Need help with adjusting my handlebar angle

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4/19/2017 12:24 AM

Hi!

First things first: I really can´t ride for days or even a few weeks when i get new bars or when I move my bars to another position. The Whole bike suddenly feels like shit as soon as something is wrong with my bars.

I even get used to a whole new frame way faster than new bars. As soon as there is something different with my bars my whole bike feels like there is something "wrong".

A few days ago i broke my Federal Churchill bars and got some Federal 4pc. I don´t know why but i got used to them and they feel preatty "OK". I positioned them preatty much forward/Chicago.
Photo

It feels like i can bunny hop a bit higher with them because there is plenty of room between the bars and my knees.

But it also feels a bit like they are too far forward so the Hops feel a bit "slower" compared to my old Federal Churchill.

Do you think that there is something "wrong" with the angle im riding my bars?
Do you think I should align them with my fork like nearly everybody does?
Do you think that they look stupidly wide forward or is my angle still in a "normal" range?

I tend to put them back a few millimeters but i am really scared that the whole bike feels like crap again und i can´t find a better position.

The thread may seems stupid to you but this is really like the biggest problem i can have.

Btw: I mainly jump big stairsets and gaps. I don´t do barspins. I sometimes do 180 or 360 down something but mainly i just jump big gaps/stairsets/roofdrops. Thats also the reason why i allready broke like 3-4 bars since i startet riding two years ago.

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4/19/2017 12:35 AM

Angle them back, so they're inline with your forks. Maybe a touch further forward. If you need the extra room your frame's too short. With your bars like that, when you land your weight is more over the stem and front wheel. So your bars are more likely to slip. It'll also make the front end more responsive, so you're more likely to get sent over the bars if you land a bit dodgy.

A longer frame would cure all those things. The longer wheel base would feel more stable, and would be better for big hops (slower, but higher)

Plus it looks retarded

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4/19/2017 1:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/19/2017 1:29 AM

What you need is a longer stem. It will give you the same effect basically, but will probably feel a lot better.

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4/19/2017 2:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/19/2017 2:26 AM

You'd be surprised, some people are REALLY picky about bar alignment. Like, to the 1/2 degree. Maybe you're not this crazy about it, but I agree with above. Angle them back and adjust very slightly from there.

You'll find your "sweet spot" sooner or later.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

4/19/2017 4:37 AM

Sooo,

At first i want to thank all of you for your really helpfull awnsers.

I just got the balls to loosen the 4 bolds on my Stem and change the angle of my bar again, even though it allready felt allright.

I followed the advice from grumpySteve and just startet parallel to my forks. It looked totally clean but felt like shit to me.

I startet to try every possible angle until it startet to feel okay. After about 5 tries it felt ok (but not perfect) and i noticed that my bars where nearly as chicago as before.

I thought about what ggalin442 and readybmxer said. It may be true for others but i have had a Fiend morrow frame that was way longer than my Federal Churchill frame i am riding now. Even with this frame and some Demolition bars that where nearly as tall as my Federal 4cp i rode them preatty wide forward ->


I guess it´s just my style to look like a ghetto kid rolling arround for trouble with my chicago bars. May you don´t chose the chicago life but the chicago life chooses you!


I am just going to angle my bars the way it feels good to me and if they are wide forward it´s ok for me.

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4/19/2017 7:24 AM



Sam751 wrote:

I am just going to angle my bars the way it feels good to me and if they are wide forward it´s ok for me.




/thread. Do what you like, like what you do.
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4/19/2017 7:55 AM

As a guy who stubbornly rode chicago bars for years thinking the same way you did, it wasn't until i pulled my head out of my ass and angled them parallel with the forks that i was actually able to start ripping, higher hops better control etc etc It could be your frame is too small, you shouldn't be hitting your knees with your bars straight unless your frames to small.Try a longer stem or throw some spacers in there, Also yes it feels weird but after 2 weeks you will thank yourself? And PS never be afraid to loosen or tighten anything on your bike, i actually encourage you to go through the bike and learn the parts and how they work. That way you will know your bike like your fav pair of pants, when somethings not dialed you'll know what to adjust and how. Anyways best of luck with whatever you chose but it wasnt until i forced my self to ride with parallel bars that i started to click with my bike.

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4/19/2017 8:47 AM

First, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your bar position... From the pics your bars are basically straight up and down (they almost look slightly back from straight up and down).

Second, the bars parallel to the fork is a long time "starting point" not mandatory in any way. Being able to shred better with bars parallel to the fork, straight up and down, or Chicago is 100% personal preference.

Here's a quote from Charlie Crumlish from a Ride BMX Magazine interview explaining the need for bars forward, or even Chicago with modern day geo and taller bars:

Why do you ride your bars forward, and not aligned to your forks?

Charlie responded: As bars get taller, they are brought closer to your body because of the angle of the headtube. It’s not 90 degrees straight up–it’s 75-ish degrees and pointed towards you. Say you have two bikes, both of them in line with the forks, one has 8.5″ rise bars and the other has 10″. The 10s will sit a lot closer to the rider’s legs and feel weird. So as I went taller, they kept moving forward and it feels great. Having too short of a front end feels like I don’t get any pop when I pull up. I’m also 6’4″ so it helps make my bike a little longer.

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4/19/2017 9:41 AM

Ahh that makes sense with taller bars I only run 8.5 so wouldn't have thought of this....

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4/19/2017 10:56 AM

Big bars are retarded too

Obviously it depends on the height of the rider. No one seems to care about that though. That's why you get 5' kids riding with 10" bars. Or 6'4" riders riding really short chainstays.

Personal preference is key with all of it. But there's logical solutions to every problem. Like I mentioned before, angling your bars forward will affect the feel of the rest of the bike. Some of that will be negative. So a longer toptube and not quite so forward bars would make everything feel a bit more normal (responsive and stable all in the right places)

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4/19/2017 11:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/19/2017 11:43 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Big bars are retarded too

Obviously it depends on the height of the rider. No one seems to care about that though. That's why ...more

What does being tall and riding a short chainstay have to do with anything? Only negative I can see would be having big feet and hitting your rear axle/ peg...? Are you referencing Mike Hoder, or something?

So, because most riders are 6' and under and running 8.5"-9.25" bars, that means people that are 3-6" taller have to be forced to use the same size bars? That's ludicrous.

I would need a TT of like 22.5"+ in order to comfortably have my bars parallel to my forks. I'd rather have my bars straight up and down with my 21.5" frame thank you.

People with small bar envy need to get over themselves... it's not the 90's, or mid 2000's anymore. You shouldn't be forced to go with back pain, or tilting your head all the way back just to look forward while riding.

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4/19/2017 11:44 AM

Bryan91 wrote:

First, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your bar position... From the pics your bars are basically straight up and down ...more

This. And using Charlie's geo above, the 10" bars are ≈ .388" [horizontally] closer to the rider than the 8.5" bars. I personally wouldn't consider that a trivial amount, but that's just me.

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4/19/2017 11:57 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Big bars are retarded too

Obviously it depends on the height of the rider. No one seems to care about that though. That's why ...more

Bryan91 wrote:

What does being tall and riding a short chainstay have to do with anything? Only negative I can see would be having big feet ...more

Wow, someone pissed in your cereal.

My point is that people often don't think about geometry. They go with whatever is cool. And a short chainstay will feel even shorter to a tall person, because whilst hopping, or in the manual position, their weight would move further back than a short person with the same chainstay length. The taller you are, the more stability you lose.

I'm not saying every tall person with a short chainstay is wrong. Hence I mentioned personal preference is key. The same with bars. A lot of people buy big bars because they're cool, they don't think about what would actually suit their riding style, or what sacrifices you get with big bars.

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4/19/2017 12:02 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Big bars are retarded too

Obviously it depends on the height of the rider. No one seems to care about that though. That's why ...more

You're projecting, Steve. What's negative and normal to you != what's negative and normal for everyone else.

Ride what you like, how you like. End of story.

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4/19/2017 12:32 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Big bars are retarded too

Obviously it depends on the height of the rider. No one seems to care about that though. That's why ...more

GMGuinn wrote:

You're projecting, Steve. What's negative and normal to you != what's negative and normal for everyone else.

Ride what you ...more

I'm not arguing with that in any way whatsoever. I'm just pointing out that some people buy what's cool instead of what suites them. I get that some people like big bars. But some people buy them because they're cool, not because big bars will benefit them in any way

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4/19/2017 12:39 PM

No one pissed in my cheerios Steve. Your "Big bars are retarded too" remark is what made me reply the way I did.

I also grew up riding in the 90's and early 2000's, but I was well under 5'8", so small bars weren't an issue to me back then. Now that I'm 6'3" you couldn't pay me to ride under 9.5" bars.

I could careless if people aesthetically don't like tall bars, or think they "look" retarded, but you and many others (almost) make it out like bars bigger than 9.25" have absolutely no reason/ benefit to be on a 20" bike.

You should know by now that I'm not here to make hard feelings, or personally get butt hurt. The last sentence of my previous post is why I'm so passionate about taller bars and there function over form.

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4/19/2017 12:53 PM

yall need to stop being little bitches, 1° +/- or 0.25" bigger /smaller bars wont make you a better rider or help with your back problems, you can get used do anything after few sessions, its all in your head

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4/19/2017 1:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/19/2017 1:30 PM

^^ That shit may work on someone younger, or more ignorant than me homie, but I've personally purchased my fare share of frames and bars to know what works for me.

You know damn well where talking about 1", or + increments and not 1/4", or 1° micro changes.

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4/19/2017 1:31 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

No one pissed in my cheerios Steve. Your "Big bars are retarded too" remark is what made me reply the way I did.

I also grew ...more

Me saying big bars are retarded was intended to be tongue in cheek. After going back to 8.5 bars I understand why taller bars are preferred by a lot of people. I much prefer the feel of lower bars, but my shoulders don't agree with it! I personally couldn't stand the feel of 9" bars with a topload stem, and that made me question why so many people get massive bars, especially shorter people. Some bars just seen excessively big for the rider. And all I was trying to say is, for some people it seems to be fashion over function

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4/19/2017 1:38 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

I'm not arguing with that in any way whatsoever. I'm just pointing out that some people buy what's cool instead of what suites ...more

Definitely true, I'll gladly grant you that.

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4/19/2017 1:44 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Me saying big bars are retarded was intended to be tongue in cheek. After going back to 8.5 bars I understand why taller bars ...more

No worries man.

I've personally seen BMX as way to expensive to buy stuff that isn't suited for the rider/ type of riding people do. It takes me months (even sometimes a year) to pull the trigger and buy my parts.

I forget that there's probably a bunch of little Timmy's at 5'4" and under that want the same height bars as Hoder, Crumlish, or David Grant...

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4/19/2017 3:32 PM

I ride mine a little bit forward. I've always had them like that my entire 20+ years of riding. I'm 6'2" and on a spaced top load and 9" bars and they feel great to me. Who cares, ride what's comfortable and allows you to shred! Photo

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4/19/2017 3:47 PM

modern geometry has moved the bars farther forward a little, so if you combine that with taller bars they probably cancel eachother out. 74 degree headtube with 7.5 bars or 75 degree with 8.5 bars. the 75 degree headtube is probably farther forward by more than half a degree right?

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4/19/2017 8:22 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Angle them back, so they're inline with your forks. Maybe a touch further forward. If you need the extra room your frame's too ...more

100% correct.

If you need your bars like that for room you need a longer frame. Inline with the forks or a tad forward is normal but that picture is crazy and could cause a big issue and crash

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4/20/2017 6:47 AM

Just try different things. I find that my bike is more responsive and relaxed feeling in the air with my bars forward, everything except manuals are easier. For 2 years I rode my bars even but Last year I started pushing them forward and I love what it does honestly and will never go back (pun intended).

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4/20/2017 7:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/20/2017 8:29 AM

Gack2000 wrote:

100% correct.

If you need your bars like that for room you need a longer frame. Inline with the forks or a tad forward is ...more

It's one thing to agree with how Steve and others personally set up there bikes, but your claim of "picture is crazy and could cause a big issue and crash" is 100% BS and false...

Unless you want to divulge something I'm unaware of, or what you wrote was just sarcasm?

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4/20/2017 8:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/20/2017 8:10 AM

ggallin422 wrote:

modern geometry has moved the bars farther forward a little, so if you combine that with taller bars they probably cancel ...more

I'm pretty sure your correct on the old vs. new HT angles not really mattering much regarding bar postilion.

What I meant when I referenced "modern geo" was the taller stack/ rise top load stems and 9"+ bars more commonly in use today vs. the slammed front loads and 7"-8" bars most used back in the day.

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4/20/2017 9:20 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Angle them back, so they're inline with your forks. Maybe a touch further forward. If you need the extra room your frame's too ...more

Gack2000 wrote:

100% correct.

If you need your bars like that for room you need a longer frame. Inline with the forks or a tad forward is ...more

Bryan91 wrote:

It's one thing to agree with how Steve and others personally set up there bikes, but your claim of "picture is crazy and could ...more

All I can think of is, landing heavy, both wheels pretty much at the same time, they'd be a lot more of your weight over the stem area, which would cause your bars to slip. It could even be the reason the op has broken bars in the past. That and forward bars make your steering a bit twitchier, so you'd be more likely to wobble all over the place if you land a bit dodgy

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4/20/2017 11:19 AM

At first i want to thank every single one of you! I realy appreciate that you want to help me with angling my bar.
I tried all kind of different angles since i startet this thread and i came to a conclution.

I like my bars best when they are perfectly perpendicular. Everything else feels unnatural and it´s not even that i have problems with hitting the bars to my knees. It just does not feel good and im not capable of hop as high as i can.

Even though im realy thankfull for all of your awnsers and the duscussion, i came to the conclution that it would have been best if i just didn´t give a fuck and rode the bars the way i want.

I some kind of wastet a few hours riding with my bars angled the way "they should be" and it gave me nothing but anger while riding.

If anyone is ever going to find this thread and is facing the same "problem": You sould not listen to whatever anyone is saying about your style. Just do what feels good and don´t do anything just because everybode else does it.

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4/20/2017 11:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/20/2017 11:31 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

All I can think of is, landing heavy, both wheels pretty much at the same time, they'd be a lot more of your weight over the ...more

Interesting Steve. Everything I've looked up in the past say's that a shorter stem is more responsive (twitchy) and a longer stem is less responsive (sluggish). Moving your bars forward is essentially the same thing as increasing the length of your stem. Have you experienced more twitch/ response from previously moving your bars forward Steve?

In the past when I was dialing in my set up, bars parallel to the fork felt slightly more responsive/ twitchy vs. straight up and down, or slightly back (I also have a 55mm reach stem and just generally prefer my bars straight up and down, or slightly back if that means anything). I've also never had problems with my 9", or 10" S&M bars slipping, or breaking when dropping to flat from about 5'+. S&M has some awesome aggressive knurling though!


Also, glad you got your set up dialed in Sam.

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