Proper cockpit setup is easy if you know what to look for. Vital MTB and Art's Cyclery
will go over a few tips to get your cockpit ready to rip.
Let’s start with handlebar setup: Handlebar widths of between 740-780mm will give you enough leverage to keep the wheel tracking straight in the rocks. Most handlebars are designed to be cut down for a perfect fit.
Clamp the bars down in the stem so that they just barely rise when viewed from the side. Torque the stem faceplate down with a torque wrench to the manufacturer’s specification in a crisscross pattern, slowing adding torque with each pass around the stem’s faceplate.
With modern disc brakes one finger is plenty to get you stopped. Set up your levers so that your braking finger rests next to the upturned end. Brake levers are generally best when set up at around a 45-degree angle relative to the ground. If they are too high, they are hard to reach when you are over the front end of the bike. If they are too low, it is hard to get your weight back on the bike for drops and steep sections of trail.
Keeping the brake lever close to the grip when the brakes are engaged will give you more braking power. Just make sure that you can’t bottom out the lever on your grip, or you could end up with no brakes when you really need them.
Don’t torque your levers down so tight that they won’t move in a crash. The last thing you need after a crash is to discover that your brake lever is snapped off and you have to ride home injured and with no brakes.
Set up your shifters so that they can be used without moving your hand on the grip.