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Low bar height = good/bad/personal taste?

ncrider

Turbo Monkey
Aug 15, 2004
1,566
0
Los Angeles
After getting more and more into DH racing I'm starting to notice little things that I never really cared about before. Recently, I've been thinking about removing two 1/4 spacers between my headset and upper crown, thus lowering my bars by about 1/2 an inch. My thinking is that this will slightly lower my center of gravity and transfer more weight forward potentially providing more front wheel traction for cornering. My concern is that this my make it more difficult to lift my front end up or that perhaps there is a reason that my bike has two spacers between the headset and upper crown?

Opinions/commets. Is a good idea/bad or just personal preference?

Bike setup:Vpfree, 888 w/flat crowns, and cane kreek headset. Goal: to set bike up best for DH racing.

current floor to grip height 42 3/4", BB height 15 1/4"(no sag) or 13" (w/sag)

edit: I did a search and the only similar thread didn't last past 6 posts.
 

LukeD

Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
751
2
Massachusetts
i think it's definitely personal preference. but for me lower=faster. the front end is actually easier to lift up and i feel the bike turns better...lower center of gravity. my bike setup is..sunday world cup with e13 reducer cups and fsa headset, no dustcap thing or spacers on the headset, boxxer crowns as low as possible, sic stem and easton ea70 1.5" rise bars. very low front end.
 

JeffD

Monkey
Mar 23, 2002
992
0
Macon, GA
Additional added benefits of low bars is that your bike will sprint better and you'll find you're in a better "attack" position to pump stuff and catch backside from.

After a few rides, you'll get used to getting your front end up, etc...
 
Jan 29, 2005
217
0
I prefer as low a front end as possible, i feel it is the most comunicative, and makes the bike more nimble and aggresive. Lifting the front end is no problem.
 
Jan 12, 2005
200
0
Lancashire (U.K)
Tell you what.

Take out the spacers.
Go ride your bike.
If you like the difference then do not replace the spacers. If you dont like the feel of it............................then put them back.

Simple.
 

dG video

I blew a mod to get this title
Feb 25, 2004
2,133
0
vermont
I think the lower the front end the more "agressive" posture you ride with which is good for dh.

Dan
 

dhmtbj

Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
469
1
Boston
I run a 75 mm raceface stem upside down and have a low rise eaton bar on my sunday to keep that front end low with an 8 inch fork. If I set it up higher, cornering is more difficult and I'll lose the front end more often. I'd say go as low as possible without it causing you to flip over:thumb:

as rockymt21 was saying it gets you in a more agressive positon on the bike... this picture sorta shows that but if you can't tell my weight is over the front a good amount.

 

wydopen

Turbo Monkey
Jan 16, 2005
1,232
60
805
lower=better...i used to run a taller rise bar and as soon as i switched i cant ride a tall rise anymore...i havent got new ones for my slalom bike yet and i havent even been riding it cause it feels weird now...i just didnt know any better then..cause i had always ridden a tall bar
 

MOTODH

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2005
1,167
0
CT
the lower the front is the easier to weight the front wheel in turns. definitly the lower the better
 

dG video

I blew a mod to get this title
Feb 25, 2004
2,133
0
vermont
Lower bars also put your weight more over the front which means more weight on the tire which means greater traction and a lower chance of washing out in turns.

Dan
 
May 12, 2005
977
0
roanoke va
lower is better, bla, bla, bla. at 1/2 an inch you will not notice it. it might save you come next sketchy turn, but you will not feel a thing. i just took an inch off mine a few months ago and didn't notice jack. it has most likely helped me but i can't tell.
 

ncrider

Turbo Monkey
Aug 15, 2004
1,566
0
Los Angeles
Ok, so I've taken all your guys advice and removed the spacers. Ended up droping the bars close to 3/4". It is noticable when ridding around the block. I feel much more over the front of the bike and more in tune with the front wheel. Visually it is very noticable. Tomorrow's after work ride will tell me how it truly has changed my ride.
Thanks
 

Spunger

Git yer dumb questions here
Feb 19, 2003
2,258
0
805
I just did the switch as well. I was using a 2" riser Protaper bar, and switched to the lowest riser EA70 bar. Man what a difference in being able to pull up and such. The riser bar felt better for plowing over things but lifting the front end up wasn't as easy as with the low rise bar. I have a small spacer under my top crown with a direct mount stem in the longer of the 2 positions on my Shivers. Makes a huge difference.

I don't have a layback seatpost (dumb Intense design, eats seats) so I felt crammed in the frame. By putting the lower bars on and making the stem go out to the longer position it's money now. On a DJ/4x or something bike a riser bar might be ok, but for DH I love the low rise.
 
Feb 13, 2002
1,079
7
Seattle, WA
Here's a question:

You must be able to get TOO low... Back in the day they started making riser bars for mtbs to lift the bars (or was it for strength reasons).

Is it time we went back to flat bars?
 

Cave Dweller

Monkey
May 6, 2003
993
0
I used to run a 2 inch rise pro-taper, drop crown with spacers (as it hit the frame with them) and a cane creek upper cup.

I changed it to a 1inch rise easton, flat crown and FSA flat 1.5 reducer cup and it feels waaaaayyyyyy better. Its as low as it will go, I managed to shave at least 2 inchs from the handlebar height all up, maybe more.

I did each lowering one step at a time (flat bar first, then new reducer cup then lower crown), a 0.5" drop is noticable, just. Each time it went lower it felt better, more controllable at the front for sure.
 

wydopen

Turbo Monkey
Jan 16, 2005
1,232
60
805
spacemanspiff06 said:
lower is better, bla, bla, bla. at 1/2 an inch you will not notice it. it might save you come next sketchy turn, but you will not feel a thing. i just took an inch off mine a few months ago and didn't notice jack. it has most likely helped me but i can't tell.
:stupid:
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
How about this.....


I Run the Stems on my triple clamp forks UNDER the upper clamp, make it pretty much like you were running a single crown (you do need to have sufficient reach on the upper clamp to hold on to the fork tubes) plus as a nice side effect the forks don't flex at all, the only graw backs... the stem is a little more dificult to adjust and if you crash super hard the bars or maybe the stem can crash into the fork tubes.


sorry I don't have better fotos at the moment..
 

wydopen

Turbo Monkey
Jan 16, 2005
1,232
60
805
i dont know...that looks alittle weird 2 me..ive never seen that before..if it works for you go for it
 

ncrider

Turbo Monkey
Aug 15, 2004
1,566
0
Los Angeles
Yeah that does seem a bit odd, but it may look exagerated do to that ginormous seat post! Anyway if it works for you and it's safe then more power to ya.
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
wydopen said:
i dont know...that looks alittle weird 2 me..ive never seen that before..if it works for you go for it
Dude that is pretty much the History of my life, ussually when you are at the forefront of something is no footprints to follow but does not mean is WrOnG, only emplys is never being done (that you know of) before..

for example..

I have 140.000milles riding like this and pretty much everyday I meet somebody telling me that what they are seeing can not be done.


oh I found another picture of the Nicolai with the stem on the "Right way" for comparation.


 

Cave Dweller

Monkey
May 6, 2003
993
0
Is that a joke??

From the looks of it that tire is going to smack into the frame long before the fork has reached its bottom out point.
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
Basically, just to add one more voice saying the same thing, lower is better. You can get too low, I suppose, but on a DH bike that's pretty hard to do. On my Mountain Cycle 9.5, the BB is BB is high and I have to run my Shiver up in the crowns a bit to get the handling and HA right, so getting the bars low really helps.

I bought new bars a while back and got the widest, lowest I could. I ended up with low-rise Holzfellers, which are awesome. I run those on the integrated crown and it's great. Handling is neutral and I don't need to get over the front to get it to turn correctly.

I see guys running 8 inch forks with like 4 inch rise BMW bars....I don't know how (or why) they do it.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
I've definantly never heard of putting the stem under the upper crowns! But hey, it for works for you, rock out wit you c0ck out! :D


You have quite the stable there too
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
Cave Dweller said:
Is that a joke??

From the looks of it that tire is going to smack into the frame long before the fork has reached its bottom out point.
no No joke......
I Bottom out the forks a few times with 2,8" tyres and the lower fork crown never touch the tyre and oviuslly not the frame
 

Cave Dweller

Monkey
May 6, 2003
993
0
patineto said:
no No joke......
I Bottom out the forks a few times with 2,8" tyres and the lower fork crown never touch the tyre and oviuslly not the frame
Wow, must be a bees dick in it. But hey, if it works then why not :)
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
Cave Dweller said:
Wow, must be a bees dick in it. But hey, if it works then why not :)
to make thing very clear I use a Nokian Gazzaloddi in a D231 mavic rim, the forks were move all the way UP to the recomended "lowest point possible" (is a sticker to mark it) I also have two o-rings (one on each leg) to measure travel and i can confirm they when all the way to the bottom...

what can I say must be a visual effect do to the angle of the camara or something.

now the WB-forks are on my little balfa (888 on the Nicolai) and I keep trying to bottom them out with out any good results, well maybe the proof that i'm still here writing to you guys..
 

Dirtjumper999

Turbo Monkey
Feb 13, 2005
1,563
0
Charlotte, NC
well the vp has a short head tube, so i think that might have a thing to do with why its like that, but i know i like a very low feeling on my whole bike
 

wydopen

Turbo Monkey
Jan 16, 2005
1,232
60
805
patineto said:
Dude that is pretty much the History of my life, ussually when you are at the forefront of something is no footprints to follow but does not mean is WrOnG, only emplys is never being done (that you know of) before..

for example..

I have 140.000milles riding like this and pretty much everyday I meet somebody telling me that what they are seeing can not be done.
what are u on the forefront of???running your stem under your top crown and putting a bike rack on a moto????
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
SirChomps-a-Lot said:
Whats that thing you have bolted onto the top tube right at the head tube?
Yeah I made a Mount to run my Scott's steering damper (motorcycle specific with really thin 2.5 fluid) on my Monster-t fork, but now I need to make a new adaptor plate bracket for the 888,,, that is when I find some Flat crowns for the fork (rissee whatevers).

the damper works really well, you can control the progression the rathius of actuation plus the thing is indestrutible, sorry i don't have any fotos but my camara was broken at the time.. actually that is how i stumble into the idea of the stem under the clamp since i need the space on the top of the clamps for the Scotts damper

the side pieces are made of 1/8" fenolic resin material, very dimensionally stable and super easy to work and bolt into a Delrin block the frame will not get damage no matter what...

what can i say..... i like ToPlaY
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
Hey man, sounds like you are having fun, and thats what this is all about! I woudl love to experiment with my stuff like you have, I just don't have the time, knowhow, or money to fix whatever I screw up!
 

patineto

The RM Mad Scientist
Feb 19, 2002
935
0
berkeley, ca
BigMike said:
Hey man, sounds like you are having fun, and thats what this is all about! I woudl love to experiment with my stuff like you have, I just don't have the time, knowhow, or money to fix whatever I screw up!
Mike I made those pieces with very primitive tools, well a drill(bits, sand disc) and a jigsaw,, well plus a 6X1 tap...

KnowHow,,, right back at you Equal ===> that is how you learn, F^^king Up s^^T.

Time.... If you have time to type on this site, you have time to make funky parts, start slow and on wasted stuff playing Doctor frankestin in no time you be playing with bigger and more complicated things..