How Wide Are Your Bars?

AmyPJ

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And more importantly, how wide is TOO wide, and has bar width gone the way of ski width, and gone overboard in many instances?

Mine are 750mm; I have been cutting them down to 720 until this year, when I got it into my head that "wider is better". Well, my cornering has progressively gotten worse, my downhill times are WAY off of last year, and I've had splitting headaches and neck aches almost daily. I am cutting them down to 720 tonight.

I looked at a fairly simple calculator that LeeLikesBikes has on his website (had to create a membership) and according to that, I should be at 702mm (yes, seven oh two.) Considering that 720 felt pretty damn good for two seasons, I'm going to go with that. But, it did make me realize that 750mm is WAY wider than my shoulders, and is too wide, no matter what some shredding riders say.

So, how wide are your bars? And, why?
 

scott43

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Yeah wide bars are all the rage now..it will probably go back a bit. Shorter stems enable wider bars in a way and we've gone short stem and slack head angle these days. Ultimately it does depend on comfort for sure so if you're uncomfortable, ask a good shop to see what they think and have at it.
 

Tricia

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And more importantly, how wide is TOO wide, and has bar width gone the way of ski width, and gone overboard in many instances?

Mine are 750mm; I have been cutting them down to 720 until this year, when I got it into my head that "wider is better". Well, my cornering has progressively gotten worse, my downhill times are WAY off of last year, and I've had splitting headaches and neck aches almost daily. I am cutting them down to 720 tonight.

I looked at a fairly simple calculator that LeeLikesBikes has on his website (had to create a membership) and according to that, I should be at 702mm (yes, seven oh two.) Considering that 720 felt pretty damn good for two seasons, I'm going to go with that. But, it did make me realize that 750mm is WAY wider than my shoulders, and is too wide, no matter what some shredding riders say.

So, how wide are your bars? And, why?
Funny you should mention this.
Mine (and Phil's) are 31 inches.
I like the wider span on my current bars but I can absolutely see being too wide for someone who is skinnier like @Rainbow Jenny
I remember watching her test ride a mountain bike in Truckee and it looked like her arms were maxed out in wing span.
 

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Wilhelmson

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Once 31 inch wheels become the norm those wide handlebars will come in handy for a new build.
 
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AmyPJ

AmyPJ

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Once 31 inch wheels become the norm those wide handlebars will come in handy for a new build.
Not if they don't work for your body size or give you physical pain.
 

luliski

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Mine are at 710 mm. I "think" they're fine. This is what I had them cut to based on feel, but I bought my last mountain bike in 1989, so I didn't have much to compare it to. What do they base the recommended width on? Wingspan?
 

Erik Timmerman

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Mine are 750mm. Around here you will get made fun of for anything less than 800 which is ridiculous. If you look at pro riders bike checks, very few of them run bars that wide so I really don't even understand where the 800 thing is coming from.
 

graham418

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They should be wide enough to allow you to breath, but not so wide as to make it difficult to turn the bars. Traditionally you would measure road bars by placing the ends of the drops against your shoulders - they should match the distance of the bony projections. That would allow a natural stance, not so narrow as to cramp your breathing.
Mountain bars should be roughly the same. Wide enough to breath freely, narrow enough to squeeze through the trees
 

Rainbow Jenny

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I can absolutely see being too wide for someone who is skinnier like @Rainbow Jenny
I remember watching her test ride a mountain bike in Truckee and it looked like her arms were maxed out in wing span.
Just so you know, I wear large in Japanese sizes!

Oh yeah, my arms were spread out so wide on that Cannondale, I had no confidence in steering the handlebar!

So back to my road, hybrid, and city share bikes for now...
 

Erik Timmerman

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They should be wide enough to allow you to breath, but not so wide as to make it difficult to turn the bars. Traditionally you would measure road bars by placing the ends of the drops against your shoulders - they should match the distance of the bony projections. That would allow a natural stance, not so narrow as to cramp your breathing.
Mountain bars should be roughly the same. Wide enough to breath freely, narrow enough to squeeze through the trees
I think that might be a little inaccurate. Pretty much the widest road bars are only 46cm wide. That would be tiny for mtb.
 
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AmyPJ

AmyPJ

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Mine are at 710 mm. I "think" they're fine. This is what I had them cut to based on feel, but I bought my last mountain bike in 1989, so I didn't have much to compare it to. What do they base the recommended width on? Wingspan?
It's based on height and wingspan, yes. I'm 5'5" and the quick measurement calculator I used says I should have 702mm bars. I found 720mm to be very comfortable the past two seasons, so am going back to that.

Mine are 750mm. Around here you will get made fun of for anything less than 800 which is ridiculous. If you look at pro riders bike checks, very few of them run bars that wide so I really don't even understand where the 800 thing is coming from.
Do these people never ride tight trees? :huh:

Trek stocks their Fuel EX bikes with 750, which is why I was running that. Works well for the better half, who is 5'11".

Off to go cut mine down!
 

EricG

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Bar width will vary based on bike geometry, stem length & overall body position.

Like Erik I run 750mm width bars. I combine that with a 50-60mm stem depending if I am on the FS or HT. I also run spacers above & below the stem to fine tune the height.
 

Doug Briggs

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31 inches is 787 mm according to Google.

Mine are 31 inches and I considered shortening them as there a some trails with very challenging tree spacing. I do hit them on occasion but I've learned to tip the bike in the harder sections in order to guide my bars through. I've kept them at 31" because I feel I have better DH control with them. They did take some getting used to.

When I recently rode my old GF Sug around a parking lot to test it for the person I gave it to, it felt really weird. I don't know how narrow they are, but they are a lot less than 31.
 
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4ster

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You piqued my interest so I went and measured mine, 31.5” or 800mm. Not sure what my old bike was but these are noticeably wider. After banging a tree on my first test ride I thought about cutting them down but decided I should give the wider bars a chance. I do not have a condors wingspan but besides having to adjust my line in some tighter places, I don’t believe I have suffered any ill effect. In fact, early on I felt that I had more power climbing and pulling the front wheel up over rock steps. Downhill seems fine as well but I don’t think I could make an informed judgment without switching bars on the same trail on the same day.
43B0081D-0D25-4440-8D13-C5E1081C84A2.jpeg

I do find it much more difficult to lean the bike against a wall ;)
 

scott43

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I'm running 720mm or 28.3" and I find that comfortable. And I do have broadish shoulders. It also depends on what kind of riding you're doing. To each their own..
 

Tricia

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At 31 inches, mine seem to be 787 mm. That seems wide compared to what other are posting.
I'll have to double check. I was wearing my sunglasses when I measured. Need reading glasses.
 
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