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July 18, 2022, 9:54 a.m. -  Andrew Major

Yes, start with the freebies. Brake levers in the right position with the right reach. Shifter (and dropper remote if spec) in the right position. Bar height optimized within the stock range. And please, cut bars that are too wide. The range between personal preference and ride-ruining is fairly obvious to look at even if the exact inflection point is nuanced. β€”β€”β€” My experience - note, highly generalized with plenty of specific exemptions - selling bikes to older riders planning to hit trails is the perfect position is often higher than the steerer tube is able to accommodate with the stock cockpit. Invariably there’s a new higher-rise bar in the conversation. Too wide is very common, but also too low. Especially on larger sized bikes. One of the cool things about budget bikes with current geo is you can go a lot higher with the bar without compromising handling (Reach + HTA?!). Also, many 40mm & 50mm riser bar options available now at various price points. Not a hard swap to sort.

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