29er handlebar position

Dear Lee:

First off, thanks for sharing your wisdom in Mastering Mountain Bike Skills — I’m doing my best to suck less.

I ride a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er and am wondering if your advice on handlebar position (both in the book and with your lovely graphic on the website) applies equally to 29ers? Or do the larger wheels imply lower bars?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I hope all is well with you.

Scott T

Hey Scott!

Things are pinned but good. The Twins are 15 months old: tiny, mighty and perfect. They think a Strider is for chewing. Thanks for asking.

Here’s that graphic:

From Handlebar position: the secret revealed

The relationship between your bars and saddle (or — if you Ride with a capital R — your bars and bottom bracket) should be the same with any size wheels.

29ers use lower-rise stems and bars than 26ers because 29ers’ wheels are bigger and put the tops of their head tubes higher. If you measure the locations of the important reference points — bottom bracket, saddle and bars — your 26er and 29er should fit the same.

On the other end of the spectrum, my Intense Factory Alloy 20″ is very low, rather long, very racy. That low bar placement has informed my trail bike setup, and now I run my Stumpy’s bars as low as I can. They’re a bit low while I’m in the saddle, but they’re perfect when the seat is lowered and it’s braaap time.


— Lee

PS: I too am trying to suck less.

Know more. Have more fun!

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