Bar height with Duncan Riffle. You might not be tall, wear ironic facial hair, or have lightning bolts tattooed on your calves, but this piece on Vital is super interesting, and asks a question I think a lot of people should be thinking about.
If your front end looks like the photo below, ask yourself: why do I run my bike like this?
I used to run a slammed front end. I thought it felt awesome, and it really matched my riding style at the time. Unfortunately, my riding style at the time sucked, and the low front end just kept me in the same rut. I used to have all my weight on my hands, and my rear wheel would skip and drift around everywhere I went. When I crashed, it was always over the handlebars. You can’t rip a turn with your weight on your hands.
With a low front end, your weight goes to your hands. Your weight should be on your feet when you turn. Watch Brendan Fairclough ride. His riding style is an extreme example, but his front wheel barely touches the ground when he rides. He’s manualing over bumps and through turns. There should be very little force going to your hands when you turn, and it should be almost entirely in the first part of the turn.
It was only once my bars and fork started getting taller that my weight started moving towards the back of the bike and onto my rear wheel. Now, I can actually turn. As an added bonus, I also don’t get sent over the bars every time shit goes South.
High=awesome. Lecture over.
By the way, Team Robot lifecoach and Carrottop stunt double Patrick Funk told me to run my front end higher about 5 years ago, and I thought he was crazy. Patrick, you told me so.