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Handlebar Height
I seem to be forever tweaking my setup, i have been running my bars level or just below the height of my seat (when set to max pedaling efficiency using the 'heel on pedals' method), this puts plenty of weight on the front wheel and therefore gives lots of grip, which in turn means extra speed on the the trails.

the downside thought is when riding drops etc, although i can still ride them it is a bit more 'sketchy' and involves pushing back behind the seat to get weight back even on relatively small stuff.

Just raising the bars by 5mm makes a big difference and inspires confidence on the drops, hovever i seem to loose a huge amount of front end traction making the front end more prone to washout and ultimately resulting in a more conservative speed particularly on flat turns.

so my question do you compromise your setup? long and low or short and high, bars above or below seat? The more I tweak the more i realise even just a couple of mm makes a huge difference in feel.
I think you hit the nail on the head, it'll always be a compromise if you do a mixture of different type's of riding i.e. for pure XC it is always better to be long and low, DH short and slightly higher, so unless you want to change bars, stem and spacer positions before every ride, you'll have to find a happy compromise.  My current setup is spot on for the steep DH's, but hopeless on steep up's as i just can't seem to find the right body position to keep the front wheel down while maintaining grip at the rear, so am thinking of trying a 50mm zero rise stem one day to see if that helps.
my problem is only a mere 6mm of height adjustment so when i run a shorter stem (currently 90mm) the bars end up closer and lower. I got a mid rise bar only to find that the bar ends werent any higher when fitted. Maybe i was just being stupid but I assumed a 30mm rise would place the grips around 10mm higher than than the 20mm rise bars i was previously running.

toying with the idea of trying a high rise bar
Just go for carbon, you'll be too busy fighting off women to worry about how high they are Big Grin
Im plauged with stupid long legs so must have the saddle right up Big Grin ive just learnt to live with it .... although i may try one of those seatposts that drop down and spring back up when A) they become a sensible price, and B) They make one that works !
and C) doesn't weight half a tonne !!
i lowered my bar by 1 spacer and found that it helped climbing, as the front wheel wouldnt get as light.
90mm stem, people still ride with ones that long? Im 6'3 and my saddles 2" above the bars due to long legs, I just have to lower it when having fun but can move around on the bike well anyway due to its long top tube, I use a 70mm stem
just fitted a 70mm stem, in order to get the bars level(ish) with the seat i have had to fit a high rise bar, unfortunately couldnt find what i wanted in 711mm width so have had to settle for 685mm, still the Easton Monkey Lite XC looks great in all its carbon lovelyness!!!
I forgot to say that my saddle is about 2 inches above the bars, which i think is pretty normal going by pictures of other peoples bikes. Was hoping to get a new stem and bars before Afan but i'm skint at the moment Sad

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