Are riser bars the answer?

eamonfire Posts: 4
edited October 2009 in MTB beginners
I have recently purchased a 2009 Scott Scale 50 but I am finding the riding position a touch uncomfortable (I know I should have tried it first but I couldn't wait)
I have been told that riser bars would make the ride comfier does anyone have any thoughts on this and if you think I should try a riser bar any recommendations?


  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Or raise the bars if you have any spacers above the stem.
  • NormalD
    NormalD Posts: 145
    Define uncomfortable. What hurts? Or does it just feel awkward in some way?
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  • The pain is in my palms like there is too much pressure on them I feel like I want to bit more sit up and beg
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  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    eamonfire wrote:
    I have been told that riser bars would make the ride comfier does anyone have any thoughts on this and if you think I should try a riser bar any recommendations?
    A riser bar will always reduce the pressure on your palms providing it's not too wide. Go for a low riser approx the same width as your flat bar. If you find it uncomfortably wide you can cut it down with a fine-bladed hacksaw.

    You may find the sit-up-and-beg position puts more weight on your saddle, in which case you will need a different one which inevitably won't fit/match your seatpost/grips/stem/bars...and so on and so on...
  • There are pro's & con's...
    The riser type bars give great control, particularly downhill. If you try & tackle a tricky, steep uphill track using them they are hopeless. I like them because I have a spinal injury from a cyclo cross crash & like to be more upright nowadays.. :P
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    A really stupid question, but do you have a really good set of gel gloves? They might make all the difference
  • Jayng
    Jayng Posts: 53
    diy wrote:
    A really stupid question, but do you have a really good set of gel gloves? They might make all the difference

    I agree a good set of gloves might do the trick. Maybe even looking into changing your grips to something with more cushion. If budget permits, a carbon handle bar?
  • dave_hill
    dave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Cushioning your hands with gel gloves or thing springy grips can be counter-productive - they actually allow your hands to move more and you'll end up with blisters. Believe it or not thin palms and reasonably hard grips are better, with a lighter grip.

    Back to the original question though - it may be that simply rotating the bars to adjust the position of your hands may be enough.

    Personally I prefer a high-rise, wide bar with a short stem - I don't find them a problem when climbing.
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  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Yes a light grip is key, but that is all about posture, not grip. Given this is the newbie section I think its probably too much to focus on, when starting out.
  • jweston
    jweston Posts: 37
    You cold try not putting so much weight on the bars, by trying to hold your self up with 'core' muscles in your abdomen?

    If you still feel that riser bars would help, you could ask your local bike shop really nicely if they'll trail a few different ones on the bike for you? The guys at my LBS spent ages with me trying different length stems on my road bike.

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  • Thanks for all your responses I have changed to low risers after trying a few and they ride is now much better and control vastly improved although, to be fair I am still hopeless
  • NatoED
    NatoED Posts: 480
    also try to rotate the controls round the bar . Sit on the saddle and place your fingers flat on the brake levers. If they are not in-line with your forearm (pointing up slightly ) then rotate the levers round so your fingers run parallel with your forearm . This does 2 things 1st puts less pressure on your wrist allowing more blood to to flow to your fingers and 2nd puts the bar across your fatty part of the hand where there is more padding under the skin.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Has anyone suggested rotating the handlebar slightly? I find it most comfortable when the sweep of the bars is in line with my arms (in a seated position), but your ideal setup may be slightly different.
  • scale20
    scale20 Posts: 1,300
    Had the same problem with my old scale 20. With the standard flat bars I was bent over too far giving a bit of back pain and painful palms, Swapped to a set of low risers and it sorted it a treat. I was sat up a little more when riding but my back was fine after.
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  • x-isle
    x-isle Posts: 794
    I had exactly the same issue when I bought a Scale 50 a few years ago.

    The bike is designed as an XC racer, so you are perched like a dragcar.

    I too found it a little uncomfortable, so I purchased a different angled stem which raised the bars and some carbon bars that had a slight rise on.

    The photo below shows them on the bike;

    Craig Rogers
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    I too had pain in the palms (a pressure effect, not movement), I found REDUCING the rise put a more solid weight on the palms and seemed to help, but I also went for less backsweep a the same time and it could have been that....

    Just ordered a set of carbon flats LOL, so see how they go!

    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • Virtually everyone I have seen review the Scale range has suggested fitting risers. I have exactly the same issue with my Scale 30, it's quite stretched out and alot of weight is on the heels of your hands, the furthest I have been on mine so far in one ride is about a dozen miles, and to be honest I wouldn't want to go any further with the flat bar, I always finish with numb outer parts of my hand and little fingers. It's probably best to try a low riser and a full riser to see what gives you the best advantage though, before you part with your hard earned cash.

    In my estimation, not the wrong bike, it's just that the racing style doesn't suit all of us.
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