The Guv'nor
The Guv'nor
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:19 pm
Posts: 23175
Location: Retrobike HQ
Jon, Jon, Jon. Might I refer you to the wise words of a certain Ms Houston > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J538b-OLRU


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:07 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:00 pm
Posts: 959
Location: Hunting down the "foxes" of lincolnshire
My compromise is a cast alloy stem (80-100 with some rise) with swept flat bars - in fact this mimics my first bike bitd (-'87) so it may in part just be familiarity. The sweep puts your wrists in a "riser" bar position and the stem makes you a little more upright.

I'd say that this position is naturally balanced as I don't carry any weight on my hands at all - which seems to be the common thread in all bike fitting.

Though my Elite has a long top tube and flat 120 stem and bars and quite some reach for a sh*rt a*se! (TBH it's more short trunk) :lol: Though I can ride it 30 miles reasonably comfy. I find that my behind always wants to go backwards, to an even more stretched out position and therefore more negative neck rotation to compensate. (My current thinking though is that the saddle needs to go even further back thus increasing offset and improving balance and hence below...).

Been also looking at this a lot as I've taken up road cycling and all the myriad of factors involved there.

IMHO a stretched position isn't too bad (even for the neck) if you can get sufficient rotation of the pelvis, which means a proportionately higher post position, but this fails dismally if you end up turtle necking (long arm reach / upright but rounded back and shoulders).

I think the position of the saddle offset is more significant than a lot realize too - and that of course is different on all bikes with saddle shape and position, even its level / seat tube angle and crank sizes.

In answer to your question if risers were around in '82-87 then they're perfectly acceptable now 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:29 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Posts: 4756
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
Nobody has mentioned the difference that the 'right' type/make of grips makes yet...

...my blue 'Wot' has Ourys (most comfortable); the red 'Wot' has big, cushioned Lizardskin lock-ons (not as comfortable as I expected); and the Explosif has the Brahma Bar grips that are thin on the 'bar end' part of the bar and much thicker on the actual 'grip' (actually rock hard when riding!) so there is a lot to said for a bit of experimentation in that respect.

The good old Ritchey Truegrip still has a lot going for it...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:01 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 2784
Hah.... Amatuers the lot of ya!

I've got matching 90mm and 130mm Thompson stems, with matching Easton CNT carbon flats and risers for a direct comparison
So far I prefer the 130mm / flats, as I get bad wrists on both set-ups :facepalm: , as I obviously don't have bar ends on the risers :lol:


G


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:17 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:33 am
Posts: 2918
Location: daaan saaaf
One thing I have noticed on this forum is how many people seem to ride bikes with very small frames; 6 foot riders with 17" frames and 9 or 10 inches of seat post sticking out. I'm only 5' 8", in very thick socks, and I ride an 18 or 19 inch frame and I will generally have 6 or 7 inches of seat post. Smaller than that and I feel like the handlebars are too close to me but too low, the bars feel like they're under me, rather than in front of me.

I realise that some frame designs have very sloped top tubes, so seat tube length varies considerably all other things being equal, but smaller frames generally have a shorter head tube, so with a lot of seat post the handlebars will be very low in comparison to the saddle.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:06 pm 
BoTY Winner
BoTY Winner
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:39 pm
Posts: 2568
Location: Durango CO, USA
I'll offer a dissenting opinion. Please let it be just that. I think it's fantastic that you guys ride your old bikes, but why do so many try to put round pegs into square holes by trying to modify vintage technology to perform to modern standards? Let vintage bikes be just that - beautiful examples of aged technology. Wonderfully uncomfortable and frustrating to ride. I wouldn't get into a 68 Mustang and expect my back to feel great after a three hour drive. Nor would I be disappointed that The Godfather isn't available in HD.

I ride the hell out my vintage bikes, but I'm loving them because of their faults. Rigid forks, bad brakes, shit tires all create a different trail experience. Lowering the limit bar turns a normal ride into more of a challenge.

There are many, many posts like these. Your Manitou 2 fork will suck no matter what you do to it. Your cantilever brakes will always perform poorly when compared to V-brakes or discs. I feel many on this site would be happier with a modern 29'er.


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